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Beyond Polite Japanese: Dictionary of Slang & Colloquialisms

For people wanting to take a step beyond the textbooks; for anyone wishing to speak like a native without spending two or three decades in the country learning how to do it - for such people as this, Beyond Polite Japanese has collected some 500 words and phrases of prodigious interest.

Among the entries are very common, unexceptionable words that Japanese take absolutely for granted, but which you, the student of the language, must struggle mightily to make your own. Other entries cover traditional slang-slang which has been slang for ages, and will likely stay that way for ages more. Other entries take up more contemporary usage, but not so contemporary as to fall from fashion the day after tomorrow.

Slang-forming prefixes and suffixes are also given a place, as well as slurred phrases so elusive to the alien ear. Literal meanings, notes on usage, and a bit of etymology are included for greater understanding.

Going beyond polite Japanese - the Japanese we sweated blood to learn in school - is not easy. But with Beyond Polite Japanese it can be brought within the realm of possibility.

Story and art by Akihiko Yonekawa.

 

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