Read Real Japanese Essays and Fiction Readers with CD

Today is Wednesday. In TheJapanShop.com land this means it is Super Suiyoubi! Today we are spotlighting two new readers: Read Real Japanese Essays and Read Real Japanese Fiction.

Read Real Japanese BooksRead Real Japanese Books

The cover price is $24. Today’s super price is $14—$10 off!

I’ve only read through about a quarter of the Essays book, but I’m impressed. Both books come with a CD and every word or phrase is explained in detail.

Here is what I wrote for our Super Suiyoubi Newsletter folks:

From Clay:
About a year ago I was complaining how few good readers exist for beginning and intermediate students of Japanese.

Well, The awesome Graded Readers series with CDs came on the scene, Giles Murray published his new Exploring Japanese Literature, and more recently we’ve released our own $5 downloadable readers with MP3 files.

These two new books (Essays and Fiction) add to this explosion of good readers for Japanese students.

The stories are short (very good for when you don’t have a lot of time)
and thoroughly commented.  Unlike Murray’s Breaking and Exploring
books, there is no English translation, but nearly every word or phrase
is given in the gloss and explanation.  I think this is a good way to
force the student to parse each phrase independently.

The Japanese is written vertically like a Japanese newspaper or novel
giving it an ‘authentic’ feel.   All in all, these two books (the
Essays and the Fiction) are excellent.

However, I wouldn’t recommend this for the beginner.  Although every
word and phrase is explained, it is still pretty high level Japanese;
the stories are written for native Japanese readers.    The ambitious
upper beginner may learn a lot, but only with much effort.  This is
really for intermediate students and up.

To see if this book is right for you, please click on the image (on the product page) for a few scanned images.

These books are selling fast. We sold four of each since I started typing this!  These are really nice readers, though;  I’m glad they are going to good homes.

The Mouse Bride Reader Download

Our latest $5 download reader is the Mouse Bride story.  It is a charming Japanese folk tale about a father-mouse and mother-mouse trying to find the ‘greatest man on earth’ for their one and only daughter to marry. One nice aspect of this story from a language learner’s point of view is similar sentence forms are repeated with the different characters. Beginners can get a lot out of this product, but hiragana and a very basic Japanese vocabulary is required.

Mouse StoryThis pack includes 23 Megs of:

* An E-Book in Flash for interactive reading and listening
* A 11 Page PDF (for printing)
* A slow MP3 recording of the story
* A normal speed MP3 recording
* And as a special Flash bonus, “40 Common Japanese Family Names”–click on any name to hear it read
* Works with PCs or Macs (the only difference is PC users use the .exe file for the Flash E-Book and Mac users use the flash embedded HTML file

In the flash file, click on any sentence in the story to hear it instantly read by a native speaker. Print the PDF for offline review. The PDF and Flash program contain the story, a running glossary, and extensive grammar and vocabulary notes. The Flash program also has a button to display a loose English translation if needed.

Drop the MP3 files into your MP3 player to listen when away from the computer. Or burn the MP3s to a CD to listen in your car.

As an extra bonus, we are including the “40 Common Japanese Family Names” Flash file which helps beginners learn super common names.

For more information, please see the bottom of our $5 Instant Gratification Download page.

Gary's Suggestion to Mr. Gates

This morning, my friend Gary and I were talking about the competition Apple’s iPhone faces with the new Google phone and others. He asked if I had heard about Microsoft’s myPhone—or perhaps spelled, miPhone.

I hadn’t heard of the miPhone, but with a little imagination here is an early concept photo:

Now if they could only get Skype to work with the miPhone…

Issunboushi $5 Reader Download

We just completed our fifth downloadable product. Like the Shitakiri Suzume e-book, this one is a reader. It is the story of 一寸法師 Issunboushi, a pinky-sized man full of courage. Click on any sentence in the Flash e-book to hear it read, print out the story with a running glossary, and listen to the story read at normal speed or at slow speed. All for only $5!

Drop the MP3 files into your MP3 player to listen when away from the computer. Or burn the MP3s to a CD to listen in your car.

As an extra bonus, we are including the “6 Common Counters” Flash file which helps beginners learn how to count objects.

Beginners can get a lot out of it, but you definitely need to know hiragana well and a very basic vocabulary too.

This pack includes 25 Megs of:

  • An E-Book in Flash for interactive reading and listening
  • A 13 Page PDF (for printing)
  • A slow MP3 recording of the story
  • A normal speed MP3 recording
  • And as a special Flash bonus, “6 Common Counters”–click on any number to hear it read
  • Works with PCs or Macs (the only difference is PC users use the .exe file for the Flash E-Book and Mac users use the flash embedded HTML file

A Squirrel Getting Fatter

Yesterday Makoto, Tevye, and Hana were all fixated on a single tree in our neighbor’s yard. Curious, Yumi and I looked a little closer:

A squirrel eating

It was a fat little squirrel munching on an acorn while sitting on a branch. I snapped a photo with my phone. Trying to get a little closer to get a better picture, the little fella left the lunch room.

Recently if we want to get the dogs (and Makoto) outside quickly, we simply yell, 「リス!」 リス risu is squirrel in Japanese.

The kanji (hardly ever used) is fun:

栗鼠 【りす】 Chestnut (栗) and Mouse (鼠)

It was a silly thing to do, but 栗鼠 was actually one of the first kanji I learned. I don’t think I could write it now, but I remember using it to show off my amazing kanji skills in front of a Junior High class in Japan. I’m sure it looked horrible and I really messed up the stroke order, but they got a kick out of that.

Who knows, maybe the squirrel above was really munching on a chestnut?

RSS Feed for TJP Forums

The one and only Prof. Breen chimed in yesterday (thank you!) about the strange RSS feed at TJP.  Right now the front RSS button only feeds blogs and group posts.  This isn’t very useful and Phreadom (our super admin) quickly installed a RSS feed for the forums.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to work with many feed readers.  Phreadom is working on that.  It does, however, work very well with Firefox’s Live Bookmarks.  If you use Firefox, please give it a shot!

1) Log into TJP.
2) Go here (or go to the forums and click on the RSS button at the top right)
3) Choose which forums you would like to subscribe to (or choose all) and press ‘Submit’