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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Successfully disarms the scariest concepts in Japanese.
If you're an intermediate student of Japanese, but haven't yet begun to really understand the language, this book will clear up a lot of your concerns. The author takes a humorous approach to some intimidating topics, and yields new insight on other, easier topics which textbooks often leave vague. The book frequently illustrates these concepts with examples in Japanese...
Published on 17 July 1998

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not suitable for beginner or intermediate level.
Bought this book hoping it would help put a few more pieces of the jigsaw together but to be honest it hasn't. I'm half way through my second year of learning Japanese and I think this book is more suited to learners of a higher level. I found the book boring probably because the examples were way out of my league and not at all helpful to me. The section on wa and ga...
Published on 11 Dec 2011 by Paul Tolin

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5.0 out of 5 stars What your tutors won't tell you EITHER, 6 Oct 2013
This review is from: Making Sense of Japanese: What the Textbooks Don't Tell You (Paperback)
I got this secondhand for 4 at a charity shop, and would have happily paid more.

Though the subject matter may be intermediate+, and some of the examples are in difficult Japanese, it's still worth it at my current level, beginner. The zero particle and wa/ga sections provide a basic grounding in the mentality behind the way Japanese is structured, and reading them early on would help learners learn it 'right' in the beginning, rather than relying on the incomplete and conflicting explanations given by different textbooks. I think it will potentially save a lot of time and pain in the long run. It's only short; I read it on a train journey and it's probably been more worthwhile than any other 90-minute study session.

Even better, the style is so light and accessible that it's possible to glean something even from sections you expect not to understand; if it's too hard for you, just read the bits that you can handle and come back to it later on. I've recommended it to everyone on my degree course, but for those studying alone without the benefit of native speakers to talk to, I'd recommend it even more.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ideal help for the frustrated, 1 Oct 2011
Koen Lesage (Roeselare, Belgium) - See all my reviews
Let's face it, if you're reading this review, you're already learning japanese. Furthermore you're reading an english review of a book written in english. Which means that your mothertongue is probably alien to japanese. These two facts combined, guarantee frustration as you gradually have come to realise that the road will be long and that the obstacles are seemingly unsurmountable.

The first is undoubtedly true. The latter is not. This book is testimony to that. Whereas an ordinary textbook teaches you and hopes that insight will gradually grow. This book makes it its mission to provide you the insight and hopes that this will give you the extra push needed to scale some mountains.

However, make no mistake, the road will still be long.
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Making Sense of Japanese: What the Textbooks Don't Tell You
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