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Building Word Power in Japanese: Using Kanji Prefixes and Suffixes [Paperback]

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Item description for Building Word Power in Japanese: Using Kanji Prefixes and Suffixes by Timothy J. Vance...

Having grasped the rudiments of Japanese grammar, what the student needs next are more words, more phrases, more turns of phrase. In short, more ways to get across the ideas that can be expressed so easily in English but for which the student simply doesn't have the requisite Japanese vocabulary.
One answer to this problem is found in affixes - nifty little prefixes and suffixes, written with a single kanji, that can be attached to ordinary words to create new ones. They function much like Latin-derived prefixes and suffixes do in English. Just as you can attach "anti-" to almost any noun to create a new one (e.g., anti-American), you can attach its Japanese equivalent in the same way (e.g., han-amerika). Once you know this, you can "anti" and han yourself left and right and, for the most part, be understood.
Thus, without going through the laborious process of slowly acquiring these useful affixes through many hours of reading, you can quickly build a larger vocabulary and expand your range of speech and your ability to comprehend. Even for those who have good many kanji under their belt, this is a great time saver. For those whose kanji is rather minimal or nonexistent, it provides a means of picking up words that would ordinarily be far beyond their reach, for they can learn these prefixes and suffixes as sounds.
In short, it is as though you only knew the word "simple" and then one day acquired "simplify," "simplistic," and "simpleton." And, perhaps more importantly, this approach allows you not only to learn words that are in the dictionaries but to actually create new words to suit what you want to say, just as you would do in English. The Japanese themselves are constantly doing this, and you have to know what is going on in order to keep up. Whether for your active or passive vocabulary, the use of kanji prefixes and suffixes is one area that should not be ignored.
There are 13 kanji prefixes and 50 kanji suffixes in this book.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   128
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.24" Width: 5.12" Height: 0.39"
Weight:   0.39 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2002
Publisher   Kodansha International
ISBN  4770027990  
ISBN13  9784770027993  

Availability  0 units.

More About Timothy J. Vance

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Timothy J. Vance is a Professor in the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Arizona. He completed his Ph.D. in 1979 at the University of Chicago and has lived in Japan for extended periods on three occasions. He is currently co-ordinating editor of Japanese Language and Literature.

Timothy J. Vance currently resides in the state of Arizona. Timothy J. Vance has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Arizona.

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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 > General
4Books > Subjects > Reference > Foreign Languages > Instruction > Instruction
5Books > Subjects > Reference > General
6Books > Subjects > Reference > Words & Language > Vocabulary

Reviews - What do customers think about Building Word Power in Japanese: Using Kanji Prefixes and Suffixes?

Unparalleled...  May 14, 2003
I have owned this book for about five years, and just finished reading it for about the fifth time. It seems to keep jumping off that bookshelf and landing right in my lap!

Four years ago, when I was preparing for level two of the Japanese Proficiency Exam, I summoned this thin volume to assist me in building my vocabulary. It proved instrumental in helping me pass that exam.

Just 63 prefixes and suffixes in 127 pages...Doesn't sound like a lot. But in just a short amount of time with this book, a student can increase their Japanese vocabulary by a couple thousand words. The example sentences provided within are both meaningful and interesting. Perhaps the best thing about this book is that, through teaching prefixes and suffixes, it prepares students to recognize and then comprehend the meaning of new kanji compounds which they encounter in their readings.

I highly recommend this book. It definitely provides a lot of bang for the buck.

Easy way to learn new words  Jul 16, 2002
I like this book for the prefixes and suffixes it introduces. After reading the book, I can recognize them more easily when they come up in something I'm reading. But I also learned a lot from what the author calls the "bases," that is, the basic words that the prefixes and suffixes are attached to. Many of these words I didn't know. What I think is most valuable, though, is that you can now spot the prefixes and suffixes when you hear them in conversation. It's not just a matter of seeing them, but hearing them too.

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