The Jujutsu Kaisen English Learning Book
Image via MAPPA

Looking Through The Jujutsu Kaisen English Learning Book

Picture this: you’re sitting at your desk, trying to force your brain to figure out what the heck a “reduced relative clause” is all the while your sibling is watching the latest Jujutsu Kaisen episode in the next room having the time of their life. This is why products like The Jujutsu Kaisen English Learning Book appear in Japan.

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When it comes to English-learning materials, it seems like Japan has been trying to incorporate as much pop-culture as possible to help inspire their youth to further their studies. (For example, there’s a Hololive English textbook.) The latest attempt is a book using Jujutsu Kaisen materials. Now, instead of learning about modal verbs (whatever that is), you can learn the proper way to pronounce “Divergent Fist.”

I’ll be honest, when I first bought the Learn English with Jujutsu Kaisen book, I was skeptical. It’s hard to imagine there being any useful information for English learners to be gleamed from learning the sound effects “crackle, crackle, crackle.” While the book does cover some random things that the average English learner would likely never use, it seem like it would do a lot of good.

Jujutsu Kaisen English Book

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While I don’t typically approve of using things like anime or manga to learn a foreign language, I can’t help but admit that this book does a good job of teaching pronunciation. From Todo’s “Boogie Woogie” to Megumi’s “Ten Shadows Techniques,” the book does a surprisingly good job at teaching its readers the correct pronunciation of the sorcerers’ cursed techniques. One of the things that anyone learning a new language usually struggles with is where to put the stress on a word. It’s a difficult part of language learning that even longtime learners struggle with. Learn English with this Jujutsu Kaisen book gives the readers the name of the cursed technique in English, along with the pronunciation in Japanese with the parts of the word that are stressed in bold lettering. For example, Nobara’s technique of “Straw Doll Technique: Hairpin” would be “StRAw Doll TechNIque: HAirpin”. This helps the readers get a feeling for how words are stressed in spoken English. Thought it isn’t a great replacement for a good teacher, it isn’t bad.

The book also gives 1-to-1 translations of pages in the book. This is, unfortunately, my least favorite part of The Jujutsu Kaisen English Learning Book. Rather than give 1-to-1 word meanings, they go for phrases. In my mind, it is more beneficial to give a word-to-word translation, and then show the readers why you decided to translate something one way to convey meaning in the target language. In this case, we have entire phrases the learners have to look up themselves.

Perhaps my favorite part of the book lies on the “Tip” pages. These pages have random tidbits of information that are actually quite useful for learners. My favorite is probably the first one in the book. It goes over “spoken” English. It focuses on shortening words like “want to” to “wanna” and “got to” to “gotta.” This is something that I’ve seen, as a learner of a foreign language, that people who study at school lack. It’s rare that a school would ever test you on these sorts of things, so people rarely get a chance to learn it. But these are the types of things that extra-curricular learning materials, such as Learn English with Jujutsu Kaisen are great for.

While, for obvious reasons, I doubt it will get an English translation. I do think this The Jujutsu Kaisen English Learning Book proves that the Japanese-learning crowd could benefit from an in-depth Japanese-learning book built around a popular manga. However, I would only recommend that type of material for intermediate to advanced learners.

The Jujutsu Kaisen English Learning Book is available in Japan.


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Author
Caleb Dunaway
Caleb is a newcomer to games writing who is fluent in Japanese and loves anime.