80/20 Japanese

A clear, logical approach to Japanese that will get you to fluency in no time, even if you're a complete beginner

Why 80/20 Japanese?

Japanese is easy – you just need to be taught the right way.

When I learnt Japanese, I did it the hard way – by memorizing sentence patterns, set phrases and random vocabulary. The problem was, I didn’t know how to put it all together. I knew all these various bits and pieces, but didn’t understand why everything works the way it does.

I figured it out eventually, but there are so many things I wish someone had taught me. Japanese is actually incredibly logical, flexible and intuitive, but I wasted a lot of time feeling confused and frustrated because it didn’t make sense to my English-speaking brain.

That’s why I decided to write 80/20 Japanese. I want to save you from all the difficulties that I faced, and help you understand how the Japanese language really works.

So instead of spoon-feeding you situational expressions with limited application, 80/20 Japanese focuses on what really counts – the fundamentals. It teaches you how the language actually works, and helps you avoid the confusion that most Japanese learners face.

That’s the 20% that will get you 80% of the way to speaking fluent Japanese.


Features

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How Japanese Works

A complete and easy-to-follow explanation of the basic structure that all Japanese sentences follow.

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Essential Building Blocks

Detailed lessons on all of the building blocks that fit within Japanese sentence structure.

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Learn By Doing

Loads of examples and exercises throughout the book to help you understand and consolidate each concept.

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Express Yourself Fully

Discover the simple yet powerful way to transform basic phrases into complex, highly-detailed sentences.

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Speak Like a Native

After building a rock-solid foundation, refine your natural voice with over 40 useful expressions.

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Learning Strategies

Includes language learning strategies that ensure you get the most out of your time.

Learn to read Japanese, or don't

The choice is yours.

There are two editions of 80/20 Japanese, and all packages include both editions of the eBook:

Romaji Edition

In this edition, all Japanese words and sentences are written in ‘romaji’, the Latin script we use in English.

This is perfect if you are new to Japanese and want to focus on learning to speak the language, without worrying about learning all of the different Japanese characters.

Kana + Kanji Edition

If your language goals include learning to read and write Japanese, this is the edition for you.

In this edition, the Japanese words and sentences are mostly written as they would normally appear in Japanese, whether that be in hiragana, katakana or kanji. The only exceptions to this are in the first few chapters, and where a kanji is particularly difficult or rare. In those cases, hiragana is used instead, although many of these words appear again later in the book written in kanji.

Importantly, with only a couple of exceptions, every word written in kanji throughout the entire book has the reading above it in hiragana (known as ‘furigana’). Here's an example of what that looks like:

This ensures that you never run into a word and have no idea how to read it. At the same time, you gain lots of exposure to naturally written Japanese, so your eyes get used to dealing with kanji.

Apart from a couple of small points that relate only to written Japanese, both editions cover the exact same material.

Plus, you also get this:

The 80/20 Japanese Kanji Reference Guide

This 61-page printable PDF lists every kanji character you will encounter as you work through 80/20 Japanese, in the order they appear.

There's an enlarged version of each unique kanji (518 in total), plus all of the words in 80/20 Japanese that use each one, their hiragana reading, English meaning, and the location in the book where they first appear. Here's an example:

The 80/20 Japanese Roadmap

Everything you'll learn, chapter by chapter.

The key to the effectiveness of 80/20 Japanese is the logical order in which the lessons are presented. By teaching everything in the right order, 80/20 Japanese ensures that every new concept and sentence pattern you learn makes total sense

1

It starts with the obvious first step – pronunciation. Chapter 1 teaches you all about the different sounds used in Japanese so you can pronounce Japanese words correctly.

Next, in Chapter 2, you will learn the fundamental structure of Japanese sentences. This includes a clear, easy-to-understand explanation of the oft-dreaded particles and how they work. By learning this right from the beginning, you build a foundation for everything else you will ever learn about Japanese grammar.


Most books and courses skip this vital step, and instead start with specific phrases and sentence patterns, which results in you knowing how to say certain things, but not how to make different word combinations make sense.


By giving you a better understanding of how Japanese sentences and particles work from the beginning, 80/20 Japanese lets you avoid the confusion that most Japanese learner’s have to deal with at every turn.

2

3

Adding to your understanding of how Japanese functions, Chapter 3 covers the essential cultural understanding you need to speak Japanese effectively. These are easy but important lessons that are applicable every time you use Japanese.

This chapter is like a crash-course in conversational Japanese, introducing a variety of concepts that you can immediately use in real life situations, including:

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    Some new particles
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    Essential verb tenses needed to talk about the past, present and future
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    How to talk about things you like and want
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    How to ask questions
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    Many more useful words and expressions

4

By this point, you’ll have learnt the most important ~20% of the language that gets you ~80% of the way to fluency.

From here, you will delve deeper into each of the different components of the language.

5-6

Chapters 5 and 6 teach you all about numbers and expressions of time, respectively, with lots of examples and exercises that teach you how to use them in a sentence correctly.

These chapters cover the finer points of the major word types – adjectives, nouns, adverbs and verbs. With these chapters, you’ll learn how to correctly use each word type in almost any combination, allowing you to speak and understand Japanese with greater flexibility and precision.

7-9

10

Chapter 10 really takes you to the next level. It teaches you all about noun phrases, which have a wide range of uses and give you the ability to talk about things in far greater detail.

For example, instead of saying something simple such as, “I ate lunch in Shinjuku with my friends”, noun phrases allow you to say things like, “I ate lunch at a new restaurant in Shinjuku with some friends that I met at high school“.

Noun phrases are incredibly powerful, yet fairly simple to put together, especially in Japanese. This chapter covers them in detail.

As a key building block of the Japanese language, particles are of course covered right from chapter two, with more added along the way as needed. This chapter provides a far more detailed look.

The lessons in this chapter are not essential to being able to speak Japanese, but they will give you a deeper understanding of how different particles work. This will help you avoid the more subtle mistakes that even some advanced Japanese speakers sometimes make.

This chapter also answers one of the biggest questions that even confuses people who have been studying Japanese for years – the difference between the particles “wa” and “ga”.

11

12

By the time you reach Chapter 12, you will have a very good understanding of Japanese. This final chapter simply builds on everything you know by introducing 40 useful expressions, all explained – with examples – in the context of everything learnt throughout the rest of the book.

At the end of the book, you'll find a few handy additions for easy reference.

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    Detailed explanation of one of the more subtle differences between English and Japanese verb tense usage
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    Verb dictionary listing polite and informal/dictionary forms of all Japanese verbs used throughout the book. Includes Japanese-English and English-Japanese dictionary.
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    Non-verb dictionary listing all other Japanese words used throughout the book. Includes Japanese-English and English-Japanese dictionary.
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    Hiragana and katakana charts (Kana + Kanji Edition only)

Extras

What People Are Saying...

Shahdad S.

United States

I love the book so far. I've tried other sources but nothing has engaged me and kept me motivated to study Japanese like this. It's crazy how in one month I've gone from only knowing a few words to actually being able to put together a lot of sentences. It helps a lot how you teach Japanese from an English speakers viewpoint.


10/10 so far. I wish there was this format book for Spanish and Russian as well.

Matthew Daniels

Japan

I've tried lots of other less successful learning tools. I'm only a few chapters in but it's already given me the clearest, most understandable explanation of the particle system. I skimmed ahead and really like how verb tenses were handled.

Love the logical break down of the concepts. I really appreciate the order you are teaching things. It is very clear and straightforward.

Philip Erm

Australia

I'm an ecologist/research student but also did a degree in classics (i.e. Latin and Ancient Greek) a few years back and your ability to explain grammar simply, concisely, and empathetically beats anything I encountered in the many ancient language textbooks I used (written by professors and linguists no less!).


You've got a fantastic feel for the perspective of the English speaking student. Well done mate. Seriously.

30-Day Risk Free Money Back Guarantee

If you’re not completely happy with 80/20 Japanese, simply reply to your purchase confirmation email within 30 days for a full refund – no questions asked.

What's Included

The Complete Package includes all of these items. Smaller packages are also available below.

Kana + Kanji Edition (PDF)

425 page eBook with all Japanese words, phrases and sentences written as they would normally be written in Japanese. Perfect if you truly want to master all aspects of the Japanese language.

Romaji Edition (PDF)

425 page eBook with all Japanese words, phrases and sentences written in Romaji. Ideal for learning how to speak Japanese without worrying about learning all the characters.

ePub and Mobi Formats

In addition to the PDFs, both editions of 80/20 Japanese are included in ePub and Mobi formats for a better reading experience on your Kindle, Nook or other mobile device.

ePub and Mobi Formats

In addition to the PDFs, both editions of 80/20 Japanese are included in ePub and Mobi formats for a better reading experience on your Kindle, Nook or other mobile device.

Kanji Reference Guide

61-page printable PDF featuring every kanji used in the Kana + Kanji Edition.


Click here to see details above.


Soft Cover Book

Physical (paper) copy of 80/20 Japanese. Ships to most countries worldwide.


Choose from Kana + Kanji Edition, Romaji Edition, or get one of each for +$20.

Audiobook (MP3)

The complete book narrated by the author, including all Japanese example sentences, exercises and answers. Listen and learn on the train, in the car or while working out.

Kanji Reference Guide

61-page printable PDF featuring every kanji used in the Kana + Kanji Edition.


Click here to see details above.


Start making sense of Japanese today!
Choose Your Package Below

eBook

Kana + Kanji Edition eBook

In PDF, EPUB and MOBI (Kindle) formats

Romaji Edition eBook

In PDF, EPUB and MOBI (Kindle) formats

Kanji Reference Guide

Printable PDF listing all unique kanji characters used in the Kana + Kanji Edition


$39

Audiobook Pack

Everything in the eBook package

Including both editions of the eBook and the Kanji Reference Guide

+

Audiobook (MP3)

The complete book narrated by the author. Listen and learn on the train, in the car or while working out.



$59

Soft Cover Pack

Everything in the eBook package

Including both editions of the eBook and the Kanji Reference Guide

+

Soft Cover Book

Get a physical copy of 80/20 Japanese in the edition of your choice, or get both for +$20.



$59*

*Plus shipping

View shipping rates

Complete Package

Everything in the eBook package

Including both editions of the eBook and the Kanji Reference Guide

+

Audiobook (MP3)

The complete book narrated by the author. Listen and learn on the train, in the car or while working out.

+

Soft Cover Book

Get a physical copy of 80/20 Japanese in the edition of your choice, or get both for +$20.


$79*

*Plus shipping

View shipping rates

Prices are in US dollars.

Want to try before you buy?

Read Chapter 2 now, and for free!

Includes the complete Table of Contents, so you can see exactly what you'll learn.

About the Author


Hi! I'm Richard Webb. 

Japan and the Japanese language have been a huge part of my life. I first went to live in Japan when I was 15, and have since spent over 6 years living in the country. I have a degree in Japanese, studied linguistics at a Japanese university, passed the highest level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), and worked for two Japanese companies where virtually all communication was in Japanese.

It was a long road and it wasn't always easy, but learning to speak Japanese has been one of the best things I've ever done. It's opened many doors, and allowed me to have some amazing experiences.

I hope that this book helps you get as much out of Japan and Japanese culture as I have.

Hi! I'm Richard Webb. 

Japan and the Japanese language have been a huge part of my life. I first went to live in Japan when I was 15, and have since spent over 6 years living in the country. I have a degree in Japanese, studied linguistics at a Japanese university, passed the highest level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), and worked for two Japanese companies where virtually all communication was in Japanese.

It was a long road and it wasn't always easy, but learning to speak Japanese has been one of the best things I've ever done. It's opened many doors, and allowed me to have some amazing experiences.

I hope that this book helps you get as much out of Japan and Japanese culture as I have.

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