A Frequency Dictionary of Japanese (Routledge Frequency Dictionaries) (英語) CD-ROM – 2013/1/18
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A Frequency Dictionary of Japanese is an invaluable tool for all learners of Japanese, providing a list of the 5,000 most commonly used words in the language.
Based on a100 million word corpus, composed of spoken, fiction, non-fiction and news texts in current use, the dictionary provides the user with a detailed frequency-based list, as well as alphabetical and part-of-speech indices.
All entries in the frequency list feature the English equivalent and a sample sentence with English translation. The dictionary also contains 25 thematically organised lists of frequently used words on a variety of topics such as food, weather, occupations and leisure. Numerous bar charts are also included to highlight the phonetic and spelling variants across register.
A Frequency Dictionary of Japanese enables students of all levels to maximise their study of Japanese vocabulary in an efficient and engaging way. It is also an excellent resource for teachers of the language.
Yukio Tono is Professor at the Graduate School of Global Studies, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.
Kikuo Maekawa is Professor at the Department of Corpus Studies, the National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics.
Makoto Yamazaki is Associate Professor at the Department of Corpus Studies, the National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics.
First, I wouldn't recommend this for beginners. I see this book as something for lower-intermediate and higher learners of Japanese, to help fill in vocabulary gaps efficiently. This book would be great for instructors and textbook authors as well, so they can gear their material to more useful words first.
Beginners need to learn more grammar before using this book, because many of the early entries are grammar-related "words"-- verb endings, postpositions (Japanese uses postpositions over our prepositions), etc.
Second, I wouldn't use this as my main dictionary. The definitions and example sentences are useful, but not exhaustive, and some words aren't easily defined or explained in just one sentence. (Try it with "of" or "in.")
You won't find anything else like it.
Thoroughly-researched, good explanation of research methodology used.
Entries listed by frequency of use
Sidebars explain other things like predominant pronunciations for words with multiple pronunciations.
Sidebars show frequency lists of specific useful topics. (Animals, transportation, etc.)
Statistical data with each entry.
Japanese-order index. (Not English alphabetical.)
Frequency lists by part of speech in the back.
Index of Word Types by origin (wago/kango/garaigo/kanseigo/proper names)
Cons (some are nitpicks, some aren't):
Entry headwords are kanji and romaaji only. No kana.
No furigana in sentences. (Makes it tough for beginners to pick up kanji readings.)
Sidebars are not indexed: you have to discover then as you go.
Japanese-order index doesn't have kana to help you sort out kanji entries, nor does it have romaaji. If you don't know the kanji reading, you may have trouble finding it.
Part of speech frequency lists lack kana/romaaji.
Index of Word Types by origin limited to first 1000 entries.
With those caveats, I wholeheartedly endorse this book. With a little careful editing, I think it could be a real gem. As it is, it's already very, very good, if you know how to use it.
Aside from a few slightly puzzling things like that I have to admit that this is a great book that does exactly what it set out to do, and I've been finding it to be a great learning tool.
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