2 Survival Phrase Books Every Beginner Needs

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  • There are many books about learning the Japanese language for people with different levels of fluency. If you are a complete beginner and first-time visitor, you might want to have a survival book in hand. By memorizing a few basic survival phrases, you’ll find your trip to Japan becomes a bit easier and more comfortable. However, you may have some trouble finding the right book when there are so many choices right there on the internet or in bookshops. So, here are two well-written survival phrase books with a slew of positive reviews. These books are easily available on Amazon, Rakuten or in any large bookstore.

    1. Lonely Planet

    survival phrase books lonely planet

    The Lonely Planet’s Japanese Phrase Book & Dictionary is the highest sold phrasebook ever. So far, 10 million copies have been sold. This book comes in handy as it is almost the size of your palm. It contains travel phrases including greetings, numbers, social conversations etc. The phrases in this book have both romaji and kanji translations which allow you to learn how to pronounce Japanese correctly. It has a two-way dictionary, both English to Japanese and Japanese to English, with a collection of 3500 words for you to quickly reference. It is a comprehensive and easy-to-use book which everyone who is planning a short trip should have!

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    2. Speak Japanese

    survival phrase books speak japanese

    Speak Japanese’s ‘700 Essential Phrases for Japanese Conversation’ by Mizutani Nobuko is one of a kind and is very prolifically written. This book offers practice material for speech aimed at English speakers by veteran Japanese language teachers. It has a CD in both English and Japanese with ‘slow’ and ‘natural’ speeds, allowing you to have both listening and speaking practice. The book has useful tips focusing on areas especially English speakers may find difficult. Different topics including grammar are efficiently broken down for every beginner.
    So, what are you waiting for? Search for this book at your nearest bookstore and give it a try!

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