The Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Dictionary

Revised and Expanded

  • Jack Halpern
The Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Dictionary

Binding: Paperback
Pages: 1248
5 appendices and 3 indices
ISBN10: 1-56836-407-5
ISBN13: 978-1-56836-407-0
Release date: May 1, 2013

List price: $45.00

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The Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Dictionary has long been considered one of the most authoritative and user-friendly reference works available to Japanese language students. Now, in its updated edition, this best-selling kanji dictionary becomes an even more indispensable resource.

The fundamental goal of the dictionary is to give the learner a thorough understanding of Japanese characters by offering a wealth of useful information on their meanings, readings, and usage in compounds. To that end, this new edition features hundreds of additional entries which reflect recent revisions to the sets of kanji characters prescribed by the Japanese government for general use and in the formation of names. Three thousand and two kanji entries—772 more than the first edition—fill its pages. Hiragana (the basic syllabary) is used throughout, instead of Romanized Japanese, to show the readings of the characters and of the compounds in which they appear.

Traditionally, the learner has had to memorize numerous kanji compounds as unrelated units.
To overcome this difficult process, the author has created a unique feature: the core meaning, a concise keyword that defines the dominant sense of each character. By studying the core meaning in tandem with the detailed character meanings and usage examples that follow, learners will see how thousands of kanji are combined to form compound words.

Also unique to this dictionary is the System of Kanji Indexing by Patterns (SKIP), which enables the user to locate characters as quickly and as accurately as in alphabetical dictionaries.

Modern linguistic theory has been effectively integrated with sophisticated information technology—and now, powerful design software—to produce the most accessible kanji dictionary ever compiled.


About the Author

Jack Halpern is the CEO of the CJK Dictionary Institute in Japan, which specializes in the compilation of CJK (Chinese, Japanese, and Korean) and Arabic lexical databases and is one of the world’s prime sources of CJK dictionaries. A lexicographer by profession, Halpern spent sixteen years compiling the New Japanese-English Character Dictionary published in the U.S. by NTC/McGraw-Hill in 1994.
As a research fellow at Showa Women’s University in Tokyo, he was the editor-in-chief of several kanji dictionaries for learners, which have become standard reference works. Halpern has published over twenty books, including The Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Dictionary: Revised and Expanded available in early 2013, as well as numerous articles. He has given over 600 public lectures on Japanese language and culture, and presented several dozen papers at international conferences. Jack Halpern has lived in Japan for over 30 years. He was born in Germany and lived in six countries including France, Brazil, and the U.S. An avid polyglot, he has studied fifteen languages (fluent in ten).