Japanese: The Written Language, by Jorden, Part 1, Volume 1: Katakana
Eleanor Harz Jorden and Mari Noda, authors of the widely used language textbook Japanese: The Spoken Language, now offer the first volume of the much anticipated companion to it, Japanese: The Written Language. This new series is designed to enable the learner of Japanese to establish a solid foundation for communicating with the Japanese through the written language. It is arranged so that each lesson coordinates with the lesson in Japanese: The Spoken Language of the same number. This first volume, devoted exclusively to the katakana syllabary, which is used to represent loanwords in Japanese, provides the most comprehensive pedagogical treatment of the subject available today. Audio files and flash cards are available from the web, and a workbook is available for separate purchase.
The best introduction to Katakana available
By J. Christopher Kern - October 29, 2005
Japanese: The Written Language, an updated version of Jorden's older Reading Japanese book. It has languished in a field test edition for years, but at last the final version of the book is starting slowly to come out.
This book, as the name implies, is 123 pages (plus an associated workbook) devoted entirely to katakana, the syllabery used in Japanese primarily to represent foreign loan words. The first thing that may strike the purchaser is the length of the book in comparison to the subject covered. Many Japanese courses deal with katakana by handing out a table to their students and asking them to memorize it within a week, give a quiz, and then assume the students have mastered them after that. The result is people who have been studying Japanese for years but still cannot reliably read items written in katakana.
The subject of this book is not simply acquiring knowledge of the symbols, but developing a true *reading* knowledge of katakana. Knowing how... read more
Confusing and Overelaborate
By tuxmaska - December 2, 2012
I will start this out by saying that I already learned my katakana a long time ago, and I only purchased this book secondary to a college class I took. I learned using the traditional method of using the gojuuon, drilling each character until I learned it. In doing so, I learned the logical and alphabetical order of Japanese (Ah! Kana Signs, Take Note How Many You Read Well!), and the "exceptions" to our Western ears (shi, chi, tsu, fu, etc) in understanding pronunciation. By learning how certain things were written, and practicing the reading of loan words in katakana, over time I gained an intuitive understanding of how English words were translated into Japanese sounds.
This book takes quite the opposite approach. Imagine, if you will, being taught your ABC's all over again. Now imagine that, instead of being taught the alphabet in order, you were taught the letters "A", "L", "E", and "P" in your first lesson (and in that order), so you could spell words only... read more
By Charles - August 18, 2012
This is a great textbook for classroom learning. It also has a companion CD for aural practice but in the review I posted for the CD, I think it is quite outdated.