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Using Japanese: A Guide to Contemporary Usage Paperback – 25 Apr 2012

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Product Description


"...the reader will find in UJ [Using Japanese] much useful advice for enriching his or her expressive potential in Japanese, as well as many passages of delightful reading on Japanese language and society." Journal of Japanese Studies

Book Description

This book, first published in 2000, is a guide to Japanese usage for students who have acquired the basics of the language and wish to extend their knowledge. It gives special attention to those areas of vocabulary and grammar which cause most difficulty to English-speakers, and to questions of style, register, and politeness.

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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rare Work Indeed 2 April 2010
By J. FELLA - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Before the formal review, I'd like to mention that I have probably 30 books on Japanese grammar, particles, idioms, etc. so I've seen a lot of what is out there. I have been studying Japanese for almost 20 years. This book is a rare gem for several reasons. First, just as one of the previous reviewers says, this book does expand on things that normal grammar books seem to cut short. For example, the third section is called "Grammar and Verbal Strategies." This section alone is worth the price of the book. It really focuses on several aspects of Japanese grammar and tell you exactly what the differences and nuances are between similar structures. Japanese students will know the "conditional" forms such as "tara" "to" and "toki" etc. Most books leave out some very important information on the nuances between these forms. Not this book. You will know EXACTLY when to use each one, or when not to use them.

Another highlight in this section is talking about the forms "You" "rashii" and "mitai". Japanese students know these forms are very similar, and often times interchangeable, but this book CLEARLY defines the differences.

But it doesn't stop there. There is just so much packed into this book, that every page is like a study session in and of itself. It's like the authors were trying to pack as much into the book as they possibly could, and boy they couldn't have fit anymore in without making the book longer.

I simply cannot recommend this book enough. If you are a beginner or even an intermediate student, do yourself a huge favor and buy this book. It's that good.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful 21 Dec. 2001
By Magnus Lewan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is essentially a grammar, but it leaves out the simple basics and continues where a school grammar would stop. It assumes that you master the hiragana and katagana alphabets, but for the kanji there is almost always a pronounciation guide. It takes time to read, as the text is concentrated, but it's not difficult, and one gladly reads one chapter after the other. Generally it's both interesting and useful.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! 25 Jan. 2004
By Jesse Dylan Watson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There was a huge hole in the market for a book like this, and it is now filled. What troubles me is that it seems to be out of print. Or is it still in print in the expensive, hardback version?
Whatever the case, students of Japanese owe it to themselves to get their hands on a copy. It seems to do everything right. And what it lacks in cute pictures or multiple colors, it makes up for in content and intelligence of presentation. First of all, there is no romanji. Everything is carried out via katakana/hiragana and kanji (though the kanji has furigana so you will never be lost for the reading--a great touch). This is a huge plus. Romanji is so distracting, and if you already know the basics of the language, which this book assumes, you will know the scripts. Therefore, why use romanji?
Secondly, the book is just plain useful for delving deeper into the language and understanding it. For instance, I opened it to a section of the differences in particles. Exactly what constitutes the use of "wa" "ga" or "wo"? How do you know which to use, other than just through having a "feeling" for which is correct? Well, this book will tell you.
When a book this valuable (and going out of print??) comes along, I am almost tempted to get another copy in case something happens to my first one. If you can snap this up used, do it. If you have to pay $65 for a hardback edition, do that, too. Do whatever it takes to get this book. There just isn't anything else that can replicate it (although Kodansha's array of books comes close).
I can't recommend this more highly.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This does have a few very nice explanations for some grammatical concepts that are often confusing ... 20 July 2014
By Ben - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This does have a few very nice explanations for some grammatical concepts that are often confusing for English speakers. Unfortunately, this book is plagued by endless lists of grammar point examples that do little to reinforce the simple concepts they're meant to illustrate. Common word prefixes and suffixes are sometimes given half a page of examples--hardly necessary, tedious, and almost enough to make me put down the book before getting to some of the really good explanations. If you're going to read this text, I'd recommend briefly skimming the lists and getting to the real explanations unless you're studying vocabulary.
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