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Reviews by Mark Barton

Japanese for all Occasions

This book is approximately one third advice on life in Japan and Japanese etiquette, with the remaining space being example conversations and letters. Things to be spoken are uniformly in romaji, but things to be written are usually given in kanji as well. I think anybody learning Japanese, especially those actually living in Japan, will find a lot of useful material in it, although the most advanced stuff (e.g. sample speeches for weddings) is probably only for the most confident.

Using Japanese Slang

This book aims to be comprehensive, having chapters on stupidity and drunkenness, parts of the body, discriminatory language, scatology, bad attitudes and behaviour, sexual organs and private parts, the sexual act, homosexuality, "the ejaculation industry", seduction, yakuza, underground jargon, ... read more

A Handbook of Japanese Usage

A reference, in dictionary format, for a very large number (750+) of prefixes, suffixes, particles and auxiliary verbs. The target audience is advanced students (two years or more), and it has good coverage of obscure, old-fashioned and archaic forms. This is either a waste of space or exactly ... read more

A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar

It has basically the same format as the original book. The body of the book is a discussion of specific grammatical items, in dictionary format (romaji-ordering). Before that there is some essay-style material on various general aspects of grammar and communication strategies. ... read more

Basic Japanese Grammar

This is a very gentle introduction to basic Japanese grammar. It is hopelessly politically incorrect in using romaji and traditional English grammatical concepts and terminology throughout. However in fact it does quite a good job of explaining for the benefit of people who have never seriously thought about grammar before and have only the vaguest notion of what things like "nouns" and "verbs" are. Readers should begin at the excellent appendix, "A glossary of grammatical terms".

The Japan Foundation Basic Japanese-English Dictionary

Considered as an actual Japanese-English dictionary, this is very basic indeed and the student will soon outgrow it, but as a study aid it is truly excellent. Keywords are romaji and in alphabetic order. There are typically at least two example sentences for each word given in both kanji with ... read more

Inoue's Japanese-English Dictionary

This could actually be a sensible choice for a pocket dictionary for the more advanced learner with good eyesight because it has a very large number of words in a very small volume at a low price. The keywords are romaji and in alphabetic order. However the following mental health warning is in ... read more

For questions, comments, or if you would like to add your review to the above list, please email Ben Bullock <> or use the discussion group for this web site.