- 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 (43 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,595,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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All About Particles: A Handbook of Japanese Function Words (Power Japanese Series)
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"... 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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Top Customer Reviews
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)The Handbook of Japanese Adjectives and Adverbs (Kodansha's Children's Classics)
The material is divided into groups of particles. The most common particles are presented first. The description for each particle is divided into sections. Each section discusses a different meaning and use of the particle. The particle "de" for example, means "a place where an action takes place", "the means by which the action is performed", as well as "the reason of the action". Each section includes a heading, which describes the particular meaning associated with the particle, and then follows with three sentences each in Japanese, Romaji, and English, where this particle is used. Where appropriate, a cross reference is given, regarding the use of different particles for the same situation. For example, "ni" indicates the location of a short term action, whereas "de" indicates the location of a long term action. The particles in each Japanese and English sentence are highlighted in bold, making it easier for the reader to pinpoint it. The index is in English. Sometimes the English translation isn't the way it is spoken in the US, but I don't see it as a major drawback.
In short, I recommend it for every English speaking Japanese student learning on his or her own, or even as supplementary material at college.
Among grammar items of Japanese, particles are the most critical in comprehension of the written text. A few are connotated highly diverse seemigly uncorrelated meanings, which a mere misunderstanding of the meaning at hand, can make the entire statement completely incomprehensible. These are a handful, the most diverse ones, 3 or at most 5. The rest are quite straight forward, and more or less, attributed one or at most four definitions. Noticing the position of the particle in the sentence, is of no less importance. It can make the difference between a notificatory statement and an interrogative one. The only way to get over, as a novice, who is not born as a native, is to try all possible cases for a particle at hand, until the sentence makes sense. This is requires quite hardship, but gradually one can crack down a new sentence more or less without resort to the particle list. The textbook provides the best possible support, to make the task easy to handle. The index for example, though short, is very correct and right to the point. Cross references, furthermore, provided at almost all particles, are an added benefit, a very indispensible one. Most notably, are ample statements to demonstrate the use of the particle in different instances. A Kana statement-Japanese version, is followed by a Ramaji-Transliteration in English, and an English translation of the sentence itself. At the heading of the case, the particle is consicely, accurately described, including general usages, and similar paticles which are used interchangeably. Many are seldom encountered in general daily read, but confronting particles in specialty fields, almost highly remote fields, are ready at hand.
before i purchased this book, i read some of the reviews about it, and i have a comment on one of them. this comment complained that this book doesn't seem to have any order to the particles. had that reviewer read the preface, they would have learned that the particles are put in order of frequency. that reader should also have explored the entirety of this book, including the alphabetical index at the back.
inside this great reference book, you'll find 69 particles defined. many particles have multiple uses, which are explained. each explanation i've looked at includes at least two examples. you'll find no exercises, though. if you want exercises for particles, you'll just have to come up with your own sentences, which is what you do when you speak a language anyway.
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.
Naoko Chino's pocket text is one of the most important Japanese instructional texts in print today.