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Book Review

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Book Review

Postby Mr.Paper » Sat 02.06.2010 10:45 pm

Barron's Japanese Grammar
2nd Edition
Carol and Nobuo Akiyama

An In-Depth Refernce: Parts of Speech, Verb Charts, Sentence Structure, Useful Phrases, and Pronunciation.

241 pages
Price: $6.95
This book is awesome. It has so much grammar information that truely helps improve your spoken/written Japanese. It covers such things as nouns, pronouns, verbs (all the way to the honorific form), adjectives, and special topics such as, particles, clauses, giving and recieving verbs, adverbs, phrases, hiragana and katakana. I definitely recommend this to beginners and intermediates/not fluent students of the language.

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Re: Book Review

Postby furrykef » Sun 02.07.2010 2:22 am

It's definitely a nice little book. Be aware that it's all romaji, though; Japanese writing is only presented in the brief sections about it. I don't find this to be a serious obstacle, but some might.
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Re: Book Review

Postby Mr.Paper » Sun 02.07.2010 5:08 pm

I don't think people should be "aware" if it's in romaji. It is afterall a grammar book on the Japanese language not writing of the Japanese language.
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Re: Book Review

Postby phreadom » Sun 02.07.2010 8:07 pm

It's personally something I'd like to know. I don't want to read anything in romaji if I don't have to.

Any serious Japanese student who is more than a few weeks in should be able to read kana at at least a basic level.... at least in my opinion. ;) And as such once past that point I'd like to avoid at all costs what I see as a detrimental crutch to my learning.
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Re: Book Review

Postby furrykef » Mon 02.08.2010 12:12 am

Mr.Paper wrote:I don't think people should be "aware" if it's in romaji.


Considering that there are people who will avoid anything that's in romaji, yes, I think people should be aware of it.
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Re: Book Review

Postby chikara » Mon 02.08.2010 12:24 am

Mr.Paper wrote:I don't think people should be "aware" if it's in romaji. ....

I like to be aware of that fact :)

How does it represent long vowels in romaji? Does it use macrons or show it as it would appear in hiragana?

What does it mean by "Printed in two colors for fast, easy reference"?
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Re: Book Review

Postby furrykef » Mon 02.08.2010 8:45 am

chikara wrote:How does it represent long vowels in romaji? Does it use macrons or show it as it would appear in hiragana?


It uses the Hepburn system: ā, ei, ii, ō, ū.

What does it mean by "Printed in two colors for fast, easy reference"?


It means pretty much what it sounds like: they use both red and black ink. The red is used to highlight headings, the most important word of a sentence, etc. I think it does indeed make for "fast, easy reference" as it helps the important bits stand out. It also looks good. :)

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Re: Book Review

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Mon 02.08.2010 9:38 am

Avoiding good books (especially secondary resources like this) because they use romaji is not a good idea; using romaji isn't going to hurt you long term. I used romaji for the entire first year of my Japanese study and I turned out fine.
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Re: Book Review

Postby furrykef » Mon 02.08.2010 11:54 am

I agree completely. But the fact remains that there are people who don't feel that way.
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Re: Book Review

Postby Mr.Paper » Mon 02.08.2010 5:46 pm

It's still a good book for grammar. I think that people shouldn't complain if it contains the Japanese writing or not. If you want to see the notes in the Japanese writing then write them down in Japanese, thats what I do. I don't like it when some people think everything needs to be in Kanji/kana. I think they're kanji/kana nazis :lol:
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Re: Book Review

Postby furrykef » Mon 02.08.2010 7:41 pm

Again, I agree. But when you review something, you are helping people come to a purchasing decision. Therefore, you should use criteria that will be helpful to them; whether you think it should be a purchasing criterion or not is irrelevant.
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Re: Book Review

Postby Miaow » Tue 02.09.2010 6:08 pm

I agree with those who have said it's nice to know if romaji is used or kana/kanji is used. I try to avoid romaji if I can but I'm strangely attached to "Japanese: the Spoken Language" which I find myself going back to often for its great linguistic focus. I'm using "Elementary Japanese" as my main text. That book is awesome too. They use kana and kanji wherever and whenever possible, and it's awesome. Perhaps I'll review it in another post sometime. I don't see it mentioned too often.
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Re: Book Review

Postby yukamina » Sat 02.13.2010 1:13 am

I used this book all the time when I started learning Japanese. It gives me fond memories...
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Re: Book Review

Postby p-chan » Thu 02.18.2010 5:28 am

any other books to be reviewed here?
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Re: Book Review

Postby leelee. » Sat 03.20.2010 1:45 pm

I know this topic is over a month old but I was wondering how this grammar book might compare to A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar. I've heard good reviews on both books, but I can't decide which one to buy (since the latter is much more expensive and I'm a poor high school student).

Which one do you guys think will help me more in the long run?

Miaow wrote:I agree with those who have said it's nice to know if romaji is used or kana/kanji is used. I try to avoid romaji if I can but I'm strangely attached to "Japanese: the Spoken Language" which I find myself going back to often for its great linguistic focus. I'm using "Elementary Japanese" as my main text. That book is awesome too. They use kana and kanji wherever and whenever possible, and it's awesome. Perhaps I'll review it in another post sometime. I don't see it mentioned too often.

Oh, please do a review on Elementary Japanese! I've been eyeing that book for a while, searching for reviews and stuff on it but sadly, there's not much information about the book online.
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