Are you planning to visit Japan without a word of Japanese under your belt? If so, Instant Japanese will be your best friend throughout your stay.
This little book was written by Boyé Lafayette De Mente, an American author and adventurer, who is a true master at creating short and simple guides. In fact, he has written multiple books and guides related to Asian and Japanese culture. The book subtitle reflects its goal precisely: to express 1,000 different ideas with just 100 keys words and phrases. If you have absolutely no knowledge of Japanese, this book will come to your rescue.
The true added value of this book is its complete content in a small package. In only 96 pages you will be able to learn all the basics of the Japanese language. From the very beginning, the book starts with thorough, yet brief, explanations about writing in Japanese with Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji. The learning process about the pronunciation of Japanese syllables comes in second and is deeply detailed to fit an English-speaker perfectly.
After this introduction is where the book begins, divided into 10 parts. The farther you dive into the book, the more you learn, but you can also jump into a specific part if you need to learn something in particular quickly. Thanks to high amounts of vocabulary and many examples of sentences, it will be pretty easy for anyone to express oneself in Japanese everyday life situations. Each part of the book has a specific subject. For example, one of the subjects is to deal with English words that have been “Japanized”, meaning the words have been incorporated into the Japanese language as official Japanese words. At the end of the book, there is a list of additional vocabulary which is highly useful if you want to enhance your vocabulary.
One of the other advantages of this book is its pocket format, around 11cm x 18 cm. This makes it incredibly simple to take with you when you are traveling through Japan as it will not take much space in a bag or even a pocket. This little guy will be happy to be your partner in Japan.
Having a look at Boyé Lafayette De Mente's other books is also a good idea. He wrote some original books such as Survival Japanese: How to Communicate without Fuss or Fear Instantly! and JAPAN: Weird & Wonderful Things You Should Know! He also created some guides such as Getting Around Tokyo Pocket Atlas and Transportation Guide: for Yokohama, Kamakura, Yokota, Yokosuka, and Hakone.