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Kodansha's Katakana Workbook

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"Kodansha's Katakana Workbook" is an all-new, streamlined workbook designed for beginner-level students who want to learn katakana, the Japanese script used for writing loanwords, as efficiently as possible. It presents each katakana character not in the traditional order, but in a unique new one that makes it easy to read and write actual, everyday words from the very first lesson.

-- Stroke-order diagrams for each character -- Ample space to practice writing -- Free downloadable audio for more than 330 words presented in the book -- 117 pull-out flashcards -- Fun exercises in every lesson -- Illustrations for all the basic characters

Katakana, along with hiragana, is a syllabary, or a set of symbols for writing syllables — the basic building blocks of the Japanese language. Japanese also uses kanji, or Chinese characters, so that any Japanese text usually contains all three scripts.

Kanji, hiragana, and katakana each have different roles in Japanese. The role of katakana is primarily to transcribe loanwords (words borrowed from other languages), a great many of which come from English.

Katakana is also used to write foreign names, onomatopoeic words, and the names of certain plants and animals. Finally, katakana is sometimes used simply for emphasis, similar to the way italics are used in English.

With "Kodansha's Katakana Workbook," you'll learn how to correctly read and write all the katakana characters. At the same time, you'll also learn more than 330 useful words and expressions. With the free audio files downloadable from kodansha-intl.com, you'll get a good sense of how English loanwords are pronounced in Japanese. And with the knowledge of katakana you gain from this book, you'll be able to begin reading words everywhere around you in Japan — in signs and advertisements, as well as in manga, magazines, and other media.

Author Anne Matsumoto Stewart is a professional Japanese language instructor with more than 25 years of experience. She has taught at all levels, from kindergarten through university. After earning an M.A. in linguistics from the University of Hawaii, Honolulu, she went on to pursue further graduate studies in Japanese pedagogy at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. She then went to Cornell University, where she earned another M.A., in Japanese literature. She is the author of "All About Katakana" and "Kodansha's Katakana Workbook" (both from Kodansha International), and the coauthor of several volumes of the "Total Japanese" series (Waseda University). She is a member of both the Association of Teachers of Japanese and the National Council of Japanese Language Teachers, and currently teaches and resides in Seattle.

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5 Comments
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.....uhhh...i got nothing

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If you are new to Japanese, this book will probably do the job. But it is a waste of money. Just buy a kana book and learn hiragana too. Should not take long.

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Is katakana so hard it needs its own workbook?

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If the book is as good as most other Kodansha learner's stuff, you can spare yourself the trouble of buying it. The only Kodansha book that I'm happy about is the Kanji Dictionary by Jack Halpern.

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This workbook really helped me learn the katakana characters one step at a time. The flash cards were great and I also enjoyed the exercises after each lesson. It was a fun way to learn katakana.

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