Language

Free Japanese Books At The University Library

Yesterday I dropped by the East Asian Studies department at my university with a friend in hopes of meeting the director about some language certificates. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to meet the director (there was a huge gathering of students at his office for some reason and there was no way I could get through).  However, I did chance upon a banker’s box filled with books from the East Asian Library that were up for grabs. Out of everything they had, I picked out 5 new books for my collection:

Free books!

From left to right:

  • Learning English for Japanese speakers based on “rhythm” (like book, nook, cook, look, etc.)
  • Beginner Japanese workbook
  • Light novel
  • Intermediate Japanese reading books, volumes 2 & 3 (sadly, I couldn’t find vol.1)

The first book I found interesting and thought it might be useful next year when teaching in Japan. Obviously, I’m a native English speaker however, the Japanese method for learning/teaching English is quite different from what we find here in the West.

I picked up the beginner’s workbook just to practice basic grammar points like particles and word order. You can never have too many books about particles, believe it!

The reading comprehension books are very interesting, as they offer a bunch of Japanese short stories followed by sections of Q&A relating to the story. This helps a lot in understanding kanji and word meaning in complex sentences. The stories are all of traditional Japanese folklore (my favourite subject) like the tale of Urashima Taro.

Finally, the artwork on the dust jacket of the light novel reminded me of Sailor Moon, which is basically the only reason why I picked it up. I have never read any light novels before, not for lack of interest, but rather for lack of enough language proficiency in order to understand. I figured I might as well start with a “simple” light novel like this one which has furigana written above upper-level kanji (by thatl I mean more complex kanji that are not studied in high school).

I’ll have a lot of interesting things to read on the train when going to school in the morning (and enjoy watching the face of other commuters contort into a puzzled frown as to the content of my books).

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