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Kodansha's Katakana Workbook: A Step-by-Step Approach to Basic Japanese Writing Blg Wkb Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-4770030825
ISBN-10: 4770030827
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Anne Matsumoto Stewart is a professional Japanese-language instructor with more than 25 years of experience. She has taught at all levels, from kindergarten through university. After earning an M.A. in linguistics from the University of Hawaii, Honolulu, she went on to pursue graduate studies at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies and Cornell University, where she earned another M.A., in Japanese literature. She is the author of All About Katakana and Kodansha's Katakana Workbook (both from Kodansha International), and the coauthor of several volumes of the Total Japanese series (Waseda University). She is a member of the Association of Teachers of Japanese and the National Council of Japanese Language Teachers, and currently teaches and resides in Seattle.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha USA; Blg Wkb edition (February 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4770030827
  • ISBN-13: 978-4770030825
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 0.4 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,714,074 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By [KNDY] Dennis A. Amith TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
Katakana is a Japanese syllabary and a component of the kana system to read English or foreign words not native to Japan and are derived from components of complex kanji.

If you are a new to learning Japanese, you may have just finished learning how to read and write Japanese in hiragana but now you are realizing that for English words, the Japanese use a whole different syllables to read those words. So, on top of hiragana, now you will need to learn katakana.

When I first started out learning Japanese and before I went to college to minor in Japanese, it was important for me to learn katakana. If you are a foreigner from another country, you will need to write your name in katakana. Go to a restaurant or even a public restroom, you will notice signs that are in katakana. If you are an avid anime viewer or manga reader, you will notice that titles such as "Dragon Ball Z" and "Bleach" are written in katakana. And as daunting as it seems, that you have to learn another syllable system in addition hiragana, you will eventually learn to read and write katakana.

Like hiragana (which you should actually try to learn first), the first thing you will learn is that in Japanese, you will need to learn the a,i,u,e,o but then you move on to the ka, ki, ku ke, ko and then sa, shi, su, se, so and then eventually using the "t's", "n's", "h's", "m's", "y's", "r's", "w's" and others such as "n", "g's", "z's", "j's", "d's", "b's" and "p's". As difficult as it may seem, the truth is that katakana is quite easy to learn and possibly after a week of studying, you will be learning how to read and write words in no time.
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Format: Paperback
this is a great workbook. under each new katakana character you not only get writing practice but get to learn new vocab words. kodansha is an excellent company with great products for studying japanese.

if you are just starting out studying japanese you should know that first you learn hiragana then katakana then kanji.. most kanji learning books list the onyomi (chinese pronunciations) in katakana.. so having a good handle on katakana is helpful later on for kanji study.. this book will help.

in this book there are a ton of exercises to do. the flashcards come with a couple of fun game instructions to make using the flashcards fun..

the best part about the flashcards is that unlike other katakana card sets they include voiced and unvoiced ones and even contracted sounds (kya, ju, nyu....).. other sets dont include these so you end up having difficulty learning them later when you actually attempt reading katakana..

ok and also the flashcards are tinted light green.. like many people with dyslexia my poor reading skills are exacerbated by the glare of black writing on white paper. since the cards are colored i dont have that problem.

oh and the flashcards have pictures on the backs to cement the sounds in your brain (the regular katakana ones do but not the voiced/voiceless or the contracted sounds, but young usually learn those after mastering the regular katakana anyway)

i havent downloaded the audio file though.. so im not sure how good it is

if you havent learned hiragana i suggest you do that first..
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think this is a really good workbook. I purchased it after I purchased the Hiragana workbook in the same series. There is plenty of room to practice and the flash cards are great. My only complaint is that I wish it were organized like the Hiragana book with all the vowels first and then the other sections letter group by letter group. In theory I understand that they wanted to mix is up so you could start spelling some select words right away but it is really not working for me.
That said, I would still recommend this book.
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I am very fresh and new to learning Japanese, so I didn't really know what books to get on learning Japanese script. I looked on Amazon and to be honest, I was looking something that would do the job, be fun and cheap. Ha ha ha, a tall order I know. if you study languages, you know that the resources are not cheap and getting more and more expensive by the year. I was reluctant to buy these books because of the strange looking characters on the cover but I figured it couldn't be that bad. Turns out, I was right! I love these books! I bought both the Hiragana and the Katakana books and they were not that expensive. Its not perfect but it will do. The positives: you learn the Hiragana in the order they were meant, they teach you not only how to write the letter but also you learn lots of vocabulary, about 300+ words along with the Hiragana and another cool thing, is that they teach you not only to write it horizontally but *vertically* as well, which I love! I also really love the flash cards in the back. I am a little bit slower in learning and while some are learning 10 characters a day, because of being a busy mom, I am only learning to write and pronounce 5 or 6 characters at a time. Plus, I am not in any rush; I am fascinated with and love languages, so learning the characters and speaking as quickly as possible is not my goal. Acquiring language is a lifetime goal that will never be mastered; only enjoyed and spoken well.

The negatives of this book is that there is very little practice spaces for the characters, even to copy pages to write them. I wish each character was a bit larger on the page; and I wish there were some exercises to help cement the letters more in your head. Even so, the book is good, it does the job and you learn some vocabulary to boot. I am not sorry for the purchase and would buy it again.
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