Japanese Language: Learn the Fascinating History and Evolution of the Language Along With Many Useful Japanese Grammar Points by Haruhiko Kindaichi (PDF)



Ebook Info

  • Published: 2011
  • Number of pages: 265 pages
  • Format: PDF
  • File Size: 2.90 MB
  • Authors: Haruhiko Kindaichi


This is a book about the structure, history and evolution of the Japanese language. The Japanese Language is a classic study of one of the world’s most widely used but least understood languages. Emphasizing the richness and complexity of Japanese as well as its limitations, this fine book provides a lively discussion about the uniqueness of the Japanese language. The relationship of Japanese to other languages is not well understood even by native speakers, and Professor Kindaichi sets out to define it. He concludes that Japanese is indeed only remotely related to other world languages although it shares many features in common with the languages of mainland Asia. Japanese shares with those languages a rich and detailed vocabulary for natural phenomena and an unusually complex and accurate way of expressing social relationships. Moreover, its capability to absorb innovations from abroad easily matches or exceeds that of English or German. The author, after briefly discussing the unique isolation of the Japanese language, moves on to consider the varieties of ordinary speech–dialects, jargon, sex–and role-based distinctions, and the difference between informal, formal, and literary language. He then examines the structure of Japanese pronunciations, its rhythm, and accent. The longest section of the book is devoted to the variety of the vocabulary, what can and cannot be said in Japanese. Readers who are just beginning their own study of Japanese will find this section especially fascinating, for each point is backed by examples from literature and everyday speech. Kindaichi also investigates the so-called vagueness of Japanese and traces it to its source-the unusual sentence order. This book includes: The highly debated origins of the Japanese language. Dialects, jargon, sex and role-based distinctions. Differences between informal, formal, and literary language. Structure, rhythm, and accent of pronunciation. What can and cannot be said in Japanese.

User’s Reviews

Reviews from Amazon users which were colected at the time this book was published on the website:

⭐I’m kind of a language geek, and am finding this to be excellent supplementary material about the history of the language, such as regional dialects, multiple readings for the same kanji, the vast differences in polite vs “impolite” language, gender differences, military/government, etc. This was written after World War II during a time of serious introspection, and is also a defense of the Japanese language. As such, it takes a close look at details which are not at all obvious to a beginning student.

⭐I picked up this book because I was interested in how Japanese differed from familiar Western languages, but I didn’t want to learn Japanese. The book served this purpose tolerably well. Not surprisingly, it would have been more useful if I had known a little Japanese. It would also have been more interesting if it had been written by someone with a background in the languages of Europe. The author apparently knows some English, and the translator has fleshed out some comparisons there. But all too often the book makes statements such as “Supposedly in German…” or “Expert X says that French….” Most of those statements are correct but (surprisingly) a few are clearly false.Most important, the author’s purpose is not really to introduce Japanese to foreigners. It was written in Japanese, in 1957, after all. Kindaichi’s main concern is more political: to argue that Japanese is a sophisticated and complex modern language suitable to a civilized people. In other words, he wants to show that Japanese is as “good,” or nearly “good,” a language as English, French, or German. He also wants to show that it is more civilized than the languages of the Pacific – – though comparison with East Asian literary languages are less common than one might expect. This task strikes me as an odd one, and it obviously reflects Japanese concerns of the 1950s. (One of the other reviewers claims that the author places fast and loose with some facts to make his political point – – I’m not in a position to judge, but it doesn’t surprise me.)This political purpose means that he allocates space differently than I would have liked. For example, he notes that Japanese does not have the variety of animal terms found in European languages (such as bull, steer, cow, calf, and ox for a single species). However, he argues that this does not make Japanese inferior to European languages because Japanese has a similar variety of terms for fish.This kind of “judgmental linguistics” is always present, and to the modern reader, unnecessary. I would have liked to see more comparisons of phonetics, syntax, and other linguistic questions. Kindaichi’s concerns and mine did overlap in areas of pragmatics and literary style, which I found to be the most interesting parts of the book.

⭐This book is stuffed full of interesting and insightful information about the Japanese language and its place in the world. Kindaichi examines the origins and evolution of Japanese, what you can and cannot say in the language, and how sentences and expressions are constructed.This is an academic work, and some of the text is a little dry. But it’s more accessible than you might expect for a scholastic book that’s been translated from another language.The book is not intended as an aid to non-native speakers learning Japanese. Even so, I (an intermediate-level speaker of Japanese) found that it really helped clarify and explain a lot about the language. It gave me a lot more context and history, so that I could understand not just what is the way to say something in Japanese, but also how and why that is the way to say it.I highly recommend this book to any intermediate level or above student of Japanese, and to anyone with an interest in linguistics.

⭐A great pocket-sized reference for some of the more technical aspects of the Japanese language. It explores such topics as the geographical history of Japanese, pronunciation nuances, the impact of the the vocabulary on Japanese society, and the meaning of Japanese syntax and sentence structure. Although it tends toward being a bit dry if you are unfamiliar with Japanese, it is an engaging read for anyone with some knowledge of the language. Recommended for beginner-intermediate level speakers and above.

⭐Don’t waste your time with this book.Prof. Roy Andrew Miller spends an entire chapter in his “Japan’s Modern Myth” to pick apart all the academic smoke and mirrors Kindaichi hides behind to bolster the ideas of Japanese uniqueness. Kindaichi makes up references out of thin air and quotes long-debunked Western linguistic “scholarship” to provide straw men for his arguments.

⭐A very disappointing reading! The author’s discursive thinking is painfully shallow, his knowledge of linguistics doubtful, his familiarity with foreign languages minimal, and his linguistic chauvinism astounding. He states that Polish and Russian are mutually understandable because “good evening” sounds similar in both languages —yes, try to speak to a Polish in Russian and you will be sadly disappointed. He is sure that there are no primary words in Western languages for yome (daughter-in-law), muko (son-in-law) and shuuto (father-in-law) —try Spanish nuera, yerno & suegro, for instance. He says that “perhaps we could say that, had the mother tongue of Aristotle and other philosophers after him been Japanese, European logic might not have traversed so many roundabout paths” —sure!, that’s why Aristotelian philosophy was written in Greek instead of Japanese, and Japan did not discovered philosophy or created a term for it until the xixth century.

⭐Haruiko KINDAICHI – The Japanese Language – TuttlePro- l’autore è una persona competente ed è un buon divulgatore.- mi è sembrato piuttosto obiettivo: ama la sua lingua materna ma ne parla con apparente obiettività senza eccessi retorici.- il libro è rivolto al lettore non specialista ed è accessibile anche per chi non abbia basi di linguistica. L’ho trovato piacevole in quasi ogni pagina.- abbraccia vari argomenti ed è ricco d’esempi tratti dalla letteratura classica e contemporanea. Gli esempi sono traslitterati e tradotti.- è fruibile in molte parti anche da chi, come me, abbia una conoscenza ancora molto superficiale della lingua. Solo la parte sulla sintassi, per ovvi motivi, è risultata poco accessibile. E’ altrettanto ovvio che meglio si conosce il giapponese, maggiore sarà l’utilità degli esempi.- è facilmente reperibile nell’edizione Tuttle (non saprei per l’originale giapponese), costa poco ma offre comunque una stampa nitida e un’impaginazione di buon livello.Contro- il libro è del 1958. In linguistica sessant’anni sono secoli.- l’approccio odierno alla materia è diverso. Può essere un bene o un male (un bene nel suo essere un libro che privilegia la divulgazione).- il libro è pervaso da un atteggiamento tipico di molti (non tutti) linguisti del passato che vedevano nella lingua “l’espressione dello spirito della nazione”.La lingua sarebbe quindi “migliorabile”.Le lingue non sarebbero tutte sullo stesso piano ma alcune sarebbero migliori di altre perché in grado di esprimere meglio o in modo più logico.- si fanno confronti con altre lingue. In quelli con il francese, il tedesco e l’inglese ho notato degli errori.- la traduzione è stata fatta da una studiosa giapponese. Questo da un lato ci dà fiducia nella sua perfetta comprensione dell’originale, ma nel suo inglese sono presenti alcune sviste. Nulla di grave.- la piena comprensione degli esempi richiede un livello minimo di giapponese piuttosto alto e familiarità colla letteratura. Il discorso si capisce sempre, ma non si può “toccare con mano”.ConclusioneVale la pena di comprarlo?Se siete studiosi/laureandi di lingua e letteratura giapponese sicuramente sì.Se nella vita fate tutt’altro, probabilmente potete rimandare l’acquisto/la lettura.

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⭐Since I first held this book in my hands and started reading it, I have discovered quite interesting facts about the Japanese Language, especially on Japanese syntax. I have found it well researched so far, for the author used a good many quotes in his book. However, I think that the syntax should be, maybe, simpler at some points.I also find the fact that this book was written not only by a linguist but by a Japanese linguist to be highly reassuring.

⭐This is a great book! For every student of Japanese language who has just passed through the elementary level, it will give plenty of examples of all the concepts the book deals about. Many of them taken from classical texts and Japanese poets.I highlighted a lot of part for further reading. Nevertheless, IT IS NOT A LEARNING BOOK. It is a thorough presentation of facts and concepts about Japanese language that is like pearls for scholars, students of comparative linguistics and everyone who wants to learn more about this language in a level above the basic. For beginners, though, the complexity of the examples might frighten them and hinder the learning process by leading students to think that Japanese is a language way too hard to be studied. It is not! And this book is a wonderful example.

⭐Publié en japonais dans les années d’après guerre, ce livre accuse un peu son âge mais reste un document intéressant sur l’idée que les Japonais cultivée eux-mêmes se faisaient de leur langue et de son avenir au sortir d’une période de profonde remise en question. Les exemples présentés, destinés à des locuteurs natifs, dépassent parfois le niveau de compréhension d’un étudiant moyen mais, même ainsi, la lecture de cet ouvrage met en lumière de nombreux aspects de la langue qui sont souvent passés sous silence dans les manuels d’enseignement.

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Free Download Japanese Language: Learn the Fascinating History and Evolution of the Language Along With Many Useful Japanese Grammar Points in PDF format
Japanese Language: Learn the Fascinating History and Evolution of the Language Along With Many Useful Japanese Grammar Points PDF Free Download
Download Japanese Language: Learn the Fascinating History and Evolution of the Language Along With Many Useful Japanese Grammar Points 2011 PDF Free
Japanese Language: Learn the Fascinating History and Evolution of the Language Along With Many Useful Japanese Grammar Points 2011 PDF Free Download
Download Japanese Language: Learn the Fascinating History and Evolution of the Language Along With Many Useful Japanese Grammar Points PDF
Free Download Ebook Japanese Language: Learn the Fascinating History and Evolution of the Language Along With Many Useful Japanese Grammar Points

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