Welcome to Japanese
A Beginner’s Survey of the Language
by Kenneth G. Henshall, Junji Kawai
About The Book
This is a concise and user — friendly introduction to the Japanese language.
Students, businesspeople or tourists will have a much more rewarding experience if they learn basic Japanese prior to or during their time in Japan. Using a self — study resource is a great way to learn Japanese. In this book we would therefore like to “demistify” Japanese, to show how the language is formed and used, and to encourage you to pursue the study of it. Of course it has its challenges, especially with regards to the writing system, but we try to put these in a balanced context. And we like to think that, by describing the various facets of the Japanese language to you, we thereby empower you with a degree of knowledge and familiarity.
Welcome to Japanese is not intended as a language learning textbook. Rather, it is an introductory description, comprising four parts: an overview; an account of how sounds are made into words; an account of how words are made into sentences; and finally an account of how the language is written. Naturally, in the course of these accounts we will introduce a range of beginner Japanese vocabulary, Japanese grammar, and Japanese script, which will be useful in a learning context. In fact, for those interested, we go into fairly advanced levels in the description of grammar. We give you example sentences for each grammar point, and try to make our description as clear as possible, but we stress again that we do not intend this as a teaching text. There are no exercises, for instance, and it’s very much a case of going through at your own pace and dwelling on those parts that you find most interesting. Welcome to Japanese includes:
Chapter 1: Getting acquainted with the Language
In a nutshell, what English speakers can expect.
Who speaks Japanese?.
Where did the Japanese language come from?.
Chapter 2: Challenges and Rewards
The good news.
The not quite so good news.
Chapter 3: Making the Right Noises
The basic sound structure.
The long and short of it: vowel length.
Chapter 4: It’s Only Words?
Japanese words in English.
English and other foreign words in Japanese.
Native words and Sino — Japanese words.
Chapter 5: The basic Parts of Speech
Japanese nouns, pronouns and titles.
The basics of Japanese verbs and particle usage.
Prepositions and conjunctions.
Adjective and adverbs.
Numbers, dates and times.
Chapter 6: More Advanced Usage
Politeness and plain forms.
Some common sayings.
Chapter 7: The Writing System
Script components and their development.
Japanese script versions of review sentences.
And so, Welcome to Japanese!
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