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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 16 April 2008
I like the series and I'm not at all sorry that I bought the book. However ... an earlier reviewer has already referred to the poor proof reading. Now I am an almost complete beginner in Japanese, but it wasn't ten minutes before I started finding lots of mistakes. It would be silly to list them, but sometimes labels are quite wrong; in one case two pictures side-by-side have been given the same caption by mistake. You might take the view that a dozen or so mistakes in a thousand is not too bad a failure rate. You might, on the other hand, like to look at Marlene Goodman's 'Let's Learn Japanese Picture Dictionary' which has the same format. I've not yet received my copy of that (so can't vouch for its accuracy) but I understand that it also gives the kanji. You may find that useful.

If you are completely new to the series, it is perhaps also worth saying that of course simple children's-story-book pictures do not in themselves make the language any easier. There is a trade-off: some people will find that the 'everything you can see here on the farm' approach is not a good way to learn ... it's obviously not at all systematic. Against that, lots of reviews (elsewhere) suggest that it works well for young children. It's cheap, cheerful, good fun - a way of adding vocabulary - worth buying, I think ... always providing that you can get by without the Japanese for 'hedgehog'!
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 19 September 2000
Certainly not a book for advanced students of Japanese, but quite fun for beginners, even for those (much) older than the suggested age. The book is well thought out, with words taken from everyday use. The dictionary at the back of the book with all the presented words is quite helpful, especially for those (very few) pictures that can have several meanings. I especially appreciated the use of kana and romanji for each word. The art work is in the classical childrens book style: cute and practical.
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62 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2008
The proofreading of the kana is non-existent. E.g. on page 7, there's a duster labelled as a washing machine. On page 8, a snail is labelled as a kettle and a sprinkler is labelled a dustbin. I could go on....

The scenes depicted aren't well suited for teaching a non-European language. E.g. on page 5 there's a duvet ("kakebuton" = "kake" + "futon") and a bed ("beddo"), but no futon. What would you think of a book of English vocabulary that had the words "futon" and "bedspread", but not "bed"?

The artwork is pretty good, and the pictures are fun to look at.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
"First Thousand Words in Japanese" is a 64 page picture dictionary primarily designed for children.
It has a very nice introduction with hiragana and katakana alphabets and pronunciation tips in the beginning as well as Internet-linked pronunciation guide (a web address). Each topic (2 pages) has a main picture illustrating the main situation and separate item pictures at the edges with the vocaulary. Each word is written in Japanese letters as well as English letters. If it is hard to understand what's in the picture (it happened to me in the WORKSHOP picture where I don't know most of the tools' English names), there is a written vocabulary at the end of the book. I agree with the other users that there are some mistakes in some of the words (the meanings don't match or one thing is written in Japanese and the other - in English, but they were maybe 4-5 words in all the book). I don't think it could be a reason of not buying this book. I find this dictionary very useful for GCSE level vocabulary revision where words are listed according to the topic. This book has topics on home(uchi), kitchen (daidokoro), niwa (garden), workshop (sagyoba), street (toori), toy shop (omochaya), park (kouen), zoo (doubutsuen), travel (ryoko), station (eki), countryside (inaka), gas station (gasorin sutando), airport (hikojo), farm (nojo), seaside (umibe), school (gakkou), hospital (byouin), party (paatii), shop (omise), food (tabemono), me( body) (watashi), my clothes (watashino youfuku), people (hito) - professions, doing things (dousa) - verbs, opposite words (hantai no kotoba), days (iroirana hi), special days (tokubetsuna hi), weather (tenki), seasons (kisetsu), pets (petto), sports and exercizes (supootsu to undo), colours (iro), shapes (katachi), numbers (kazu), fairground (yuuenchi).
This dictionary has a lot of useful words (especially nouns)arranged according to the topic. The book itself is A4 size and is rather firm. The illustrations are clear and colorful and, although, I'm an adult I love it for this reason. However, this dictionary might be a bit hard for someone who doesn't know any Japanese. I think, however, that it is very useful as a revision tool for those who learn, and, I think, kids would like it even if they don't read yet.
I am very happy with this product as well as it's price. I am going to purchase this dictionary in other languages too.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 8 January 2000
Brilliantly illustrated and thoughtfully compiled, this book is ideal for children of any age who are learning to speak Japanese. A good list of verbs and adjectives, along with vocabulary on just about everything a child would want to say makes this book a bargain! Lets hope Usbourne follow this up and make a second book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 September 2011
I have been learning Japanese for a few years but it was only within the past few months when I have really began to learn it properly. As part of my self study programme, I bought this book to help me learn vocabulary, as I used the exact same book in English when I learnt English as child. This is the compact version to the larger edition. Although smaller it is perfectly readable for everybody.

The book introduces you to various locations, such as "at home", "the kitchen", "the countryside", "the beach", "the hospital" etc..., picks out the most common objects found at these locations and gives you the Japanese word for it in Romaji and Hiragana. It is very useful as the words are labelled with an illustrated picture. In case there are any doubts over the picture, you can find an index of the words in English at the back of the book which clarifies it.

I quite like this book, but felt it can do with some improvements. First of all, there are mistakes with things labelled wrong as quite a few other owners have said also! Secondly, I feel that the book should also show the Kanji characters alongside the Romaji and Hiragana.

Overall I do recommend this book, since it introduces you to 1000 new vocabularies and has an internet link with pronunciation by a native speaker. However please do not rely on this book alone to learn the vocabularies owing to the mistakes and lack of Kanji's; also some loanwords which should be written in Katakana is presented with Hiragana. Because of these flaws, I rate this 3 of out 5 stars but nevertheless still a good buy if you want to learn vocabularies in a picture book format.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 June 2010
This little book is easy to use for all ages. The starts of the book helps you understand the Hiragana and Katakana scripts of Japanese. Pictures have the Japanese word next to them with the Romaji (English pronunciation). The categories covered are; House, kitchen, garden, shed, street, toy shop, park, zoo, travel, countryside, farm, beach, school, hospital, doctors, party, shopping, food, body, jobs, family, verbs, adjectives, days, occasions, weather, pets, sports, colours, shapes, numbers, fairground and circus. An easy way to learn Japanese.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 December 2012
My 3 year old niece (English-Japanese) loves reading this book with her Mummy - and her English Daddy is said to be finding the book useful for learning too! Since starting at nursery, Hana had stopped speaking Japanese as much as she had done. I sent this book to Hana and her Mummy, Maho, has given the book the Japanese seal of approval. Hana loves her new book!

I also have the French and German versions of this book for myself and that is what prompted me to buy this Japanese version - they are highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 February 2013
Love these Usborne books. They are so clear for children to understand with great illustrations. My mistake I'm sure, but even though it's title clearly states 'First Thousand words in Japanese' I still thought it would have the English too! Silly mistake but as we have the English version at school too, we just partner them up.
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on 4 August 2015
I had Usborne's 'First 1000 Words in French' as a child: it worked then, so I figured the format might help me now. Anyone familiar with the series will recognise the illustrations immediately, as they are the same throughout all of the books. This was great for me, as Japanese is so wildly different from the European languages I am familiar with. Although obviously aimed at children, this is a nice resource to supplement a Japanese-learner at any age, particularly if, like me, you benefit from visual learning. The glossary at the end helps to pull everything together, whilst the themed vocabulary pages can help to add a little extra knowledge to your course or home-studying.

My only criticism? Where are the stickers??! My French edition from childhood came with several pages of illustrated vocab stickers and I was really hoping they would still be a feature. Alas no!... nonetheless, a fabulous product, and certainly not just for children!
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