Tuttle Concise Japanese Dictionary
Difficulty: ☠ ☠
Rating: ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫
It is very easy to find yourself asking “In this day of internet and smart phone apps… Would I really need a dictionary around?” Let me answer that one for you… You need a dictionary around! 9 times out of 10 you may get away with using the apps, but that 10th time you find yourself scrambling for a word, you find yourself being very thankful for having this one on your shelf.
Reasons I like the Tuttle one? It’s concise…. (it’s in the name!) It’s organized by the English alphabet in both cases, and it has almost always had the word I was looking for! Good enough for me! Good enough for you! Enjoy!
Spark Charts Japanese Vocabulary
Rating: ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫
This is a chart I always keep close by! The Sparkcharts chart is a binder sized insert which contains a number of cheat notes useful to the beginning Japanese learner. From pronunciation, to numbers, to dates and times, weather, greetings, colours, directions, body parts, relationships, clothing, health, adjectives, adverbs, and more, this chart is chock full of useful vocab that is incredibly easy to forget. My personal favourite is the “Verb” section which I do wish was about twice the size that it is. I cannot tell you how many times I have paused a conversation with someone to quickly and subtly flip through this insert. It has saved my butt countless times, and I hope it will for you as well!
BBC Japanese Phrase Book and Dictionary
Rating: ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫
This is just a useful book to carry around with you. It’s a collection of common questions and answers, phrases, etc organized neatly in a pocket sized book. There are many times I find myself turning to it to remember how a verb is conjugated in a certain sentence or which partical you use, and I must say it was worth the price!