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Japanese from Zero! 1: Proven Techniques to Learn Japanese for Students and Professionals [Japanese] [Paperback]

George Trombley , Yukari Takenaka
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.95
Price: 14.41 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 May 2006 0976998122 978-0976998129
Japanese From Zero! is an innovative and integrated approach to learning Japanese developed by professional Japanese interpreter George Trombley and co-writer Yukari Takenaka. The lessons and techniques used in this series have been taught successfully for over ten years in classrooms throughout the world. Using up-to-date and easy-to-grasp grammar, Japanese From Zero! is the perfect course for current students of Japanese as well as absolute beginners. In Book 1 of the Japanese From Zero! series, readers are taught new grammar concepts, over 800 new words and expressions, and also learn the hiragana writing system. Features of Book 1: * Integrated Workbook with Answer Key * Over 800 New Words and Expressions * Learn to Read and Write Hiragana * Easy-to-Understand Example Dialogues * Culture Points about Japan * Bilingual Glossaries with Kana and Romaji ...and much more!

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Product details

  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: YesJapan Corporation (1 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976998122
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976998129
  • Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 18.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

George Trombley is a professional Japanese interpreter who over the past 16 years has interpreted at corporations such as Microsoft, IBM, NTT DoCoMo, Lucent Technologies, and in countries throughout North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
This book teaches you how to write Japanese progressively, and by Lesson 9 you will know the entire hiragana writing system. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 56 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A rough diamond 10 Mar 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The presentation of this book, with small graphics, nice layout, along with its many different types of activity give the learner motivation to pick the book up, and keep picking it up.

I have read several of the current texts and this seems the best. It is a light approach to what could become a heavy subject. Well done to the authors for that.

The unique progressive introduction of one of the Japanese "alphabet" is rather good ,I imagine, for those who don't already know it. Readers learn the characters a few at a time in each chapter, the anglicised versions of Japanese characters gradually being replaced by the real thing (Hiragana).

(If readers do not already know Hiragana (the Japanese phonetic characters), then text books have to write their Japanese in an awful anglicised form called Romaji. Romaji is a system that leads to bad pronunciation by default, as readers will pronounce combinations of alphatic characters using their native tongue rules and patterns.)

The book will also get you speaking from the off. This can only build confidence for new learners.

The book includes some handy blocks of vocabulary and some mini Japanese-English / English-Japanese dictionaries.

On the downside are several typographical errors - notably incorrect page references. Not that important but a bit naughty.

Strangely, there are the inclusion of some words/phrases/concepts which seem to materialise from thin air. Perhaps the explanatory sections for these were removed in the final edit. May cause some confusion.

On a slightly more serious note,some of the language chosen for the learner may not be the most suitable language for most situations (i.e its level of politeness).
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beginners Japanese made easy. 17 Sep 2007
Japanese from Zero 1 is the first book in a five part course in Japanese (although only the first three are available now, parts 4 and 5 are due for next year), and is aimed at the complete beginner.

I had been searching (for a while) for a good book/set to help me learn the language, but most titles either completely ingore teaching any hiragana katakana etc (like the japanese for busy people series) or force you to learn all of them in one go before commencing actual lessons.
However, Japanese from Zero does something neat called progressive learning - starting in completely safe looking romaji (English characters), and with each lesson introducing 5 of the basic hiragana. Once taught in a lesson they swap in these new Japanese characters and gradually the romaji dissappears. It is very sneaky, but it works. By about two thirds of the way through you will have learned all the hiragana and won't bat an eyelid when confronted with paragraphs of Japanese script.

That said, this book ONLY teaches hiragana (katakana is tought in book 2, and Kanji begins only in book 3). It is also not a travel or holiday phrase book, nor will it help you read sushi menus, and with a couple of hundred pages it won't fit in your pocket!

So what else is in this book - well basic grammar, counting, time, colours, asking where things are etc (all the usual suspects).

Myself, having finished the 13 lessons in this book I can read and write all hiragana and know a heap of grammar too! For someone looking to learn the Japanese language I can't think of a better book to start with.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! 1 Oct 2008
The best way to learn a language is to obviously have a professional teacher,

Im in year 11 at school, so I am too far behind to join the GCSE class, so I bought this and I thought I'd have a go at self study. Obviously, being in yr11 at secondary school, I have seen many different language text books, this is truely the best one I have come across!

This book is fantastic! It lays everything out really clearly, you make fast progress! The cultural notes are also helpful. You can go at your own pace too (which for me is probably faster than most people since I have also learned spanish, german and chinese ^^). So I can learn things at my pace, without people holding me back. Or pushing me too fast.

Of course, whether you succeed or not will depend on whether you're passionate enough about the lanugage to sit down every night and study! And no book can change that. I certainly am, and hope to get all the way to book five. In fact on the front of the book it has a japanese proverb that says: Piled up specks of dust become a mountain.

So if you're sitting at your computer wondering whether or not to go for this or a different book, this one is 100% recommended for anyone who wants to (or has no choice) but to self study!
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 5 Feb 2007
It is probably best to learn a new language by taking a course with a qualified teacher but if, like me, you prefer self-study this is definitely the best way to go.

This book covers all the basics from everyday vocabulary and grammar to counting, days of the week and time etc., and it's all presented in a very understandable way. It will also teach you the Hiragana alphabet quickly and efficiently.

In the past, I've been frustrated with the slow pace some self-study language courses move at so I was pleasantly surprised to find that this book moves at a good pace without being overwhelming. The 'culture clips' about Japanese customs and the more colloquial ways of speaking are useful too.

Obviously, since it is just a book, it won't teach you much about pronunciation so I would definitely recommend exposing yourself to spoken Japanese somehow, but that (and the fact that there are a couple of minor typos), is basically the only criticism I can think of.

Highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A must have.
A fun way to learn japanese. The cover of the book doesn't lie. You get everything what the book promises. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Spkz
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Loved it, very useful!
Published 9 days ago by L C Kinsiona
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't put it down
Very good book. Set out well. Easy to pick up Japanese if never tried before. Looking forward to book 2
Published 1 month ago by Mark Thom
5.0 out of 5 stars Japanese from Zero! 1: Proven Techniques to Learn Japanese for...
Love this product as it is part of the Japanese from Zero learning system however I am also subscribed to the yesjapan. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Francis Beckles
5.0 out of 5 stars すごい!
This book is great fun! It starts off pretty heavy and I don't think it makes learning the vocab that much easier however there is alot of good tips and it's useful ^_^
Published 2 months ago by h
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
My son wanted to learn Japanese he seems to like the book he is getting through it very well with ease
Published 3 months ago by tracy
3.0 out of 5 stars Good with flaws
It is a great book for learning the characters and the actual Japanese words and grammar, but the Romaji has it flaws.
Published 3 months ago by Tristaneto
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to follow
I have tried many different books and CD's to try to learn japanese but to no success, so far this book has helped me quite a deal in not only speaking japanese but writing and... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Clair
5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the cover
This book has made my introduction to sepaking Japanese really easy and smoothe. I plan on buying the rest of the editions as soon as I finish going through this one extensivley!
Published 4 months ago by sarahsmilesx
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Really starts from zero in easy to grasp steps an gradually progresses from romaji to hirigana. Get text book, I recommend using in tandom with the YesJapan website as well.
Published 5 months ago by Andrew
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