A.R.M. (kinkyturtle) wrote,

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Kono hon wa subarashii desu yo!

Hey where am I? What's happening?

Good grief! I bought a buncha books lately! Mostly language books!

Let's see what we got here... an English <-> Chinese dictionary... a dictionary of Japanese street slang, should be fun!... and, ahhh yes, the revised edition of Kanji & Kana by Hadamitzky & Spahn!

I already had the first edition, first printed in 1981, of Kanji & Kana, but when I had a look at the revised edition I just hadda buy it! It's so full of real improvements you wish all "New Improved" products were this much improved!

For example, the table of radicals is simplified. The old book had the historical table of radicals, which included a bunch of one-stroke radicals at the beginning that are basically useless for actually finding characters; as well as a bunch of complicated radicals at the other end made up of smaller radicals, or else rarely used. The new edition lists just 79 radicals, and gives them a more useful numbering scheme: each radical is given a number and a letter, and the number indicates the stroke count! I don't even need to consult the radical table anymore; I can go straight to the radical index, look for the stroke count number, and then have no more than 14 radicals at most to sort through! And under each radical, the characters are sorted by the stroke count of the non-radical part. (Well, they also were in the old book, but now there are little index numbers beside the lists of characters to make finding, say, a character composed of the "metal" radical (8a) and a 5-stroke element faster and easier than ever!)

Another improvement is that in addition to the 1,945 Jouyou (General Use) characters, there's a list of the 284 officially recognized Jinmei-you characters used in people's names. This list contains some characters I'd had trouble finding before, such as the character that animator Hayao Miyazaki spells his given name with, and the second character in the video game name "Tekken" (which does in fact mean "iron fist" as someone had told me once... I just hadda confirm it!)

Even the stroke count index is easier to use, because the characters under each stroke count number are sorted by radical! And there are little index radicals printed off to the side, like the stroke count numbers in the radical index.

So basically I wish I'd bought this edition sooner! I kinda wish I'd bought it instead of the first edition!

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