This is a textbook for the study of the Javanese language which should be of interest for anyone seriously interested in learning Javanese in its right cultural setting. This book consists of 20 chapters with (quite revealing) titles such as: "Situating People," "A Formal Visit," "Coping with the Bureacracy," "A Funeral," and "At the Market." Each chapter consists of a dialogue in two variants, ngoko and krama ("low-" and "high-javanese"). As such the student learn to shift between the two speech levels already from the beginning and this is of extreme importance. Every new word in the dialogues are discussed at some length by the author, and every dialogue is also complemented by cultural notes and a list of new words. The cultural notes in themselves should be of interest to anyone interested in Javanese cultural life, and anyone who has spent some time in Java will definitely be up for a good laugh remembering his/her own experiences. Every chapter, furthermore, comes with a couple of pattern practices and transformation drills (from one level to another), which according to me could be more substantial. All the dialogues are also translated into Indonesian which is a great help for those who already are familiar with this language.
"Javanese: A Cultural Approach" is not an easy book to get through, and the student will probably feel helpless at times, but the result will come within short, and this is the best book on the Javanese language I have seen so far.