Friday, 5 November 2010

First Thousand Words in Japanese by Heather Amery

2003, Usborne Children's Books
64 pages, Paperback
Review copy

Non-fiction, language

Japanese language, useful words of objects, people, verbs and places,

Summary from Usborne Children's Books
1000 everyday words illustrated with pictures and busy scenes to help children learn key vocabulary.

Next to each picture, the Japanese word is written in "kana”, the Japanese syllabic signs often used for beginners, along with a transliteration in Roman letters.

Includes a short introduction to "kana" with a simple pronunciation guide and a Japanese/English list of all the words in the book.

Listen to all the words on the Usborne Quicklinks Website read by a native Japanese speaker.

Nayuleska's thoughts
When I was at school, studying French, I had one of these books. I can't remember what it was like when I first saw the book, because by the time I passed it on to someone else I knew most of the words. This is why I requested the Japanese version for review. I'm learning Japanese, and the vocabulary I'm mostly learning is in a textbook. This includes ordinary objects - but so far I haven't come across the word for scarecrow, pitchfork, paint. (This book is for all language learners, not just children).

The book has an easy to follow format. In the border are pictures of objects within the central illustration, with both the kana (Japanese alphabet, of which there are two) and the romanised proncounciation (say it as it sounds). I like this lay out because you can enjoy looking at the picture, testing yourself on what you do know so far. Additionally there is no English vocabulary until the back of the book. The children are quite mischievous throughout the book, especially in the toyshop. On each page you have to hunt for the yellow duck (which, on discussion with a publicist, should be a secondary symbol for Usborne's books (official symbol is a balloon). At the back of the book is a vocabulary list for each page (Romanji & English). It also explains about kanji, which isn't used in the book, but is needed over the course of learning Japanese if learners are to understand written works.

  • Topics covered include the following
    • House (rooms)
    • Kitchen
    • Shed
    • Town
    • Toyshop
    • Park
    • Zoo
    • Airport, railway station
    • Countryside
    • Farm
    • Beach
    • School
    • Hospital
    • Party
    • Supermarket
    • Food, clothes, parts of the body
    • Jobs
    • Actions (verbs) 
    • Hobbies
    • Sport
    • Adjectives, prepositions
    • Dates, weather, seasons
    • Shapes, colours 
    • Circus

Final conclusion
Whatever language you're studying, pick up one of these 1000 words books to help learn vocabulary in a fun way.

No comments: