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Read and Write Japanese Scripts: Teach Yourself Paperback – 25 Jun 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Teach Yourself (25 Jun. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444103903
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444103908
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Book Description

Read and write Japanese scripts is a clear step-by-step guide to the written languages, with plenty of examples from real-life texts to show how they work in context and lots of exercises to reinforce your learning.

About the Author

Helen Gilhooly has lived and worked in Japan, and has a PGCE and an MA in Japanese. She is a university teacher trainer, language materials writer and senior director at a specialist language college in the UK.


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It's not easy learning a new language. Usually there's page after page of verb tables to gruellingly memorise, including some tenses we're not even aware of using in our own language. Japanese has the advantage of having relatively straightforward verbs, blissfully regular pronunciation... and pictures! For me it's the script that helps to make the meanings stick. Yes, there are 2000 of these Kanji in daily use, but once you've been shown how to recognise a few of the building blocks, you'll be able to see how these combine to form the more complicated-looking Kanji. The author of this book manages to do exactly that, straightforwardly and with humour.

Her book is the very best you will find for showing you how to learn script. In no time at all you will know the days of the week, how to count, and will have acquired the kanji for basic concepts. I guarantee you'll learn painlessly, too. One initial task is memorising the hiragana and katakana, the two scripts used in combination with kanji. If you download some practice paper and write and rewrite them, and speak them aloud, a few each day, you'll be amazed how you'll be able to retain them.

If you want to learn phrases for conversation, this is not the book you'll need. However, if you want to be able to read (or at least get the gist of) Japanese blogs, CD covers etc, this is the best introduction. Combine this with a good dictionary such as Berlitz Language: Japanese Concise Dictionary: Japanese-English, English-Japanese (Berlitz Concise Dictionary), or the romaji-free Oxford Beginner's Japanese Dictionary, and a couple of bookmarked websites for pronunciation and grammar, and you'll have yourself a a very enjoyable learning experience.
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Format: Paperback
As someone who was struggling to understand some of the fundamentals of the Japanese language, 'Read and Write Japanese Scripts' was wonderful.

It's got a very clear unit format, starting off with a brief history on the origins of the Japanese language. Then explaining in detail what different parts of the language do and how they're used, which I've found oddly lacking in many other books(The bit I had the most difficulty trying to understand) It then starts you off learning basic Kanji with lots of helpful mnemonics, examples and activities to test yourself.

It won't teach you everything, but it will give you a solid grasp of the basics of the language. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
I absolutely LOVED this book!! I was soo intrested in japanese scripts, But I didn't know how to start learning them. My mum bought me this book, And I have worked through it. And now know Hiragana and Katakana fluently and alot of Kanji! I would highly recomend this! I'm looking at getting more of her books now :) Also this book is very good to use and referance.
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This is a very good book if you are just learning Kanji. It gives good ways of helping remember the kanji and everything is well explained. However it doesn't go onto the other alphabets unti about half way through the book and just sort of tells you what they are. It should be 'Read and write Japanese Kanji' because there wasn't really much else in it at all.
But if that is what you are looking for then it is perfect, I have bought other books to help me with Katakana and Hiragana and this works well as a basic kanji guide.
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This book is excellent for people interested in learning Japanese. Not only are the Hiragana and Katakana alphabets focused on, but it also touches on Kanji, which many books tend to avoid. Kanji are ideographs, which mean the whole character conveys a meaning or idea and this book shows an interesting way in how to remember Kanji, as they are usually a picture of the object they represent. I like how everything is made to be so easy and clear in this step-by-step guide. There are exercises throughout which help you monitor your progress through each unit. This book is very educational, but also enjoyable. I highly recommend this.
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The title says it. This is a good book for beginners. The key thing is it shows you how Japanese script is constructed and how more complex symbols are formed form the basic ones. This helps the learning process. It gives you the history and background and also each section has useful exercises to reinforce what you have learnt so far. Definitely recommended
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I bought the book for my old Professor who loves Japanese culture and food. He was taking his daughters and grand children to Japan for a 3 week long visit. Thus I thought it would be a nice present for the journey. I'm sure he'll enjoy practicing the language while over there.
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Format: Paperback
I do not want to take anything away from this book, because it is a great introduction to the Kanji. But and for me it is a large but. There is no Hiragana translation of the Kanji. I suspect that most people reading this book and starting with Kanji would already have mastered the Kana (Hiragana and Katakana) and would prefer reading the Kanji equvolent in Kana. It is very distracting reading japanese in Romaji (English characters) because the pronunciation is never exact.

Please on the next publication of this book can we have the Kana added
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