Zakennayo!: The Real Japanese You Were Never Taught in School

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Press:Plume Plume (November 1, 1995)
Publication Date:1995-11-01
Author Name:Philip J. Cunningham


The Japanese are known for their polite discourse and deferential demeanor, but there's another side to the language of the land of the rising sun--and every one of its biting curses, scathing slanders, and frustration-venting expressions is captured here in this priceless repertoire of "colorful" Japanese expressions. 
16 line drawings.


Reference,Dictionaries & Thesauruses,Slang & Idioms,Words, Language & Grammar,Vocabulary, Slang & Word Lists,Humor & Entertainment,Humor,Love, Sex & Marriage

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Comment List (Total:14)

  •     well this one is not one I'm fond of.. i only read it for like 30 minutes.. i think that perhaps a 13 year old boy might be interested in this book but not me..
  •     It is a funny collection of stories about some foreigners in Japan, Kenny is an American English Teacher, Nigel is a British news writer, and Sharon is an Australian hostess. In Japan, they are simply gaijin. Taro is a Japanese-American who is gaijin as well, but he doesn't look like the others, so he is never called gaijin. I have lived in Japan for about 3 years, and I can say that there are many similar stories that happen in Japan every day. I have read this book twice, and these stories made me laugh too much.However, many of the terms used in this book are outdated and the dialect used is "adequate" only in Tokyo, and truly obscene.A Japanese friend who is from Hokkaido and lives in Nagoya doesn't understand some of the words used in this book.As I have said, this book actually doesn't improve your vocabulary, unless you want to be a Yakuza in Tokyo, but as other reviewer said maybe it encourage yourself to learn more Japanese because it presents many truly stories that happen even today.They are 12 stories:-Alien Invaders.-The ABC's of Japanese.-Street Jive.-Waiting at Hachiko.-Talking about people.-The gay life.-Hookers and Gangsters.-Disco City.-Foreign Drinking Holes.-After Hours.-Romance and Low life.-Talking about Sex.The dialogues are presented first in Romaji, followed by their English translations, and there is a vocabulary list at the end of each story. I gave it 4 stars because I consider it much better than "Japanese Street Slang", both are outdated, but "Zakennayo" is much more humorous and easier to read.
  •     This book is for English speakers struggling with learning Japanese and want a comic book to stimulate some interest in continued learning. The slang is out dated and mostly likely used a few decades ago. The converse would be a Japanese coming to the USA speaking like Austin Powers, "Groovy Baby!" Naturally proper etiquette requires you would not speak such words in civilized company. As in the USA using out of date slang is most likely going to result in you getting laughed at, beat up or a combination of both. I say buy the book for a few good laughs and encourage yourself to learn more Japanese. I recommend Barrons CD set although it too is a little dated and when the Japanese women narrators speak they are almost inaudible.
  •     I assumed that Zakennayo was a guide on Japanese slang, but I was wrong. If you want to learn obscure (and often outdated) Japanese slang for various lewd sex acts, read this...
  •     The book is FULL of mistakes! Mistakes both grammatical and idiomatic. And what a fitting title it has got, for it is also idiomatically incorrect Japanese.
  •     This is the kind of book that makes me cringe. It goes far beyond its slightly risque predecessor "Making out in Japanese" and instead delves right into the downright...
  •     Zakennayo is a refreshing romp through Tokyo in the disguise of a book about slang. It's delightfully politically uncorrect and pokes fun at nearly everyone, from gaijin...
  •     I found this book pretty useful- but would have liked it more if it had some way to easily find a word you're looking for, or an index in back so you can look up what page a word...
  •     The book is outdated... but it is a great book, one of the best! The characters are spot on. This was the first Japanese language slang book i bought back in 1997, when I first started studying Japanese language. The only real knock (and the reason I gave it four stars) is that the whole thing is in romaji. I really hate romaji most days, because it makes me pronounce the word wrong if I'm not careful - watch out for words with "a" in them. The book needs to be updated, as far as including kanji/furigana/hirigana -- but that's about it. The illustrations are great as well, they catch the avarice and sheisty-ness that people living in a country obsessed with the concepts of tatemae/honne/mie know so well. The ending of this book is all too true! This is exactly how it works... again, one of the best books of the genre.
  •     I don't own this book so I can't really comment on it but I'd like to comment on one of the reviews below.
  •     I read this after my first year of Japanese study. I would not recommend using any of the terms or phrases discussed in this book without first bouncing them off a few native...
  •     Every language has its own "dirty words," whether you like it or not. If you want to REALLY understand Japanese people and their culture, this book can be a help. This book is loaded with slangish terms and expressions, (by the way, the title "Zakennayo" is a "correct" phrase,) but even to me(30+ Japanese) many of them seemed either "might've been cool a decade ago," "my parents might say that," or "only for mafias." Anyways, read this book to understand Japan, but don't use the phrases unless you don't mind being labelled as a crazy, dangerous foreigner by Japanese people.
  •     I saw this book a while ago in bookstore and didn't purchase it. I finally tracked it down on amazon and the price was perfect for such an enlightening and entertaining book! Illustrations and Japanese and English translated dialogue make it fun for anybody interested in Japanese language and culture a midst the young adult lifestyle in in Japan. It has a variety of slang words and truths about foreigners in Japan. Any young person planning a trip to Japan would get a kick out of this book. This book doesn't teach the basics of Japanese but is meant to add color to your Japanese speaking. :D Any student of Japanese would most likely find this book ridiculous, yet infectiously entertaining. I definitely recommend it to young adult audience rather than teen because of sexual themes and language.
  •     Though this book might prove to be an interesting diversion on a rainy day, it fails to serve the purpose advertised on it's cover, namely helping the reader to break from the textbook-style language patterns learned in school or through self-study. Aimed at a male audience, it portrays foreign men in Japan making pathetic one-line passes at the local women, but fails to help the reader to understand the cultural context of the various examples.The language presented herein consists mostly of obscene words rather than true slang, in any case not useful to actual communication. The abundance of errors in Japanese grammar leads one to doubt the author's knowledge of the subject discussed and of the language in general. My apologies and best wishes to the author should he choose to update and improve this book in the future, but for now, I cannot in good conscience recommend this book.

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