A few questions about a dictionary of intermediate japanese

Have a textbook or grammar book that you find particularly helpful? What about a learning tip to share with others?
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RE: A few questions about a dictionary of intermediate japan

Post by jt » Sat 09.29.2007 3:22 am

On the contrary, beginning learners are often far too dismissive of the benefits of structure and pacing -- two things that a good textbook (or class) will provide.

Many people who try to teach themselves Japanese using only web pages seem to fall into the same trap of not spending nearly enough time on internalizing key concepts. They'll skim through descriptions of particles or verb forms, maybe look at a couple of example sentences, and then assume that they've "learned" all they need to know about that particular construction and are ready to move on -- when the reality is that they only have a superficial understanding of the topic and are just setting themselves up for future confusion.

A textbook or class isn't a cure-all magic solution, either, but they can at least help prevent inexperienced language learners from spinning their wheels with ineffective study methods.

(Sometimes I don't know why I bother writing stuff like this when it's probably just going to be ignored by the people who need to hear it the most.)

To the OP: the Dictionaries of Basic and Intermediate Japanese Grammar are both excellent reference books if you already have a pretty solid foundation in the basics of the language and are ready to move beyond "textbook Japanese" into reading authentic materials. If you're starting from zero (or close to it) you may be jumping into the deep end too quickly.

For whatever it's worth...

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Yudan Taiteki
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RE: A few questions about a dictionary of intermediate japan

Post by Yudan Taiteki » Sat 09.29.2007 8:57 am

Especially since there don't seem to be many that go beyond the basics...
Mastering those basics is the foundation for learning the language, and usually the people that I recommend textbooks to have not mastered the basics that are in those textbooks. Yes, it's true that there is a limit to how far you can go with textbooks, but until you reach that limit, there's no reason to worry about that.
-Chris Kern

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RE: A few questions about a dictionary of intermediate japan

Post by Igirisu_gaz » Fri 10.05.2007 10:21 pm

With regards to "A dictionary of intermediate Japanese grammar". Personally I find it indespensable as a study aid. As some have mentioned it does not function as a straight out "read from chapter 1" textbook. It is best implemented (from my experience) if you're adopting a more freestyle study approach, reading books, magazines, manga, websites whatever takes your fancy. When you approach a grammar structure you are unfamiliar with you can simply look it up in the dictionary - it gives clear and in depth guides to a lot of tricky points and nuances between similar constructions.

Couldn't tell you if it covers all the grammar up to 1-kyuu, it certainly contains at least elements of 1-kyuu such as the ーっぱなし construction. As I'm only studying for 2-kyuu myself I am not 100% certain on what the full requirements of 1-kyuu are. But it is quite comprehensive. And if you don't like it, then you lost $30 - $40 or so, you'll live to see another day.

Just my 5 yen.

EDIT: Going back to "getting the basics down". Can;t agree more, I find myself sometimes slipping up on more basic points of grammar that I had missed when working up towards more tricky constructions. For that, no matter your level I reccomend the "Dictionary of Basic Japanese grammar" - I didn;t think I'd need it but its great for a reference book and explains a few finer points of basic Japanese.
Last edited by Igirisu_gaz on Fri 10.05.2007 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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RE: A few questions about a dictionary of intermediate japan

Post by Bucko » Sun 11.04.2007 10:08 am

This thread's a little old but I thought I'd reply anyway. It's a shame that other people felt compelled to advise you rather than answer your question. It seems like you know what works best you so good on you. I actually study a similar way to you, although I do use a textbook occasionally. A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar will be your best friend if you choose this way of studying. You may also want to pick up A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar too as I still find myself referring to it occasionally. The only problem with these books is that they are extremely comprehensive and in-depth so looking things up and soaking things up takes a bit of time. But I highly recommend both of them especially if you're going to learn by the method you said.

FYI, what I do is use an SRS and input sentences from real life scenarios or real Japanese, like from news websites, books, phrases I hear from TV etc. I'll then analyse the grammar using the reference material that I have and basically repeat them over again as you would with an SRS. If I'm learning a new grammar point though, I might actually use one of the "standardised" sentences found in such reference material, but I keep in mind that it's probably quite dry Japanese so I'll always be on the lookout for phrases which use the particular grammar point in context.

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RE: A few questions about a dictionary of intermediate japan

Post by Bucko » Sun 11.04.2007 10:10 am

Oh, and by the way, these books aren't completely comprehensive as I have seen grammar points written in jgram.org which aren't in either ADFBJG/IJG. However I wrote to the authors a while back and one of them said that they were planning to release A Dictionary of Advanced Japanese Grammar this year. Haven't seen it anywhere though.

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RE: A few questions about a dictionary of intermediate japan

Post by Aritaurus » Thu 11.29.2007 12:03 am

I would say it's generally useful if you're at the upper beginner level or more. I'm currently studying off Japanese for busy people III and at times, the explanations in the textbook aren't so great so that dictionary will usually clear things up.

I had very high expectations when I got this dictionary at first but I would generally say it's ok if you need more examples aside those given to you from textbooks.

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RE: A few questions about a dictionary of intermediate japan

Post by HarakoMeshi » Thu 11.29.2007 1:34 am

IMO The Dictionary of Beginner Japanese Grammar and Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar are together quite possibly the best grammar references up to upper intermediate level.

Weaknesses are that they are not textbooks that will guide you through an adequate progression of gramatical structures, and that you need both of them. It would have been more useful as a single book. I'm not sure how exactly one is supposed to know before hand what is beginner grammar and what is intermediate. The beginner book contains a lot more points than you will learn from a beginner textbook, unless you buy and study just about every beginner book out there.

I still like them a lot because I like the clear explanations in a clear layout, and each point can have up to 10 example sentences.

If you want to use a book like this for study though, you probably need to have a Japanese friend or someone to ask and try out your newly *learned* grammar with.
Last edited by HarakoMeshi on Thu 11.29.2007 1:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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