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All About Particles: A Handbook of Japanese Function Words (Power Japanese Series)

4.4 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-4770027818
ISBN-10: 4770027818
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"... nearly 11 years old, it is just as relevant now as it was then." -- Brandon Jirou Hayashi, The Hawaii Herald

About the Author


NAOKO CHINO is a lecturer at Sophia University, Tokyo, and author of Japanese Verbs at a Glance, A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Sentence Patterns, and How to Tell the Difference Between Japanese Particles.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha USA (September 21, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4770027818
  • ISBN-13: 978-4770027818
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.6 x 4.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,269,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Every Japanese learner struggles with particles. Organizing particles is one of the most difficult part of the language, and there are few good resources to help you out. "All About Particles: A Handbook of Japanese Function Words" is the single most useful book I have found on the topic.
This is a true reference book. Although it can be read straight through (and I recommend this at least once), it is most useful for looking up difficult particles as you discover them. Placing them in context will help the learning process. Read all in one sitting it is a little overwhelming, but good for an overview of all 70 plus particles.
One of the advantages of "All About Particles" is that the examples use various forms of politeness. It also demonstrates interchangeable particles, and which expressions are more daily-use. The text itself is very compact, and travels well.
I would recommend this book to any Japanese learner looking to bridge the gap from Advanced Beginner to Intermediate.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this title because I thought it would give me in-depth information about those pesky few particles I still have questions about, but it turns out to be a simple, straightforward description of only the common particles and their common usage, with no in-depth explaination at all. I wanted to know in a very explicit manner the differences between wa/ga, -tara/-reba, dake/nomi, etc, but it only glosses over them. If you've studied Japanese for more than a couple years, don't bother at all with this book. I guess I'll give this copy to a friend just beginning Japanese or something.
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By A Customer on April 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book discusses the use of about 70 particles, listed in order from most to least common. For each particle, Chino lists the different ways you can use it, grouping similar uses together, and provides at least two example sentences for each use. The examples are shown in kanji, roomaji, and English.

I think this book covers most particles a beginning or intermediate student would need to know. Finding the particle you want is fairly easy, either by using the table of contents, checking out the index, or glancing at the page headers. Chino did not include exercises, so the book is slim and to the point. However, the use of roomaji may bother some people.
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Format: Paperback
This is a nifty little reference book.
I'm just starting the trek to fluency, however, this book is already on my shelf. I tried reading straight through this, but it was futile a cause because I had (and still have) insufficient vocabulary to make sentences that use many of these particles.
However, I still thumb through it and pick up particles here and there. For some reason, they stick better that way. Also, while reading sentences in Japanese, you'll start to recognize the particles you've seen while looking through this book. Randomly pick a page and learn the particle on that one.
The book also brings our attention to subtleties between similar particles. This helps when trying to generate a tone and attitude.
My only quibble is that it uses romaji instead of Furigana over the Kanji since i'm already familiar with the Kana. This doesn't depreciate the value of the book, though. You'll refer to it often when you're disecting or constructing sentences.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a very good reference for the Intermediate student. The example sentences and kanji are too advanced for a beginner and the romaji is an insult to advanced students.

It helps a great deal if you sit down and read the entire book once, and then put it up on your shelf and only look in it when you encounter a new particle. While it claims to be a handbook, it is more of a dictionary, but nevertheless it is good if you need a quick reminder.

I recommend buying this book along with Basic Japanese Sentence Patterns by Naoko Chino for maximum effect. The book does no attempt in teaching anything about the example sentences, only the particles.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Japanese particle was confusing before I owned this book. Other texts panned the information, or wrote particles off as 'not really meaning anything'. Don't fool youself, or let yourself be fooled- the particle determines specifics of information and direct the intent of a sentance. They quanitify many nouns into object, subject, direct object. The also describe ownership, adjective and adverb use. This book describes it all (well, I assume this is ALL) in order of most common usage. Each particle is shown in each way it might be used corresponding to English, with a sentence (or several) in English and japanese to explain usage.
Naoko Chino's pocket text is one of the most important Japanese instructional texts in print today.
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Format: Paperback
I recommend this book to anyone studying Japanese. It is a great concise little book, which can be used as a reference or just to read through and get familiar with the usage. Included are many great examples, written in both Kanji and romaji, allowing learners of any level to dig in and get a handle on the ever elusive Japanese particle.
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Before describing the book, a word or two has to be mentioned regarding the publisher, Kodansha International. I don't know if it's because of the policy within Kodansha, or the Japanese culture in general, but you can feel the tidiness, accuracy, and meticulous nature of each author, and the effort expended in order to convey information to the reader the best possible way.

When first starting to learn Japanese on my own, I had tried grammar texts and dictionaries from two other publishers. I found out after a couple of months, that they only cause the reader great confusion, lack a lot of important concepts, the print is often ineligible, and the sentences are in Romaji and not in the native alphabet (Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji), which is so necessary in order to learn the language properly. Other Kodansha publications which I found useful for learning Japanese are Kodanshas Essential Kanji Dictionary (Japanese for Busy People)The Kodansha Kanji Learners Dictionary (Japanese for Busy People)Kodansha's Furigana Japanese Dictionary: Japanese-English English-JapaneseJapanese Verbs at a Glance (Power Japanese Series) (Kodansha's Children's Classics)
...Read more ›
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