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Words in Context: A Japanese Perspective on Language and Culture
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Words in Context: A Japanese Perspective on Language and Culture

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3.68  ·  Rating details ·  38 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Observing the nuances of language, Shunji Suzuki contends, is more complicated than simply cataloging speech patterns. Language includes a set of unconscious expectations that communicate much, much more.

Words in Context is an exploration of the intimate relationship between language and lifestyle, psychology, and culture. Suzuki convincingly illustrates the dangers of iso
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Paperback, 178 pages
Published November 9th 2001 by Kodansha (first published 1973)
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Anri
Aug 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: language, non-fiction
I read this a couple of weeks ago and have felt a bit conflicted about rating it. It's an older book, first published in the early 70s, and it shows a bit. Of course you should judge a language within the context of its culture. Of course you shouldn't translate things straight off their dictionary definitions. But I thought chapter 6 (Words for Self and Others) is still pretty good. Even now we still learn these words in the sense of the Indo-European analogues. But the very concept of an Indo- ...more
Naomi Williams
I picked up this volume at a local used bookstore because I'm giving myself a crash refresher course in Japanese, and Words in Context was translated by Akira Miura, the single most wonderful Japanese teacher I ever had (and I had many, most of them excellent).

This is a fluid, highly readable translation of a book that contains many interesting observations and examples but feels quite dated. I'm not a linguist, so have no idea how Suzuki's ideas stack up against more contemporary scholarship o
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Kathleen
Feb 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: class, did-not-finish
So I guess I'm done. I don't think this really counts as "finished" because I didn't read the whole thing, but we aren't going back to it, so I'm counting it as "done."

Interesting, but kind of dated (it's from the 1970s). It would be cool if Suzuki (or one of his students?) could revamp it for 2013.

Still, a good thing to read if you're interested in linguistics.
Harperac
Aug 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan
This was a cool, interesting book I picked up at a thrift shop. It's great for students of Japanese, because he explains peculiarities to the language that aren't easy to figure out. His explanation of what constitutes 'nomu' (usually translated as drink) was a revelation.

Some parts were very dry, and the book as a whole wasn't 'deep' - it was more of an introduction to a general topic.
Jeremy S.
Feb 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: language
This was a seriously fun and interesting book more in the realm of Language for non-Language majors. Fascinating examples, analogies and explanations of human thought and overlap in communication methods.
Kyle Muntz
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books on structural linguistics I've ever read.
英三 岡本
Nov 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: language
武器としてのことば:茶の間の国際情報学(新潮選書),鈴木孝夫,1985
Albena
Reading it in Japanese. Should have read it years ago. If you are interested in Japanese language this is a good point to start from.
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