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No. 5, Benten-dori, Yokohama.

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This book consists of three parts: Part I, Graduated Exercises in Conversational Japanese; Part II, Elementary Grammar of the Japanese Spoken Language; Part III, Vocabulary of Common Japanese Words.*

The learning of a language is a complicated process. In general it may be said to consist of two parts, theory and practice. Theory refers to the knowledge of words, their peculiarities, special uses, inflexions, how they depend on each other and how they are combined in a sentence. Elementary notions on these subjects as regards Colloquial Japanese will be found in Parts II and III of this work. Practice consists in learning to express oneself without difficulty or hesitation, in acquiring a correct pronunciation and in training the ear to understand the language as spoken by the natives. Practice, of course, cannot be learned from books; however, the Exercises in Part I, supply models and materials for a great number of sentences which can be used in real life.

The student is strongly advised to speak Japanese or try to speak Japanese on every possible occasion: to servants, rikisha-men, tramway-conductors, shop-attendants, etc.; and to continue speaking Japanese even when the other person answers in quite good English. Get as much practice in Japanese as you can, and don't go about giving free lessons in English.

The author suggests that the student should begin with the Exercises, studying only such parts of the Grammar as are indicated at the beginning of each Exercise and consulting the Vocabulary when necessary. No particular method of study is recommended in detail; but the author believes that the pupil should repeat each sentence after his teacher several times until he can say it with a fairly good pronunciation and a reasonable degree of fluency; he should also have a knowledge of what the sentence means while he is saying it; the lesson should not be considered as known until he can do all the above with his book closed.

By the time the student has finished the Exercises, he will have gone all through the Grammar, and he should then, if he has the courage, read the Vocabulary, which contains many useful phrases not found in the Exercises, and many hints regarding the use of common words, which frequently are a source of trouble to the beginner.

The Japanese Exercises were made in Japanese by a Japanese under the author's direction; they are in no sense a translation of the English; on the contrary, the English is a translation of the Japanese. It should be clearly understood that the version given is only one out of many equally good and correct translations which might be given. This will be readily understood when it is remembered, that in Japanese nouns have neither gender, number

For the convenience of those who wish to read the Japanese Characters from the very beginning of their studies, the Japanese text of Part has been printed apart in Japanese Characters with kana alongside : this is called Part IV.

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nor case, and verbs have often no subject expressed nor have they any inflexions corresponding to person or number; in real life, the meaning is determined by context and circumstances.

In the Vocabulary at the end of this book the etymology of words is given when it is considered helpful to the student. The average educated Japanese has no notion of what etymology means; and when asked the origin of a word will immediately start explaining the characters or symbols with which it is written. In this matter the author's chief guide has been Otsuki's Genkai.

Besides the present book, the student who wishes, not only to go through these Exercises, but to express his own ideas, must have an English-Japanese Dictionary: the best one no doubt is, Hobart-Hampden and Parlett's EnglishJapanese Dictionary of the Spoken Language; if a pocket dictionary is desired, the author's English-Japanese Conversation Dictionary may prove useful. Japanese-English dictionaries are very numerous but mostly unsatisfactory as they are generally made for the use of the Japanese; the best one is perhaps Brinkley's.

The author begs also to recommend the following: Lange's A Text-book of Colloquial Japanese, for exercises of a more advanced type; Chamberlain's Handbook of Colloquial Japanese, for further studies of the grammar; Imbrie's Handbook of English-Japanese Etymology, for the translation of those words in English which are of special difficulty. These books the author has consulted throughout and used freely.

The author's Examples of Conversational Japanese, Parts I and II may be useful to the student who has made some progress in the present book. ParII uses no word not contained in this work, Part I has a somewhat more extent sive vocabulary but an English translation is given along with the Japanese text. Part III of this work is the Japanese text of Parts I and II in Japanese characters with kana alongside.

Those who wish to obtain some knowledge of the written characters cannot do better than study Chamberlain's The Study of Japanese Writing; a cheap extract on the same subject is the author's Three Thousand Chinese-Japanese Characters.

The letter A, B, C or D found after each sentence gives an idea of the degree of politeness: 'A' sentences should be used to inferiors only; 'B' are familiar; 'C' are polite in an ordinary way; and 'D' are somewhat formally polite.

Black-face numbers refer to the paragraphs of Part II,

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Japanese nouns have no number and, as a rule, no gender.

Adjectives in Japanese, as in English, have no gender or number. Japanese verbs have no person or number.

True adjectives in Japanese end in ai, ii, oi or ui. Used attributively the adjective is placed, as in English, before the noun. When used as predicates of affirmative sentences in familiar speech there is no need of any verb in Japanese; in less familiar speech no desu or simply desŭ is added.

The negative construction of adjectives is shown in 195; nai is familiar and must be replaced by arimasen in polite speech.

Particles or postpositions are placed after the word to which they refer.

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1. Kono chiisai mise wa takai (B). 2. Ano ōkii mise wa yasui no desŭ (C). 3. Kono chiisai mise wa yasui no desŭ ka? (C). 4. Sono chiisai mise wa takai no desů (C). 5. Chiisai mise wa yasŭku arimasen (C). 6. Kono empitsŭ wa takai desŭ ka? (C). 7. Sono empitsŭ wa takaku nai (B). 8. Kono uchi wa ōkii ka? (B). 9. Kono uchi wa ōkiku nai (B). 10. Sono empitsu wa kuroi no desŭ ka? (C). 11. Kono empitsu wa kuroi (B). 12. Ano uchi wa chiisai ka? (B). 13. Ano uchi wa ōkii desŭ (C). 14. Ano uchi wa takai desu ka? (C). 15. Ano uchi wa takaku arimasen (C). 16. Sono empitsu wa yasui no desu ka? (C). 17. Kono empitsu wa yasui (B).


1. This small shop is dear. 2. That big shop is cheap. 3. Is this small shop cheap ? 4. That small shop is dear. Small shops are not cheap. 6. Is this pencil dear? 7. That pencil is not dear. 8. Is this house big? 9. This house is not big. 10. Is that pencil black? 11. This pencil is black. 12. Is that house small? 13. That house is big. 14. Is that house high? 15. That house is not high. 16. Is that pencil cheap? 17. This pencil is cheap.

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