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Basic Connections: Making Your Japanese Flow [Paperback]

Kakuko Shoji
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 July 2002 4770028601 978-4770028600 New edition
An exploration of how the elements of basic Japanese are connected to ensure a continuous and smooth flow in spoken and written language. The text addresses all the problems inherent in Japanese syntax that cause students difficulty. Exercises and sample sentences in standard and romanized Japanese and English are included.


Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha International Ltd; New edition edition (3 July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4770028601
  • ISBN-13: 978-4770028600
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 18.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 583,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

From the Author

Preface

The purpose of this book is to provide helpful information about Japanese expressions and usages that facilitate the flow of ideas and thought in written and spoken Japanese.

During my thirty-year teaching career, I have seen a great variety of mistakes, many of which were the result of cultural differences or differences in the way that second-language learners and native speakers of Japanese conceptualize language. The book attempts to help students become aware of these differences in conceptualization and to provide them with the linguistic tools to overcome these differences, thereby allowing their ideas to flow more naturally. The book focuses on those grammatical items, idiomatic expressions, and set phrases that have proven to be the most problematic to my students.

The patterns are presented with examples, and tips are provided throughout the text to highlight particularly important points. A few exercises are also included to allow students an opportunity to experiment with what they have learned.

Note that F refers to patterns that are predominantly feminine and M to those predominantly masculine.

I would like to thank the Center of Japanese Studies at the University of Hawai'i for the Japanese Studies Summer Grant (1994) which supported this project. I would also like to thank Greg Nishihara and Sarina Chugani for their hours of computer work and to express appreciation to family and friends for their encouragement and moral support. Very special thanks go to my teachers, Dr. Shiro Hattori and Prof. Fumiko Koide, and to my father, who gave me the opportunity to study and teach abroad and without whom none of this would have been possible. Finally, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Mr. Michael Brase and Mr. Shigeyoshi Suzuki of Kodansha International, Ltd.; without their help, this publication would not have been possible.

About the Author


KAKUKO SHOJI, a resident of Honolulu, is a longtime instructor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is the author of Japanese Core Words and Phrases Things You Can't Find in a Dictionary and Kodansha's Effective Japanese Usage Dictionary A Concise Explanation of Frequently Confused Words andPhrases.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
There are two basic types of sentences in Japanese, the "A is B" type and the "A does B" type. Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every beginner should have it 3 Nov 2005
Format:Paperback
Ever wondered what the differnece between '(re)ba' and 'tara' was?
How about 'kara' and 'node'?
'wa' and 'ga'?
This book explains all of these different points as well as providing lots of usefull information that you didn't even know you didn't know, like how to properly use the te form and when to use 'aida'.
Colourfull examples will also boost your vocabulary.
You really do not know what you were missing unitl you read this book, I cannot stress how much your japanese will improve.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good book to get your facts straight with. 6 Jun 2007
By Vee
Format:Paperback
A book for moderate-intermediate learners, although beginners can benefit also. But a knowledge of the Japanese language and the writing system would really help.

It has examples in kanji/kana then romanji and then in english ; so you learn some kana /kanji through the book. However, it is better for brushing up on your kanji/kana rather than a source for learning it.

It explains

* Different sentence types

* Sentence modifiers

* How to identify subjects, objects,modifiers or adverbials in a sentence * Also there are exercises and connection words listed throughout

A very well thought out book, highlighting problems people normally have with learning Japanese and how to read Japanese.

Also great for moderate learners to start reading paragraphs and sentences in Japanese and to work them out (with the translation included, if needed!)

A really good book to buy; i brought it above 3 others i wanted, and i am so glad i did!

I would say this : buy this book if you want to learn more about kanji, kana, how to word your sentences, learn more words and how to use them. You will not be disappointed!

Vanessa
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
71 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most important grammar book you'll find? 30 May 2004
By J. FELLA - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This could be the most important Japanese grammar book you could buy, and I'll tell you why. If you're already learning Japanese, you know how complex the sentence structures and grammar can be. It's one thing to be able to get your ideas across in a reasonably intelligent manner, but it's another thing entirely to make what you're saying flow and sound natural. This book teaches you how to connect ideas and sentences so they more naturally flow into the next one. Now, if you're like me, you might be really good and saying things in Japanese, as long as you don't have to build on what you said the sentence before, or put together one long thought or sentence. This book shows you how to "look ahead" so you can figure out how to construct the sentence from the beginning so that, by the time you get to the end, everything has neatly connected itself along the way.
My only regret is I didn't find this book sooner than I did. It is truly invaluable for the beginning student, and even for the intermediate student, as well. Don't even hesitate to buy this book. It is cheap and EASILY worth the price.
49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Best in a Great Series 8 May 2001
By Kevin S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have read/used almost all of Kodansha's "Power Japanese" series. "Basic Connections" (BC)and its immediate predecessor "Japanese Verbs at a Glance" (JVC) are the best. "All About Particles" and the many idiom/vocabulary books are useful references with nice examples (though many typos, especially in "Love, Hate, and Everything in Between"). However, BC and JVG are more communication/learning-oriented. They present very useful forms clearly. Moreover, BC has some discourse-level passages and actual exercises to do. It is by far the best in a great series for intermediate Japanese students.
One useful addition would be an index. It's very difficult to find structures, especially as the layout is a little crowded. But overall I enjoyed it very much. It contains structures that I read and hear all the time in Japan, but don't fully understand yet. The male/female usage designations were also helpful.
55 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A definitive guide to Japanese sentence construction. 14 Feb 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is a great reference for nearly any student of Japanese who wants to learn some common Japanese sentence structures. The book does assume that the reader knows some basics, such as simple verb conjugations, but even if one doesn't, the book is still a wonderful guide. It goes into enormous detail about many expressions of the language--too many to count--and has several examples for each (in kana/kanji, romaji, and English), to demonstrate all their possible uses. Also included are exercises and answers that the reader can practice with to guage his or her progress. The author has packed an overwhelming amount of information into this seemingly small volume, and it's simply too good a deal for anyone learning Japanese to pass up.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear and In-Depth! 13 Nov 2005
By E. Frye - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a great book for beginning/intermediate Japanese students. It describes the usage of particles, select verb phrases, and common sentence patterns very thoroughly, especially where appropriate context is required. Instead of just saying "A kara, B" means "because of A, B", this book delves into the complexities of kara implying direct cause and effect, even blame.

As for the use of romanji, it's annoying and ill-suited to a book that is not for absolute beginners. However, in a way it's also better than furigana because it's easier to practice reading kanji. I find that I've developed the annoyingly lazy habit of just reading furigana even if I know the kanji.

All in all, a great supplemental text!!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent concept, but way too short. 28 Oct 2007
By F. Toro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
After you've spent a few months studying Japanese, you will begin to realize why a book like this is necessary. Saying short simple sentences in Japanese (e.g., "I want to go to that coffeshop" "the cake is good at that coffeeshop", "I want to go with you") is relatively easy. But saying anything more complex (e.g. "I want to go with you to that coffeeshop because the cake there is delicious") is HARD. And making relatively complex sentences sound natural takes a long time.

So the concept behind this book is brilliant. Lower intermediate students NEED this kind of instruction. This book, though, while well written and certainly useful, didn't really live up to my expectations. Why?

Because this is a slim little volume, too short to really deliver on the substantial promises it makes. Many of the explanations felt rushed to me. There are just one or two examples for each explanation, where four or five would be far more useful. And the exercises are too few and not always very well conceived.

So it's a great concept and a good book, but it could definitely be improved. Mostly it needs to fatten up. A future edition, with twice as many examples and exercises would be heartily appreciated.
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