Making Sense of Japanese: What the Textbooks Don't Tell You
Explains the seemingly unexplainable
|von Jay Rubin|
This book by Jay Rubin (who used to teach at the UW) humorously explains some of the most seemingly esoteric aspects of the Japanese language to the intermediate student of Japanese. Some of the most useful concepts that Rubin explains are ha and ga, giving and receiving, passive, causative, hodo, and many more. After a casual reading of this book I felt that certain aspects of the Japanese language seemed to make more sense than ever before. I would recommend this book to any third year student of Japanese.
Totally deserving of these 5 stars
When I ordered this book, I hadn't read it, or even seen the cover. I just picked it up because I'm anxious to learn more daily Japanese conversation. While this book didn't teach me the slang and modern speech I'm wanting to learn, I did find it to be extremely useful. I'm not finished yet, but this book has so far been very informative and easy to read. The writing is excellent, and it's entertaining to read. It explains how "subjectless" sentences work and how to use "wa" and "ga" properly, amomg other things of course. If you're a student of Japanese, and you want to actually understand the logic of the language instead of simply memorizing vocabulary, this book is a must-have.
Successfully disarms the scariest concepts in Japanese.
If you're an intermediate student of Japanese, but haven't yet begun to really understand the language, this book will clear up a lot of your concerns. The author takes a humorous approach to some intimidating topics, and yields new insight on other, easier topics which textbooks often leave vague. The book frequently illustrates these concepts with examples in Japanese literature and journalism. Even examples in speech are explained in-depth. Yet, it remains light-hearted and humorous, relating the mysterious translations and hidden connotations in a way that the English-speaking mind can understand. Most importantly, it debunks many of the myths and misconceptions about Japanese that make Westerners fear it so. It also seemed that the author was subtly trying to prepare the readers to think in Japanese, which as wel all know is a vital step towards fluency.
The title pretty much sums it up when it says "What the Textbooks Don't Tell You." This book ! ! essentially takes the information from your textbooks and makes sense of it. If you study independently, like me, this book should be on your list. If you don't need this book, you probably know someone who does.
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