Read Real Japanese Fiction: Short Stories by Contemporary Writers 1 free CD included Pap/Com Bl Edition

29 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-4770030580
ISBN-10: 4770030584
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Comment: very good paperback copy without cd. no marks inside. THIS PURCHASE SUPPORTS THE BENICIA PUBLIC LIBRARY
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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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From the Back Cover

* 6 short stories in vertical text with translations of all the complex passages
* Japanese-English dictionary for quick lookup, tailored to your needs
* Notes explain subtleties of nuance, usage, grammar, and culture
* Free CD with audio narrations performed by a professional actress
* Profiles of the individual writers place the stories in context

About the Author

MICHAEL EMMERICH graduated from Princeton University. After completing research in Japanese literature studies at Ritsumeikan University in Tokyo, he went on to earn a Ph.D. in Japanese literature from Columbia University. He is the highly acclaimed translator of Nobel laureate Yasunari Kawabatas First Snow on Fuji; Banana Yoshimotos Asleep, Goodbye Tsugumi and Hardboiled & Hard Luck; Genichiro Takahashis Sayonara Gangsters; Mari Akasakas Vibrator; and Taichi Yamadas In Search of a Distant Voice.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha USA; Pap/Com Bl edition (June 2, 2008)
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • ISBN-10: 4770030584
  • ISBN-13: 978-4770030580
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1.1 x 5.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,017,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Zarxrax on July 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
I love this book! It presents you with 6 short stories (each one around 12 pages long or so, but the last one is only about 2 pages). On one page it presents the Japanese text, and on page opposite of it you will find a translation of the phrases. Towards the back of the book, you will find another 50 pages or so of additional notes, which explain things such as words or grammatical patterns and other such things. There is also a japanese-english dictionary containing the words that you find in the stories. I love this format, because everything you need is right here in the book, so you don't have to constantly be looking up phrases on your computer or electronic dictionary. You can just lay back, relax, and read! However, the format of having the notes in the back of the book make it a little annoying, since you have to keep flipping back and forth, but you should be alright if you use two bookmarks to keep your place.
The stories themselves are real Japanese, just as the title says. These aren't watered-down stories designed to be easy for beginners. I've only read the first story so far, and I found it extremely challenging. The translations and notes and everything really helped out a lot. Although it took me over an hour to read the first page, as I continued on, I found that my speed was increasing quite well. I've completed advanced classes in Japanese in college, and I could hardly understand any of the sentences in the first story. However, the notes are all so helpful, I feel like I learned enough from just one page of this book to make the price worth it. If something is difficult to explain in English, the author will sometimes provide you with additional sentences for the purpose of helping you understand how a certain phrase or grammar point is used.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Anatoli on September 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
The other reviewer have already praised the book enough and I agree wit their assessment. This is a must have book for Japanese learners.

Something that might discourage some buyers: the texts chosen are not simple at all, they are very challenging. The audio recording is natural but very fast, you need to work hard to be able to understand the text by listening. it's a big jump in difficulty from reading/listening to Genki, Japanese for everyone, Minna-no Nihongo and other popular textbooks, which was exactly what I was looking for.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Zack Davisson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is the Japanese reader I have been hoping for! I can hardly believe that such an excellent book has finally been made available after suffering through sub-par readers for so long. This book is just awesome, and if you are studying Japanese then you are going to want it as soon as possible.

Japanese has always suffered from a dearth of good readers. Some, like A Japanese Reader are so dense and academic as to put off all but the most dedicated student. Some, like Mangajin's Basic Japanese Through Comics, are fun to begin with but don't get you very far. The biggest problem has always been that middle ground, that 2-kyu level where you need some help getting over the hump from constructed text and into the real world.

I had the previous edition of Read Real Japanese, and this release is a vast improvement. The old version relied far to heavily on romaji, which anyone reading at this level should be long past. This new edition eliminates this problem, using only the kanji and hiragana character sets. All kanji are initially presented with furigana, but afterwards appear on their own so you have to work for it. The stories are presented with the right hand being the original text, then the left hand presenting translations on difficult passages. In the back, there are more detailed translation notes and a dictionary of all the words used.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By VikingMom on August 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've only gone through the first story of this book, but it's really well put together. You get the feeling of really being able to read a Japanese short story with the kanji and the vertical right to left format. Furigana(small hiragana characters above the kanji) allow you to learn the proper way to say each kanji. It's only listed the first time you see the kanji, so you're forced to remember. This makes it really difficult if you don't take good, easily searchable notes. The glossary is in alphabetical order in the back of the book, so I broke it up by searching for the unknown words after each page. I know some books like this give you the new vocabulary right on the page, which is a little more convenient. Also, I would like to see a full translation... After going through the definitions and passage notes, I feel like I have a good idea of what the story is about, but I'm not 100% sure I got it all because of the way it's broken up.

This book really pushes you to take detailed and organized notes, which is great for learning, but not as easily readable as it claims to be. The CD with audio files is a great feature, but the voice actress is really fast, so if you don't have a computer program to slow them down a bit, I'd only recommend this for advanced Japanese learners.
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