Sunday, June 07, 2009

Book Review: English Grammar for students of Japanese - The study guide for those learning Japanese

Book Review

Title: English Grammar for students of Japanese - The study guide for those learning Japanese
Author: Mutsuko Endo Hudson
Publisher: The Olivia & Hill Press, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, 1994
ISBN: 978-0934-0341-66, Pages, 204

A good guide for brushing up on English grammar before studying Japanese

People studying Japanese as native English speakers need good resources and this book is a useful guide for those wanting to brush up on English grammar before starting to study Japanese in more detail. It has clear and easy to understand examples of English grammar. Native speakers often learn a language without formal grammar study but need it when the learn a second language and that’s where this book comes in handy.

The book is split into four main sections. An introduction, Grammar points – 45 key topics dissected, an answer section for the end of chapter revision exercises and an index.

From a learning perspective the book is split into two sections. Section one is a review of key grammar points for native English speakers in technical grammar terms and section two is a comparison of English grammar to similar Japanese grammar structures.

It should be noted that the books emphasis is on English grammar and not Japanese grammar. The book shines on its review of English grammar. The Japanese grammar section as it relates to similar English structures is a bit disappointing in that Japanese grammar structures are not as fully explained as the English grammar. If they were this book would be worthy of five stars.

The following Japanese sections were very helpful. Starting with, “To the student” a how to guide for studying Japanese by the author, Section 11, What is an Adverb ( was clearly set out, and had good examples), and Section 15, What are Prefixes and Suffixes (stood out to me as the most practical section of the book )

Even though the Japanese section is lacking I still feel that this is a good guide for native English speakers in that it shares known English grammar structures and posits them against similar Japanese grammar structures.

This book would be of most benefit to those about to embarking on a detailed study of Japanese in either a full time course or a study abroad program., June 2nd, 2009