80/20 Japanese: Applying 80/20 Principles To Language Learning

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Readers learn the most important 20% of the Japanese language that will enable them to understand 80% of spoken Japanese, in Richard Webb's new book, 80/20 Japanese.

80/20 Japanese

80/20 Japanese

Japanese is quite easy to learn if you have the right approach. With this book, I aim to demystify the language and make it more accessible.

80/20 Japanese, a new book by Richard Webb, aims to actively reduce the time it takes to become fluent in Japanese. It does this by re-structuring the way the language is learnt, focusing less on individual sentence patterns and more on the fundamental principles that have wider application.

Having earned a degree in Japanese, studied linguistics at Saitama University, passed the highest level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, and spent four years in Tokyo working for two Japanese companies, Webb has learned the Japanese language inside out, but has also seen many others struggle. He is writing this book to make the process easier for those new to the language.

“Most Japanese language books fail to properly explain the most vital concepts that all Japanese students struggle with,” says Webb. “They ask the student to memorize sentence patterns for later regurgitation, instead of teaching them how the language actually functions.”

By contrast, 80/20 Japanese focuses on giving the student a solid understanding of the core structure of the language so they can avoid the bulk of the confusion. “That’s the 20% that will help them understand everything else. Once they have that base, the rest is quite straightforward,” he says.

One area the book covers in depth, relative to most language books, is particles, a key feature of Japanese grammar. Particles affect the overall meaning of every sentence, but many Japanese learners tend to pair particles with different sets of vocabulary. This leads to mismatched combinations of words, resulting in drastically altered meaning. In 80/20 Japanese, the role and application of particles is explained on a deeper level so students better understand how they are used.

The misuse of particles, like other problems, is easily avoided.

“Japanese is quite easy to learn if you have the right approach,” Webb says. “With this book, I aim to demystify the language and make it more accessible.”

80/20 Japanese is available for pre-order through crowd-publishing site Publishizer until June 29th at http://www.publishizer.com/8020-japanese.

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