Japanese English Dictionary and
Learn Japanese Book Reviews

This section recommends some books on Japanese English dictionary and those related to learning Japanese which I have personally used or found useful. These dictionaries and books were chosen based on my personal preferences. The reviews are just my own opinions.

There may be other better dictionaries and books which I am not aware of. If you know some of them, please let me know so that I can review them.

Japanese Dictionaries

Kodansha's Furigana Japanese Dictionary: Japanese-English English-Japanese by Masatoshi Yoshida

This is the very first paperback dictionary that I have bought. It's actually two dictionaries combined into one, one for Japanese to English and one for English to Japanese.

It gives very good explanation on each word and includes example sentences to further explain some of the words. Furigana (which is the small hiragana above or alongside kanji) were attached to all kanji in the dictionary to help in proper pronunciations.

It also provides a section on the conjugation of Japanese verbs and another section on numerals, counters and numbers.

All in all, I think this is one of the best paperback Japanese English dictionary for most people studying basic and intermediate Japanese.




Kodansha's Basic English-Japanese Dictionary (Japanese for Busy People) by Seiichi Makino

This English to Japanese dictionary gives a definition of the basic meaning of each English entry and of each of its Japanese translation. There are useful example sentences illustrating each entry.

Although it's written as a "basic" dictionary, I think it can still be used for people studying intermediate and above.


Japanese Grammar Dictionary

A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar by Seiichi Makino and Michio Tsutsui

This is a very comprehensive basic Japanese grammar dictionary. It gives very detailed explanations on the key sentences, formation, examples, additional notes and related expressions for every grammar.

I find the explanations very thorough and concise. You are given more than enough examples to learn each grammar. Besides, romaji translations are also included for all the example sentences.

If you are having problem with Japanese grammar, I highly recommend this book. In my opinion, it's the best Japanese English dictionary for basic grammar.




Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar by Seiichi Makino and Michio Tsutsui

If you have read the Japanese English dictionary for basic grammar which I introduce above, you may also like this second book for intermediate grammar.

The structure is almost the same as the first book and is equally well written. If you are studying intermediate lessons, this is the book you don't want to miss.




The Handbook of Japanese Verbs by Taeko Kamiya

Most people find Japanese verbs very complicated as compared to English verbs. This is the reference book you will need if you want a thorough understanding of Japanese verbs.

It shows the tables and detailed explanation on how verbs are categorized and conjugated. It also gives the politeness levels, different forms such as transitive and intransitive forms.

If you have started on learning Japanese verbs, this is the most appropriate reference book.




The Handbook of Japanese Adjectives and Adverbs (A Kodansha Dictionary) by Taeko Kamiya

Adjectives in Japanese can conjugate just like verbs, i.e. there are also various forms for adjectives. You may find them difficult comparing to English adjectives. This book will help you understand all the different forms.

The adverbs section is arranged in categories according to time, quantity, degree, circumstances, onomatopoeic words.


Japanese Particles

Japanese Particle Workbook by Taeko Kamiya

I know many people find Japanese particles one of the most difficult aspects in their lessons. They are not sure of which particle to use in different situations and do not understand why sometimes one particle can be used to replace another particle.

Sometimes the meaning of the whole sentence changes when you use the wrong particle. However particles play a very important role in Japanese language and their usage is essential to master both spoken and written forms of the language.

This is the "Particle" book that I highly recommend. It includes 60 particles and their 188 basic functions in order of frequency of usage. Each function is illustrated with example sentences, and exercises are presented in every few lessons to allow users to test their understanding.


Summary

These Japanese English dictionary and books related to learning Japanese are the best in each individual category in my own opinion. If you have other better dictionaries or books, don't hesitate to let me know.

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