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Japanese for Everyone: A Functional Approach to Daily Communications

Title: Japanese for Everyone: A Functional Approach to Daily Communications

Author: Nagara Susumu
Format: Paperback
List Price: $29.00
Where To Buy

Amazon USA Price: $19.14

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Japanese for Everyone: A Functional Approach to Daily Communications

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Where To Buy This Item

Product Details
  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Japan Publications (USA) (August 1, 1990)
  • ISBN: 0870408534
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 7.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds.
  • Average Customer Review: based on 25 reviews.

Spotlight Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful:

A great book, but you need the tapes, which aren't available, February 13, 2003

Reviewer: "ramen_freak" (Rutherford, NJ United States)

As a third generation Japanese-American, my parents thought it'd be good for me--in conjunction with my Monday through Friday public, American schooling-- to supplement my education with some Saturday Japanese classes as well. So every Saturday for two years, I went to Japanese school. That was almost twenty years ago, and I hardly remember a thing.

Now that I'm older and appreciate the value of learning about my heritage (including the language), I was driven to purchase this book. Partly: a) as a refresher course and b) partly as new instruction.
After purchasing other books in the past, and some of those, "speak Japanese" CD's. This is the only book I've found that includes romaji, hiragana, katakana and some kanji. It's clearly laid-out, has a fantastic dictionary and reference charts in the front and back of the book. I think that persons interested in learning Japanese that have no prior instruction would find it a great resource.

There is a MAJOR problem with this book being sold on ... though: throughout the book, they make mention of "listening to the tapes". Being that ... doesn't sell the tapes (in fact, no one does. I had to special order them from the publisher directly in Japan), I've been finding it very difficult to make it through the lessons.

I think that ... should somehow acquire the tapes to sell in conjunction with the book, or you should hire someone who's fluent in Japanese to help you!

All in all, it's a great book, and I'm looking forward to getting my tapes from the publisher in about a month.
Shame on ... for not catching this problem!

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Great book.. reflects how Japanese works., January 31, 2002

Reviewer: Dave Johnson (Spencer, MA USA)

Ok, first of all, you *must* learn hiragana & katakana to use this book. I recommend getting James Heisig's book on learning both.

That said, this book jumps right into Japanese, and assumes you will *work* to learn the language. Each chapter, assuming you do the exercises will take several days. But they are well worth it.

One great thing this book does is use realistic Japanese conversational structures. Most books use convoluted (to the japanese ear) but educational (to the learner) sentences. This book always presents a "typical" japanese construct (as well as the more educational styles).

One disappointing thing with this book is that I have not been able to locate the tapes that go with it. Other than that, this is a great book to learn japanese with (tho you have to be willing to work hard!)

Customer Reviews
Avg. Customer Review:

A Totally Awesome book!!!, October 19, 2004
Reviewer: Nikki (USA)

Learning japanese is one of my life ambitions, and using this work is really the way to go. I have been trying many other methods over the years and this one really comes easy.

The totally lack of romanji is the first thing that caught my eye. By chapter 6 all romanji is eliminated, even of the vocab. It is really super important that people wanting to learn japanese get over this crutch.

The pace is a bit fast, but not overwhelming. If you don't catch the word the first time that are plenty of opportunities later in other chapters to get it again.

The "story" is really nice to have as a sort of tie-in theme for the book. You follow Micheal and Babara Webb as they transfer to a company in Japan. The graphics are cute and really take the edge off the complex material.

I do have some problems with the text, as amazing as it is. The main one is not the lack of tapes, but the use of words in sentences that haven't been introduced yet. I will be reading along and there will be a word in kanji that doesn't have furigana and isn't anywhere in the bottom (although this mainly happens when reading the scripts). I have been using the dictionary in the back more times than I can count.

One other beef on the book is the sometimes they are have answers in the back that they don't explain why a certain word is used over another.

In conclusion, this is defientely one of the best ways to learn reading/writing Japanese. The amount of excerises is amazing, really making each chapter about 10-15 hours long, no kinding aside. If you can actually complete the book then reading young adult fiction/manga is probably not a out of reach.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

Great text, but the vocab?, September 10, 2004

Reviewer: Eric Justice (Boulder, CO, United States)

Having formally studied Spanish, French, and German before undertaking a self-study of Japanese, I know what I like in a language text, and this is it. The author presents concepts in a logical manner with good explanations. He also transitions the student from romaji to the kana (and kanji) at a reasonable pace.

I've been cramming this book at the somewhat harried rate of one chapter per week in preparation for a trip to Japan. Each chapter requires about 10-12 hours of study. I'd recommend ten days to two weeks per chapter to allow time for side-study of conversation (eg. with CDs such as Pimsleur) and writing (kana and kanji). At this pace, you could complete the book in about a year.

My only complaint (other than the oft-mentioned lack of audio tapes) is that the author introduces vocabulary in a questionalbe order. Many words of limited use are introduced before more common words. Additionally, the author often will use a word in an example before or without introducing it, but thankfully it's always in the short dictionary at the end of the book. Hopefully, as I form a better foundation of vocabulary, these issues will cease to matter.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

Japanese for serious students only, May 12, 2004
Reviewer: A reader
This is definitely not Japanese for everyone. If you are very serious about learning Japanese and have lots of time and dedication, then this may be the book for you. Each lesson is crammed with new concepts and exercises and could take a week or more to work through. The book uses Romanji (English alphabet) only in the first three lessons and expects you to learn the Japanese phonetic scripts (hirogana and katakana) on your own. While this is possible, it takes real effort. Moreover, it slows down considerably the understanding of the structure of the language. Unless you are dedicated to learning written Japanese, it would be better to use a text that uses at least a mixture of English and Japanese script.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Learning fast, December 8, 2002

Reviewer: Roderick Snijder (The netherlands)

Japanese for everyone is a very helpfull book for those who wanna learn japanese. Because of the low use of romaji u can read the japanese characters (katakana, hiragana and Kanji) in no-time. Answers to the exercises are in the last few pages in the book. There is also an short dictionary in it. Also, if you don't want to buy the tapes for listening exercises you can read the tapes in the book to!

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