Japanese DeMYSTiFieD, 2nd Edition [NOOK Book]

Overview

A fast and painless way to learn Japanese--now with all new quiz and test questions and a companion 75-minute audio CD



Japanese DeMYSTiFieD takes the mystery and menace out of learning Japanese by ...

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Japanese DeMYSTiFieD, 2nd Edition

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Overview

A fast and painless way to learn Japanese--now with all new quiz and test questions and a companion 75-minute audio CD



Japanese DeMYSTiFieD takes the mystery and menace out of learning Japanese by walking you step-by-step through the fundamentals of the language. The book/audio CD package lets you work at your own pace and arms you with the essentials of Japanese grammar in an unintimidating format. You will be able to:



  • Understand basic grammar structures and verb tenses

  • Pronounce Japanese sounds correctly

  • Identify Japanese characters

  • Build a Japanese vocabulary

  • Communicate with confidence



The Japanese in the book is presented in both Japanese characters (hiragana, katagana, and kanji) and phonetic translation for easy pronunciation.



Inside you will find:



  • Hundreds of brand-new quiz and test questions with answer keys, similar to those used in standardized scholastic exams

  • Chapter-opening objectives that give you insight into what you are going to learn in each step

  • Questions at the end of every chapter that reinforce your learning and pinpoint your weaknesses

  • "Still Struggling?" icons that offer specific recommendations for those difficult subtopics

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071797726
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education
  • Publication date: 1/9/2013
  • Series: Demystified
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 466
  • Sales rank: 593,846
  • File size: 35 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Eriko Sato, PhD, is the executive director of the Japan Center and the founding director of the Pre-College Japanese Language Program at the University of New York at Stony Brook. She is the author of the Japanese textbook Contemporary Japanese (Tuttle) and Japanese For Dummies (Wiley).

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Read an Excerpt

Japanese DeMYSTiFieD


By Eriko Sato

McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Copyright © 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-07-179772-6


Chapter One

Pronouncing and Writing Japanese Words

In this chapter you'll learn:

Basic Japanese Sounds and Romaji

The Japanese Writing Systems

Familiar Japanese Words

Basic Japanese Sounds and Romaji

In this section, you will learn basic Japanese vowels and consonants, using romaji (romaji), romanization of Japanese. This book uses the popular Hepburn romaji system with some modifications. Just remember that a vowel with a macron, for example, a, stands for a long vowel, and n with an apostrophe, n', shows the separation from the following vowel or y. In this section, you will also learn about the pitch accent in Japanese, which is very different from the stress accent in English.

VOWELS

TRACK 1

Japanese has only five basic vowels, which are a, i, u, e, and o: a is as in the vowel in Aha, i is as in the initial part of the vowel in eat, u is as in the initial part of the vowel in boot, but without lip rounding; e is as in the initial part of the vowel in eight and o is as in the initial part of the vowel in oat.

Long Vowels The five vowels introduced above have long counterparts, which are represented by adding a macron, as in a (or by doubling the vowel, as in aa, if there is a morphological boundary). In Japanese, the vowel length can make a difference in meaning. For example, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] obasan means aunt, but [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] obasan means grandmother. You need to pay attention to the vowel length to understand Japanese correctly.

Oral Practice

TRACK 2

Practice pronouncing the following Japanese words paying special attention to the vowel length.

Devoiced Vowels The vowels i and u tend to be whispered or devoiced when they are between two voiceless consonants such as p, t, k, s, sh, ch, ts, and h, or when they are at the end of the word, preceded by a voiceless consonant. For example, you may not hear the underlined vowels in kushi (comb) and sukiyaki (sukiyaki) when native speakers of Japanese say them at normal or fast speed. However, you may hear these vowels when they speak extremely slowly and deliberately.

CONSONANTS

Most Japanese consonants written in romaji can be read just as in English, but r and f are quite different from their English pronunciation. Japanese r is made by tapping the tip of the tongue behind the upper teeth, like the brief flap sound tt in lettuce or letter in American English. Japanese f is pronounced by bringing the upper and lower lips close to each other, blowing air between them gently.

Some consonants written in romaji are pronounced just slightly differently from English. W, sh, and ch are pronounced without lip rounding. The sound g is often nasalized when it occurs between vowels. When the consonant n is followed by a consonant made with the lips (p, b, or m), it changes to m.

Some consonants have a distributional restriction. The consonant w occurs only before the vowel a. The consonant y occurs only before a, u, and o. The consonant h becomes f when it is followed by u. The consonant t becomes ch when it is followed by the vowel i and ts when it is followed by the vowel u.

Some consonants, such as p, t, k, and s, can be doubled, which is actually realized as a single consonant preceded by a brief pause. The latter brief pause is represented by an extra consonant in the romaji system, as in kitte (stamp) and gakki (musical instrument).

Oral Practice

TRACK 3

Practice pronouncing the following Japanese words paying attention to the sound quality of the consonants.

PITCH ACCENT

TRACK 4

Unlike in English, where an accented syllable is stressed and pronounced louder and longer, an accented syllable in Japanese is not stressed but changes pitch. Each syllable in a Japanese word is either high or low in pitch. For example, the word [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ame (rain) and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ame (candy) sound exactly the same except for their pitch pattern. [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ame (rain) has an accent on the first syllable, so the pitch falls right after the first syllable. That is, the first syllable a in [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ame (rain) is pronounced high, and the second syllable me is pronounced low. By contrast, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ame (candy) has no accent, so there is no pitch fall within this word. The first syllable a in [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ame (candy) is low in pitch, and the second syllable me is high in pitch. However, the pitch pattern of Japanese words differs greatly depending on the region, and the range of variation in pitch patterns of words is very wide. Therefore, the slight difference in pitch doesn't cause any misunderstanding in general, and you do not have to be too concerned about it when you study Japanese.

The Japanese Writing Systems

Japanese is generally written by combining three writing systems, which are kanji, hiragana, and katakana.

Kanji are Chinese characters that were brought to Japan in around the 5th century AD, and they are used for representing concrete meanings conveyed by nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Average Japanese know about 2,000 kanji characters. Hiragana and katakana were created from simplified kanji in Heian Period (794–1192). Each hiragana or katakana represents syllable sound rather than meaning. For example, the hiragana character [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and the katakana character [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] represent the syllable sound, ka. Katakana are mainly composed of straight lines and sharp angles and are used for representing foreign words such as coffee and salad. (The words borrowed from Chinese are usually written in kanji.) Katakana are also used for representing many instances of onomatopoeia (see Chapter 12) and plant or animal names. Hiragana are composed mainly of curved lines and are used for representing grammatical items, such as verb endings and particles, and words that are not written in kanji or katakana. Accordingly, one Japanese sentence can contain kanji, katakana, and hiragana as shown:

[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]

Watashi wa Chugoku to Amerika ni ikimasu.

I will go to China and America.

In this example, those for [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] I, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] China and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] go are kanji, those for [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] America are katakana, and the others ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] as for, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] to, and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [verb inflection]) are hiragana.

In this book, Japanese words and sentences are written authentically, by combining kanji, hiragana, and katakana, and for your convenience, they are all rewritten in romaji, as in the above example sentence.

HIRAGANA

There are 46 basic hiragana characters. If you learn two diacritics and some conventions, you will be able to write any Japanese word and sentence in hiragana.

TRACK 5

Basic Hiragana The 46 basic hiragana characters are represented in the following table along with romaji letters.

Japanese children memorize hiragana using a chart like the one above, by reciting hiragana from top to bottom, from right to left, as in a, i, u, e, o, ka, ki, ku, ke, ko ...

Oral Practice

TRACK 6

Practice reading the following words written in both hiragana and romaji.

TRACK 7

The Diacritics [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and ° There are two diacritics that can be added at the right upper corner of some hiragana. They are the voicing marker, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], and the plosive marker °. The voicing marker is used to convert the initial voiceless consonant of the syllable represented by the given hiragana to its voiced counterpart. For example, placing the voicing mark next to [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ka gives us [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ga. The plosive marker can be added to [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ha, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] hi, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] fu, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] he, or [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ho, converting them to syllables with the consonant p, as in [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] pa, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] BLDπBLD, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] pu, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] pe, and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] po. The hiragana used with these diacritics are all listed in the following table.

As you can see, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] are pronounced ba, bi, bu, be, and bo with the consonant b, both [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] are pronounced ji, and both [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] are pronounced zu. Note that [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is more commonly used than [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] to represent the sound ji, and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is more commonly used than [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] to represent the sound zu.

Oral Practice

TRACK 8

Practice pronouncing the following words, paying attention to the diacritics.

Long Vowels Long vowels are represented by two hiragana letters. For example, by placing [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] after [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ka, we get [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ka.

Note that the addition of [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] after a hiragana letter with o represents o, and the addition of [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] after a hiragana e usually represents e. That is, when you hear o, you will see either [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] or [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] as the second hiragana letter, and when you hear e, you will see either [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] or [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] as the second hiragana letter. Check some example words as you go over the following Oral Practice.

Oral Practice

TRACK 9

Practice reading the following Japanese words out loud.

Double Consonants Double consonants are represented by a small-size [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] tsu. For example, the word kitte (stamp) includes a double consonant, and it is written as [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in hiragana. As you can see, the small-size [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is not pronounced, but it represents a brief pause before the next consonant.

Oral Practice

TRACK 10

Practice reading the following Japanese words, paying attention to double consonants represented by a small [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].

TRACK 11

Palatalized Sounds Japanese syllables are relatively simple. The only complex syllable initial consonants are palatalized consonants, which are pronounced using the palatal area (roof of the mouth), as in kya, myo, and ryu. Such palatalized sounds are represented by a hiragana character that represents the initial consonant plus the vowel i, and a small-sized hiragana character, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], or [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] depending on the following vowel. The following table lists all the palatalized sounds in Japanese.

Oral Practice

TRACK 12

Practice reading the following Japanese words, paying attention to the palatalized sounds.

Written Practice 1

Write the following words in hiragana.

1. karate (karate) ________________________

2. unagi (eel) ________________________

3. okasan (mother) ________________________

4. gakko (school) ________________________

5. Tokyo (Tokyo) ________________________

KATAKANA

Just like hiragana, katakana has 46 basic characters. They are all listed here.

The diacritics and conventions used in the hiragana system can also be used in the katakana system, except that the long vowels are represented by the elongation mark, which is a horizontal line when written horizontally, but a vertical line when written vertically. Also note that the katakana system allows some combinations of characters that are not available in the hiragana system. For example, it allows combinations like [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], which are helpful for representing the approximate pronunciations of foreign words. The following are some examples of place names written in katakana.

The following are some loanwords written in katakana:

Written Practice 2

Write these items in kataana using the basic katakana table provided at the beginning of this subsection as well as the necessary diacritics and conventions.

1. tenisu (tennis) _____________________________

2. kamera (camera) _____________________________

3. sakka (soccer) _____________________________

4. kohi (coffee) _____________________________

5. Bosuton (Boston) _____________________________

6. Nyuyoku (New York) _____________________________

KANJI

The average Japanese knows about 2,000 kanji. Unlike hiragana and katakana, each kanji represents meaning rather than sound. For example, the kanji character [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] represents person. Most kanji have a Japanese way of pronunciation and a Chinese way of pronunciation, and each of them may also have some variant pronunciations. For example, the Japanese way of pronouncing [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is hito, and the Chinese way of pronouncing it is nin or jin. Which pronunciation should be used depends on the context.

Many kanji characters were created from pictures. For example, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] was created from the picture of a standing person viewed side-on. Some kanji were created by combining two or more kanji. For example, the kanji [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (bright) was created by combining the kanji [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (sun) and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (moon).

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Japanese DeMYSTiFieD by Eriko Sato Copyright © 2013 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. . Excerpted by permission of McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2013

    Best Book To Start Off Studying Japanese Grammar

    It is a great book to start studying Japanese grammar. I don't have the E-Book but,I have to book itself and it is really good for studying Japanese grammar and sentence structure!! If I have never had this book, i would be struggling with Japanese grammar!! \(^_^)/

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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