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 Post subject: New book: The Road to Understanding Japanese Volume 1
Post #1 Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 10:22 am 
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Volume 1 of The Road to Understanding Japanese (RUJ1) has just been released. It is aimed at readers who have worked through Just Enough Japanese volume 3 (JEJ3) or have otherwise achieved a good grasp of basic Japanese grammar. If you bought RUJ2 (published in 2021), then I recommend that you get RUJ1.

For more details, see SmartGo Books (https://gobooks.com/books-by-series.html#road-to-understanding-japanese).

This ebook is available not only for Apple iOS and macOS devices, but also as an ePub (see https://gobooks.com/epub.html) for reader apps on other platforms such as Android and Windows. I have no plans to offer a paper version.


This post by Richard Hunter was liked by 3 people: CDavis7M, drmwc, Ember
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 Post subject: Re: New book: The Road to Understanding Japanese Volume 1
Post #2 Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 2:26 pm 
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Richard Hunter wrote:
Volume 1 of The Road to Understanding Japanese (RUJ1) has just been released. It is aimed at readers who have worked through Just Enough Japanese volume 3 (JEJ3) or have otherwise achieved a good grasp of basic Japanese grammar. If you bought RUJ2 (published in 2021), then I recommend that you get RUJ1.

Richard, I've read JEJ 1, 2 and 3. Thank you very much for those. And I previously saw "Road to Japanese" on SmartGo but I did not get it as I thought maybe it was more advanced than I needed or I was ready for. I was also confused by Road to Japanese having the number (2). And now you have released (1).

Can you speak a little bit more about the difference between the RTJ volumes? Should (1) be read before (2) or should they be read together, or concurrently? I see that (1) includes problem text and related text -- is it more of a "workbook"?

And thanks for offering these books as ePub.

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 Post subject: Re: New book: The Road to Understanding Japanese Volume 1
Post #3 Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2022 2:54 am 
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Those are good questions, which is why I addressed them in the free sample. Perhaps you have not seen that yet or my answers were unclear or didn't answer your questions. Let me know. I quote some relevant extracts below and expand here a bit first.

Yes. Definitely read RUJ1 before RUJ2.
You sound like the target reader I had in mind when writing the JEJ series. RUJ2 was aimed primarily at me. It was about my studies at the time, but I hope it will be of value to other people with similar aims and a similar level. I think that is you in future after reading RUJ1. I knew of one person who had not bought JEJ3 as he was above that level but still studying. He did buy RUJ2. This book RUJ1 is written primarily for other people as groundwork for venturing beyond 'Just Enough' (the basics). Readers who bought RUJ2 are recommended to read RUJ1. People that didn't buy RUJ2, should consider RUJ1 as the natural start of this series.

Volume 3 will again be my ongoing studies. The theme is expanding the scope. I am thinking of covering a wider range of go books, maybe game commentaries and discussion books, ordinary Japanese on the topic of go, spoken Japanese about go, and an interesting book about go players that I am currently working my way through. I have no release date in mind. Don't expect RUJ3 next year. Maybe, probably not. I think it will take longer. However, RUJ2 (as stated in the book) is an ongoing project that I intend to add content to (and already have since the initial release).

When I broached the initial idea with Anders Kierulf, I wondered if pricing would be a problem if the book grew in size. He suggested writing a series, which was not my original intention at all. We agreed that I could start with RUJ2.

You can also thank Anders for the ePub. The only thing I did was agree to release all my books in that format. He wrote conversion software to produce ePubs from the standard gobook file that I and others submit to him. I think all of the publishers agreed with one exception, Hinoki Press, whose founder died, so the problem is probably getting permission. There is a page on Sensei's Library (see https://senseis.xmp.net/?HinokiPress).

Extract from RUJ1 sample

This book is aimed at readers who have worked through Just Enough Japanese volume 3 (JEJ3) or have otherwise achieved a good grasp of basic Japanese grammar. It bridges the gap between JEJ3 and volume 2 of this series (RUJ2), which was published in 2021.

If you bought RUJ2 without reading JEJ3, then I recommend that you get RUJ1 as the starting point of this series. I may add content to RUJ2 in the future and I will assume that readers have read RUJ1.

Why did RUJ2 come out first? At that time, I chose to write about my ongoing studies because writing the text and being able to see the diagrams helps me to learn the Japanese. It is useful to have RUJ2 on my iPad so that I can revisit it if I encounter familiar-looking words that I have not fully learned.

This book consists of three sections. Section One reviews and demystifies the basics via a highly recommended course on YouTube. Section Two discusses freely accessible go problems focusing on the text. Section Three discusses the different texts in different books presenting the same problem.

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 Post subject: Re: New book: The Road to Understanding Japanese Volume 1
Post #4 Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2022 11:06 am 
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Richard Hunter wrote:
Those are good questions, which is why I addressed them in the free sample. Perhaps you have not seen that yet or my answers were unclear or didn't answer your questions.
Oh, I missed the free sample. Thanks for the thorough response. It did answer my questions and I think this book is a good fit, so I purchased it.
Richard Hunter wrote:
Volume 3 will again be my ongoing studies. The theme is expanding the scope. I am thinking of covering a wider range of go books, maybe game commentaries and discussion books, ordinary Japanese on the topic of go...
Just my thoughts, but I've found that "ordinary Japanese" is very difficult and time consuming to read using a dictionary. Things like the introduction to a game commentary or the interviews in the photo pages of Go World. But, this ordinary Japanese actually does well enough with machine translation that I can make sense of it. So I probably would not devote much study to it specifically, because that's more like studying the Japanese language rather than studying Japanese Go.
Richard Hunter wrote:
You can also thank Anders for the ePub. The only thing I did was agree to release all my books in that format. He wrote conversion software to produce ePubs from the standard gobook file that I and others submit to him.
Thanks to Anders where ever you are!

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By the way, I had a fairly difficult time obtaining the Amazon Japan book previews. Maybe this will be helpful for anyone else that purchases the book. My issue might have been worse because I already had an Amazon Japan account with U.S. addresses saved in my profile. Amazon Japan will cannot sell Kindle books to people in the U.S. (you must use Amazon US).

When you view the Kindle book you get an error about your addresses. So I added a address (https://www.amazon.co.jp/a/addresses) to my profile (I used the Nihon Kiin) but that was NOT sufficient. This was an address for deliveries. There is actually a different address used for digital purchases. After click though pages on the actual Kindle book webpage I was able to get a popup to enter my "digital address" (Nihon Kiin again) and that worked.

Now going back to the address in my settings (https://www.amazon.co.jp/a/addresses) I see my existing address and I can click 変更 (change). Then I get a warning that this is my digital purchase address.
この住所は、デジタル購入時にお客様の居住地の住所として使用されます。この住所を削除するには、まずデジタル購入時に使用する別の居住地の住所を設定してください.

Of course, this only shows up now that I already fixed it. But I am able to get a link to directly change the digital purchase address. I think this link will work for anyone if they are signed into their own account.
https://www.amazon.co.jp/hz/mycd/myx?re ... =changeCOR

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Another issue is that I already have and use Kindle on my phone using my normal, different Amazon US account. Luckily Amazon Japan has Kindle Cloud Reader which works on Desktop and Mobile: https://read.amazon.co.jp/kindle-library

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 Post subject: Re: New book: The Road to Understanding Japanese Volume 1
Post #5 Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2022 3:54 am 
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By the way, I had a fairly difficult time obtaining the Amazon Japan book previews.


Interesting. I knew there were differences in buying books between UK and USA. I have a amazon UK account that I use a lot and I did set one up on Amazon.co.jp but have not used it to buy any books yet. It looks tricky.

You seem to know more about Amazon than me, so I have only a couple of suggestions.
To see the previews, I use a private browsing window in Apple Safari without logging in. Amazon detects my country for delivery but shows pages ok. I can change to a Japanese address but not necessary. Once on Amazon.co.jp, try copy and paste into the search box. Use either the book title or the author's name.

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 Post subject: Re: New book: The Road to Understanding Japanese Volume 1
Post #6 Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2022 8:49 pm 
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Months later and I still haven't dived into this. I have been studying Japanese slowly but I actually decided to go back to traditional (non-Go resources) and I've been hopping around to learn the same thing from different perspectives. Of course Richard Hunter is the only author giving tips particular to Go. I'm also re-reading Just Enough Japanese 3 again

Anyway, I'm here with a tip: if you are on iOS, use the SmartGo One app instead on the Go Books app. The new app let's you highlight words and then pick "translate"from the context menu. This is apple's translating app which is not great. You can also copy into Google translate which is better in that it gives you the Japanese pronunciation. The old GoBooks app does not let you highlight single words. Thanks to Anders at Smart Go for leading me to Smart Go One.

This highlight and translate feature was something I did on Android. I used the epubs and the "reasily" app.

By the way, Smart Go One doesn't seem to work with the lightbulb hints. They always show and can't be clicked. Not a big deal but these are common in this series of books.

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