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Japanese For Dummies


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Table of Contents

Introduction 1 About This Book 1 Foolish Assumptions 4 Icons Used in This Book 4 Beyond the Book 5 Where to Go from Here 5 Part 1: Getting Started with Japanese 7 Chapter 1: Japanese in a Nutshell 9 Discovering Basic Japanese Sounds and Script 9 Getting a Grip on Basic Grammar 10 Counting on Numbers 10 Speaking Japanese around the House 11 Using Japanese in Social Scenarios 12 Beginning (and ending) conversations 12 Getting to know you 12 Asking for directions 13 Making sense of money 13 Going shopping 13 Dining out and exploring entertainment opportunities 14 Doing business and using technology 14 Tackling Travel-Related Topics 15 Preparing for a trip 15 Getting around with local transportation 15 Securing a place to stay 16 Taking action during emergencies 16 Chapter 2: Checking Out the Japanese Sounds and Scripts 17 Pronouncing Basic Japanese Sounds 17 Vowels 18 Consonants 19 Sounding Fluent 20 Don't stress 20 Watch out for pitch and intonation 20 Get in rhythm 21 Keep your speed up 22 Introducing the Japanese Scripts 23 Kana 23 Kanji 27 Chapter 3: Warming Up with Japanese Grammar Basics 33 Using Appropriate Speech Styles 33 Forming Sentences 35 Ordering the words correctly 35 Marking nouns with particles 35 Telling the topic 39 Dropping understood words 39 Asking Questions 40 Yes/no questions 40 Content questions 41 Getting a Handle on Pronouns 42 Demonstrative pronouns 43 Personal pronouns 44 Working with Verbs 45 Understanding basic verb forms 46 Doing the conjugation thing 48 Speaking politely with -masu 51 Introducing the Verb Desu, to Be 52 Describing People and Things with Adjectives 54 Using Adverbs to Describe Your Actions 57 Creating adverbs from adjectives 57 Perusing pure adverbs 58 Turning to sentence-like adverbs 58 Spicing Up Your Japanese with Onomatopoeia 59 Expressing Moods and Attitudes 60 Chapter 4: Getting Your Numbers, Times, and Measurements Straight 63 Ichi, Ni, San: Counting in Japanese 64 Numbers from 1 to 10 64 Numbers from 11 to 99 65 Numbers from 100 to 9,999 65 Numbers from 10,000 to 99,999 66 Numbers over 100,000 66 Expressing amount or quantity with counters 67 Indicating ordinal numbers with -me 70 Telling Time 70 Noting hours and minutes 71 Talking about time 73 It's a Date! Delving into the Calendar 74 Talking about the days of the week 74 Naming the months and counting them up 75 Counting the days 76 Counting the weeks 79 Reeling off the years 79 Specifying dates and times 79 Familiarizing Yourself with the Metric System 84 Chapter 5: Speaking Japanese at Home 87 Taking a Tour of Your Home 87 The kitchen 88 The dining room 89 The living room 90 The bedroom 91 The bathroom 91 The laundry room 92 The storage room 93 Home Is Where the Food Is 95 Getting cooking 96 Using two verbs at the table 96 Considering proper table manners 97 Enjoying foods of all kinds 97 Talking about foods you like and dislike 100 Engaging in Common Household Activities 101 Keeping your home clean 101 Performing a safety check 101 Talking about What You Do Regularly 102 Part 2: Japanese in Action 107 Chapter 6: Icebreakers and Conversation Starters 109 Beginning (and Ending) Conversations 109 Addressing friends and strangers 110 Greetings throughout the day 112 Saying goodbye 113 Initiating Small Talk 114 Breaking the ice with "excuse me" 115 Talking about where you're going 115 Discussing the weather 116 Making Introductions 117 Introducing yourself 118 Introducing your friends to each other 118 Asking people their names 120 Being polite with o- 120 Expressing Gratitude and Regret 120 Showing gratitude 120 Apologizing 121 Speaking about Speaking: The Verb Hanasu 121 Chapter 7: Getting to Know You 125 Chatting about Your Life 125 Your job 126 Your family 126 Existing and Possessing: The Verbs Iru and Aru 129 Specifying Where You Live with the Verb Sumu 132 Finding Out about Your New Friend 133 Asking people where they're from 133 Talking about your language skills 135 Living the Sporting Life 137 Using Your Artistic Talent 137 Making Music with Instruments 138 Playing Games 139 Using the Verb Suru (to Do) 140 Saying "I Can" 141 Chapter 8: Asking for Directions 145 Figuring Out Where Places Are Located 145 Asking "where" questions 145 Getting basic location/position answers 147 Pinpointing an exact location 150 Finding Your Way to Your Destination 153 Requesting travel instructions 153 Referring to landmarks 155 Providing actions with directions 156 Making directions flow 157 Chapter 9: Dealing with Money in a Foreign Land 161 Getting Money 161 Exchanging money 162 Opening a bank account 165 Making withdrawals from your account 167 Using an ATM 168 Spending Money 169 Ka-ching! Shelling out cash 169 Charge! Paying with plastic 171 Chapter 10: Shopping Made Easy 175 Naming Shops and Stores 175 Going Grocery Shopping 176 Going to a butcher 177 Purchasing fresh fish 177 Buying vegetables and fruit 178 Shopping at a Konbini (Convenience Store)! 179 Telling a Salesperson What You're Looking For 180 Exploring the Variety of a Department Store 182 Going Clothes Shopping 184 Considering the clothing and accessories you need 184 Examining the color 185 Trying something on 185 Talking about sizing 187 Deciding What You Want to Buy 189 Using demonstrative adjectives 190 Comparing two items 191 Comparing three or more items 193 You Gotta Pay to Play: Buying Your Merchandise 195 Identifying prices 195 Stating that you want to buy something 195 Paying for your purchase 196 Chapter 11: Going Out on the Town 201 Checking Out Entertaining Activities 201 Getting cultured at museums and galleries 202 Heading to the theater 203 Eating Out at Fast-Food and Sit-Down Restaurants 204 Ordering fast food 205 Making a reservation 207 Ordering in a restaurant 211 Chatting with the waiter or waitress 215 Paying for your meal 215 Drinking and dancing at bars and clubs 216 Singing at a karaoke box 218 Talking about Entertainment 220 Getting Your Friends to Go Out with You 221 Making a suggestion with "Why don't we?" 221 Saying "Let's go" and "Shall we go?" 222 Inviting Friends Over and Asking Them to Bring Something 224 Chapter 12: Taking Care of Business and Telecommunications 229 Using Japanese at Work 229 Making Sense of Your Office Environment 233 Checking out the supplies 233 Touring the rest of the building 234 Phoning Made Simple 235 Brushing up on phone-related vocab 235 Asking to speak with someone 236 Calling your client 238 Leaving a message 240 Having Meetings in the Workplace 244 Navigating Technology: Computer Basics, Mobile Phones, and Social Media 245 Familiarizing yourself with basic technology terms 245 Sending email 246 Using mobile phones and social media 247 Part 3: Japanese on the Go 251 Chapter 13: Planning a Trip 253 Picking the Place for Your Trip 253 Dealing with Passports and Visas 257 Getting Help from a Travel Agency 258 Stating Your Opinions 259 Packing for Your Trip 261 Exploring Nature 262 Taking in the landscape 262 Changing with the seasons 263 Chapter 14: Making Your Way Around: Planes, Trains, Taxis, and More 267 Getting On and Off with the Verbs Noru and Oriru 268 Asking about the Best Method of Transportation 269 Navigating the Airport 271 Now boarding: Making it to the plane 271 Going through immigration 272 Getting through customs 273 Leaving the airport 274 All Aboard: Hopping on a Train or Boat 275 Now entering the station: Riding the train 275 Setting sail: Cruising around by boat 278 Conquering Public Transportation 278 Riding a bus 278 Taking the subway 279 Hailing a taxi 279 Driving Around 281 Renting a car 282 Deciphering road signs 283 Chapter 15: Finding a Place to Stay 287 Picking the Right Accommodations for Your Needs 287 Narrowing Your Choice Further 290 Looking into room size and amenities 290 Comparing costs 292 Considering each possible scenario with nara 293 Making a Room Reservation 294 Checking In 295 Keeping Track of What's Yours during Your Stay 299 Using possessive pronouns 299 Using "uchi" possessively 300 Checking Out 301 Chapter 16: Handling Emergencies 303 Asking (or Shouting!) for Help 303 Seeking Medical Attention 305 Looking for a doctor 305 Going to a hospital 306 Navigating a Doctor's Visit 308 Referring to your body parts 308 Complaining about your pain 309 Describing your symptoms 311 Receiving a diagnosis 312 Getting treatment 313 Contacting the Police 314 Reporting an accident to the police 314 Reporting a crime 317 Reporting lost or stolen belongings 317 Getting Legal Help 319 Part 4: The Part of Tens 321 Chapter 17: Ten Ways to Pick Up Japanese Quickly 323 Use Digital Technologies 323 Cook or Eat Japanese Foods 324 Read Japanese Comic Books 324 Watch Japanese Anime, Films, and Sports 324 Do Karaoke 325 Spend Time with Japanese 325 Exchange Language Lessons 326 Get to Know a Monolingual Japanese 326 Travel to Japan 326 Be Positive, Curious, and Creative 327 Chapter 18: Ten Things Never to Say in Japanese 329 "San" after Your Own Name 329 Your Boss's or Teacher's First Name 330 "O-genki Desu Ka" to the Person You Saw Yesterday 330 "Sayonara" to Your Family 330 "Thank You" for a Compliment 331 "My Mom Is Pretty" to Outsiders 331 "Yes" Right after Being Offered Food 332 "Anata" When Talking to Someone 332 "Aishite Imasu" to Express Likes 332 "Do You Want Coffee?" 333 Chapter 19: Ten Favorite Japanese Expressions 335 Yatta! 335 Hont?? 336 Sasuga! 336 Mochiron! 336 ?, Yokatta 337 Zenzen 337 Nani? 337 D?shiy?? 338 Yappari 338 ?, Bikkurishita! 338 Chapter 20: Ten Phrases That Make You Sound Fluent in Japanese 339 Enryo Shinaide 339 Mottainai 340 O-saki Ni 340 Kanpai! 341 Ganbatte! 341 Shikata ga nai 341 Okage-sama De 342 Tsumaranai Mono Desu Ga 342 Yoroshiku 342 Taihen Desu Ne 343 Part 5: Appendixes 345 Appendix A: Japanese-English Mini-Dictionary 347 Appendix B: Verb Tables 371 Appendix C: Answer Key 381 Index 385

About the Author

Hiroko Chiba is professor of Japanese at DePauw University, where she teaches all levels of Japanese language and directs the Japanese language program. Eriko Sato, PhD, teaches Japanese at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She authored the previous editions of Japanese For Dummies and Japanese Phrases For Dummies.

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