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[Textbook Review] Japanese Core Words and Phrases: Things you can’t find in a dictionary

woah, that’s a long title.

Part of me goes meh at the main title and yet my interest is piqued by the second line. I’m not a fan of those ‘vocabulary books’ and I deem it a waste of money. But things you can’t find in a dictionary?? That sure grabbed my attention.

Approached the book feeling hopeful yet scared that I’ll be disappointed. But I’m happy to say that this book is awesome.

This book is actually very simple. It has 2 parts:

1. こそあど words

2. idiomatic expressions

The first part has all the set phrases (?) starting with each of the 4 characters. For example あれ, これどもand それはそうと. Very useful words and to quote the book “even though they lie at the core of the language, forever elude the student’s grasp”. I’m one such student.

I haven’t progress so far into Part 2, but I love it.

All words / expressions in the book are explained in detail, followed by a few sample sentences. I love how you can learn from the sentences themselves, which are really interesting and not boring and awkward sentences.

The Japanese line is then followed by the romanization and then the translation. Although I’m not a fan of romanization, in this case it works really well for me, cos I can easily see how to pronounce new kanji and then search it up on the dictionary easily, without having to draw it out with the mouse. I am using the jpdic.naver.com dictionary by the way!

I only use the romanization for kanji checking purposes. Please learn to read the hiragana and katakana!

Although the book is like at list of some sort, it doesn’t feel that way. I’m treating it as a bedtime story of some sorts and will try to read a few entries before I sleep.

I won’t lie and say that I do that everyday (I’ve been trying to refrain from listening to too much Japanese before the speech contest LOL) but I do read it sometimes!!

Author: Kakuko Shoji

ISBN: 4-7700-2774-5

Price: 1800 Yen


By the way, Kang Dong Won is out from the army and I’m an absolutely happy fangirl now!! He’s likely to play a villain in a sageuk movie next and I’m already looking forward to loving him. 😀 Who cares if he’s the villain? He’s going to make me root for him somehow. ^^

I shall go cry my heart out over his old movie (Maundy Thursday) again. I think that’s the most I cried in a movie.

p.s I hope you guys noticed the new changes on the site!

hahaha it’s hard not to notice right, with the new radio widget playing. ㅎㅎ

No worries, I deliberately put it on auto play to make you notice it. Will switch to non auto play after a few days~!

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  • Reply
    8 November, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    Omg where did you get this?? Looks nice I want to get one also, haha~

    • Reply
      8 November, 2012 at 10:37 PM

      hehe I think kino should have!

  • Reply
    8 November, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    Is there anyway to get the radio apps on our phone? Woot, I am leaving this blog on to listen to the songs. ㅋㅋㅋ

    • Reply
      8 November, 2012 at 10:36 PM

      hee look out for the next post! 😛 btw i switched the channel to trot, just click on the right to change it back to the kpop charts 😀 there are a lot of channels to explore!!

  • Reply
    8 November, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    I noticed the radio yesterday! My headphones were on and on high volume lol. That book is interesting!! I’m refraining myself to read or do sth related to Japanese because I’ll have an interview in two weeks and I need to study as well.

    • Reply
      8 November, 2012 at 10:35 PM

      OOPS hahahaha i blasted my own ears accidentally too!! it’s now on non-auto mode XD oohh good luck for your interview!!! i can see that you are gravitating towards japanese these days hehe!!

      • Reply
        8 November, 2012 at 11:15 PM

        Thanks! I don’t know if I’ll do well in my interview to be honest I’m quite scared with the politics related questions and 애국가 won’t stick inmy mine I keep forgetting how it goes XD Yeah, I’m kinda into Japanese the past weeks now because of my random drama watching hehe.

        • Reply
          8 November, 2012 at 11:28 PM

          ㅎㅎ dun worry i think you will do fine!!

  • Reply
    8 November, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    wow, the book really sounds interesting! think i might check it out too (:

  • Reply
    9 November, 2012 at 4:08 AM

    Wow, could have really used a Korean book like this! BTW, can you tell me which Korean textbooks have the idiomatic expressions and set phrases in Korean listed? It’s only the level 5 and up, if I remember your review correctly. I wish the books would start a lot earlier with that stuff.

  • Reply
    10 November, 2012 at 8:24 AM

    Okay, what I really need to know is how to say in natural Korean is “I’m sick and tired of everything. I’ve had more than enough of this kind of work.” That is sooo applicable to my work situation right now. If I were studying Japanese, that quote alone would be worth the price of the book! Thanks for posting that page and making me laugh 🙂

  • Reply
    17 November, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Ah! This book is on my “To-Buy” list for Japanese along with a couple other that Kodansha had published.

    Speaking of Kodansha, their particle dictionary by Sue A. Kawashima is VERY helpful. It’s saved me sooo many times when it came to understanding the different uses for partices and explaining their absract uses as well. I knew that Kawashima taught Japanese at my college, but I had no idea that she made a particle dictionary until I started the semester and saw the dictionary was on the book list. I should go to her office and thank her. XD

  • Reply
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