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

OMG! I just decided a couple weeks ago I was going to read this cover to cover. This is amazing timing and would definitely be the motivation I need to actually do this!! Is the plan to do Basic and go straight to Intermediate and then Advance or have breaks between? I dont own the Intermediate or Advanced copies so I’m trying to see around when I’ll need it - but I guess that’s not a problem anytime soon lol :joy: Thanks for initiating the thread!

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Grammar study has been the bane of my existence, I have never been able to force myself to do it. So why do I kind of want to join this :joy: Fun fact about me, I actually tried to read an English dictionary cover to cover when I was a child. I didn’t finish it, but I did try :joy: This is giving me similar vibes and I’m here for it

…I’m adding a copy of the dictionary to my cart :see_no_evil:

KIROOO :heart_eyes: Fluffy baby :pleading_face:
I am sorry I love your cat so much :joy:

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I was just thinking to myself that I should do some more grammar study since right now it’s one of my weak points. So what better way than reading this dictionary with you all? :woman_shrugging:t3: The timing must be meant to be. Not sure at this point whether I’ll be sticking with it, but I’m actually very excited by the idea of reading this as a book club! Go figure :laughing:

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I just logged in and saw this thread. It warms my heart to see so many other ̶r̶a̶v̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶l̶u̶n̶a̶t̶i̶c̶s̶ … uhh… grammar fanciers… out there!

I just finished reading Basic cover-to-cover for the second time around 2 months ago and am working on the Intermediate volume.

I second the advice of reading all of the “Characteristics of Japanese Grammar” (page 16-60) before the main entries, with one big caveat: These are a great overview but are in no particular order of beginner to advanced. If you’re a beginner learner, don’t get too bogged down in here as there’s a lot in those first few pages that is significantly harder than most of the main entries. It’s good to have a read through and if there’s stuff in there you don’t fully grasp, it’s still ok to move on to the main entries. I would recommend coming back to reread those pages at least 1-2 more times later on.

Overall I found the level of this dictionary as a whole to be more advanced than I first expected. I did 3 years of Japanese in university and ~95% of grammar I learned there was taught in the basic volume. IE approximately JLPT N5, N4 and a bunch of N3.

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I’ve been doing this on my own so I am keen so have company!

Looking forward to it.

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One idea could be to pick the points in alphabetical order - do the first a, the first b, the first c, etc (I don’t have my copy in front of me but I seem to remember it bizarrely follows the roman alphabet). Then cycle back. It wouldn’t be too hard to just find the next one that isn’t checked off when cycling around, or to keep an alphabetical running list of the “next” one for each letter.

It has been shown to be more difficult to distinguish similar items when learned together, and so separating all the に and そう etc entries could be really helpful.

I’m gonna be real, I would probably discourage people from starting their grammar journey by joining this club. This book is not meant for that. Which is why it is a dictionary and not a textbook. Dictionaries in general are not made to be read cover to cover, but to look stuff up in. But for someone who has already learnt all this grammar by other means, reading it cover to cover might be a useful exercise—I am however not entirely sure of that yet, which is why I keep calling this club my crazy silly idea that I’m apparently not alone in having.

Therefore, reading those entries all together would help someone to find the nuance that they perhaps couldn’t pick up on before when they initially learnt those concepts. A kinda compare and contrast that is possible after having basic (or better) understanding of them already.


As to your different sorting method, for sure that would be a simple method for it, but I’m still not convinced that the extra organization that would be needed would be worth it. For example, instead of saying read entries #1-#7 (V-X), I would have to say read A1, B1, C1, D1, E1, F1, G1. The second week it could be #8-#14 (Y-Z) or H1, I1, J1, K1, L1, M1, N1. Basically it would be writing out two entries vs writing out all seven, and when you realize this will be about 29 weeks. It would be the difference of typing out about 60 entries vs the full 204.

I’m expanding on this to make it clear that I personally as the organizer would like to see a real big tangible benefit to all that extra work. Because my time is valuable to me. :3

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Despite the extra work, I think that separating similar grammar points, for example, all of the に, would be a good idea for the psychological reason cited by mitrac.

The point is to learn, not read, after all.

— Dave

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What @MissDagger is saying here is that sure, if you learn them at the same time, you will most likely mix them up. But if you already know the に particle, it’s better for you if you see them at the same time, so you can contrast their meanings. I’m more on that side in this as well, I think having similar grammar points in the same week would help more.

Also, it’s still a week, you can safely break up your reading over several days, giving you plenty of time to chew each one.

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I agree that we should just read cover to cover. I’d personally prefer to see all the に entries together to be able to contrast the nuances. And it’s much less work for the club moderator and all the club members to just read cover to cover.

This is exactly my view too. Maybe just to make sure everyone coming into the club is on the same page, something like this could be mentioned at the top of the thread in the main post?

(also I can’t believe I’m joining a book club for a dictionary of all things :joy: ordering a copy asap)

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(The only english speaking book club on the site as well)

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Somewhere in Japan (translated here into English):

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Ultimately i’m fine with whatever cadence everyone decides but I wanted to throw out there that i personally think 7 months is way too long but that could be just me lol. I’m also coming at this as a review of things i should in theory have seen before, but this will help cement my knowledge. I was planning to read this cover to cover in 2 months, since there’s around 600 pages this would essentially be 10 pages per day. Maybe a poll is needed to see what the preferred cadence is?

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Haha I’ve been wondering that before, if the book clubs were leading to noticable spikes in the sales xD

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We will have a poll deciding on speed for sure, I wanted to give people time to vote on the poll for what to include first, meaning a whole schedule could be voted on, not just part of it.


7 months is indeed very long (and will be longer with the additional material we’re voting on to include). I can’t deny that.

The reason I was thinking more that speed is because reading a lot of grammar explanation gets boring, and cramming rarely leads to long term knowledge (in my experience). Reading one entry a day leaves a lot of time to reflect, and with so few points recently reviewed, it gives more of a chance of noticing them out in the wild while consuming content and thereby deepening the knowledge/making it more sticky.

But that is my opinion, and the poll will show what most people want. And the poll will probably be posted about a week after the poll on content, to give everyone a chance to see and vote on that. So expect it in a bit less than a week.


Good point, I’ll go ahead and add that. EDIT: Added.

Same. Only I’m organizing it too. :joy:

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you’re the reason I tried going to cover on this recently, starting with ageru あげる. I had already read the background info at the start of book, so I decided to just read the entries. I’ve got to e へ. My pace has been slower than the suggested pace above because I’m not in a rush, but I like the idea of joining the ‘book club’ as a way to motivate myself. I think one entry (or so) per day is a nice way to stay motivated…

And I think the book itself is actually quite useful as a grammar text, but somewhat intimidating to jump into randomly. Going cover to cover is a fine way to go over all the linguistic cues, especially as a review, and reading it as a book allows one not to worry about missing pages.

As a side-note, when I was a kid I actually did this for several pages with the encyclopedia and with some school dictionaries. It’s not a bad way to increase your vocabulary and knowledge base.

As far as the group, poll, and my participation. I’ve already got a head start, but my hope is just to get to the end without dilly-dallying too much. So, I’ll probably be around the pace of the group after a few months. I may or may not participate in the discussion here, but I like that it’s available.

There have been a few times when I’ve considered getting the intermediate dictionary… but then I’ve realized that I haven’t mined this one yet, and it’s probably worth the effort…

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Why the quotes? This is just like any book club on the site. Incredibly thick and dense, disjointed and 90% English.

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I think you’re misreading my intentions there (or maybe I was unintentionally implying what you’ve pointed out? haha). The quotes could be around ‘joining’ instead, as in I’ve never really fully participated in any of the groups - and I’ve never kept a weekly pace in-step with the groups just due to scheduling… but yeah, my contributions may be disjointed :wink:

the main thing is that it’s nice to have fellow learners encouraging each other to read a useful book.

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I will close the when to start poll and the what parts to include polls on Tuesday evening, central European time (GMT+1). So if you want to vote in either of those, do so before then:

So on Tuesday night, I will set up a schedule poll, so we can decide on schedule/reading pace.

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This idea is awesome, crazy and right up my alley. I remember people looking at me funny in high school when I would read my pocket French/English dictionary during French class when I was bored. Maybe someone here can relate.

I picked up the Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar sometime in the fall last year after hearing so many people raving about how useful the book is and I wanted an opportunity to improve my grammar. I went through the introductory 60 pages and have referenced it the odd time, but I never took the plunge of reading through it all. I know reading through the book alphabetically is something the Youtuber “ToKini Andy” said he did when he was learning, so its always intrigued me.

This club seems like a really good opportunity to solidify my understanding of some grammar points and learn a ton of new ones. Excited to join the discussion when it starts!

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