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Japanese (Anglais) Broché – 29 mars 2012
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Présentation de l'éditeur
Japanese people are often too shy or worried about making mistakes to speak to visitors using what English they may know. Even the smallest effort to speak to locals in Japanese will be warmly received!
Lonely Planet Phrasebooks have been connecting travellers and locals for over a quarter of a century - our phrasebooks and mobile apps cover more than any other publisher!
Order the right meal with our menu decoder
Never get stuck for words with our 3500-word two-way dictionary
We make language easy with shortcuts, key phrases & common Q&As
Feel at ease, with essential tips on culture & manners
Coverage includes: Basics, Practical, Social, Safe Travel, Food!
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1. they omitted a lot of stuff (like word lists) to make way for cleaner less wordy pages. For example: pg 197 (5th ed) has more items listed for the sentence "My ___ was/were stolen: backpack, bags, credit card, handbag, jewellry, money, papers, passport, travellers cheques, wallet." While in pg. 161 (6th ed.) the very intelligent authors only listed: backpack, bags, handbag, money, passport and wallet. Or in pg. 199 (5th ed.), to the question on Health: "Where's the nearest ___?", they listed night "chemist, clinic, dentist, doctor, ER dept, hospital, medical center, and optometrist", while in the 6th ed, they listed only "night chemist, dentist, doctor and hospital". In order to favor pictures of temples, kitschy graphics, wider fonts and more empty spaces, they dropped out several essential terms leaving you a bit short.
2. the format is counter-intuitive and feels like the authors thought their readers are dumb and dumberers. Why? In the 5th ed., they first pose the base question first and they list the possible objects that can fill in the blanks, hence giving you better context clues as to which part of the sentence is the object vs. the operative sentence. This style gives the reader more intuition in using the base question. In the 6th ed, however, they scrapped most of the wordlist and settled for the 1:1 translation by repeating the question and the phrase without giving you the benefit of distinguishing which is which. For instance, pg. 98 (6th ed) listed "I am attending a conference", "I am attending a meeting", "I am attending a trade fair", and "I am attending a course" and on the opposite column are their redundant translations. Whereas on page 93 (5th ed) it states: "I am attending a ..." then the word list: " conference, course, meeting, trade fair" and opposite it are their translations. This helps you mix and match the words and phrases like I only need to find the word "party" and add that to the base sentence. The 6th ed scraps this in a lot of instances and forces you to just parrot whatever translation that's written. Hence, if find it frustrating to read redundant sentences all in a row: mitingu ni shuseki shimas, tenjikai ni shuseki shimas, kaigi ni shuseki shimas...
3. Their layout & typography was not well thought of. They pose the question in bold fonts and on the other column, they printed the nihongo version and underneath the romaji version in thinner fonts. The reason I bought the phrasebook is to make me speak japanese and not clutter my column with Kanji and Kana. Or do the authors want me to show the printed sentence to the natives instead? What's more fantastic in my opinion is that they made the Romaji translation cerulean blue resulting to a lightening of the phrase thereby, diminishing its weight on the written page. This makes my eyes first go to the Kanji rather than the phrase itself which I think is not a good idea at all.
I wanted to like this phrasebook but it'd rather keep the 5th ed than this confused piece of work. And I think you will have better grasp of the Japanese language with the 5th ed than this.
The 5th edition seems to add more bold layouts and fonts but reduces the content. There's quite a bit of wasted space in the pages due to their formatting and inclusion of photographs. I think Lonely Planet should go back to their old format instead of trying to be flashy.
first off, the content seems pretty good, and will either help you in simple travel situations, or get you the help you need... In japan, many places do have good english speakers, and they will try their best to get you the assistance you need... [keep this in mind, because as a traveler with little or no japanese experience, I think this book is a good buy ^.^]
and second, I recommend you learn pronunciation elsewhere... consonants in Japanese are pretty straight foreward, pronounce them as you would in english [ the R should be slightly rolled to sound something like a soft D/ soft L, or somewhere in between], but the vowel guide here will leave you sounding with a pretty heavy accent, so ill run through what I disagree with...
The ones I disagree with are... [and for the record, my english accent is mid-western US] [if this doesnt help, I recommend listening to the language on youtube XDD]
- "I as in bit" ... That short "I" sound doesnt exist in japanese, rather it should be "ee as in bee" but simply timed a little shorter...
- "A as in run", the sound we think of as "uh" like you sat down hard or something... rather it should be like "ah" like you just took a big drink
- "O as in pot" switch to "O as in toe"
- "Ō as in paw" should also be like "toe" but timed slightly longer, and perhaps have a slight U sound at the end ... "U as in boo"
- "U as in put" should be switched to "U as in food" but timed a little shorter ...
some quick rules of thumb
- the vowels A, I, U, E, and O quick and simple are "ah, ee, oo, eh, and oh" respectively
- in normal japanese speech, Long vowels are just like short vowels but between 40 and 60% enlongated
- a fairly common tokyo thing to do [or those imitating tokyo (sometimes a personality thing it seems)] is to pronounce vowels slightly different, but in my experience, NOT like the guid provided in the book, for instance "nee [nay] meaning "right?" would be said something like na [nah], and sugoi [soo*goy] meaning "wow" would be said something like "sugeh" [soo*gey]
I truely hope this helps, in pronouncing, understanding, and functionality, and makes your experience with the language, and with the people that much better ^.^ feel free to copy and print this guide and take it with you, feel free to comment to this review, and remember the content of the book is good for short term travel to japan
thanks for listening ^.^
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