A Dictionary of Japanese Idioms


by William de Lange

What student of Japanese has not grappled with the amazing diversity and tantalizingly elusive nuances of its idioms? One certainly would not want to confuse, for example, ki ga mawaru (to be considerate) with ki o mawasu (to be suspicious). And it would be useful to know whether your boss is hara ga tatsu (angry) or merely ki ga tatsu (upset). Indeed, even a single idiom can have a bewildering number of meanings depending on context; te o ireru, for instance, can mean tidying up (as a room), sounding out someone, or making a raid.

This dictionary offers the most comprehensive compilation and English translation of those idiomatic expressions that so enrich the Japanese language but fail to find their way into conventional dictionaries. It presents more than 6000 idiomatic phrases under 1000 main entries, including several thousands of idioms never presented and explained in English before. Multiple sample sentences are given for each entry, and furigana allows even beginning students to pronounce correctly and to use the expressions immediately. A thumb index and two-color printing, with all kanji and kana in red, make entries exceptionally easy to access.

William de Lange studied Japanese language and culture at the University of Leiden and at Waseda University in Japan. For the past ten years he has been active as a translator and interpreter in a variety of capacities in the Netherlands, Germany, and Japan.

208 pp, 5 x 8, Soft
Over 6000 entries, two-color printing and thumb index
Japanese Language / Reference
ISBN: 978-1-891640-24-7