Most helpful positive review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
THE most effective way to learn Kana fast
on 9 October 2006
When taking a Japanese class, you're presented with a table of Kana, and the teacher expects you to just learn it by studying the grid of basically meaningless characters, and writing them over and over to drill it into your memory. If like me you've tried this 'traditional' way and failed, then this little book is just for you.
Now, I'm from the UK, and keep in mind that the author of this book is American. Thus I can relate to what my fellow reviewer "J. Q. W. Bayes" is saying, mnemonics such as "sob" relating to the kana "sa" doesn't make sense unless you pronounce "sob" as an american would ("saab"). But I found that even seeing the author's picture of a sobbing face made me remember "sa" when I saw it printed in a book.
However, not all the author's mnemonics suited me, some were very obscure such as "cock-a-doodle do" relating to the kana "ka" (and a picture of a rooster's head). In that case, I looked at the kana for a while and made my own mnemonic "CAtapult". Personally this book encouraged me to be creative in remembering the kana - if you don't like his, make your own!
This book isn't perfect, it also doesn't include stroke orders for kana - even though its only meant to aid reading, it doesn't take much effort on the author's part to put a few numbers beside the kana tables to indicate order. That, and the americanised mnemonics forces me to give this book 4 stars.