Synopses & Reviews
Japanese: The Spoken Language has been written by Eleanor Harz Jorden, with collaboration by Mari Noda, to replace her widely used Beginning Japanese in introductory and intermediate courses. Extensive changes and innovations are incorporated into this three-volume textbook to improve it as a teaching tool. Stressing Japanese as it is spoken today in Japan, the books introduce the language in a totally systematic fashion and in manageable segments, so that students who have mastered the full thirty lessons can handle the spoken language with considerable facility. The core conversations--all brief and natural--cover situations in which foreigners typically find themselves interacting with Japanese. They include topics ranging from asking directions and ordering a meal to more challenging discussions on how to refuse, criticize, disagree, and complain. Hundreds of drills--incorporating thousands of exchanges--are all in a response format, so that each exchange constitutes a mini-conversation. Explanations, presented in the detail and depth that a newcomer to the Japanese language urgently requires, offers not only linguistic analysis but also careful descriptions of how the language is used within Japanese society. They include such important topics as hierarchy, in-group/out-group differentiation, and avoidance of confrontation. Supplementary material provides outlines for the utilization of what has been introduced, check-ups on structure, and comprehension checks based on accompanying audiotapes.