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S. Wilson "slw34229" (England)
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Cherry eVolution STREAM Corded MultiMedia Keyboard Black
Cherry eVolution STREAM Corded MultiMedia Keyboard Black
Offered by Saverstore
Price: £19.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, solid keyboard, 10 Feb 2009
I've been told that Cherry are a German-based company have been making keyboards for years, although it is a make I hadn't previously come across.

This is a really sturdy, well laid out and easy-to-use keyboard. It works just fine with both Windows and Ubuntu.

Solid construction, sensitive keys with a nice bit of "clickyness" about them. Should suit most users.


Love, Hate and Everything in Between: Expressing Emotions in Japanese
Love, Hate and Everything in Between: Expressing Emotions in Japanese
by Mamiko Murakami
Edition: Paperback

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good source for conversational Japanese, 26 Jan 2009
I'm not sure the title of this book really does it justice, and I would suggest having a look at the preview to get a feel for what the book is like.

This book is structured vaguely like a thesaurus going through shades of feeling from slightly liking through to various kinds of love, to really hating, as well as some examples of sarcasm and irony. The example phrases are not just applicable to romantic relationships, but can be used to talk about family, friends, or even just general conversation.

The example sentences range from very formal sayings such as well-known and often-used Bible quotations, through to very informal conversational Japanese that is not often found in standard text books.

Quite how you assimilate all the information in here and put it to regular use is perhaps a bit trickier, as there are no practice exercises and no real lesson format.

This is not really a text book as such, more of a useful addition to learning the language at an Intermediate level onwards. The examples are given in Japanese and then Romaji, then the English translation. Some of the more idiomatic expressions are also given a literal translation, which is quite useful for understanding them.

Although the book states that it can be used for beginners, I think it will be of limited use for anyone on a short visit to Japan, or with just a passing interest in the language.


Moon Princess (Kodansha's Children's Classics)
Moon Princess (Kodansha's Children's Classics)
by Ralph F. McCarthy
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully illustrated story book, 26 Jan 2009
I bought this mainly for the pictures - which are beautiful, Heian-style images, and the Japanese text. My daughters enjoyed this book too, and liked the English text, although I found it a bit flowery.

I should emphasise that the English text is quite different from the Japanese text - more of a retelling of the story in the form of a poem. The Japanese text is written entirely in Hiragana and is quite an easy-to-follow style for beginners or intermediate learners of Japanese.

This is a book which can be enjoyed as an English language story book on its own, or as an aid to learning Japanese, and perhaps as a bit of an introduction to Japanese culture for children.

If you are considering this book solely as a Japanese language learning tool, you may be better looking elsewhere - the Look Inside preview gives a good illustration of what you are getting.


My Japanese Coach (Nintendo DS)
My Japanese Coach (Nintendo DS)

59 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful companion to learning Japanese, 16 Dec 2008
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
I studied Japanese and lived there many years ago and have been trying to keep up with the language every since, with varying success. I've purchased some Japanese games for the DS recently, which have been useful for Kanji and Kana learning (Kanji Sonomama DS Rakubikjiten and Tadashii Kanji Kakitori kun - both available from Amazon Japan).

I think this is the first game released for the DS that takes English speakers through the basics of the Japanese language. English learning games for the DS at all levels are very common in Japan, so this is well overdue. The Japanese games for learning English often don't have enough Japanese in them of the right level to be useful to English speakers, so this is a really interesting development.

Unlike books, this is very interactive and the games are very effective for testing your memory and learning. They allow you to practice and learn very efficiently if you are short of time. I don't think you can learn to speak Japanese fluently just on the strength of this game alone, but as a companion to a good teacher or textbook such as Japanese for College Students: Basic Vol 1 (Japanese for College Students Vol. 1), it is very useful. For me, as a revision aid, I have found it very helpful.

The main gripe is, as others have noted, the errors in the stroke order for the Kanji and Kana. You can work round this, but I suggest using a textbook, or Kakitorikun if it is important to you to learn these correctly.

The grammar explanations are complicated, because Japanese grammar is actually quite complicated in places and its difficult to condense into a DS screen. Again, I'd suggest A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar or equivalent here.

I find the bridge builder game and the flash card game on Audio only (you hear the word spoken in Japanese and choose the English option) to be the most useful so far. The write card game is also useful, but spoiled a little by the dodgy stroke order on a few of the characters. The microphone play-back function where you can compare your pronunciation to the game's voice is also very useful indeed, particularly if you are new to Japanese.

I think the built-in dictionary and phrase book would be very useful too, although I use Kanji Sonomama's dictionary now.

If you already have a DS and are serious about learning Japanese, you should get this game to help along your study, particularly if you are not fortunate enough to have a Japanese speaker giving you regular lessons.

I intend to buy My Chinese Coach when it becomes available in the UK, and I'm also looking forward to the DS Mind Your Language Japanese game, to see how they compare.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 10, 2011 6:01 PM GMT


Charlie and Lola: My Haircut Sticker Book
Charlie and Lola: My Haircut Sticker Book
by Lauren Child
Edition: Paperback

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant fun for young children., 16 Dec 2008
This is actually the second copy of this book I have bought, as the extremely reusable stickers got reused to death over the past year or so. The sticker sheet contains lots of "haircuts" which you can stick over Lola (or Charlie), as well as various hair accessories. As such, this may appeal a little more to girls than boys, depending on the child. The story is quite fun too, and has provided entertainment that more than justifies the price.


That's Not My Fairy
That's Not My Fairy
by Fiona Watt
Edition: Board book
Price: £4.00

5.0 out of 5 stars So shiny and cute!, 16 Dec 2008
This review is from: That's Not My Fairy (Board book)
This is such a delightful book, full of lovely, shiny pictures of fairies. Very much a book for little girls when you want to give them something girly. Shiny and pretty enough to appeal to slightly older pre-schoolers too.


Toys/Les Jouets (Bilingual First Books)
Toys/Les Jouets (Bilingual First Books)
by Catherine Bruzzone
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.69

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cute, but basic, 5 Sep 2008
This book is only a few pages long, so isn't really much of a bilingual tool, more of a very basic point and say for very young children. A lot of the words featured are close to English, like "Le Puzzle" and "Le Tricycle", although there is a pronounciation guide. This would probably have been better as a board book, as it is more for a very young age range. Having said that, the illustrations are nice and the pronunciation guide helps.


Easy Spanish Storybook: Little Red Riding Hood (Book + Audio CD): La Caperucita
Easy Spanish Storybook: Little Red Riding Hood (Book + Audio CD): La Caperucita
by Ana Lomba
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars A helpful tool for teaching Spanish to pre-schoolers, 15 Aug 2006
I already have a copy of "Play and Learn Spanish", which as a non-speaker myself, I did find a bit daunting. This is a gentler introduction, as the story is read quite steadily, and then the lines for each character are read separately on the CD. The book is printed in both English and Spanish and is very easy to follow, even if your grasp of Spanish is very basic. A useful tool to sit alongside other Spanish-teaching mediums.


Patio De Mi Casa
Patio De Mi Casa
Offered by CD USA
Price: £12.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Spanish songs for tiny tots, 15 Aug 2006
This review is from: Patio De Mi Casa (Audio CD)
You know those CDs of nursery rhymes you can get for pre-schoolers? Well, this is the same sort of thing, but in Spanish. That happened to be exactly what I was looking for for my 3-year-old, and she loves it. The songs are all in Spanish, with Spanish lyrics printed in the CD case. The music is played on some sort of keyboard and the vocals are high-pitched female, but you can make out the lyrics and the quality of the recording is good.


El Gato Leo Comes to Play! (Dual Language Spanish/English): A First Spanish Story
El Gato Leo Comes to Play! (Dual Language Spanish/English): A First Spanish Story
by Opal Dunn
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction to Spanish for pre-schoolers, 3 May 2006
This is a really great little book for anyone looking for a bedtime story to introduce Spanish, especially if you have little or no knowledge of Spanish itself. You are introduced to a naughty little cat and have a little conversation with him. Leo speaks Spanish, and the English is shown under the flap. The English translation is also given on the page. There is a pronunciation guide and vocab in the back. I wish there were more books like this.


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