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Japanese from Zero! 1: Proven Techniques to Learn Japanese for Students and Professionals (Volume 1) 6th Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 218 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0976998129
ISBN-10: 0976998122
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  • Japanese from Zero! 1: Proven Techniques to Learn Japanese for Students and Professionals (Volume 1)
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  • Japanese Hiragana & Katakana for Beginners: First Steps to Mastering the Japanese Writing System (CD-ROM Included)
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  • Japanese Vocabulary (Quickstudy: Academic)
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

George Trombley is a professional Japanese interpreter who over the past 16 years has interpreted for corporations such as Microsoft, IBM, NTT DoCoMo, Lucent Technologies, and in countries throughout North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. In addition to Japanese, George has also co-authored the Korean From Zero! series and consulted on Chinese, French, and Spanish language books. Yukari Takenaka moved from Himeji, Japan to the United States, and taught Japanese for over 10 years while co-authoring custom lessons for students that eventually became the basis of the Japanese From Zero! book series. Prior to becoming an author, Yukari worked in Japan as a professional in the medical industry. She continues to write Japanese related materials to support her passion for teaching Japanese.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 338 pages
  • Publisher: From Zero!; 6 edition (May 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976998122
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976998129
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (218 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,270 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book has proven to be one of the better investments in my self-study of the Japanese language to date. The approach is informative, but friendly. The exercises will challenge you, while the lessons keep you thoroughly engaged. Their teaching method strives to get the student fluent, and not just repeating a set list of phrases that would be hard to deviate from. The book also includes an innovative approach to learning all of the Hiragana by book's end. And trust me, if you get this book, and follow it through to completion, you WILL know all of the hiragana by the time you're done. The extra bits, like the "Japan in Pictures" segment, or the "Culture Clips", and even the apendecies including "Common last names in Japan" will keep the reader interested in the study of the language, for those times when you need to take a little break from it. Even the Japanese Proverb on the front cover can be incredibly motivational for when learning the language seems to be a bit much. Very good book, would highly recommend for both people totally new to learning the language, as well as those of us who studied it a bit in the past and found ourselves falling out of it. A small number of typographical errors earns this book a four out of five.
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Format: Paperback
I've bought all three books from the series " Japanese from Zero " and all i can say is that if you're serious about learning japanese, that's a really friendly and motivating approach to the language basics.

None of the boring vocabulary that may be found in some manuals like Minna no Nihongo where you learn how to say " I want to send this package to australia with 2 stamps, how much will the taxes be ? " before even knowing how to express your opinion...

In "japanese from zero", all of the grammatical points and vocabulary are nicely selected and ordered, plus the activities don't make you run away everytime you open the book... they're quite entertaining and can be quite challenging at times.

Also as opposed to Minna no nihongo, when you learn a new verb, they tell you HOW TO USE IT... i was clueless at times how and when i was supposed to use a verb over the other ( Kaeru VS Modoru in mind...)in these books, everything is clearly explained without using all these hellish grammatical terms you can find in other manuals...

All in all, what you have here is a wonderful tool for complete beginners... the road to fluency is a long one, consider this book as the meaningful first step.

( PS : Thanks to all of the YesJapan team members for all their work and their positive attitude. )
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Format: Paperback
This book series is great and the title for it is very appropriate. We all start from Zero. These books have everything you'd expect from a beginners reference for any language, but what I think sets this series apart is the presentation. It's just SO USER FRIENDLY. The info is delivered in an informative but casual way and the english isn't straight out of an english textbook. I own several japanese "how to" books and a few of them are so thick with grammar lingo that you need a dictionary to figure out the english!! What the heck is a gerund anyway? Plus the Culture Clips give really fun and insightful tidbits into everyday japanese things.

I have to disagree with one of the reviewers that said this book was only good if your focus was on written japanese. First of all it's: JAPANESE FROM ZERO. Not: LEARN TO SPEAK JAPANESE! Japanese uses different written characters. It's logical that a japanese course should want to teach you to read and write as well as speak. Secondly the Hiragana introduced in this book are taught progressively throughout the book. Thirdly, though it's obvious that the books writers want you to learn to read and write the focus is clearly on conversational Japanese. You wont be breezing through any manga or even children's books after getting through Vol. 1 but you could definitely hold an elementary conversation or impress your friends by ordering the next time you get sushi.

My only real complaint about JFZ1 is that it doesn't include a CD. I think this would be incredibly helpful in understanding the phonics of the language. Thankfully Japanese is very basic phonetically but a total beginner wouldn't know that and might want a CD. This lack is the only thing that kept me from giving the product 5 stars though so if you're interested is jumping into Japanese language learning this is probably the best you can do outside of a classroom.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love Japanese From Zero!

JFZ is a good place to start learning, especially if you have no prior knowledge of Japanese and you cannot read or write any of the language (this includes anyone who is currently using romaji). This first book walks you through learning hiragana. By the time you get done with this book, you will know your hiragana front, back and sideways. You may even dream in hiragana. That's how good it is at reinforcing hiragana for you.

The information is NOT presented in an overwhelming manner as it can be in a lot of other text books. The lessons are short, which makes it ideal for learning on your own, and being able to pace yourself. You can learn 1 lesson per week or 1 lesson per day. It's totally up to you. The book presents lessons with usable examples. By the time you complete lesson 5, you will know how to say hello, tell someone things that you like or don't like, be able to count, ask who someone is, what things are, ask someone what something is in English, and tell someone what one you want or don't want. You'll learn colors, some animals, etc. So you can say "I have an orange cat named Garfield." "I like to go shopping" "Japanese food is delicious" "That doesn't taste good" "My car is a purple and white Honda" "Sachiko and Toshiyo are my friends" etc lol And that's not even 1/4 the way into the book!!! They present information in a way that allows you to be able to insert whatever you want, instead of using very rigid sentences that can't be altered much. You begin thinking of all the things that you CAN say, which I think is pretty neat.

You, of course, learn more as you progress through the series. It's more of a "what you need to know, when you need to know it" kind of book...
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