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on 7 March 2017
I love this series, and I'm very excited to start using this book.
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on 26 July 2017
it takes a while to look specific vocabulary - but I mainly use it for thematic learning ..... I know I'm an anorak !
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on 23 May 2017
My son loves it!!
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on 21 May 2011
After having purchased the French and Spanish visual dictionaries from DK, I knew I was in for another high-quality dictionary - and I wasn't disappointed in the slightest!

This book is a valuable tool for expanding your day-to-day Japanese vocabulary as it presents related vocabulary in an ordered fashion, often providing you with useful words you wouldn't have otherwise thought of looking up. I would also imagine this book very useful on any trip to Japan.

In terms of presentation, all the pictures are labelled with the Japanese in its most commonly written form (be it hiragana, katakana or kanji), its romanji pronunciation and the English translation. Some of the pictures are a bit dated (especially the fashion section - my goodness!) but this doesn't in any way hinder its usefulness. The kanji is also printed in a nice clear font, but there is no furigana (but that should be easy to work out from the romanji).

As for the layout, the vocabulary is neatly ordered by subject area, such as home, appearance or services. Also there are two pages of essential phrases at the back, as well as short sections on particles and antonyms, which perhaps could have been expanded upon.

The best thing about this book is how it works, as well as its convenience. By associating the picture with the word, you are more likely to remember it and its respective kanji. It is small enough (slightly larger than a CD case) to be carried around in your bag for a quick brush up on the bus or the train.

I fully recommend this book to anyone learning Japanese, or any of these DK visual dictionaries to any language learner for that matter. This book certainly helped me for my Japanese AS exam!

''''Bacchiri! (Spot on!)
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VINE VOICEon 4 February 2012
Having been very impressed with the French/English Visual dictionary, I had high hopes for the Japanese/English version. Unfortunately, and in contrast with the previous reviewers, I have been more than a little disappointed.

My main cause for complaint is the number of things the dictionary doesn't include which I would have taken as obvious inclusions for a Japanese/English visual dictionary - things unique to Japan and Japanese culture. The sections on food, drink and eating out are particularly poor is this regard: translations are offered for a wide range of western dishes but the only Japanese dish listed is Yakisoba (and that is misspelled). The vegetables are likewise those available in a western supermarket with names and pictures of typically Japanese vegetables entirely absent - and the picture used to illustrate the "Supermarket" section can be clearly seen as having been taken in Tesco!

Clothing likewise excludes traditional Japanese wear - the only item of Japanese clothing to be seen in the book is the lady wearing a kimono on the spine of the book! Hotels likewise refer only to western-style hotels - no mention on Ryokan or Onsen.

That said, the sections on illnesses, parts of the body, geographical features, names of animals etc. where the material is by nature fairly generic are well laid out and easy to use.

My overall impression is that this book could be very useful for a Japanese person living in the UK as the vocabulary that is given is much more relevant to day to day life in the UK than day to day life in Japan.
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on 28 December 2016
This is a perfectly serviceable little dictionary that is excellent value for money (<£7, when I bought mine). Unfortunately, as other reviewers have noted, it's failed to live up to its full potential.

DK produce these dictionaries in a range of languages but, it seems, use exactly the same content in every language, simply switching out the translations. For the European languages this may be excusable, but for more distant languages this leads to serious exclusions. This is, perhaps, most noticeable when it comes to food and drink: the selection of food and drink items listed in the dictionary are decidedly European and would be of limited use in Japan. Conspicuously absent are both sake (日本酒) and sushi (寿司).* Other important, country specific, words are relegated to text-only boxes (no picture). This lack of localisation also has the effect of making the dictionary feel "un-Japanese" - the photograph accompanying the entry for high-speed train (for instance) is a TGV, rather than a shinkansen.

Another disappointment is the lack of furigana; each Japanese word is given in either kana or kanji, as appropriate, and rōmaji. Furigana would be useful for those who know, or wish to learn, kana. A short pronunciation guide is given at the beginning of the book, but it is unlikely to be sufficient for anyone unfamiliar with spoken Japanese. The lack of hiragana/katakana-rōmaji tables is also disappointing - especially for katakana, which can often be romanised into something understandable to an English speaker.

My final gripe is that the choice of some translations does not represent the most useful, or common, way they could be translated. While I suspect the given translations may be linguistically precise, they occasionally sway away from what you're most likely to encounter. Two examples: "high-speed train" is translated as "kōsoku ressha", rather than "shinkansen" (bullet train) or "tokkyū" (limited express); "fried chicken" is translated as "furaido chikin", rather than "karage" (a Japanese fried chicken dish).

Let's finish on some positive notes: The dictionary is clear and well laid out. It is arranged thematically, but indexes in both languages make it easy to find specific words. The use of photographs is visually engaging and means the book is amenable to being occasionally picked up and flicked through. Some of the highly detailed sections could well find use, or interest, in the workplace or for professional travellers (for instance, the very detailed anatomical diagrams could be useful when treating foreigners in a hospital, and there's a section on laboratory equipment for travelling scientists). While the European focus of the book is a downside for western purchasers, it's probably a selling point for Japanese speakers who want to learn English. Despite its flaws, it's still a worthwhile purchase for those learning Japanese, those who intend to travel to Japan or those with an interest in the country.

*This latter one is in the index, but appears absent in the dictionary itself.
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on 2 May 2017
I was very disappointed with this dictionary as the photos are all English/American. The only Japanese thing about it are the translated words. Many of which are imported and written in katakana. But a lot of things I would need to know and recognize are not even in here. And yet there are things that are in here that would be of no use at all. For instance in the food chapter, there is a roast dinner with yorkshire puddings, burgers, hotdogs, chicken nuggets, different cheeses, cream, and croissants with butter and coffee. All things generally not eaten much in Japan. But traditional Japanese foods are not here. They mention different teas, but no green tea! In the cakes and sweets, no mention of traditional wagashi at all.

As a previous reviewer said 'chopsticks' are not even in here! Yet there's an array of silver cutlery, all of which are not generally used. I do not need to use Japanese language when I go to the local supermarket in the UK, but I would need Japanese language if I was at a market, shop or restaurant in Japan. All the traditional foods, drinks etc... are just not in here. The festivals are not Japanese festivals either. Easter, Christmas etc... all of which are not celebrated in Japan.

It's such a shame as this could have been so wonderful and helpful. The layout is really good. And seeing the words with pictures is always really helpful. It includes the kana and kanji (but not furigana) and romaji. If only it was 'Japanese'. Most people learn Japanese because they are going to Japan, therefore they want everything to be about Japan and Japanese culture.
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on 12 November 2013
In common with most DK products, this book has beautiful clear images and diagrams. However it is clearly only intended for the Japanese visitor to Europe or North America, rather than the Western visitor to Japan. Almost none of the vocabulary I would expect to need is in here. Not even "chopsticks" or "sushi"!

The proportion of words which are direct imports from English and written in Katakana betrays the extent to which this is a western-centered dictionary. E.g. The word for "moulding" ("morudingu") but not the word for the type of door you see in traditional Japanese homes and inns; the word for "ramekin" ("ramikin") but no words for the bowls and dishes and cooking tools you see in Japanese restaurants and cooking programmes.

Very disappointing.
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on 7 November 2017
Very disappointed with this book.

Too Westernised - for example, a photo of an NHS Ambulance - why not show a Japanese ambulance? I suppose DK just use standard stock photos for all their "visual dictionaries" and just change the language of translation, however this is a shame as it really loses something - would be far more useful and immersive to have photos/examples from the country of the language you are trying to learn.

Also the pictures and the writing (the translation in particular) are far to small.

Seems to be more appropriate for Japanese preparing for a trip to the USA - in fact, at first I thought I'd made a mistake with my order.

I wouldn't recommend this book & regret my purchase.
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on 24 March 2015
A lazy piece of publishing. The format was obviously developed for western languages, and no attempt has been made to adapt either the photos or the vocabulary to a Japanese context. In this respect the front and back covers are cynically misleading, since they feature the only items specific to Japan in the whole book.
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