A home-course based on the use of English phonetics. Just read or pronounce the phonetics in English and the sounds come out in Japanese! It's that easy!
Online PR News – 06-June-2012 – PHOENIX, ARIZONA – In the last few decades there has been a huge jump in the number of people around the world studying the Japanese language—a phenomenon some attribute to the extraordinary popularity of Japanese manga [mahn-gah] “comics,” anime (ah-nee-may) animated films and video games; and to Japanese martial arts, especially karate [kah-rah-tay] and judo.
Japanologist and author Boyé Lafayette De Mente has published a “home-course” in Japanese that is aimed at this growing audience and anyone else who needs or wants to communicate with Japanese in their own language.
Entitled SPEAK JAPANESE TODAY – A Little Language Goes a Long Way!, the book is based on using English phonetics that make it possible for one to read and pronounce Japanese correctly without any previous study or experience, an approach pioneered by De Mente in his first book on Japan, Japanese Simplified, published in 1950.
“All you have to do,” De Mente says, “is read the phonetics out loud in standard English and the sounds come out in Japanese.”
De Mente says that Japanese is one of the easiest languages to render in English phonetics because it is based on the combination of only five vowel sounds rendered in English as: a [ah], i [ee], u [uu], e [eh], and o [oh]; and the sound of the consonant n [un].
“These six key sounds are combined with other consonants to create the entire Japanese vocabulary, beginning with the following sounds:
ah, ee, uu, eh, oh
kah, kee, kuu, kay, koh
sah, she, suu, say, soh
tah-chee, tsu, tay, toh
nah, nee, nuu, nay, noh
“And so on for a total of approximately 100 syllables that never change [some authorities list 103 syllables but two or three of them are almost never used.…and unlike English and many other languages these syllables are pronounced the way they are spelled phonetically in English.
“For example, the English phonetic spelling of the Japanese word for easy is yasashii [yah-sah-she-ee]; the word for difficult is muzukashii [muu-zoo-kah-she-ee]; the word for read is yomu [yoh-muu].”
The book features key vocabulary and example sentences for specific categories of people, including airline pilots, stewardesses, Immigration officials, customs officials, hotel staff, restaurant staff, bartenders, shop clerks, taxi drivers, tour guides, doctors, families hosting Japanese students, tourists going to Japan, businesspeople, and foreign students of Japanese.
“The book literally makes it possible for anyone to communicate verbally in Nihongo [Nee-hone-go], the Japanese language, without any previous study or practice,” De Mente adds. Speak Japanese Today is available from Amazon.com in both digital and printed formats.
Boyé Lafayette De Mente is a graduate of Jōchi University in Tokyo, Japan, and Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona, USA. He is the author of 70-plus books on the business practices, cultures and languages of China, Japan, Korea, Mexico and the U.S. To see a list and synopses of his books and a brief bio go to: authorsonlinebookshop.com