A Dictionary of Japanese Grammar [aDoJG] 💮 Reading Club // Starting the Intermediate version Jan 6th, 2024

I’m considering trying to sell my like-new physical copy, but it’s a bit sad for resale value that the price of new copy has gone down 40% since I bought it some years ago. (Great for everyone planning to buy a physical copy these days, though!)

(If anyone’s in San Diego, California and looking to buy a physical copy of the basic dictionary…)


I accidentally stumbled across this forum when searching the web for Japanese book recommendations some time ago and have been lurking now and then because the idea of joining one of the book clubs intrigues me (haven‘t done so yet, though).

I have had the idea before to read the dictionaries from to cover, but gave up after the first couple of entries in the basic book already. So I might try again now - I am definitely interested… :sweat_smile:

Apologies if there is an obligatory self-introductory thread for newbies somewhere I missed. At least I did not see one.



I feel like we will all at some point (several points?) think about giving up. :joy:

And there is no special thread to introduce yourself. You can either make your own introduction thread, or not. Your choice. :slight_smile:


To avoid the general give up, we could maybe make it funnier by sharing sentence found in the wild (and where) related to the current grammar point we are reading or at least create one from scratch.

Anyway, I don’t think I will give up even if it becomes boring, the book isn’t that big, reading it should be relatively fast.


Thank you!

Good to know I did not miss anything essential.



Okay, so now I’ve closed the starting date poll and the what section to include in the reading schedule poll.

We’ll start on March 25th. This will go the same as most scheduled book clubs on this site, Saturday to Friday, that’s the “week”.

The pieces we will include are:

  • Grammatical Terms, 16 pages, 32 terms with explanations ranging from one paragraph to a page
  • Characteristics of Japanese Grammar, 46 pages divided by 9 headlines/parts (not equally)
  • Main Entries, ca 204 entries, each entry being 1-3 pages usually
  • Appendix 8: Improving Reading Skill by Identifying an ‘Extended Sentential Unit’, 8 pages

I will recommend reading “To the Reader” when we get to the main entries, being all of 2 pages long and being an explanation for how the entries are formatted feels like it wouldn’t add much for the day with the first entry/entries.

Now is the question how to come up with a schedule for all this. Grammatical terms are fairly dense, if you aren’t used to common grammatical terms this will be extremely dense. For Characteristics of Japanese Grammar, I would assume that most of us (since this is more of a grammar review club) will have a grasp on many of these.

I’m giving my impression because maybe not all of you have the book to flip through yourselves yet.

I think the easiest will be to do different polls for different sections, because they will read very differently.

Except appendix 8 which I think it is easy enough to decide: it gets 1 week. If anyone feels strongly for a different idea for that, go ahead and comment below and I’ll make a poll for it, but right now I can’t imagine a good separate schedule, because I’m pretty sure it needs to be read together to be understood.

Grammatical Terms, pick the schedule(s) you’d be happy with:
  • 4 pages per week (+/- half a page because of finishing a term’s explanation), slightly more than 1/2 page / day. 4 weeks total.
  • 8 pages per week (+/- half a page because of finishing a term’s explanation), slightly more than 1 page / day. 2 weeks total.
  • All in one week, 2.3 pages / day. 1 week total.

0 voters

Characteristics of Japanese Grammar, pick the schedule(s) you’d be happy with:
  • 2 parts per week (3 one week), ca 11-12 pages / week. 4 weeks total.
  • 3 parts per week, ca 15 pages / week. 3 weeks total.
  • 4-5 parts per week, ca 23 pages / week. 2 weeks total.

0 voters

Main Entries, pick the schedule(s) you’d be happy with:
  • 7 entries per week, 1 entry / day, ca 14-21 pages / week. 29 weeks total.
  • 10 entries per week, 1.4 entries / day, 20-30 pages / week. 20 weeks total.
  • 14 entries per week, 2 entries / day, ca 28-42 pages / week. 15 weeks total.
  • 17 entries per week, 2.4 entries / day, 34-51 pages / week. 12 weeks total.
  • 21 entries per week, 3 entries / day, 42-63 pages / week. 10 weeks total.

0 voters

I could add even faster schedule options for the main entries, but as organizer I’m saying no. Because if the fastest option gets picked, I’m not sure I could currently keep up because I can’t imagine reading 50 pages of pure grammar each week honestly… :sweat_smile:

Do remember that this isn’t like reading a novel/manga or anything like that. Not even like reading a regular textbook, because that includes dialog/reading section, exercises, etc. Instead if that is the only comparison you have, look at the pure grammar pages (if the textbook has any) and imagine reading page after page after page of that. That is what reading the dictionary will be like.

The “slowest” option will take a long time, no doubt about it (realize I’m signing up for potentially posting weekly threads for 29+4+4+1=38 weeks), but I would strongly suggest only picking speeds you actually think you can keep up with during an average week. This is grammar study/review.

Lastly, consider that it might be good to have a chance to see the grammar we’ve recently reviewed during your consumption of native material. And that it will be very welcome for people to share such examples they see, and/or craft their own sentences using the entry/-ies of the day/week. So if we go fast, this would be a lot less effective and possible.

Can you tell what I prefer even without checking my votes? xD

The polls will remain open until the evening (central European time) of Tuesday next week (March 21st).


I’m actually wondering whether we‘d want weekly threads at all, or whether it’s sufficient to have a more coarse-grained thread schedule.
It’s very easy (at least for the main entries) to make it clear what a certain post is talking about: just list the name of the entry.
But given the high number of interested people, it might make sense to start with weekly threads until we get a feeling for how much discussion will actually happen, or how rapidly the reader base will shrink (which happens with almost every book club, so that’s pretty normal).


True, another option could be to make one thread per letter… although I just counted them and it turns out 19 letters of the abc alphabet are used so I guess that doesn’t make it a lot fewer. xD


One thread per entry.


Congratulations! You just won the lottery of who gets to be organizer!!! :confetti_ball:

That depends on what manga you're reading.

(Reads flipped, so left to right:)

(No, I don’t really have a Patreon.)


Or what novel :joy_cat:
There is a novel called 舟を編む that is about writing a dictionary…


Agreed that we probably don’t necessarily need to go the traditional way here. How about a thread per letter? A, B, C…? Not the easiest for scheduling but the easiest for look ups when the club is over and asking questions.

Also speaking of not being traditional, I think we also don’t need the spoiler tag? :grimacing:


I want to be surprised by the grammar. >:c

Kidding, but the spoiler tag use I could see would be if anybody posts examples of grammar from other things they are reading, it would be polite to include spoiler tags for that in case somebody else is reading that series also/plans to read it.


Ah yes, hadn’t thought about that, makes sense :smiley:


How about several letters per thread? A-C, D-F, etc, depending on how many entries there are per letter. A bit like old encyclopedia tomes (anyone remember those?)

In the onomatopoeia thread we use examples from our reading or listening for every word posted. I’ve run into sentences in my reading that were too much of a spoiler, and those I chose not to post, but otherwise, a random sentence with no source, context or names couldn’t be regarded as a spoiler, surely?


I mean, if no source or anything is listed, I agree. A spoiler tag would be unnecessary. I just meant that if somebody posts an example sentence with any of those things, a spoiler tag would just be courteous. :grin:


Agreed, but again, only if plot is actually revealed. Most sentences on their own don’t reveal all that much. :slight_smile:
(and posting spoilers as grammar examples wouldn’t help much if people would want to avoid seeing them in the first place)


A good use case for spoiler tags (for me) would be if people include their translations with their example sentences. I’d be happy if they could then spoiler the translation so that I can first form my own idea of the sentence (just like in the onomatopoeia thread).


Ah! I see wonderful idea! Except for a couple of letters, most of them aren’t that long, so lumping them together would work wonderfully. I’ll look over some options for this. Possibly pick a number to divide them into, depending on page count and then mix and match letters in a way that should generally even out the number of pages/entries covered by each thread.

Also, I see a rewriting of the posting advice/discussion part of the OP in my future. xD