Saturday, May 8, 2010

Murray book delivers.

すばらしい。 Just a few weeks ago I was thinking that every language textbook should include, as early as possible, a lesson on expressing things you don't know the word for. Eg, you want to say "crow"—a thing, an animal, a type of animal (making flying motions with arms)—ah, yes, そうです, 鳥ですね, 黒い鳥ですね。。。。 Well, this Murray book has one! He divides his examples into things, places, actions, people, and other, and he successfully (IMO) expresses non-Genki concepts like murder, baldness, sharks, an aqualung. (Of course, given Genki's philosophy of vocabulary, any of those terms could appear anywhere.) Essential. Moreover, he has a sense of humor, like Jay Rubin.

Murray recommends these substitutes:
  • things: 物 もの mono

  • actions: 事 こと koto

  • states: 状態 じょうたい joutai

  • places: 所/場所 ところ/ばしょ tokoro/basho

  • people: 人 ひと hito

  • misc. nouns: a vehicle that... 車  a book that.... 本
I think the only one of those I didn't know was 状態, but seeing it in a book builds confidence. 僕は日本語を勉強している人で、「生徒」か「学生」と言う人だね。

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