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A few questions about a dictionary of intermediate japanese

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A few questions about a dictionary of intermediate japanese

Postby LordOfTheFlies » Fri 09.21.2007 1:31 pm

I was wondering if anyone here has used this book and if you think it's good. I've seen a lot of reviews with 5 stars but I'd like to hear it from someone here who has personally used it.

It has almost 800 pages which sounds good to me since I'm looking for a comprehensive grammar book. But I was wondering, how comprehensive is it really? Does it cover most JLPT 3-1 grammar? And can I find a list somewhere of which grammar it covers?

Thanks in advance!
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RE: A few questions about a dictionary of intermediate japan

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Fri 09.21.2007 1:52 pm

It covers a fair amount of grammar; I think it's pretty useful as a reference. If your plan is to use it as a study guide or textbook for JLPT, I doubt that will work, but I don't have personal experience to say for sure. In general, reference books cannot be used by themselves to learn the language.
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RE: A few questions about a dictionary of intermediate japan

Postby LordOfTheFlies » Fri 09.21.2007 3:20 pm

Thanks for the answer. I'd just like to clear up a misconception. I'm not looking for a phrase book like genki and the likes of it. I'm looking for a book that can explain the grammatical concepts in depth so that I'll actually be able to speak the language and not just being able to say 「田中さん、お元気ですか?」.
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RE: A few questions about a dictionary of intermediate japan

Postby saraLynne » Fri 09.21.2007 3:33 pm

LordOfTheFlies wrote:
Thanks for the answer. I'd just like to clear up a misconception. I'm not looking for a phrase book like genki and the likes of it.


I'm confused.... Genki isn't a phrasebook, it's a textbook. So, with the comment about not looking for a phrasebook, and getting something that will actually teach you Japanese.... Genki should get you where you want to be.

If you're beyond Genki, then I can't help you. But what Yudan is saying is that the dictionary of intermediate grammar isn't a textbook, it's a reference book and probably won't do much to "teach" you.

I guess I just am not understanding what it is you need.
Last edited by saraLynne on Fri 09.21.2007 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: A few questions about a dictionary of intermediate japan

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Fri 09.21.2007 5:03 pm

Well, to answer that question, the Intermediate Guide to Japanese Grammar is not a good way to learn to speak the language. Learning to speak is done via...surprise, practice speaking. Not learning grammar rules from a dictionary.
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RE: A few questions about a dictionary of intermediate japan

Postby LordOfTheFlies » Fri 09.21.2007 5:30 pm

I've had a lot of bad experiences with textbooks, so far I've just used English and Spanish textbooks but I don't see why Japanese ones would be any different. I learned English by learning grammatical rules early and after that I went on to absorbing as much as possible of the language from exposure. I intend to do the same with Japanese.

I got the exposure part covered. Now I just need a good book that explains the grammar which I need as a foundation to learning how to utilize the language outside "textbook" situations.

And I must say that I still think textbooks are merely phrase books. They give vague explanations of the grammar and focus on teaching phrases and common vocabulary instead.
Last edited by LordOfTheFlies on Fri 09.21.2007 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: A few questions about a dictionary of intermediate japan

Postby saraLynne » Fri 09.21.2007 5:44 pm

I just want you to realize that you're the unique pea in the pod here, preferring a "technical only" approach to learning a language.

Most people are not linguistics experts, nor do you have to be one to learn a new language. If someone is better off that way, that's great! But you should not write off textbooks as "phrase books". They work for most people.

I guarantee you that when you learned your native language as a toddler, you did not learn what nouns, verbs, tenses, cases, prepositions, and conjunctives are. You just learned words, phrases, and sentences, and how to apply them to daily life. All the technical ideas come later.

It irks me when people belittle something without cause. The fact that you can't learn from the textbook isn't the textbooks fault, nor does it make textbooks inferior. Nor does it make YOU inferior -- everyone is different, after all. But making gross statements that textbooks are little more than phrase books DOES make you sound ignorant.
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RE: A few questions about a dictionary of intermediate japan

Postby LordOfTheFlies » Fri 09.21.2007 6:05 pm

Fine, everyone's entitled to their opinions.

Now, if anyone wants to get back on topic I'd appreciate it :)
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RE: A few questions about a dictionary of intermediate japan

Postby Infidel » Fri 09.21.2007 6:49 pm

It's not an opinion that making gross statements like that make you sound ignorant.

If you don't like the answer, that doesn't make it off topic.

Your experience with Spanish><English if of little import since the two languages are basically similar. So where an English speaker could learn Spanish, or vice versa, with just a dictionary and a grammar guide, with relatively little trouble, it is NOT SO with Japanese.

And Let's not confuse textbooks with phrase books. Phrase books are those little things you fit in your pocket that teach set phrases. Textbooks teach you to create unique sentences by understanding structure of the language. They also come with exercises that help you practice these new forms. They are not remotely similar and if you think they are, then you need to pay more attention.

IAnd I must say that I still think textbooks are merely phrase books. They give vague explanations of the grammar and focus on teaching phrases and common vocabulary instead.


Ok, I call BS. First, if a particular textbook gives vague explanations of the grammar point covered, that is a problem with that specific book, not textbooks in general. Second, OF COURSE textbooks teach common vocabulary, are you complaining that you aren't learning rare vocabulary that you will never use? Textbooks are designed to enable a student to use the language as soon as possible and the fact is, rare words aren't very useful to someone with poor ability with a language. It sounds like your complaining that a textbook doesn't teach words like "Septuagenarian" or "Ubiquitous." Uncommon words are what dictionaries are for. Any teacher that puts words like this in a beginner textbook should be shot.

Grammar guides are designed as a reference for people that already have a foundation in the language. Shunning textbooks for a grammar guide is putting the cart before the horse to put it mildly. Actually, it's more like putting the horse inside the cart and pulling it yourself--uphill.
Last edited by Infidel on Fri 09.21.2007 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: A few questions about a dictionary of intermediate japan

Postby LordOfTheFlies » Fri 09.21.2007 8:33 pm

Infidel wrote:
If you don't like the answer, that doesn't make it off topic.

The whole argument we had here all the time was never on topic to begin with. I just asked everyone kindly to get back on topic because I don't see any reason to continue this discussion.

I've tried to tell you that I don't need your opinions on my studying methods. The only helpful answer so far was Yudan Taiteki's first reply. But I was hoping someone else could tell me about it a little more in depth.

So, for the last time. I didn't make this thread to get your opinions on why I should get this book or not. I just want to know what the book is like and what kind of grammar it covers(a complete list would be awesome if you know where to find one).
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RE: A few questions about a dictionary of intermediate japan

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Fri 09.21.2007 9:47 pm

The only helpful answer so far was Yudan Taiteki's first reply.


Unfortunately that's not true. That you choose to ignore helpful advice does not make it any less helpful.
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RE: A few questions about a dictionary of intermediate japan

Postby LordOfTheFlies » Sat 09.22.2007 6:26 am

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
The only helpful answer so far was Yudan Taiteki's first reply.


Unfortunately that's not true. That you choose to ignore helpful advice does not make it any less helpful.

Ok. Since you're all so picky I'll change it again.

The only answer I've got so far that I was looking for was Yudan Taiteki's first reply.
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RE: A few questions about a dictionary of intermediate japan

Postby hyperconjugated » Sat 09.22.2007 7:12 am

LordOfTheFlies wrote:
Ok. Since you're all so picky I'll change it again.

The only answer I've got so far that I was looking for was Yudan Taiteki's first reply.

Don't be so picky, you might
learn something on the side ;)
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RE: A few questions about a dictionary of intermediate japan

Postby richvh » Sat 09.22.2007 7:50 am

Sometimes the answer you need isn't the answer you want.
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RE: A few questions about a dictionary of intermediate japan

Postby yukamina » Sat 09.29.2007 1:15 am

People here are too obsessed with textbooks :/ Especially since there don't seem to be many that go beyond the basics...

Anyway, I don't have that book, but I know you can find JLPT grammar online. I think the average grammar book covers up to JLPT3 grammar, I wonder how much that book teaches...
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