Let's Learn Katakana: Second Book of Basic Japanese Writing Paperback – 1 Dec 1985
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Top Customer Reviews
Im still very much a beginner and would recommend this.
While the first one
Let's Learn Hiragana: First Book of Basic Japanese Writing
is perfectly suited for an absolute beginner, this second one gets rid -a little too- quickly of the basic signs and exercises to dedicate most of the pages to the several uses of Katakana.
While the transcription of loanwords is surely complex, it is also true that a beginner will not need to improvise the Katakana for some remote country or some English loanword. This kind of detail is then perfectly useless whereas it could be of interest for the advanced student willing to understand transcription rules better.
Dividing the book in two parts, the first with the fundamentals and the second with the in-depth analysis, would have suited both types of student's needs.
As in volume one, kanas are hand-written and appear different from print fonts; this could be considered a flaw.
Essential reading for those people who want to get to grips with the Japanese language as it is written, then there is the Kanji, another story!
Plenty to get your head around.
Japanese is really quite an easy language to learn in its spoken form. Pronunciation for example presents almost no difficulties for speakers of English and much of the grammar is way simpler than English or any other European language (though some isn't of course!)
But the writing system is a killer. If you're thinking of buying this book then you already know that all Japanese words CAN be written using just hiragana and katakana scripts (only two alphabets to learn, with only 50 letters in each - how kind!) BUT, BUT, BUT, any Japanse document you will come across will use these two alphabets and also the Chinese-derived ideogram characters called kanji.
So to read anything but kindergaten story books you MUST LEARN ABOUT A THOUSAND CHARACTERS.
I'm sure that would be a fascinating project in itself but since most Japanese people will be able to read 'romaji' (japanese written out in our roman script) learning the two kanas without also learning the kanji is kind of pointless.
That was the conclusion I came to anyway. Life is too short and I'm not an academic.
But don't let me put you off buying the book. It's a really good way to learn katakana, and learning a bit of Japanese script is enlightening. For example it helped me to realise that the smallest unit in a Japanese word is not a letter sound but an open syllable sound, and that this is why Japanese (and Chinese) words always end in either a vowel or a soft 'n' or 'm'.
Great book. 6 stars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book! One must have it if wanting to learn katakana well.Published 1 month ago by Szilvia Bukta
Follows the formula of the 'Let's Learn Hiragana' book. Simple, easy to use and excellent for memorizing Katakana.
My advice: Get both!
i had already bought the hiragana book and that was really helpful so i brought this one, really helps learning them. Read morePublished on 22 Aug. 2014 by Amy Roberts
Very clear layout and approach to Katakana; found the exercises really useful for practising and memorising. Read morePublished on 7 April 2014 by Yoichi
progressive method to progress in katakana for people who take a long long time to learn the Japanese characters !Published on 29 Dec. 2012 by Tahnna