Category: Dictionaries

Oxford Picture Dictionary English/Japanese

Score: 5 / 10 Pros: loads of Japanese language vocabulary sorted by topic; glossy, colorful pages full of pictures; each picture corresponds immediately to vocab words on the page; thematic arrangement into categories and subcategories works wonderfully; solid, well thought out choice of vocab words; questions & even activities on many pages; index reference page […]

Wednesday June 9th, 2010 in Dictionaries | Comments Off on Oxford Picture Dictionary English/Japanese

Beyond Polite Japanese by Akihiko Yonekawa

Score: 7 / 10 Pros: lots of real, spoken Japanese words & phrases; kana, kanji & romaji examples of each phrase; good index lists all slang & colloquial terms covered in the book; terms chosen are great for anyone looking to expand understanding of informal, slang or even naughty Japanese; further explanations of why expressions […]

Thursday January 28th, 2010 in Dictionaries, Phrase books | Comments Off on Beyond Polite Japanese by Akihiko Yonekawa

Love, Hate and Everything in Between: Expressing Emotions in Japanese

Score: 7 / 10 Pros: truly covers the range from love to hate; includes both upstanding and gritty expressions; good index and table of contents help you find the emotion you want to express; examples present every expression in context; explanations kept short but focused; romaji alongside traditional kanji and kana script for every phrase […]

Tuesday January 26th, 2010 in Dictionaries, Phrase books | Comments Off on Love, Hate and Everything in Between: Expressing Emotions in Japanese

Essential Kanji by P.G. O’Neill

Score: 7 / 10 Pros: covers all the common use kanji and some proper name characters; includes reference numbers, on/kun, stroke count for each character; lists 2 sample compounds using each character; shows calligraphy, handwritten and variant versions of each kanji; author offers helpful tips in the introduction; three look-up indices; Chinese readings are great […]

Monday January 11th, 2010 in Dictionaries, Script and Writing | 2 Comments »

Compact Nelson and New Nelson Japanese-English Character Dictionary

Score: 7 / 10 Pros: great coverage with over 3,000 characters (compact) or 5,000 characters (unabridged); detailed radical lookup index; multiple character and radical charts from different angles; extremely thorough; good introduction and explanation of how to find characters Cons: you must find characters by identifying radicals (if you like doing that, this dictionary deserves […]

Friday September 25th, 2009 in Dictionaries, Script and Writing | Comments Off on Compact Nelson and New Nelson Japanese-English Character Dictionary

Kodansha’s Furigana Japanese Dictionary: Japanese-English English-Japanese by Kodansha International

Score: 6 / 10 Pros: pushes intermediate learners to read and use kana and kanji in reference; good coverage of useful Japanese; furigana for all kanji readings; solid overview of grammar & other extras in appendix Cons: price; less entries than expected for its size; two main goals (language usage and understanding kanji characters) are […]

Tuesday September 1st, 2009 in Dictionaries | Comments Off on Kodansha’s Furigana Japanese Dictionary: Japanese-English English-Japanese by Kodansha International

Random House Japanese-English English-Japanese Dictionary by Seigo Nakao

Score: 7 / 10 Pros: cheap; allows you to look up Japanese in English-friendly Romanized characters but still gives script; meaning guides to choose correct word; lots of entries; good intro about Japanese language, grammar and writing Cons: no indication of intonation; little help to point those who don’t know grammar or writing in the […]

Thursday August 13th, 2009 in Dictionaries | Comments Off on Random House Japanese-English English-Japanese Dictionary by Seigo Nakao

Kodansha’s Essential Kanji Dictionary by Kodansha International

Score: 9 / 10 Pros: covers all 1,945 basic kanji thoroughly; full of usage examples and clarifications; kanji index numbers, radicals, readings, stroke count, and character composition for each character; great indexes and multiple lookup systems; coverage and quality for the price Cons: expects you to know Japanese syllabaries (hiragana and katakana), which may be […]

Thursday August 13th, 2009 in Dictionaries, Script and Writing | Comments Off on Kodansha’s Essential Kanji Dictionary by Kodansha International