Synopses & Reviews
homophones - native-Japanese words that are pronounced alike but are written with different kanji, and often differ in meaning-pose a particular challenge to students at the intermediate level. Words like noboru
, for example, can be written with several different kanji, each contributing a distinct shade of meaning. The often-subtle nuances conveyed by kanji confuse even Japanese people, and very few dictionaries provide good guidance on kanji usage.
The Kodansha Kanji Usage Guide is a new type of reference work that enables learners to deepen their understanding of how kun homophones are used in contemporary Japanese. The first Japanese-English resource devoted exclusively to kun homophones, the book presents detailed usage articles that show the differences and similarities for 675 homophone groups, or 1590 kanji headings-the vast majority of single-character kun homophones in current use.
With headwords arranged in Japanese a-i-ue-o order and thousands of illustrative examples of kanji in context, the Usage Guide is at once a dictionary and a manual-an all-around resource for clarity on kanji used in kun homophones. Armed with this unique guide, learners will discover in kanji new meanings they never knew existed, and learn to write Japanese more articulately than ever before.
Jack, Halpern, author of the best-selling Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary,
has produced this first-ever guide to the usage of native-Japanese words (distinct from words borrowed from Chinese) that are pronounced similarly but written differently, and usually differ in meaning as well. To the bedevilment of students, Japanese is full of such words, known as kun
homophones. Often the distinction in meaning is so subtle than even people whose first language is Japanese get confused. With The Kodansha Kanji Usage Guide
, learners will have complete access to nearly 700 articles that clearly demonstrate the differences in meaning and usage.
Based on a systematic approach and in-depth research, the book offers thousands of compound words, along with examples illustrating how each homophone is used in context. English equivalents give the precise meaning for each homophone group member. The words are arranged in the Japanese a-i-u-e-o order rather than alphabetically; and Halpern includes two indexes (his revolutionary SKIP method and Radical) plus a SKIP guide for quickly locating entries.
The Kodansha Kanji Usage Guide is a powerful learning tool -- not just a look-up reference -- and provides information essential to intermediate- and advanced-level learners who truly want to master the Japanese writing system.
About the Author
Jack Halpern is the CEO
of The CJK Dictionary Institute (CJKI) in Japan. The institute is one of the world's prime sources for CJK (Chinese, Japanese, and Korean) dictionaries, and specializes in compiling comprehensive CJK and Arabic lexical databases. A lexicographer by profession, Halpern has spent more than thirty-five years compiling dictionaries. He is the editor in chief of The Kodansha Kanji Dictionary
and the bestselling Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary: Revised and Explanded.