Since meeting up with a high school friend recently, we’ve decided to try to do some long-distance learning of Japanese Kanji together, and although we’re still working out the finer details of how to do this, I thought this would be a good time to review the Japanese Picture Dictionary that we currently have on our bookshelf.
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Tuttle Publishing kindly sent us a copy of Japanese Picture Dictionary, written by Timothy G. Stout. Similar in style to the Korean Picture Dictionary we reviewed last year, it’s more than just a picture dictionary; you can use it for learning more about the Japanese language than just simple nouns and verbs.
More Than a Japanese Picture Dictionary
Being typical of Tuttle Publishing, they’ve gone further than simply a picture dictionary; this book can be used for much more. It starts with an introduction to the Japanese language, pronunciation, and a touch of grammar. there is also an explanation on how the different Japanese characters are formed and how they work together. In addition, there is a user guide that gives ways in which the book can be used.
You can use this book in combination with the Tuttle JLPT Study Guide (which I’ll be reviewing very soon) to increase your vocabulary for levels 5 and 4, as well as for studying towards the AP Japanese Language and Culture exam.
38 Japanese topics
The words are grouped into 38 different themes or topics, including basics like meeting someone new and using public transportation to culture-specific topics like celebrating Japanese holidays and eating Japanese food.
This colorful picture dictionary includes:
- Hundreds of color photographs
- 1,500 Japanese words and phrases
- 38 different topics—from social media and WiFi to paying and counting
- Example sentences showing how the words are used
- Companion online audio recordings by native Japanese speakers of all the vocabulary and sentences
- An introduction to Japanese pronunciation and grammar
- An index to allow you to quickly look up words
Some of the Japanese Topics Are
- Nice to Meet You
- The Human Body
- Talking About Money
- Asking Directions
- Celebrating the Holidays
- My Smartphone
- Protecting Our Environment
- At the Market
- and 30 more!
Some people are worried about Japanese pronunciation. Here’s a little secret: the Japanese alphabet is phonetic and when written out, Japanese speakers didn’t have trouble pronouncing my maiden name, unlike English speakers! However, like any language, it does take some practice and it’s always good to hear a native speaker because Japanese does have a different intonation than English. Inside this book there is a link provided to how you can download the online audio recordings for this book.
For more practice listening to native Japanese, look up NHK World TV or find a Japanese radio station stream online and further immerse yourself in all things Japanese.
The 600+ photos in the Japanese Picture Dictionary are all full-colour, high quality and are a mix of individual objects as well as situations, which makes it more interesting. Many things you’ll be easily able to identify, and it’s interesting to see how many of the modern words are simply Japanese pronunciations of the English word – kids have a lot of fun with this!
Who the Japanese Picture Dictionary would be good for
We’ve found the Japanese Picture Dictionary to be quite fun and interesting. I was expecting just pictures and words; not phrases, audio, and some history, too! I’m very impressed. So if you’re looking to learn a little Japanese, get yourself a copy of this book and get started! This book would also be good for children and adults learning English, as it can of course be used in ‘reverse.’
If you’re interested in purchasing Japanese Picture Dictionary, it’s available through: