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Book Bites

KODANSHA’S ROMANIZED JAPANESE-ENGLISH DICTIONARY, edited by Timothy J. Vance, et al. Kodansha International, Tokyo, 2001, 666 pp., 3,500 yen (paper)

A completely rewritten and expanded version of Kodansha’s 1990 “The New World Japanese-English Dictionary for Juniors,” a popular reference work among Japanese junior high school students, this dictionary is aimed at English-speaking Japanese learners of beginning to intermediate level. Entries are romanized and listed alphabetically for ease of use. Each entry and all example sentences are also written in standard Japanese script as an aid for those studying kanji and kana. Three appendices provide useful information on verb conjugations, numerals and counters, and Japanese and foreign place names.

THE KODANSHA KANJI LEARNER’S DICTIONARY, edited by Jack Halpern, et al. Kodansha International, Tokyo, 2001, 1,008 pp., 3,900 yen (paper)

Based on Jack Halpern’s groundbreaking “New Japanese-English Character Dictionary,” this paperback dictionary utilizes Halpern’s unique kanji indexing system to allow learners to easily locate words without knowledge of character “radicals.”

A keyword is listed for each entry to make it easy to grasp the central concept represented by that character and aid memorization.