Customer Review

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Japanese Bookshelf Must-Have, 7 Jan 2012
This review is from: Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar (Paperback)
I purchased this grammar dictionary whilst taking an Advanced Japanese Translation class at university last year. It is the second book in a series of Basic, Intermediate and Advanced dictionaries. The translation class required a variety of dictionaries to be to hand at all times, and I found that this particular one saved me from purchasing several to fulfil my grammar look-up requirements (a blessing if you're as student - these books usually do not come cheap!). As to my background, I studied Japanese at an undergraduate level for four years, including a year abroad in Japan.

I would recommend the whole set of books in this series if you can afford them, but if you are just looking for one text to check on those tricky grammar points, this one should fulfil most of your needs. It is not for a a student just starting out with the basics of grammar, and I wouldn't even recommend a grammar dictionary at all until you have a good working knowledge of Japanese vocabulary and can converse at a basic level. However, once you begin to tackle translation, you'll need a decent grammar dictionary to hand.

The dictionary is very easy to use, and after a few look-ups, you should find it easy to locate the grammar points you are looking for. This series is particularly useful in that it goes above and beyond basic interpretation. Certain elements of grammar can be used in multiple ways, and it explores this fully. It is not too complex, but offers you several explanations of how certain parts of grammar are used in an easy to understand format. Kanji, kana, romaji and English translations are available here, which makes it extremely user-friendly.

If you are trying to decide which of this set to purchase, I would recommend the Intermediate. It is useful to both intermediate and advanced learners. There are many slimmer dictionaries available, but they are quite limited in the information they provide. Go with this dictionary, and you'll have a wealth of information available to you. It also isn't likely to become less useful over time - the teacher of the aforementioned class has taught at Kyoto University for many year and a fluent Japanese speaker and writer. He still uses his copy for frequent reference in his teaching, and recommends it to his students.
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