|Life In 19x19
|Review of "Just Enough Japanese" 1 and 2 (Richard Hunter)
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|Author:||CDavis7M [ Wed Mar 24, 2021 10:32 am ]|
|Post subject:||Review of "Just Enough Japanese" 1 and 2 (Richard Hunter)|
Richard Hunter has written a series of 3 books called "Just Enough Japanese." Labeled with ①, ②, and ③ . There is also a more advanced book that was recently released called "The Road to Understanding Japanese ② " (but where is volume 1?).
Just Enough Japanese does not teach you Japanese but it is the best resource I've found for learning Japanese Go terms. Hunter starts backwards, teaching you the important kanji (the hieroglyph-like characters) first, and then slowly introducing a few words written in hiragana and katakana (simplified characters, like an alphabet, but syllabic). Normal (textbook) Japanese language study would have you learning hiragana and the sounds first, and then slowly or never introduce Go terms. Trying to actually learn Japanese first would take a lot of time. I like Hunter's method.
Just Enough Japanese 1 is like a casual stroll through kanji that could otherwise be learned on https://senseis.xmp.net/?JapaneseGoTerms. But JEJ1 is much more friendly, it shows you a large picture of the kanji, it introduces the terms in an organized and meaningful way, and it provides a few diagrams of where the terms would appear in Japanese Go books. There is a bit of fluff. I don't care when Japanese kids learn a kanji in school. But this thing only costs $2.99. If you are curious about Japanese Go books, start with this book and see if your interest is kindled or if it has died. I can tell you that Sensei's Library/JapaneseGoTerms did not kindle my interest but JEJ1 did. If you already own a Japanese Go book or two, consider skipping this book. JEJ2 contains a really short review of JEJ1.
Just Enough Japanese 2 has A LOT more words in it. So many that you feel like you would need to study but that takes too much time and so you just read it and the Japanese just flows by you. But you really can just read this without waiting for understanding because somewhere your brain stores recognition and familiarity. I read this book and I can't write the numbers past 3, but I can guess that a character might be a number. And I am starting to recognize more and more kanji learned from this book as I "read" my Japanese go books. I can say that JEJ2 has got me pretty far in Tsumego books. Even JEJ1 can do that. But I have only been able to pick out a few words here and there in my japanese tesuji and proverbs books. Still, I like having this book on my phone so easily use as a reference along with the Google picture-translate app. Having read JEJ2 I can understand many of the translation mistakes that Google makes. Though I am still trying to figure out what "flutter" means. And JEJ2 has the large kanji pictures like in JEJ1. Those really help me. If you already own Japanese Go books, I recommend buying this book. It added a lot for me beyond SL and Google Translate. But if you have already begun learning Japanese and can already recognize characters, this book might be too simple for you. Maybe JEJ3 is better.
Just Enough Japanese 3 is for people that actually want to read Japanese. You actually have to learn hiragana and katakana. You are going to learn grammar and sentence structure. If you are going to read this book it will probably be as a supplement to other actual Japanese language learning. I am not there yet, so I did not actually read this book. I only skimmed a few sections. Do not buy this book if you have not started learning Japanese. Get JEJ2 instead.
Here is a picture of the sample of JEJ1. This is from my computer but it reads better on my android phone using the "Reasily" application.
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