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Kodansha's Furigana Japanese Dictionary: Japanese-English English-Japanese
Where To Buy This Item
Provides a basic vocabulary of 30,000 entries comprising the most commonly
used words in English and Japanese, semantic and usage differences between
Japanese words and expressions explained clearly in English.
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
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: A basic vocabulary of 30,000 entries covers the most
frequently used English and Japanese words Special treatment has been given
to hundreds of words, names, and phrases of special relevance to
English-speaking students of Japanese Semantic and usage differences between
Japanese words and expressions are explained in clear English Thousands of
example sentences and phrases illustrate how Japanese words are used in
context Special information is provided on verb conjugations, formality, and
other aspects of Japanese grammar and usage
- Hardcover: 1285 pages
- Publisher: Kodansha International (JPN) (October 1, 2000)
- ISBN: 4770024800
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.5 x 2.0 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds.
- Average Customer Review:
based on 24 reviews.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
even begin to learn Japanese without it, February 3, 2004
Any learner of Japanese needs a decent furigana dictionary. Kodansha
is in the business of publishing the best Japanese learning aids
available, and it only makes sense that their furigana dictionary is the
one to buy.
A student of the Japanese language is wasting time with romaji. The
sooner you learn the kana, the better. A good furigana dictionary serves
a dual purpose of familiarizing you with the kana, as you need to know
it in order to look up words, as well as being a functional dictionary.
While too basic for advanced students, the number of words should be
sufficient for beginner and intermediate students. Of course, a bound
dictionary will never be able to compete with an electronic dictionary
for number of words and convenience, but the arduous process of looking
up words the old fashioned way seems to help with retention, as well as
mastering the kana.
Even absolute beginners should walk into their first Japanese class
with this dictionary in their pocket.
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful:
for Beginners, May 14, 2000
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
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.
Avg. Customer Review:
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
dictionary is enough by itself; buy a kanji dic, too., November 1,
Unless you're reading material targeted for Japanese children, you
will always need to face kanji in printed Japanese. If you want to read
anywhere away from you computer (where you can easily use an electronic
dic), you need a printed kanji dic, either one with kana readings
(Kodansha's essential kanji dic) or one with romanji readings
(Kodansha's Kanji learner's dic)
Kanji dictionaries contain only words written in kanji, so, anyway,
you'll also need a dic that covers kana-only words and that is ordered
by kana alphabetic order, and this dictionary here is a good one. By the
way, this one is kana/kanji only. First learn the kana. If you don't
feel that you need the kana because you're only going to stay in Japan
for a short time and want to concentrate in the spoken language, look
for a romanized dic, instead.
So, you will always need at least:
-two dictionaries for reading or
-one for listening comprehension.
If you're serious about learning Japanese (not just a short time
tourist) and want to develop writing abilities, avoid romanji (Japanese
written in English letters) at all costs. Learn the kana.
This dictionary is not complete. Then, if you can't afford (or find...
in fact, I couldn't find any) a more complete dictionary, get yourself a
free electronic one to complement this one. Jim Breen's EDICT database
together with a dictionary search program like Kanjibrowze will be just
fine. This combination is a powerful one: When you're reading on the
Net, you can use the electronic dic only. However, it does not provide
any hint in word usage, so use Kodansha's furigana dic when writing in
Japanese or for further understanding.
No dictionary can substitute a language course, unless you're an
absolute genius and have the ability to decipher completely unknown
grammar patterns and verb/adjective inflections. Also take into account
that unlike european languages, Japanese usually has no space between
words, so you really need to know at least the basics of grammar in
order to be able to use any dictionary.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
useful, May 6, 2004
I bought this dictionary not knowing what to expect. However, the
very first time I used it I knew I had made an excellent buy. Because of
the example sentences that come with many of the entries, Kondasha's
Furigana Dictionary is invaluable for those who have memorized a lot of
vocabulary, but do not know how to use it in context. For those who
already have some knowledge of kanji, the dictionary helps retain their
pronunciation, since furigana are printed above each character.
I am glad I bought this dictionary. I am sure you will enjoy it too.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
for beginners, frustrating for more advanced users., January 27,
This book is no doubt an excellent dictionary for beginning or
intermediate students of Japanese; it provides good examples of usage
for most entries.
BUT BE WARNED: Don't buy it if you're looking for depth or
difficult/advanced words. This dictionary is basically a pocket
dictionary with frills; in fact, my tiny Random House pocket dictionary
has words that this book doesn't. Anyone with a few years of study
completed will be far better served by a more comprehensive dictionary
that doesn't waste space with examples of usage.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
this book and things will begin to click., November 22, 2003
I think this handsome volume is ideal for advanced
beginner/intermediate Japanese student (I myself am in this category).
Others here have complained about limited vocabulary but I've found it
to be sufficient. When I'm talking on the phone with Japanese friends, I
keep it handy and it has seldom let me down. It also comes in handy when
trying to write a letter in Japanese because most entries include
multiple example sentences. What's really meaningful about this
dictionary is that it can function as a kind of Rosetta Stone for those
struggling to connect spoken Japanese, phonetic characters (kana), and
the Chinese charaters used by Japanese readers (Kanji). The advanced
beginner will have learned the phonetic alphabet and can find Japanese
words organized by kana spellings, then be able to look at that word's
kanji. For this reason, absolute beginners should only buy this book if
they are committed to at least a year of learning (otherwise it will
probably end up on a shelf and will go picked over at yard sales). If
you are in the absolute beginner category and only need enough Japanese
to get along on a short trip to Japan or to decode japanimation films-
I'd recommend the Random House paperback dictionary. It's cheap and easy
to read. But for those who want to take their Japanese learning to the
next level: this stately and stout blue-cloth hardback will no doubt be
a good companion.
Well worth the money.
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