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Japanese for Busy People (Kana version) Vol. II

Title: Japanese for Busy People (Kana version) Vol. II

Author: Association for Japanese-Language Teaching
Format: Paperback
List Price: $27.00
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Japanese for Busy People (Kana version) Vol. II

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Product Details
  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha International (JPN) (December 1, 1996)
  • ISBN: 4770020511
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 7.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds.
  • Average Customer Review: based on 6 reviews.

Customer Reviews
Avg. Customer Review:

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Best Way to learn to speak and read Japanese., July 1, 2003

Reviewer: "akaiknight" (Merced, CA United States)

I started with this book in the series and now I'm on the third book about half way finished. I've noticed my speaking, reading, and comprehension has improved immeasurably. It's the most effective grammar book I've found to date. In response to the complaint about not enough Kanji and the other of no information about Japanese History, one if you want to learn kanji I recommend Tuttle Kanji Cards politely speaking and for the second person It's not a HISTORY BOOK!!!

9 of 15 people found the following review helpful:

Used at UMUC Maryland in Japan, January 8, 2003

Reviewer: "aechinida" (Misawa, Japan)

Okay, so this book is used at on of the colleges that the military has in Japan. I know a lot of people complain that it is incomplete, but if they read the intro, they would notice that it is intended for use with instruction. Also, I hate to say it, but a lot of people learning Japanese have no reason to be. Sorry, but I live in Japan, and honestly, for the people out there who are learning this language just so they can understand their cartoons, this isn't the book for you. You need something that teaches less formal Japanese. Not to mention the fact that the cartoons aren't as heavily edited as you think they are. Trust me, I know. Additionally, for the people that want to complain about the lack of Kanji in this book, I must remind you that this is Japanese for Busy People is supposed to be used in conjugation with a Kana book. Now, I'm not saying that you'll find the Kanji you want in there, but as a jumping off point for learning Japanese, well, you're only supposed to have a small grasp on the language. You can't expect on book to teach it all. You didn't expect that in high school, and just because you're older isn't a good reason to expect that now. If you do want to learn Kanji, may I suggest A Guide to Reading and Writing Japanese (ISBN 0-8048-0226-2). The thing is this: no one in Japan is born knowing all the Kanji signs or all of the words. They had to go through and learn how to say them and how to write them in Hiragana and Katakana before they could learn Kanji, and that wasn't until school. Before that, people learned what they learned, and hopefully it was enough. Expecting to be as literate in Japanese as a Japanese person the same age you are is is ludicous. That's like thinking you can go to Mexico for five minutes and know all the Spanish you need to. Before anyone goes off complaining, though, it should be noted that you only need half of the book to just barely get by in Japan. No, this is not because a lot of people speak English. As a matter of fact, you're really lucky to find someone who can outside of Tokyo. This book teaches so much in the first 14 or so chapters that you could actually go out and buy a cell phone and a calling plan if you wanted to. So, before anyone complains about this book, ask yourself how much you actually remember from it. I'm telling you now, honestly, this is a good book. Most people's complaints I feel to be unfounded simply due to the fact that they haven't had any exposure to instruction or to Japan itself. Therein lies your difference. Japanese for Busy People does in fact teach enough for someone who lives in Japan (but prior to moving here had no exposure to Japanese) to be able to do the things they need to do. There's no reason for an elementary Japanese book to cover Kanji or slang. That should not, and does not, come until later, when you've actually picked up enough to get by.

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful:

Can you get a perfect Japanese textbook? Probably not..., May 20, 2002

Reviewer: "djdreamshade" (Fremont, NE United States)

This book has been reviewed constantly, so I'll be brief. I'm a self-study-er. I enjoy this book because it does a good job of defining sentence structure, verb conjugation, and sentence particles. It doesn't get much into the history of Japan, but tries to describe the general culture through its conversations. The learning focuses on reading dialogues and other basic sentence structures and repetition of them.

The weak point of the book is the kanji study. There are two general schools of thought on learning kanji: learn the kanji that go with the vocabulary, or learn the kanji individually with all of their readings. JfBP does the former, but only by listing the kanji at the end of the chapter and saying "learn these." I also own the Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters (Tuttle, you know, the thick grey book). This book gives a historical background and the main readings for each kanji. As I read JfBP, I refer to the kanji that are taught in each chapter by their listings in the big grey book to get a better understanding. Time consuming, but thorough.

Methinks it's hard to get one book that covers the whole Japanese language experience. I think JfBP covers the parts that it wants to very well. Just expect to learn kanji elsewhere.

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful:

Just for business men., May 5, 2000

Reviewer: Carlos Obreg? (Santaf?de Bogot? Colombia)

Okay, I also reviewed the Vol 1 of this series and I gave it a 5 star review, and it really deserve it. Now this book has the same excelent quality, structure of the other. But it is still aimed to bussiness men with a lot of language that you don't use daily as a tourist or a student. I like that finally the teach Kanjis but not enough, from 2000 you only get aprox. 100. Also, it teaches formal japanese that you don't use with friends. If you have access to a teacher this may be fine, but for people trying to teach thereselves is a drawback.

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful:

Good and user-friendly first volume, December 21, 1998
Reviewer: A reader
I am teaching myself Japanese using a variety of textbooks and here is a comparative review from my (learner's) point of view.

-Living Language 'All the way' -- This is very good and complete. Also there is plenty of audio material (8 CDs, the only audio-based course I found affordable) and this is vital during the first stages of learning the language. However, the learning curve of the book is steep. So much is crammed into the book's 450 pages that it is very easy to get discouraged. I found the amount of vocabulary cropping up every ten pages (and new lesson) particularly disheartening at times. Another problem is that Japanese characters are not covered particularly well; dialogues and example sentences are all in Romanji. However, I found this course to be truly excellent used together with others, so I could move to another book (and later return) whenever things got too disheartening. (4 stars)

-Learn Japanese-New College Text (Hawaii University) -- This is (overall) the best text I found: the learning curve is just right, although there is a scary amount of new vocabulary in each lesson, a lot of it is obvious (new forms of verbs already learned etc), and there are tons (perhaps too many?) of exercises. My only gripe is that no solutions to the exercises are provided such that the odd sentence may remain obscure. However, this is a brilliant series, both very good value (cheap!) and very complete, with cultural notes that try to relate understanding of the language to understanding of the culture. (5 stars)

- Japanese for College Students (Christian University) - This text plunges into Japanese the hard way, introducing Kanji from Lesson 1. I don't see too many people learning Japanese purely using this text without some external pressure being applied (e.g. University course). Also, since (as I am now able to judge), the level reached at the end of the first volume is not that impressively superior to the level reached through studying my favourite Hawaii text (bar the Kanji), I am not sure if this is worth it. Maybe this is alright if you take up language learning as a challenge. But then learning Japanese is a challenge anyway. This is the only one of my books which I do not use at all. (2 stars)

- Which leaves the present series, Japanese for busy people. Point one: Get the Kana version - although it is hard to start with, you will find yourself at ease with Kana by the middle of the first volume. One serious hurdle scaled. Getting the Romanji version just means you will constantly be 'cheating' by reading Western characters. Point Two: this is the most user-friendly of all the books, careful to never scare you off with an excessive amount of new vocabulary, and spreading even simple grammar points over several lessons. The downside of this is that the level reached at the end of the first volume is still very basic indeed, but this series is great for giving you confidence again when you've been put off by a harsher textbook. Point Three, however, becomes an issue in the second volume, as it gets clearer and clearer that the series is indeed geared toward 'busy', or business people, learning Japanese for career purposes. Since the vocabulary, as has been said, gets introduced fairly slowly (although the pace does pick up in Volume 2), learning words like 'conference room' or 'extension number' when you have't yet learnt some arguably more fundamental words may seem off-putting depending on your approach. Nevertheless, I see this as an excellent series as long as it is used in conjunction with others. (4 stars)


- Scared of grammar or business person? Get Japanese for Busy People

- Reasonably confident and not that interested in business-specific language? Get New College Text

- Planning to get into Japanese really seriously? Get Living Language (completeness, CDs) and New College Text, move from the first to the second whenever the first progresses too quickly, and get Japanese for Busy People as well if you need the occasional boost to your self-confidence.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

Great for self-study japanese., May 18, 1998

Reviewer: Manuel De Leon "manuel@codetel.net.do" (Dominican Republic)

This is a very good book if you want to learn how to read and write Japanese, and with a little aid of an external source you can easily be able to speak and understand conversations.

The book is written in a romanized form. But to take full advantage of this book, the reader must first be able to read/write HIRAGANA. This is not necessary, but it sure maximizes the learning process.

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