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Japanese for Busy People I: Kana Version includes CD (Japanese for Busy People Series) [Paperback]

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Item description for Japanese for Busy People I: Kana Version includes CD (Japanese for Busy People Series) by Association For Japanese-Language Teaching (Ajalt)...

Japanese for Busy People is the most popular Japanese language textbook series in the world. With over 20 components including texts, workbooks, CDs, videos and teacher's manuals, it is also one of the most comprehensive. Now, a decade after its first revision, the entire series is being redesigned, updated and consolidated to meet the needs of 21st-century students and businesspeople who want to learn natural, spoken Japanese as effectively as possible in a limited amount of time.
The book features not only a sleek, new design but also a unit structure that groups thematically linked lessons together, making it easier than ever to learn Japanese.
Moreover, it now comes with a CD containing audio for the dialogues and listening exercises from the text. The exercises in the book have also been thoroughly revised to incorporate more comprehension and production tasks. Many of these exercises are illustrated, making for a stimulating learning experience, and the purpose of each one is clearly stated.
This first of three volumes introduces "survival Japanese"-the absolute minimum amount of Japanese needed to live in Japan. Thus, the vocabulary and grammatical items it introduces are limited to about a third of what is typically introduced in a first-year course. In addition, the book features notes on Japanese culture intended to expand the learner's understanding of Japan, its customs and people.
Japanese for Busy People I is available in two formats: romanized and kana.
The Romanized Version uses romanized Japanese throughout, with kana in the Opening Dialogues of each lesson.
The Kana Version-exposing students to hiragana and katakana from the very beginning-uses only kana.The content of the two books is otherwise exactly the same.
The companion volume, Japanese for Busy People 1: The Workbook for the Revised 3rd Edition contains a variety of illustrated exercises for mastering the basic sentence patterns presented in the main text.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   288
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 10.39" Width: 7.48" Height: 0.87"
Weight:   1.59 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 2006
Publisher   Kodansha International
ISBN  4770030096  
ISBN13  9784770030092  

Availability  0 units.

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1Books > Subjects > Reference > Dictionaries & Thesauruses > Foreign Language > Dictionaries & Thesauruses
2Books > Subjects > Reference > Foreign Languages > General
3Books > Subjects > Reference > Foreign Languages > Instruction > Instruction
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5Books > Subjects > Reference > Words & Language > Study & Teaching

Reviews - What do customers think about Japanese for Busy People I: Kana Version includes CD (Japanese for Busy People Series)?

The Best Series for learning Japanese  Aug 5, 2008
I am what I would call an 'advanced beginner'. I have taken several 3 month trips to Japan and even more two week vacations and speak enough to get around. Depsite this, there are gaps in my learning since I have not studied any one book on my own all the way through. A friend and I decided to study together once a week using this book (at his recommendation). It is the best book I have ever worked with. One of the things that makes this such a great series - on top of the structure - is that there are a reasonable amount of writing exercises. They break out the conversations and vary them for different ways to practice the material. With this kind of practice I really feel that I am gaining proficiency. Since I plan to study to a fluent level, I really enjoy this kind of practice even though I know 95% or more of the vocabulary in the first few chapters. My friend and I then meet once a week after doing the 'homework' on our own and practice the vocabulary by reading through the exercises. This also gives us a chance to have someone check our spelling by circling the mistakes that we make. (We both already know some Japanese and still make mistakes, it's part of learning) ;)

We also really like that there are three levels to the series for the obvious reason that we both want to study until we are fluent.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone that wants to study on their own or as a small group.

I have to add that we also use Remebering the Kanji 1 and 2 by James W. Heisig (also purchased through this site). By going through one chapter a week of both materials (For Busy People 1-3 and Rememering the Kanji 1 & 2) in about 2 years we will have Japanese proficiency FAR above what could be learned in two years by going to college (I would guess about double and more Kanji than a college undergraduate) for under $150 dollars.
Great study tool!  Mar 30, 2008
When you begin learning Japanese, you'll hear the "Japanese for Busy People" book series mentioned quite a bit. It is hailed by many as the best learning tool for learning Japanese, and more specifically for JLPT.

Though I have been studying Japanese for a few months, I decided to pick up this and volume II at a Barnes and Nobles a week ago.

First of all, I love that this version is all kana. Kana need to be learned and used as early as possible in your Japanese learning experience. I like that they also have a Romanized version, for people who may be using "Japanese for Busy People" as their first tool. I do wish that they would include a better description of Kana and Romanji in the description though. I can see how it would be easy for someone to purchase this version online without knowing that they needed to be able to read kana.

The book first introduces a series of nine characters, all of which are somehow connected to the fictional "ABC Foods" store. These characters are rather pointless however, as there really seems to be no ongoing story or any reason why the reader needs to know about these nine characters. It's just a little thing that bugged me.

The twenty-five lessons span across eleven units, each unit sort of piecing together similar grammatical ideas. Each lesson contains a script of a short conversation between two people and a translation at the bottom. This is followed by a series of notes that explain certain concepts in the conversation. After this, the book delves into some vocab terms and finally it tests your knowledge by asking for you to write example sentences. Each unit is ended by taking a test, the answers to which are in the back of the book. The overall layout is good, but I was excited to hear about the "Culture notes" at the beginning of each unit. I was disappointed to see that the notes are about two paragraphs describing VERY basic information (Talks about bowing in one unit, another describes Sushi and Tenpura). If you want an idea of Japanese culture, you will need to get a book specifically aimed at that.

Let me say this: If you hate taking classes and reading textbooks then this book is NOT for you. This is basically a watered downed school textbook, in fact I understand it is often used as a textbook for Japanese classes.

But if you a truly committed to learning the Japanese language, then this textbook is a great way to do it. If you pull your hair out at the thought of taking a Japanese class to do it, you should probably find another method of learning :).

-Twenty-five lessons that cover nearly all the needed grammatical information.

-Example sentences and tests that help the reader test their abilities to write and speak Japanese.

-Glossary, index of particles, and sentence structures make it easy to find exactly what you're looking for.

-Reads like a textbook. Not for users who are looking to learn Japanese but hesitant to go to a classroom.

-So-called "Culture notes" are really just a few paragraphs that talk about very basic info that most people probably already know.

-The blank spaces they give you to write example sentences are often much to short to fit the whole sentence in. At least for me.
Good book to start off your Nihongo studies!  Sep 26, 2007
How to learn Japanese: First, get a book and master the Hiragana and Katakana syllabary. This is a must and it shouldn't take you more than a month to do that. Japanese for Busy People has a Kana workbook and that works very well with this first volume since it includes vocabulary from chapters 1 through 10. That way, by the time you immerse yourself with this book, you can start focusing more on sentence patterns. Once you've familiarized yourself with the Kana syllabary, work through the activities in this book. It will give you a solid foundation on two things - mastery of the kana (since everything is written in kana), and basic sentence patterns. If you still have the time, get a kanji book and start working on the first few hundred kanji. I highly recommend Basic Kanji Book. This way, you can correlate the kana spellings of the new vocabulary words with the actual kanji. However, your focus should be more on the correct kana spelling. I always get confused with the long vowel sounds.

About this book: real excellent introduction to Japanese vocabulary, culture, and grammar. The exercises can be repetitive and are mostly substitution exercises. However, this is a great way to master the sentence patterns. My suggestion is to do the exercises and then to create one or two other sentences of your own based on what you just did. This way, you can further apply what you have just learned.

Negative comment: I don't like how the book mixes hindu-arabic numerals with kana. I think this is very confusing especially for a beginner. Again, while the kanji can come later, mastering the kana spelling should take precedence over convenience. The book does tell you the correct spelling first but for the exercises, it asks you to use hindu-arabic numerals. For instance, instead of writing out (in kana) sanji (3 o'clock), it has 3ji.

Once you're done with this book, skip volumes II & III. Move on to either the Genki series or Minna no Nihongo series, although I'm somewhat partial to the Minna no Nihongo series because it's more comprehensive albeit more expensive. It covers reading, writing, listening, and composition. At the same time, keep chipping away at the 1945 Joyo Kanji. In time, you will have mastered enough Nihongo to either pass the JLPT or order your favorite sushi.
Best of the Best for Beginners!  May 17, 2007
If you're looking for a good book to learn Japanese language, you probably have too many choices flooding your mind and have no idea which one is for you, because every one of them seems good. So, why this one?

This book is very well organized. It contains 11 units to cover the most practical topics surviving in Japan, such as meeting people, shopping, gettig around, dinning out, visiting a japanese home, responding inquiries at office, and socializing, etc. Each unit is consist of a culture note, a specific grammar syntax and usage, and a couple of lessons. Each lesson starts with a short dialogue to illustrate the common conversation of the unit's topic. It also provides a detail explanation on the sentence usage and the new vocabulary introduced in the dialogue. Few exercises are followed to help readers to get familiarized and practice what they have just learned. An audio CD is also accompanied with this book to demonstrate the conversation addressed in each dialogues. At the end of the book, it comes with the Appendixes, which provides a summary of all the particles, sentence patterns, adjectives, etc. in a list with examples and reference to the book's units & lessons. In addition, it has a mini-dictionary with english to japanese and japanese to english. This book also makes use of a lot of pictures to illustrate dialogues and exercises. It really helps the reader to have a more relax and interesting learning journey. After finishing this book, you should be able to have the following skills: (i) basic usage of nouns, verbs, adjectives, (b) basic conversation for essential everyday siturations, and (c) reading and writing hiragana & katakana.

Well, although there's a romanji version of this "Japanese for Busy People I (Revised 3rd Edition)", I would still recommend the readers to get this "Kana" version to learn the real Japanese in a Japanese character forms. If you do not know about the Japanese sound system, hiragana and katakana. You can pick up the "Japanese for Busy People I: Kana Workbook", which is an excellent book for starters. After that, go for this "Japanese for Busy People I: Kana Version". Indeed, this is the best!

(Reviewed by Otto Yuen, 17-May-2007)
A bit repetitive, but a great book!  May 6, 2007
I've heard so many good reviews about this book, that I finally bought it. I've learned more with this book about making sentences, than I have with all my other books. My other books start off with "This is a pen. That over there is a pen." Yeah ok, how useful is that really?

This book tells about Mr. Smith, the lawyer from ABC Foods, and his adventures in Japan. A couple of useful items are Mr. Smith's schedule, and giving directions to a driver. Both of which are great lessons I wish I had known when talking to Japanese friends months ago!! Other relevant subjects are shopping, going out to dinner or a movie. Ordering food, tickets or getting your size clothing is not mentioned. Hopefully that will be covered in future books.

This book is well thought out, and gives the definitions of words when they first occur. English translations are only at the beginning of the next lesson. After that, they expect you to remember the words and be able to read Japanese. My only complaints about the book, is I wish they would start introducing kanji in each chapter, and give you more room to write.

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