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Read Real Japanese: All You Need to Enjoy Eight Contemporary Writers [Paperback]

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Item description for Read Real Japanese: All You Need to Enjoy Eight Contemporary Writers by Janet Ashby...

There is a world of difference between reading Japanese that has been especially concocted for students and reading real Japanese-that is, Japanese written for native speakers. The concocted variety might be called schoolmarm Japanese: standard to the point of insipidity, controlled to the point of domestication, restricted to the point of impoverishment. Read Real Japanese provides the real thing-essays written by lively authors, meant to be enjoyed or pondered over.

Here are essays informed by the writer's personality, transformed by the message, moving with the flow of the whole, and shifting with the rhythm of paragraph and sentence. For students needing help, this has been provided in vocabulary lists and notes on usage. The vocabulary contains the English equivalents of the Japanese text. The notes deal with subtler matters: with grammar, nuance, idiomatic usage, and the tricky little things that particles do. Whether for pleasure or for serious study, you are sure to find something of interest and value as you read real Japanese.

The featured writers are Yoko Mori, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Machi Tawara, Shoichi Nejime, Momoko Sakura, Seiko Ito, Banana Yoshimoto, and Haruki Murakami.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   176
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.66" Width: 5.3" Height: 0.49"
Weight:   0.52 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 14, 2003
Publisher   Kodansha International
ISBN  4770029365  
ISBN13  9784770029362  

Availability  0 units.

More About Janet Ashby

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! JANET ASHBY is a freelance writer and translator who has lived in Japan since 1975. She has written a long-running column in the Japan Times on Japanese books, and has a particular interest in Japanese popular culture. She is the co-author of Japanese: The Spoken Language in Japanese Life and the
author of the original Read Real Japanese, of which this book is a remake.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > British > 20th Century
3Books > Subjects > Reference > Foreign Languages > Instruction > Instruction
4Books > Subjects > Reference > General
5Books > Subjects > Reference > Words & Language > Reading Skills

Reviews - What do customers think about Read Real Japanese: All You Need to Enjoy Eight Contemporary Writers?

Making the leap to authentic text  Apr 30, 2006
The leap to authentic text is a challenging hurdle, but a necessary one to achieve. Text books are usually made of carefully calculated dialogs and passages, designed to teach a grammar point rather than transfer information. However, once you have reached a certain level you want to go beyond that and into the real thing. That is, after all, why you are studying the language.

"Read Real Japanese" can help ease this transition, providing a guided tour through a few short stories of some of Japan's most prominent modern authors. Murakami Haruki ("Wind-Up Bird Chronicle") and Yoshimoto Banana ("Kitchen") are familiar with most students of Japanese, and it is a true pleasure to read their writings in the language in which they were written.

Janet Ashby has provided translations of the text, piece by piece, allowing you to check your personal translation against her professional work, as well as being a quick reference to unknown kanji, vocabulary and grammar. This is an excellent resource, not only for comprehension but also for seeing how some tricky Japanese grammar can be properly ordered into English.

The only drawback of "Read Real Japanese" is that Ashby has unfortunately chosen to give her translations in romaji rather than hiragana. Quality Japanese learning aids always reinforce hiragana rather than romaji, and anyone at the level necessary to tackle authentic text should have no trouble with kana.
Excellent intermediate - advanced text  Sep 28, 2004
Another fine title from Kodansha's bilingual series (also check out the wonderfully titled 'How to Sound Intelligent in Japanese') - this is indeed better for intermediate readers, and features an intriguing selection of essays by contemporary Japanese writers/ culture vultures.

This is an excellent stepping stone toward the ultimate goal of reading written Japanese quickly and effectively. Even advanced students will probably find many of the concepts and phrases contained within of great benefit. It is also useful for people who are looking for stimulating Japanese writers, to get a taste of some of the best contemporary authors, before exploring in depth.

The explanations and translations are uniformly excellent - this is a must-have for anyone serious about reading Japanese fiction in the original language.

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