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Japanese for Busy People: Bk. 2 [Paperback]

4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

31 Mar 2007 477003010X 978-4770030108 Revised 3rd Edition
Volume I dealt with survival Japanese for tourists and other short-term travelers and newcomers to Japan. Volume II, meanwhile, turns to the basics of Japanese syntax. The book is by no means only about grammar, however. Rather, it is designed to help learners consolidate their understanding of syntactical structure through lessons that focus on how to talk about topics relevant to daily life. In addition to serving learners continuing from Volume I, Volume II will benefit those who have already studied beginning Japanese to some extent but wish to brush up on syntax. Major Features of Japanese for Busy People II, Revised 3rd EditionJapanese for Busy People II, Revised 3rd Edition will enable learners to progress smoothly through the equivalent of the latter half of a typical first-year Japanese course while gradually building speaking and listening skills. Learners approaching mid-beginner status often find themselves suddenly faced with syntax and vocabulary much more complex than what they have studied before. Such grammar and vocabulary do not appear as frequently in everyday conversation as those words and structures they have learned up to this point, necessitating that they spend ample time on review. Moreover, learners at this stage are expected to become familiar with verb tense and aspect, time expressions, conditional clauses, and other topics that require them to have a solid grasp of context and speaker intent if they are to fully understand the differences in meaning conveyed by each. Such points cannot be mastered by reading through grammatical explanations alone. In short, the mid-beginner level is a difficult one for many adult learners who, unlike students in school, have neither time nor opportunities to take repeated tests or to otherwise gauge their progress. Japanese for Busy People II, Revised 3rd Edition helps overcome the above obstacles through grammar and content topics carefully selected to be appropriate to learners at this level of Japanese proficiency. The book is designed so that by practicing talking about each topic, learners will gradually and effectively acquire sentence patterns and vocabulary related to that topic. Like Volume I, Volume II is organized into several large units, each covering topics grouped under a particular theme. In this way, the book enables learners to achieve a well-balanced understanding of grammar, sentence structure, and context. Themes and lesson objectives of the five units in Volume II are as follows. Unit 1: Souvenir Shopping Following up on Volume I, Unit 1 presents survival Japanese related to shopping, thus providing learners with a thorough review of simple clauses. The unit also goes beyond what was covered in Volume I by showing ways of asking someones opinion while shopping, making comparisons between items, and describing an items characteristics. The overall theme is picking souvenirs, a subject that should be relevant to learners both in Japan and abroad. The verbal skills and dialogue patterns studied here may be applied not only to shopping but also more broadly to any situation that involves choosing between options. Unit 2: Building Rapport with Colleagues This unit introduces the plain forms of verbsa crucial component of Japanese compound sentencesalong with several sentence-final elements that make use of these forms. Topics are selected from among those that typically come up when interacting with people from work. Covered are constructions for indicating interest in anothers actions, inviting someone to do something outside of work, asking for help or offering advice, and otherwise interacting with people in ways that help build relationships of trust and understanding. Unit 3: Returning to Japan for Work This unit explains how to build sentences using temporal clauses, direct and indirect quotation, and attributive modifiers. Through talking about factual events in ones life history or in that of a particular neighborhood, learners will study how to relate an event in chronological sequence, compare the way something is now to how it was in the past, and describe facilities and other things around them. Unit 4: Planning a Vacation Along with sentences with clauses for stating reasons or reporting questions, this unit covers sentence-final elements used to express indefiniteness, for example wish or probability. Topics deal with verbal skills necessary for planning and carrying out activities in cooperation with others, including explaining reasons or circumstances, expressing probability, and indicating desire. The overall theme is that of planning and going on a trip to a unique place in Japan. Unit 5: Solving Problems The focus of this unit is on forming conditional clauses. Topics include preparing for earthquakes or other disasters, discussing dreams for the future, solving problems, helping someone who is lost, and other situations that call on learners to talk about what might happen in the future, discuss options for solving problems, and give instructions or explain steps for doing something.

Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha International Ltd ,Japan; Revised 3rd Edition edition (31 Mar 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 477003010X
  • ISBN-13: 978-4770030108
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 19.5 x 26.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 310,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

AJALT was recognized as a nonprofit organization by Japans Ministry of Education in 1977. It was established to meet the needs of people who wish to communicate effectively in Japanese. In 1992 AJALT was awarded the Japan Foundation Special Prize. They are the authors of the Japanese for YoungPeople series and Japanese for Professionals.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Improvement from the previous edition. 24 May 2007
Overall this is a very good book, it comes with a CD and encourages speaking practice which is very important to gain fluency.

Grammar is clearly explained with plenty of examples. At this stage, learning Japanese one can be overwhelming with the amount of vocabulary and grammar. However, the content in this book appears to have been carefully selected with clear and concise material. There's also the introduction of Kanji with furigana throughout the book.

JFBPII introduces various written styles of texts (such as a web blog and magazine articles) which at first can be overwhelming due to the unfamiliar writing style and the amount of new vocabulary. The texts are interesting and give some insight into Japanese history, culture and lifestyle. Understanding these texts will prepare you well for getting accustomed to reading real material such as websites and newspapers as I found. Although you still need to learn a far greater vocabulary beyond this book and start with furigana texts.

The book is light on grammar exercises. The previous edition seems to have more exercises so you may want to consider getting the workbook in addition. Perhaps this could be a move to encourage students to practice grammar via conversation rather than writing.

Having since completed this book I still find it very useful as a reference. Occasionally when I need to send an email in Japanese I check the example emails in the book and use those as a template. Note: the previous edition was a bit outdated and therefore did not include such real life example material.

The voices on the accompanying CD appear to have a clear Tokyo dialect that are easy to understand.
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66 of 70 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good and user-friendly first volume 21 Dec 1998
By A Customer
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.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars JBP 2 new edition 28 Sep 2007
This is a great series of books for learning Japanese. I started off using the previous edition of book one and a few chapters of book two before moving to Japan where I have now finished the new edition of book two.

There is good use of the three scripts (hiragana, katakana & kanji) and lots of listening practice on the accompanying CD. There is also a great introduction of useful grammatical structures and vocabulary which have often got me through dealing with everyday situations in Japan.

However, the grammatical explanations are sometimes too brief, and certain things are not returned to later in the book and so it is easy to forget what was learnt previously. Each chapter introduces 10 new kanji characters but the explanations are not clear or detailed enough. There are also a couple of chapters which are not useful for everyday situations.

All in all it is a good text and I will be starting the new Book III in a couple of weeks. Infinitely better than the Minna no nihongo series which is dry, outdated and far too complicated.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best book for this level 13 Feb 2008
By Griff
I agree with the previous two reviews. Overall this is a very good book and introduces an easily digestible mixture of grammar, vocabulary and speaking/reading in each chapter. The included CD really helps to give you much needed speaking and listening practice. The exercises are a little repetitive though, and the "everyday" situations that are introduced are geared a bit too much towards business. However, of all the Japanese textbooks I have seen, this is by far the best. Especially useful for people trying to learn Japanese on their own.
Highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
If you want to learn the language this is one of the best series of books that you can buy!
Published 2 months ago by J. Wright
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought it because my teacher asked me to
Joined a japanese class and my teacher asked us to buy this book. It's fairly well explained- even the customs and local slang are included. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Izzatie
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
"Japanese for busy people" is a quite complete book with new grammar structures, vocabulary and introduction to kanjies. I recommend it.
Published 4 months ago by Jorge Roncero
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Start
As a start to Japanese, this book and it's prequel are a great way to get learning. Just remember, you need to actually converse in Japanese too to learn it fully. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Eoin O'Shea
4.0 out of 5 stars great book for learning
It was great and the Book was great. I recommended buying it. It was great vaule for money and it didnt took long to come.
Published 14 months ago by Richard Fennell
5.0 out of 5 stars learning japanese
I bought this book for my daughter for christmas and she was thrilled with it!!!! She already has volume 1.
Published 15 months ago by Biker Jools
5.0 out of 5 stars gift
excellent service bought for my daughter who is doing japanese at university she will find it useful for her course
Published 15 months ago by Mrs J E Kerr
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but lacking in one or two areas
I've near enough finished this book and the accompanying workbook (one chapter remaining) so review applies to both.
I rate this at 3. Read more
Published 16 months ago by 
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for the self studier
I am a self-studier and like the 3rd edition JBP series for its structure, presentation and audio. I have the series including workbooks and am now beginning book 2. Read more
Published on 8 Dec 2011 by Mark M
1.0 out of 5 stars Dry dry dry
There must be another Japanese language series that introduces a very interesting language in a more imaginative, and creative way.
Published on 5 July 2011 by A. Costello
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