on March 18, 2002
I would like to respond to the review entitled "Not the Best." First, the reviewer says the book is not comprehensive. Well, I have looked around quite a bit, and I have yet to find a comprehensive dictionary of slang and colloquialisms even in the Japanese language, so it is a bit much to expect this book to be that dictionary; and then there is the question of whether this book was INTENDED to be comprehensive, which apparently it was not (according to the Preface). Second, the reviewer says that the book is outdated. Well, my understanding from the Preface is that this book is meant to cover traditional slang and colloquial expressions, those expressions which are long-lived and not likely to disappear very quickly. That is, it is meant as a solid foundation for further study but also meant for immediate use in a great variety of common situations. Third, the reviewer complains that the book is arranged "in a not so easy to use format." Here, I agree, but then I cannot think of any other better format, whether alphabetical or whatever; and there is also an index to be referred to.
Overall, I wonder if the reviewer is judging the book not for what it was intended to be, but for what he was expecting, or hoping, it to be--two different things.
In my experience, which has covered a good deal of time in Japan, the expressions in this book are those which you are likely to hear quite often, and therefore form a good foundation for the study of the language. If you want to go beyond this, you are left pretty much on your own at present, and good luck to you.