Sunday, December 4, 2011

For Those of You Studying Japanese

Penguin has just come out with a book of contemporary short stories with English and Japanese on facing pages. Nicely, the Japanese has the furigana or ruby over the kanji so one need not spend all one's time looking up unfamiliar words in the dictionary.

Authors include Murakami Haruki, Yoshimoto Banana, Koike Masayo, Ishii Shinji, and others.

From the introduction by Editor (and translator) Michael Emmerich (with a dash of hyperbole):
So here we are. Something amazing is happening. We are standing right on the verge of it. We are, in fact, already a part of it, in its sway — and so is this floppy little book you hold in your hands: the incredible thrill of starting to read, for pleasure, in a language that seemed for so long as if it had been designed expressly to exasperate and discourage. There is a community of people, growing steadily larger, who share the excitement of knowing two very different, very rich languages, and we are joining it.


  1. Do you know Emmerich's book "Read Real Japanese"? If you do, apologies. If you don't, read on! It's published by Kodansha; the ISBN-13 is 978-4770030580. There's another book in this series, edited by Janet Ashby, ISBN-13 978-4770030573. It doesn't look as if the selections in the three books overlap. PS: I'm glad I've discovered your blog. I really enjoy it.

  2. Thanks for the tip Rurousha — I'll definitely check the other two out.