Kodansha's Furigana Japanese Dictionary: Japanese-English English-Japanese
(79 customer reviews)
A comprehensive, communicative, and practical guide to using Japanese, Kodansha's Furigana Japanese Dictionary is an invaluable tool for anyone with an interest in the Japanese language. It has been edited with the needs of English-speaking users in mind, whether students, teachers, business people, or casual linguists, and special care has been taken at each stage of its compilation including the selection of entry words and their equivalents, the wording of the detailed explanations of Japanese words, the choice of example sentences, and even its functional page design to maximize its usefulness.
What is furigana and why is it so important?
Furigana refers to the small kana that are printed above or alongside kanji to show their pronunciation. With furigana superscripts, the beginner who is familiar with hiragana and katakana is able to read even the most difficult and obscure kanji at a glance. Other dictionaries either provide little or no guide to kanji readings or romanize some or all of the Japanese words and sentences. In the past, romanized dictionaries were of some value to students using textbooks that contained no Japanese script. Now, however, an increasing number of influential curricula around the world are based on a rationale and methodology that demands the introduction of hiragana and katakana from the earliest stages. Learners and their teachers using such curricula will inevitably feel more comfortable with a dictionary such as Kodansha s Furigana Japanese Dictionary, one that shows the pronunciation of kanji with a familiar and authentic kana script.
Combining Kodansha's Furigana Japanese-English Dictionary (1995) and Kodansha's Furigana English-Japanese Dictionary (1996) in one portable. affordable, and user-friendly volume, this dictionary has the following unique features:
o A basic vocabulary of 30,000 entries covers the most frequently used English and Japanese words
o Special treatment has been given to hundreds of words, names, and phrases of special relevance to English-speaking students of Japanese
o Semantic and usage differences between Japanese words and expressions are explained in clear English
o Thousands of example sentences and phrases illustrate how Japanese words are used in context
o Special information is provided on verb conjugations, formality, and other aspects of Japanese grammar and usage
- Amazon Sales Rank: #494510 in Books
- Published on:
- Original language: English
- Number of items: 1
- Dimensions: 7.99" h x 2.09" w x 5.75" l, 2.40 pounds
- Binding: Hardcover
- 1285 pages
About the Author
Kodansha International is a Kodansha International author.
Most helpful customer reviews
141 of 143 people found the following review helpful.
Excellent for Beginners
By A Customer
Kodansha's Furigana dictionary is simply one of the best Japanese<->English dictionaries I have seen on the market, especially for students of Japanese. The English-Japanese volume of this wonderful dictionary is simply indispensable to beginners of the language once they have mastered the two kana scripts, viz, hiragana and katakana, as would be expected of any serious student, since the dictionary does not contain any Romanised entries.
One great feature about this dictionary particularly valuable to beginners who may not know many kanji is that all the kanjis, be they in the entries or the examples, have small kanas printed over them indicating their pronunciation, i.e., furigana. The definitions themselves are up-to-date, clear, being written for English speakers, and most entries contain illustrative example sentences indicating of usage.
The English-Japanese section lists some 14,000 entries of commonly used English words. This section is rather limited in scope, for the native English speaker is likely to find that the word he wishes to translate into Japanese is not listed, and an alternative need be found.
In the Japanese-English section, the entries are listed in kana, in the kana order, which is much better than other Romanised dictionaries which list Japanese words in English alphabetical order. If kanji exists for that entry, then it immediately follows the headword, after which comes the definition. Synonyms are also indicated in the entries, and ample example sentences are given. Three appendices are included, listing verb conjugations, numerical counters and place names.
The book itself is physically well produced, with a hardcover. The paper is of good quality, and the print is clear although none too large. Moreover, the size of the book is neither so large nor so heavy as to become cumbersome or inconvenient to use. Many of the typographical errors in the previous separate editions have been corrected in this combined edition.
In summary, then, the Kodansha's Furigana English & Japanese dictionary is a great boon to any serious beginning or intermediate student of Japanese. For the advance learner, however, its limited scope of some sixteen thousand words makes it perhaps not quite as useful. Two of its features, i.e., doing away with romaji (Romanised script), which is very irritating to users familiar with kana, by using kana instead (as the Japanese would, in any case), and indicating the reading of all kanjis with furigana, sets this dictionary apart from others in the market, and I would not hesitate to recommend it to any serious student embarking on a study of the Japanese language.
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful.
Great Examples, Mediocre Listings
By Stephen Horowitz
This dictionary is one of the best that I've used for 3 reasons. First, it gives very useful, clear example sentences with most words that leaves no doubt as to how to use the word in a sentence. A must for any dictionary used to help with conversation. Second, it is a furigana dictionary to help us foreigners through those annoying, yet important, characters known as kanji. Third, it has a very useful appendix section which, among other things, includes a listing of most (all?) counter words (dai, to, mai, etc.) and when to use each.
The biggest shortcoming of this dictionary is its word coverage. All too often I have needed a word for a conversation only to find that it's not in the dictionary. Don't get me wrong, the coverage is decent, just not superb.
All in all, though, on its own, this is a good dictionary to use for most conversations. But for more advanced ones, using it in conjunction with another, more comprehensive dictionary may be necessary.
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful.
THE BEST ENTRY-LEVEL JAPANESE DICTIONARY OUT THERE
Paying the extra dollar for this dictionary will make all the difference in the world. Here is a summary of its good points:
1) All words come with extremely useful example sentences. This feature along is valuable beyond comparison. I can't tell you how many practical expressions I gleaned from this book.
2) All Kanji are spelled out in Furigana (Hiragana), so you will never get lost. This is such an important feature, as looking up Kanji seperately is a difficult, time-consuming task that will drive you crazy.
3) It's extremely compact and durable, so you can take with you anywhere without fear of damaging it. The lather binding makes it practically indestructable. After using mine everyday for over three years now, it is still good as new.
4) Although compact, the selection is superb, and the translations are very clear and modern (perhaps the best feature of this dictionary). Although Japanese is full of difficult idioms and metaphors, this dictionary is both clear and accessible.
For those you who are not yet compitent with Hiragana and Katagana, Kodansha also makes a "Roma-ji" version (aka, an English version) which I highly recommend. This version is also useful for those who are already compitent in the Kana, because entries are listed in alphabetically order, as opposed to Kana order (a, i, u, e, o, etc); and the example sentences are written in both Roma-ji and Japanese, with their corresponding English translations.
Whether you buy the Furigana or Romaji edition, you will not be disappointed. Kodansha is the best out there, hands down.See all 79 customer reviews...