As in the title. I’m slowly but surely building up my vocabulary at the moment- however I’ve been noticing that I know a lot of words that are very similar in meaning, but may differ slightly in nuance and usage. I know I can just look it up on Google, but personally, I find it to be a bit tiresome and I much prefer a book that consolidates all of that information.
Do you want an English language book? If you’re okay with a monolingual resource, you can find many if you search for 類語辞典 (thesaurus).
The Sou Matome study book series also features vocabulary books. I used them a little bit at the language school I attended, and I liked them quite a lot. The vocabulary is grouped by topics (e.g. body parts, cooking, those things) and illustrated. The books are geared towards the JLPT levels.
I know this isn’t the answer you’re looking for, but I recommend immersion. I find the context in which a word is used to be more helpful in understanding the differences between synonyms than reading an explanation.(In my experience. Maybe if I try monolingual books, I’ll think differently)
However if you do find such a book, I’d still recommend doing supplemental immersion.
Immersion worked the best for me as well. Going through vocab books and anki decks only got me so far, there’s a point where the slight differences in words are easier to grasp by reading / watching / listening stuff.
Sure, do you have any specific recommendations? I’m fine with a Japanese Thesaurus as well, might as well improve my reading skills while trying to discern the differences between similar words.
Yep, I’ve been immersing myself pretty well already for the past 9 months and that has definitely helped (Been spending 2 hours on Japanese Youtube and 1 hour reading the news+a novel everyday recently). But most of the new vocabulary that I’ve been learning over the past month are pretty niche (through novels that are set on very specific themes), so via immersion, it’s very difficult to learn how these vocabulary are used when they rarely get used in day-to-day conversations and on the Internet.
Thanks for the recommendation!
I think a mix of immersion and using a monolingual dictionary works well. For example I recently kept seeing 靄 (もや) in a book, and the one word English definition didn’t really distinguish it from 霧 (きり). In this case context wasn’t enough either, but a monolingual dictionary really cleared it up.
Yeah after reading @sinkiepwnsinkie post about his/her immersion, I’m starting to consider getting a monolingual dictionary. Especially because reading novels(fantasy etc) is a personal goal of mine and it seems immersion mainly helps with high frequency words.
I’ve been watching anime with Japanese subs as my main immersion, but I know the visual context is why I’m getting by with japanese-english dictionaries.
I know Fantasy novels are bound to have some obscure stuff, and that without the visuals, I’m about to get sucker punched in the face.
I don’t use a physical dictionary. As for online dictionaries, I prefer https://dictionary.goo.ne.jp. As for my process, since I have such a limited vocabulary, I often don’t know important words in a definition. But I then look up those words in a J-E dictionary using Yomichan (which is usually faster and “good enough”). This works most of the time since a long explanation in a dictionary entry often contains the nuance more in the sentence than in the individual words. When the definition is just a single other word or similar, I look that word up in the monolingual dictionary as well since looking it up in a J-E wouldn’t help at that point.
This is the first time I’ve heard of Yomichan and upon researching about it, it has really piqued my interest. In the midst of setting it up now!
Have a look at these if you want WK and JLPT tags in Yomichan
One of the best Japanese thesauruses is freely available through goo.
Kodansha Kanji Usage Guide is for homophones, which I believe is what you mean by similar meaning but different in usage.
If you need it in a book format and not web, as I find I sometimes need as I seem to NEED that tactile feeling to go with the learning, it is fairly good and not terribly expensive.
Thanks! What I mean by words with similar meanings are words such as 期待 and 予想 for example, which in English basically means ‘expectation’, but they do vary slightly in usage. But I won’t mind a book on homophones either. USD $11 is pretty cheap so I’m tempted. Do you have a sample of its contents?
Here’s a screenshot of it. I don’t use it all that often yet because I’m not that far along in reading, bit it’s come in useful a couple times.
Wow the book looks like my cup of tea. I’ll call the local Kinokuniya tomorrow to see if it’s available in stores.
Just bought it online and it arrives tomorrow! Can’t wait.
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