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Japanese for Busy People I: Kana Version [Paperback]

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Item description for Japanese for Busy People I: Kana Version by AJALT -Assoc. Japanese Language Teaching...

Japanese for Busy People is, as the title suggests, a concise course for busy students who want to learn natural, spoken Japanese as effectively as possible in a limited amount of time. This new Kana Version has been adapted and redesigned to reflect current thinking on Japanese-as-a-second-language education. Romanized Japanese, often criticized as being the main obstacle to accurate and fluent pronunciation of the spoken language, has been omitted in favor of native hiragana and katakana scripts. Learning kana from the very beginning will also facilitate a smooth and fast transition to kanji study. Enough vocabulary and grammar have been provided to enable the learner to communicate in uncomplicated adult Japanese, without having to memorize excessive amounts of vocabulary and language patterns that are not immediately useful. Exercises and Quiz sections also appear in kana to reinforce written and oral comprehension as well as production skills. Japanese for Busy People has been prepared under the guidance of a working group of experienced Japanese language instructors who reviewed and tested the material in an authentic classroom environment.
The Kana Version of Japanese for Busy People 1 is the ideal textbook for anyone who wishes to learn real, natural, conversational Japanese and actually communicate with native Japanese speakers. It also provides a solid foundation and a valuable resource for those who would like to go further with their study of the Japanese language.
This new Kana Version includes:
* new introduction explaining how to use the text at home or school
* new, larger, and easier-to-read typography
* new, classroom-friendly, eye-catching page design
* clear, concise explanations of how the language works
* full English-Japanese/Japanese-English glossaries.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   232
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 10.28" Width: 7.2" Height: 0.73"
Weight:   1.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 1995
Publisher   Kodansha International, Ltd.
ISBN  4770019874  
ISBN13  9784770019875  

Availability  0 units.

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1Books > Subjects > Reference > Dictionaries & Thesauruses > Foreign Language > Dictionaries & Thesauruses
2Books > Subjects > Reference > Foreign Languages > General
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Reviews - What do customers think about Japanese for Busy People I: Kana Version?

Avoid this text if possible  Dec 5, 2006
A lot of reviewers basically say to avoid this text, and I agree. However, if you are taking this course at a college or university, you probably can't change the text prescribed by the school or professor.

This text's first printing went with romaji (English letters for Japanese words), presumably under the assumption that kana and kanji are too complex for the average student studying Japanese. After many complaints, this version was released. However, instead of starting off with romaji (like the book "Yookoso") and gradually moving to hiragana,katakana, and kanji, there is no romaji whatsoever. Where will people learn their kana? I guess the authors assume you are either a prior student of Japanese, or that you will learn before you use this book?

I took Japanese for two semesters about six years ago, and stopped studying due to graduation and work. I started taking it again last September, and this is the book (well, they use the non-kana version) that the local graduate school uses. I can't use another text, so I have no choice but to use this book.

Going through the chapters, it seems that the lessons are not well structured. Instead of rules or tricks to learn conjugations, you are simply told to memorize lists. My previous experience in undergraduate was with a text called Yookoso, which offered a simple and systematic method to learn adjective and verb conjugations. For example, you would learn the "ta" form of verbs,which made learning the "te" form very easy. This book does not do that,and when you get to "te" form, you are simply told to memorize a list.

So, if you are self-studying, I would not recommend this text. Otherwise, if you are a student in school, you should obtain other texts to supplement your learning.
Why does this book even exist?  Apr 7, 2006
The standard version of "Japanese for Busy People 1" has kana and romanization. This book just has the romanization removed. By adding "kana version" to the title they make sound as if the other version doesn't have kana. I say if you don't like the romanization then just don't use it. How is a beginner supposed to use this book? Especially a busy beginner.
Not effective  Feb 25, 2006
Grammatical structure in this book is not addressed properly. Asking students to memorize numerous verb conjugations is difficult and tedious. It would be far more effective to have students learn the rule for verb conjugation. That way they can apply it to any verb. This book takes this approach to most other grammatical technicalities, making it difficult for a student to learn Japanese effectively.
Not good at all!!  Feb 18, 2006
Just like the review below I didn't liked this book. Though the first lessons weren't too bad as they are easy to understand and helpfull to get you started in Japanese. But while getting further in the book it really gets bad ( actually it moves from a 3 star rating to a below 1 star , which explains the 2 stars that I gave).

Yeah, the memorizing by head is such a wrong way to learn a language. In my humble opinion I think that to learn a language you must know what you're doing (i.e. grammar). For example, I had to learn about five chapters simultanious, just to get a vague idea what the -te form was used for. But no, not a word about how to form it. At that time I started to use Genki next to it. Then I actually realized how bad the book was.

Another thing is that this book is a Kana version. It's a lot better than Romaji, but the way they present it, it is merely usefull to get fluent in Hiragana and Katakana (Oké, I know that's why it's called kana version!) It would be a lot better if some kanji were inserted in the text, together with furigana, just like the second and third books and other textbooks by the way.

My advice: if you really want to spend your money on this book, I suggest you to study the first part of it. It's not that bad, and it is a good introduction to Japanese. When you really start to like learning Japanese, stow this book somewhere where you can not see it and begin to use Genki or better 90 days of Japanese (see my list)(even better, use both) The first lessons of Japanese for Busy People are a certainly a good introduction to Genki as this book might be a little hard and therefore demotivating for complete beginners.
Great Text--not perfect, but great  Oct 3, 2005
After spending about 2 months researching texts to buy, I decided on this one. After reading all the reviews (that killed my eyes) and looking up courses at a few different universities, I chose this over the Genki series. Basically, JfBP was $40 cheaper than the other. I live in Taiwan and so could not get the Genki book otherwise. But I am extremely pleased with JfBP. It's clear, there are plenty of exercises, the vocabulary is useful, and the format is good to work with. The one thing I wish is that were kanji from the outset. I know in levels 2 and 3 there is more kanji, and this is probably the main difference between this and the Genki series, but that aside you will not be disappointed. I do think getting the accompanying CD is a must for self-study. I've been a university EFL teacher for 4 years now, and if I were teaching Japanese, I wouldn't hesitate to use this series. So, if you been through all the reviews and are still not sure, you won't be disappointed.

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