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Kodansha's Furigana Japanese-English Dictionary [Paperback]

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Item description for Kodansha's Furigana Japanese-English Dictionary by Masatoshi Yoshida & Yoshikatsu Nakamura...

Browsing through the pages of Kodansha's Furigana Japanese-English Dictionary, you will notice something different: none of the Japanese entry words appearing in this book have been romanized. Some people may be surprised by this feature, especially in that the book is seen as suitable for even absolute beginners. Others (particularly the Japanese-language instructors who pointed out the need for such a publication) will be delighted to find that a full-fledged furigana Japanese-English dictionary is finally available.
What is furigana and why is it so important?
Furigana refers to the small kana that are printed above or alongside kanji to show the pronunciation of the Chinese character. 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 publications either provide little or no guide to kanji readings or romanize some or all the Japanese words and sentences. Previously, romanized Japanese dictionaries were of some value to students using textbooks that contained no Japanese script. Recently, however, an increasing number of influential curriculums 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 studying under such curriculums will inevitably feel more comfortable with a dictionary like Kodansha's Furigana Japanese-English Dictionary, one that shows the pronunciation of kanji with familiar and authentic kana script.
But it does not end there. The comprehensive 16,000-word basic vocabulary comprises a generous and balanced selection of native Japanese words, kanji compounds, and foreign loanwords. Precise and informative definitions, written specifically for English speakers, offer expert guidance on points of grammar, meaning, style, orthography, pronunciation, and punctuation. Concise and insightful explanations clarify even the most troublesome cultural terms. In addition there are 50,000 sample sentences that provide a context-based understanding of how words are linked together to form authentic and natural Japanese sentences.
Features that help expand word power and increase vocabulary skills have also been included in Kodansha's Furigana Japanese-English Dictionary. Common collocations, derivatives, and compounds show how word parts fit and work together. Comprehensive cross-referencing makes the learner aware of common synonyms and antonyms, clarifying both meaning and usage. Finally, three appendices explain in detail such complicated areas as conjugating verbs and adjectives, counting, and articulating foreign place names in Japanese.
All of this and more in a portable format and at affordable price. Kodansha's furigana Japanese-English Dictionary is the essential dictionary for all students of Japanese.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   592
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.25" Height: 7.5"
Weight:   1.05 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 2002
Publisher   Kodansha International
ISBN  4770027508  
ISBN13  9784770027504  

Availability  0 units.

More About Masatoshi Yoshida & Yoshikatsu Nakamura

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Reference > Dictionaries & Thesauruses > Foreign Language > Dictionaries & Thesauruses
2Books > Subjects > Reference > Foreign Languages > General
3Books > Subjects > Reference > Foreign Languages > Instruction > Instruction
4Books > Subjects > Reference > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Kodansha's Furigana Japanese-English Dictionary?

Useful for Non-Natives who don't yet read Kanji  Jul 26, 2008
This is a decent dictionary. I use it in the high school Japanese class that I teach, though the actual version is the hardcover Japanese-English, English-Japanese version. (Which is bigger and more expensive)

Furigana is only used when going from English to Japanese. Furigana is the placement of the hiragana reading for above a Kanji. In other words, if you can read hiragana, then you will be able to read the kanji that it denotes.

The problem with this dictionary is that it does not have exhaustive vocabulary and occasionally we are unable to find the words we are looking for.

The best furigana dictionary that I have seen is Kenkyusha's Furigana Dictionary. I think that it is out of print, but if you can afford it, that is the one to get for personal use. For the classroom, I am satisfied with Kodansha's dictionary.
A large disappointment. Doesn't live up.  Jun 17, 2008
If you managed to scroll down to this review, consider yourself lucky because I will give you an honest report of this dictionary and why you should spend your money elsewhere.

First of all, this dictionary is nowhere near what it is claimed to be. "The essential dictionary for all students of Japanese" is written on the cover. This couldn't be further from the truth. I thought this dictionary would be very large because of its large page size and useful due to its "furigana" approach. I figured it'd be the "end all" of dictionaries for me as far as "medium-to-large" sized dictionaries go. Boy, was I wrong.

This dictionary is less than an inch thick, and the writing size on the dictionary is normal-sized... meaning it isn't condensed. When flipping through it, right away you notice that it doesn't have that many works in it. The worst part was I looked up a simple word "spider" which is kumo in Japanese with a bit of excitment, and was shocked that it is not even in this dictionary. The feeling of my heart sinking after I waited 2 weeks for this to come in the mail was very unpleasant. This book is absolutely useless. I looked up many other common simple words only to find them not included either. If you look at the 3-star review, you will see someone else agrees with me on this exact point. If you were to translate a book with this dictionary, the reading level of that book if all the words were to be in this dictionary would be that of an elementary school child... or less. Something along the "Berenstain Bears" reading level for Japanese. I'm not joking around either.

This is a huge waste of money for me. They really f-ed the dog on this book. If there is one "silver lining" that I can learn from from this purchase, it's that never to believe everything you read on the 5-star reviews.
Use in tandem with other Nihongo references  May 7, 2007
I've had a lot of fun with this book. It's definietly less "gaijin" beginner than other dictionaries I have come across. I would've been happier with much more crammed into this, but that's what other reference books are for.
Useful for the beginner  Nov 10, 2006
In my opinion this is a great book for a beginner.
There is not a single line in romaji, so you have to know kana; I guess this excludes real beginners, say those living the first month of their Japanese learning experience. After that you will find this book an amazing source of information. Each entry carries furigana both in the search key and in the following examples. Said examples are by far the most precious part of this dictionary, as for most words there are at least a couple of useful expressions given as an usage example, while more complex or fundamental words have plenty of additional examples.
Very sporadically I found that some word I have in my electronic dictionary is missing, so I think that perhaps more advanced learners will find the vocabulary a bit limited, and this is the reason I think this is a perfect dictionary to start with. Again, there is only the Japanese-to-English part, so this is not the dictionary you need if you want to write something on you own.
midway  Apr 19, 2006
past beginner stage quite intermediate level.Maybe a little bit downside from the knowledge and information offered by Kenkyusha which is hard to find. I look forward to the day on which Kodansha Communicative Dictionary will be published.

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