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Kodansha has done us a great service by publishing this very useful dictionary. It can help beginning students of spoken Japanese in making the initial jump into verbal comprehension--a much easier way to learn the language than trying to master the multiple writing systems along with the language. The layout of the volume is clear and legible, with a number of useful appendixes. Sample sentences are included with many definitions, which does slant the dictionary toward a more educationally based set of uses. Some 16,000 words are listed--a very good working vocabulary. It should be pointed out, however, that this dictionary is not unique. The Taiseido Pocket Romanized Japanese-English Dictionary has been through at least ten editions and has over 50,000 words. The Taiseido is perhaps a better choice for reference collections, while the Kodansha version should be purchased for high school and college-level use and by those who contemplate a stay in Japan.
- Mike Heines, USAF Rome Laboratory Technical Lib., N.Y.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Timothy Vance is a Kodansha International author.