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"Reading Japanese" by Jorden and Chaplin - need advice

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"Reading Japanese" by Jorden and Chaplin - need advice

Postby Miaow » Mon 08.11.2008 9:46 pm

Just curious if anyone else here is using or has used "Reading Japanese" by Eleanor Harz Jorden and Hamako Ito Chaplin.

I did a search on search terms Reading Japanese Jorden and was surprised when no results showed up.

I really like how this book has a wealth of reading material after each chapter, in both print and handwriting.

However, my concerns are the following:

1. A review of this book on Amazon states that the kanji in this book are outdated. I'm wondering if this is really a big deal or not. The book was published in 1976. Have there been drastic changes in beginner-level kanji since 1976?

2. In the intro to Chapter 9, it states that On and Kun readings are not interchangeable, then proceeds to outline how the readings of 人 are used, but the actual entries of kanji being taught do not go into detail about how to read the kanji.

I've read elsewhere that most On readings are used within kanji compounds, and most Kun readings are used when the kanji is alone, but what I find confusing is that in "Reading Japanese", under the entry for the kanji "一" ("One") an example is "一マイル", that is read "ITI (the ON reading) plus "PEEZI" (katakana) -- it's a Kanji + Katakana combo (not a kanji COMPOUND)and the On reading is used.

So this confused me -- for the 11 short examples for the simplest of the simple kanji, I am unsure what reading to use in any given phrase.

My question is: How do I determine what reading is used for any given phrase that contains a kanji?

Thanks in advance for any help! :)
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Re: "Reading Japanese" by Jorden and Chaplin - need advice

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Mon 08.11.2008 10:12 pm

Miaow wrote:1. A review of this book on Amazon states that the kanji in this book are outdated.


I've seen that review; the person has no idea what they are talking about.

2. In the intro to Chapter 9, it states that On and Kun readings are not interchangeable, then proceeds to outline how the readings of 人 are used, but the actual entries of kanji being taught do not go into detail about how to read the kanji.


Yes they do, they just don't introduce all the readings of a kanji at once.

One potential issue with Reading Japanese is that the book is written with the assumption that a person using it has some fluency in the spoken language. So there's no grammatical explanations, nor explanations of things like "ichi peeji" (which the student would already know).

My question is: How do I determine what reading is used for any given phrase that contains a kanji?


You have to learn each word and phrase.
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Re: "Reading Japanese" by Jorden and Chaplin - need advice

Postby Miaow » Tue 08.12.2008 12:13 am

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
Miaow wrote:1. A review of this book on Amazon states that the kanji in this book are outdated.


I've seen that review; the person has no idea what they are talking about.


That's very good to hear! I'm hoping to invest some time in this book, as it is the only kanji book I've come across so far that has lessons that build on the ones before, not using any kanji that hasn't been introduced yet, and then once introduced, incorporates the kanji in the following lessons so you won't forget it (too easily! :) ).

I also really like how this book presents some text in a hand-written style in addition to the regular type. (I've learned all the kana, but some stylized kana in advertisements/headings of articles are difficult to read sometimes. I'm just used to the standard type in books. I like seeing multiple styles of text in my learning materials to see the different ways a character can appear.)

2. In the intro to Chapter 9, it states that On and Kun readings are not interchangeable, then proceeds to outline how the readings of 人 are used, but the actual entries of kanji being taught do not go into detail about how to read the kanji.

Yes they do, they just don't introduce all the readings of a kanji at once.


aha! well, I'll just look everything up in my dictionary. I don't have the Nelson that "Reading Japanese" suggests, but I've got the Kodansha Learner's Dictionary which is easy enough to use! :)

One potential issue with Reading Japanese is that the book is written with the assumption that a person using it has some fluency in the spoken language. So there's no grammatical explanations, nor explanations of things like "ichi peeji" (which the student would already know).


Oh man, I am a dunce - after I posted, I went back to Japanese the Spoken Language and reviewed the numbers - sure enough, it's the Chinese numbers that are used for counting. (I'm up to Lesson 5 - I was hoping I'd learned enough grammar to begin studying some Kanji.)
[/quote]

Thanks for replying! ^_^
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Re: "Reading Japanese" by Jorden and Chaplin - need advice

Postby Miaow » Tue 08.12.2008 12:55 pm

I'm wondering the following: when I finish "Reading Japanese", would the next logical step in my kanji-learning be the "Intermediate Kanji 1 and 2" books? Or would "Kanji in Context" be a better bet?

The "Basic Kanji 1 and 2" books teach around 500 kanji, and "Reading Japanese" teaches 425, and I'm also using the "Japanese for Everyone" text and kanji book. JfE teaches around 500 kanji.

(I know I'm getting ahead of myself, I'm just curious.)

I'm also curious about what percentage of Japanese reading material can generally be read after being comfortable with 500 kanji **in addition to finishing a beginner grammar textbook!!!!!**

I'm using three textbooks: "Japanese for Everyone" as my primary text, "Japanese the Spoken Language" for its ultra-clear, thorough descriptions of grammar, and Japanese in Mangaland for more manga-focused learning.)

I'm using two kanji books: Reading Japanese", and "Japanese for Everyone Kanji Book".

My medium-term Japanese-learning goals are not especially noble, I realize: At the current time, my goal upon finishing my textbooks and kanji books is to be able to read original, untranslated manga (mostly titles written for middle-school audiences) and anime magazines.

Thanks in advance! :)

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Re: "Reading Japanese" by Jorden and Chaplin - need advice

Postby Pork Chop » Tue 08.12.2008 4:29 pm

Miaow
I had a similar question - ie, "what do I start once I've finished Basic Kanji vol 2?".
Looking through old posts I believe Yudan suggested going straight into Kanji in Context.
I pmed him privately to see if he recommends that but I never heard back.
I already own the KiC books; so I think once I finish Basic Kanji 2 (and get up to 500kanji); I'll probably go ahead and take a stab at KiC.
If it doesn't go well - then I'll likely pick up Intermediate Kanji.
Not assuming Intermediate Kanji is easy; however, as I've heard the Intermediate Kanji series is a big step up in difficulty from the Basic Kanji books.
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Re: "Reading Japanese" by Jorden and Chaplin - need advice

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Tue 08.12.2008 4:33 pm

Ah, sorry I forgot to respond to that PM.

I think Intermediate Kanji Book is a very difficult book that I would only recommend to people whose oral ability is significantly beyond their reading. It assumes a pretty high level knowledge of grammar and vocab, much more than the average self studier would have.

Personally I think RJ or BKB -> KiC is a good idea. But I personally did JWL -> BKB -> IKB -> KiC, so anything is possible.

Also, don't be afraid to review what you've already done by doing (for instance) BKB after RJ. Of course money is an issue, so don't waste your money either.
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Re: "Reading Japanese" by Jorden and Chaplin - need advice

Postby Miaow » Wed 08.13.2008 1:40 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
Personally I think RJ or BKB -> KiC is a good idea. But I personally did JWL -> BKB -> IKB -> KiC, so anything is possible.

Also, don't be afraid to review what you've already done by doing (for instance) BKB after RJ. Of course money is an issue, so don't waste your money either.


Yeah, I've actually got the "Let's Learn Kanji" and JfE Kanji books - I'm using JfE Kanji concurrently with RJ, and I'll use "Let's Learn Kanji" as a review workbook. I don't really want to spend any more money on beginning Kanji books/workbooks. :)
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Re: "Reading Japanese" by Jorden and Chaplin - need advice

Postby Pork Chop » Wed 08.13.2008 6:12 pm

Yudan -
Thanks! Appreciate the response.
Actually, I am in that situation - my spoken's a good 10+ years ahead of my written.
Still gonna try KiC.
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