Japanese Beyond Words: How to Walk and Talk Like a Native Speaker

Overview

Learning Japanese is a challenge. And, as many students find out, memorizing sentence patterns, vocabulary, and lists of kanji doesn't necessarily make it easy to communicate with Japanese people. Barriers of culture and social etiquette can be just as difficult to overcome as problems of grammar. And until now, these aspects of learning to communicate with a new culture could only be learned first hand by trial and error.

Japanese Beyond Words was written to fill this gap, ...

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Overview

Learning Japanese is a challenge. And, as many students find out, memorizing sentence patterns, vocabulary, and lists of kanji doesn't necessarily make it easy to communicate with Japanese people. Barriers of culture and social etiquette can be just as difficult to overcome as problems of grammar. And until now, these aspects of learning to communicate with a new culture could only be learned first hand by trial and error.

Japanese Beyond Words was written to fill this gap, giving you the tools you need to effectively communicate in Japanese, with the Japanese. If you want to become truly competent in Japanese, you will need to know about:

what your clothes say about you business cards, and why you should be nice to them when and how to bow shoes: they're on, they're off, they're on, they're off what's expected of foreigners (that means you)
circumlocution without dizziness pronunciation ("read my lips," just doesn't cut it)
how to say no without saying "no"
social uses of politeness . . . and rudeness behavior at parties and other social gatherings
English in Japanese, and Japanese in English the differences between men and women (you don't know as much as you think)

Long-time Japan resident Andrew Horvat presents these and many, many more topics through a wealth of experience, research, and anecdote. Entertaining, opinionated, as well as educational, Japanese Beyond Words will help you to walk, talk, slurp, and bow your way to cultural (as well as linguistic) fluency in Japanese.

A Tokyo-based writer and broadcaster for many years, Andrew Horvat has been a fellow at the National Foreign Language Center in Washington DC (1997), at Stanford University's Center for East Asian Studies (1994/95), and at Simon Fraser University's David Lam Centre for International Communication (1990). His research into the increased international use of the Japanese language was supported in 1994/95 by the Abe Shintaro Fund. He is a member of the Japan Foundation's advisory committee on the teaching of Japanese as a second language.

Andrew Horvat lively anecdotes and smart observations on over 70 often-overlooked areas of physical and situational communication in Japanese (gestures, bowing, humor, visiting, socializing, disagreeing). This material is rarely covered in classrooms, but is key to natural and effective communication. Japanese Beyond Words is the perfect classroom complement to standard texts, and can equally hold the interest of anyone interested language and culture.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781880656426
  • Publisher: Stone Bridge Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/1999
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 1,428,495
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Horvat took his Master's degree in Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia. During his distinguished career as a journalist specializing in East Asian affairs, he has been a reporter for the Associated Press, Asia Correspondent for Southam News, Tokyo Correspondent for the Los Angeles Times and The Independent, and Tokyo Bureau Chief for American Public Radio.

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Table of Contents

Foreword 10
Preface 11
1 To be is to Appear to Be (Old French Proverb) 17
Looking the part 18
I have a card, therefore I am 19
Dressing down 21
Safety in dark colors 23
A fear of bowing 25
Toshiro Mifune, master of etiquette 26
A few foot notes 27
A giving people 30
2 Opening Doors 33
A good morning to you this evening 34
The ideal foreigner 35
One cushion between two businesses 39
Assistant to the subsection chief 41
A cultural aversion to the word "no" except when it means "yes" 44
Sorry, but I really must apologize 47
3 An Interrupted Flow of Air 51
In journalism and language learning never trust the written word 52
Japanese from N to N' 55
The czar of TS 56
L's and R's and neurons 58
Doubling over doubled consonants 60
The case of the disappearing W 62
The long and short of Japanese vowels 64
On F and U 68
Why no Y, why oh why 71
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and beyond 73
4 Knowing the Rules of the Game 75
Under the influence 76
Rudeness in the streets 77
Slurping, dousing, and poking 78
Taboo to you 79
Laughing out loud 81
French leave, Japanese style 83
Tying the knot 85
More surprising customs 86
Japan's secret holidays 88
5 How Much? Such Much? 91
English as decoration 92
Wasee eego: English made in Japan 93
Pronouncing loanwords 95
The truth about katakana 97
Kissing the heroin and other mistranslations 99
From underkimono to fried fish, not all that meets the eye is Japanese 101
From Pokemon to Godzilla: how Japanese enriches the English language 103
Lost in translation 105
6 Knowing What Not to Say: Pronouns, Circumlocution, and Understatement 111
He is her he and she is his she 112
Te morau; or, "Do me the favor of dying" 115
I am not a student 117
The intimacy of rudeness; the pain of politeness 119
(Don't) say what you mean to foreigners 123
The art of understatement 126
Women come down from the honorable second floor 129
7 Textbooks for Transvestites and Other Potholes on the Road to Fluency 133
Textbook troubles 134
Why bother? 135
The most effective method (hint: it's not love) 137
Choosing a school 139
Using interpreters 143
No free lunch on the Internet either 144
Americans, Europeans, and Japanese: a matter of language 147
8 Advanced Topics 151
Boogie woogie to the gitaigo 152
Superstition: Datsun and Toyota 154
From GHQ to PKO 156
Playing with figures for fun and profit 159
From proverbs to promissory notes, the past casts a huge shadow on modern-day Japanese usage 160
3 C's to 3 K's: idioms of the times 163
The romaji (roomaji) conundrum 165
Suggestions for Further Reading 170
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