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on 10 May 2009
This version of 'Read Real Japanese' far surpasses the previous, which has become somewhat outdated and used Romaji.

The editor's advice to listen, read and listen, then read and pronounce, is commendable.

The texts are wide-ranging, from lifestyle type columns to academic topics to contemporary issues.

I had some reservations having purchased the earlier (same titled) version two years ago but highly recommend this replacement.

The text should suit students who have achieved JLPT 3 onward. More advanced students (JLPT 2+) will find the readings easier but good practice. The audio is professional and almost at newsreader speed. Recommend ripping this to your favourite audio player codec and listening when commuting.

Positive:
- full audio provided (CD)
- copious grammar notes
- simultaneous facing translation
- full Furigana provided (at first mention)
- stimulating contemporary topics
- true layout (vertical text)
- no Romaji

Negative:
- relatively few essays
- prefer the Giles Murray 'Read Real Japanese' layout (which has dictionary and basic grammar instructions at base of page not at back of book)
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on 7 January 2010
The essays featured in this book really are fascinating and provide a wonderful insight into Japanese culture and contemporary thought. Although it's aimed primarily at intermediate speakers, the dictionary (containing every word used in the book) and grammar guide (which is quite good although does omit some sentences that I thought should be included) both mean that even lower-level learners such as myself should be able to learn from it albeit slowly at first.

The CD is a great addition and is very useful if you don't get a lot of exposure to spoken Japanese otherwise.

However one slight problem is that the layout of the translation page seems quite messy, and can be difficult to understand as it is translated rather literally instead of into natural English.
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on 30 December 2014
Love listening to the CD! Great to study the book, then listen to the audio cd and see how much you can understand. Fun to go through with lots to learn and enjoy.
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on 17 November 2016
good quality!
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on 7 February 2016
Please see my comments in relation to its companion book as my criticism is aimed at the physical item and applicable to both.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Read-Real-Japanese-Fiction-Contemporary/dp/1568365292/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8

In short: great book but sub-optimally produced.
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