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New books


  05:51:45 am, Categories: Main blog, Japanese Language

Bought three new books for helping studying japanese:

1. Kodansha's Furigana Japanese-Engish/English-Japanese Dictionary
A good dictionary which has all words written in hiragana, followed by their kanji-representation with furigana added. It's quite an extensive but still basic vocabulary, so you're not gonna find every word in it.

2. The New Nelson Japanese-English Character Dictionary
This book is truly amazing and VERY easy and quick to look up kanji. You have two ways to look up a kanji: the traditional way and a new one.
The traditional way is to find the radical of a kanji character, count the strokes, find the radical and then find the kanji from that point. But the New Nelson goes even further in the traditional approach as well, if you found the radical, count the remaining strokes, and find that number under the radical, and then all the combinations with other kanji are listed below that, also sorted on stroke count. So it's very easy and quick to find.
But there is one problem, it is not always easy to find a correct radical in a difficult kanji, so here comes the new method in handy. Since a kanji can be made up of several different radicals, the New Nelson now contains a lookup table called the Universal Radical Index, that you can lookup any kanji using any radical that it has, so not just the main radical. Based on the position of the radical in the original kanji, you look it up in the URI, and it will have a reference to the kanji in the book. I find it quicker (and more fun) to look up a word in this book than in Kodansha's Furigana dictionary.

3. A Guide To Remembering Japanese Characters by K.G. Henshall
Since it is a hell to learn kanji, even for Japanese, the traditional way is to just learn them by heart. But Henshall tries to explain the kanji, where it comes from, what it means, how it can be spoken, how it can be derived to other kanji and how to remember it using an easy mnemonic.

For now, the New Nelson is my favorite one (and also the biggest, it has 7700(!) kanji characters listed)

Buy them at
The New Nelson Japanese-English Character Dictionary: Based on the Classic Edition by Andrew N. Nelson (1600 pages)
Kodansha's Furigana Japanese Dictionary: Japanese-English English-Japanese (717 pages)
Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters (Tuttle Language Library) (675 pages)

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