Skip to main content

Japanese For Dummies

Japanese For Dummies

Eriko Sato

ISBN: 978-1-118-05385-0

Oct 2012

408 pages

Select type: E-Book



Japanese is a wonderful language, very different from European languages. It is also the gateway to the rich culture of the exciting and complex island nation of Japan. Some people get intimidated by the prospect of speaking Japanese—worried that it’s just too complex and different—but these fears are unfounded. While you can devote a lifetime to the study of this or any language, picking up the basics of Japanese doesn’t require any more than an interest and a willingness to try something new.

Japanese For Dummies has everything you need to get off the ground with speaking the language. Author and Professor of Japanese Eriko Sato starts you off with the essentials of grammar and pronunciation, giving you a working sense of the language, before showing you Japanese in action. You’ll then explore vocabulary and expressions through dialogues taking place in situations such as:

  • Introductions and greetings
  • Eating and drink ing
  • Shopping
  • Exploring the town
  • Talking on the telephone
  • Asking directions
  • Getting around
  • Staying at a hotel

You’ll also discover social customs, formalities, and manners, from how and when to bow to how to unwrap a present. Whether you simply want to introduce yourself to the Japanese language, say a few words to a neighbor or coworker, or you’re planning a major trip or study abroad in Japan, Japanese For Dummies will enable you to get the basics fast and work towards your own goal at your own pace. You’ll also find out about:

  • How to use karaoke to help you learn Japanese
  • Movies that will introduce you to Japanese culture and language
  • Learning Japanese the “gourmet” way
  • When ignoring “no, thank you” shows good manners
  • Proper table manners
  • Proper body language
  • How to sound fluent
  • And much more!

With helpful vocabulary summaries, a mini-dictionary at the end, and an audio CD full of conversations and pronunciations, Japanese For Dummies assumes no prior knowledge of Japanese on your part—providing the perfect guide for a quick-but-thorough, lighthearted-but-not-lightweight introduction to the language.

Introduction  1

Part I: Getting Started  7

Chapter 1: Japanese in a Nutshell 9

Chapter 2: Checking Out the Japanese Sounds and Scripts 17

Chapter 3: Warming Up with Japanese Grammar Basics 33

Chapter 4: Starting with Simple Expressions 61

Chapter 5: Getting Your Numbers, Times, and Measurements Straight 77

Chapter 6: Speaking Japanese at Home 99

Part II: Japanese in Action 117

Chapter 7: Getting to Know You: Making Small Talk 119

Chapter 8: Asking for Directions 131

Chapter 9: Dining Out and Going to the Market147

Chapter 10: Shopping Made Easy 163

Chapter 11: Going Out on the Town 183

Chapter 12: Taking Care of Business and Telecommunications 199

Chapter 13: Recreation and the Great Outdoors 219

Part III: Japanese on the Go 233

Chapter 14: Planning a Trip 235

Chapter 15: Dealing with Money in a Foreign Land 245

Chapter 16: Making Your Way Around: Planes, Trains, Taxis, and More 257

Chapter 17: Finding a Place to Stay 275

Chapter 18: Handling Emergencies 291

Part IV: The Part of Tens 309

Chapter 19: Ten Ways to Pick Up Japanese Quickly 311

Chapter 20: Ten Things Never to Say in Japanese 315

Chapter 21: Ten Favorite Japanese Expressions 319

Chapter 22: Ten Phrases That Make You Sound Fluent in Japanese 323

Part V: Appendixes  327

Appendix A: Mini-Dictionary 329

Appendix B: Verb Tables 349

Appendix C: On the CD 359

Appendix D: Answer Key 363

Index  365