Thursday, May 19, 2005

Japanese the Manga Way reviewed in School Library Journal

Japanese the Manga Way
From School Library Journal
"Grade 10 Up -– In concise, meticulous prose, Lammers intends to teach absolute beginners how to use manga to learn to speak and read conversational Japanese. This seems like a daunting task, and it is, but for someone who has the patience, drive, and desire to learn the language, the book will be an immense help. The author's primary method for teaching it is to present a panel or scene from a manga (a list of the manga used is included in an appendix), then offer a four-tier translation of what the character is saying. Beneath the written Japanese is the romaji ('Roman letters') text, then comes a word-for-word translation so nonnative speakers can understand the structure of the Japanese, and finally a polished translation that expresses what the sentence means in natural English. Between these panels and translations (which take up the bulk of each page) are detailed explanations of the grammar, pronunciation, and sentence structure of each example. Although Lammers suggests that this book will be useful for beginners, he presents information in such a fast-paced way that readers will best be served by using the book as a supplement to a language class. No exercises are included, but the author does recommend specific titles for the purpose of self-testing. This volume will be useful for libraries in schools in which Japanese is taught as well as public libraries serving college-bound patrons." -– Steev Baker, Kewaskum Public Library, WI 2005
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