Japanese that Japanese people don't know
The other day I bought the book 日本人の知らない日本語, "Japanese that Japanese people don't know". It is a cute little book with comics, lots and lots and lots of ruby (furigana readings over the Kanji) written by a Japanese language teacher who primarily teaches foreign students. The idea is that foreigners have lots of crazy questions about the Japanese language that Japanese people just don't think about.
Having asked lots of those questions myself, I thought it would be a fun read. So far, it has. There is lots of ruby over the kanji, so it is very easy to read. Unfortunately, the vocabulary is pretty large, and by nature heads off into unusual places in the language (like counters for strange things, or the names of unusual utensils) so it isn't really appropriate for entry level Japanese language learners. That said, so far it hasn't really been all that hard to follow, so if you are an intermediate learner you might want to give it a try.
Actually, I take that back. Some things are hard to follow. The punchlines usually. The things that students say make intuitive sense to me - because I don't understand the natural Japanese language things that the readers are supposed to know. Sometimes the last panel of the comic just leaves me scratching my head.
The sequel just came out recently so I'll probably pick that up pretty soon too.
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I hear you about the punchline thing.. I can understand enough Japanese to get 100% of a joke being told on TV. I'm with it... all the way... nearly to the punchline... then 'BOOOOOM!', an un-intelligible barrage of phonetic mayhem and the audience erupts in laughter.
Verdict: Must try harder!!!
www.t-shitsu.com - AWESOME t-shirts for foreigners in Japan!!! Fancy a link exchange?! ;)