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

I did read the basic book up to page 212 reading one grammar point a day and just stopped and forgot about it… :sweat_smile: I don’t mind going through it again, I would love to read along with others to help keep motivated!

I did the same only I used to do with my German/English dictionary during my German class. :sweat_smile:


oh absolutely. I remember going through a pocket english dictionary at some point in… probably elementary school? and highlighting all the words I thought looked/sounded cool. Maybe not such a surprise that I ended up studying languages/linguistics :joy:
Never got that dedicated to french to read a dictionary, but I did spend quite a bit of time on french wikipedia just hitting random articles for fun.


I’ve read The Red-Headed League. Is that close enough to join in?

I did have a Japanese dictionary for Japanese class but never thought to try reading it page by page.

(This is where us old-timers learned that keikaku means plan.)

Maybe I’ll peruse the pages sometime to see all the words I’ve actually learned in the past few years. (Although the binding hasn’t held up well.)


I also read straight through A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar and enjoyed it a lot at the time. It fit perfectly on a piece of my commute that involved a 5-15 minute or so shuttle ride. I never quite got the same momentum through the Intermediate volume, partly since I was less desperate for reading material by that point but mainly just since that particular commute was long gone (looks like I got up to まさか).

Anyway, I think it should be fun, and I hope you all get through all three someday since it would be a good excuse to get through the rest myself at last!


Same here. The standard 売上カード bookmark thingy is stuck in at ~から~にかけて, but I dunno if that’s how far I got, or if that’s just where it happened to be sitting.


Nice timing. I was just telling myself I need to finally read through the basic dictionary. I may start earlier, but it’s good to see it’s not a completely ridiculous idea. I have analysis paralysis when it comes to studying and I always want to take the ‘best’ route. I’m starting to think there is no such thing and that just doing one thing consistently is what matters.

Question for anyone who has the e-version of the book: How is it? I have been considering purchasing the basic and then the other two as e-versions, but I have been burned by textbooks before, which had terrible formatting and made them nigh unreadable. I would like to know whether they are searchable or not. I believe I read a review that mentioned that they were not.


I downloaded the preview for the Beginner from Kobo a while back, and it was (same as manga) JPEG images.

It does have a table of contents that e-reader software can use to navigate, but it's a bit limited.
  • 表紙
  • 奥付
  • Preface
  • To the Reader
  • List of Abbreviations
  • List of Symbols
  • Grammatical Terms
  • Characteristics of Japanese Grammar
    1. Word Order
    1. Topic
    1. Ellipsis
    1. Personal Pronouns
    1. Passive
    1. Politeness and Formality
    1. Sentence-final Particles
    1. Sound Symbolisms―giseigo and gitaigo
    1. Viewpoint
  • A
  • B
  • D
  • E
  • G
  • H
  • I
  • J
  • K
  • M
  • N
  • O
  • R
  • S
  • T
  • U
  • W
  • Y
  • Z
  • Appendixes
    1. Basic Conjugations
    1. Semantic Classification of Verbs and Adjectives
    1. Pairs of Intransitive and Transitive Verbs
    1. Connection Forms of Important Expressions
    1. Ko-so-a-do
    1. Numerals and Counters
    1. Compound Words
    1. Improving Reading Skill by Identifying an ‘Extended Sentential Unit’
  • Grammar Index
  • English Index
  • Japanese Index
  • References

I don’t expect there’s any way to search, but someone who has bought a digital copy can confirm on that.


Not without your fancy “pull words from images” thing you’ve got going on for manga, I don’t think. It’s definitely just a scanned image PDF for the digital version on Amazon, as well.


this is making the digital version less and less desirable by the second


If most people buying digital could remove the DRM from their own purchase for their own private use, I could probably create an HTML file that they could drop into their system that would load the images and have search capabilities.

I’d just need help to transcribe the “Japanese index” pages (which span five and a half pages, two columns). If there were interest in that, I’d go for it.

But the number of people buying digital and able to remove DRM for personal use is probably too small.


This is a book I also have decided on physical, otherwise I would be willing to help out. :joy:


I already own it physically (the beginner book), but if the digital were on sale for half the current price, I’d go that route simply so I could easily navigate it (with the aforementioned HTML file I’d create) right from my computer without needing to use up any desk space. I’d probably use it a lot more often, in general, that way.


Okay, so maybe I had some free time while listening to an hour and a half of audio today, so I put an HTML file together.

It’s poorly written (put together quickly), but anyone who buys the beginner dictionary electronically, removes DRM, and saves this file into the images folder, they can search by entry name (romaji) as well as click on the top or bottom of the page to navigate between consecutive pages.

It’s designed to use Kobo’s filenames, but if I knew Amazon’s image file names I could add support for that as well.


Despite having physical copies of the basic and intermediate books, I’m half tempted to get electronic versions for this reason.


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).