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.
A complete and easy-to-follow explanation of the basic structure that all Japanese sentences follow
Detailed lessons on all of the main building blocks that fit within basic Japanese sentence structure
Step-by-step breakdown of the simple yet powerful way to transform basic phrases into complex, highly-detailed sentences
Loads of example sentences and exercises to help you understand and consolidate each concept
Over 40 useful sentence patterns that build on the fundamentals, so you always know what to say
Includes language learning strategies that ensure you get the most out of your efforts
There are now two editions of 80/20 Japanese:
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 Japanese, without worrying about learning all of the different Japanese characters.
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’).
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 of exposure to naturally written Japanese, so your eyes get used to dealing with kanji.
Everything you'll learn, chapter by chapter
The key to the effectiveness of 80/20 Japanese is the 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.
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, with a clear, easy-to-understand explanation of what particles are 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 why each combination of words makes sense.
By giving you a better understanding of how Japanese sentences and particles work from the beginning, 80/20 Japanese helps you avoid the confusion that most Japanese learner’s have to deal with at every turn.
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.
Chapter 4 is like a crash-course in Japanese, introducing a variety of concepts that you can immediately use in real life conversations, including:
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.
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.
Chapters 7, 8 and 9 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.
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.
Below are all of the 80/20 Japanese products available.
The Complete Package includes all of these items. Smaller packages are also available below.
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.eBook Soft Cover Pack Audiobook Pack Complete Package
425 page eBook with all Japanese words, phrases and sentences written in Romaji. Ideal for learning how to use Japanese without worrying about learning all the characters.eBook Soft Cover Pack Audiobook Pack Complete Package
Both editions of 80/20 Japanese also come in ePub and Mobi formats for a better reading experience on your Kindle, Nook or other mobile device.eBook Soft Cover Pack Audiobook Pack Complete Package
Physical copy of 80/20 Japanese shipped to most countries worldwide. Choose either the Kana + Kanji Edition, the Romaji Edition, or both (+$20).Soft Cover Pack Complete Package
The complete book narrated by the author, including all Japanese example sentences, exercises and answers.Audiobook Pack Complete Package
A 61-page PDF featuring every kanji used in the Kana + Kanji Edition.
Beside each kanji are all the words in 80/20 Japanese that use that kanji, their hiragana reading, English meaning, and where in the book they first appear.