250 Essential Kanji for Everyday Use, Volume 1 Paperback – March 15, 2004
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From the Inside Flap
About the Author
- Publisher : Tuttle Publishing; Bilingual edition (March 15, 2004)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 240 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0804835586
- ISBN-13 : 978-0804835589
- Item Weight : 1.7 pounds
- Dimensions : 8.25 x 0.75 x 10.75 inches
Best Sellers Rank:
#3,542,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #14,342 in Foreign Dictionaries & Thesauruses
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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It helps if the reader is already familiar with hiragana and some basic vocabulary all though there are katakana charts included in the Japanese Writing Systems explanation. Children in Japan learn katakana and lots of vocabulary prior to beginning their study of kanji.
I found that proceeding through the vocabulary exercises and quizzes do a very credible job of helping to remember the kanji. As another reviewer wrote, there are numerous photos and graphics that show the kanji as it is used in real life situations. The kanji selected for this book are quite practical and very applicable to everyday life in Japan. This would be excellent preparation for a trip to Japan.
There are 21 lessons with titles such as "Let's Eat," "Taking the Train" and "At the Post Office" each introducing a series of 5-15 kanji. The stroke order for each kanji is shown along with a series of compound words that use that kanji.
Bottom line is this book is more than meeting our expectations as a tool to learn kanji.
PS: 2000 some-odd Joyo Kanji = 20 Kanji a day for 100 days. Give or take of course.
Thank you for the quick service when I ordered this book. It arrived in good condition and was reasonably priced. The shipping and handling charge was reasonable, too.
Although the book gives "understanding the kanji" explanations with illustrations for every kanji, it is often easier to ignore the more abstract ones. For example, the explanation for the "day of the week" kanji is "combines sun, wings, and fat bird. The sun flying on a bird's wings suggests a day of the week." Admittedly, the explanations of the more concrete versions are better, but I didn't really find them very useful. If you like that kind of thing, supplement with Heisig's "Remembering the Kanji," which has more useful mnemonics (but doesn't have any exercises or vocabulary).
The bottom line is that this book is far more than a list of kanji and vocabulary. It is a complete and well thought-out system for learning kanji as a whole.
Considering the bulk of the book is made to teach you these Kanji, it sounds silly to say not to use it as such. However, it's that this book also teaches you pronunciation, combinations and most of all context of the Kanji presented. It's the context that wins the book over for me. Each chapter presents a number of kanji related to a facet of Japanese life you as a traveler or resident will encounter (Restaurants, Buses, Trips, Schools, Homes, etc.). It presents signs, pamphlets and examples you'll run into during these encounters. In addition, it offers different types of intro and ending tests to put your kanji knowledge to use. This will reinforce proper pronunciation which you may not have if you used Heisig's method to learn English meaning of all 2000 joyo kanji.
Bottom line, that only half the book is of true use, I recommend getting it but getting it used if you can. Don't use it to learn how to write kanji. Use it to learn common combinations and common uses in everyday Japanese life.