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How good is p g o'neill's essential kanji book?

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How good is p g o'neill's essential kanji book?

Postby kentaku_sama » Wed 04.22.2009 11:13 pm

I never thought much about this book before but I looked at it on amazon and all the reviews were 5 star. All of them were saying how good it was. Is it really that good? Is it a text book? How fun is it?
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Re: How good is p g o'neill's essential kanji book?

Postby leonl » Wed 04.22.2009 11:29 pm

This book uses the slightly older toyo list, but that shouldn't be a problem, it also gives caligraphy examples as well as written variations. However,most kanji books, this one included are just long lists of kanji arranged by a frequency of some sort with all of their common readings given. This book will aid you in making flash cards, but will not actually teach you kanji. These books are best used as references. In the end they are little more than poor kanji dictionaries. Kanjibooks that will actually teach you kanji are

Kanji In Context
Basic Kanji Book
Intermediate kanji Book
2001-Kanji Odyssey
Japanese For Everyone Kanji Book(To be used as a supplement to the main text)
Remembering The Kanji***(The Usefulness of this book, or it's method is very intense topic of debate around these parts. I mention it because it is a legitimate kanji text, and someone would have mentioned it sooner or later)

If I have left something off of this list please feel free to add
EDIT: for some spelling errors
Last edited by leonl on Thu 04.23.2009 2:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How good is p g o'neill's essential kanji book?

Postby furrykef » Thu 04.23.2009 12:30 am

kentaku_sama wrote:I never thought much about this book before but I looked at it on amazon and all the reviews were 5 star.


My review wasn't five stars. In fact, it was one star. :P

I agree with leonl's assessment of the book. I have it, and I simply do not see any use for it at all. The book presents no mnemonic aids to remember the kanji, nor does it present them in an order that uses logical building blocks. From what I remember, there was even little to no information on radicals. When I tried studying kanji with this text, I failed quite miserably, too.

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