It is a very good idea to have a book to refer to when learning the defence sets and the kata.
We highly recommend "The Beginners Guide to Shotokan Karate" by Sensei John van Weenan (ISBN 978-0951766064)
A beginner student will primarily be taught using English words and phrases. As training progresses the Japanese words are used and students learn both the words and the meanings. This is another important part of karate training. After the first belt, the KASKA Syllabus uses only the Japanese words.
Many reference sites are now available to learn words used in karate training. The most effective way remains to listen well in the dojo and learn the terms that are needed at every level. Students have long been advised to carry a notebook in their training bag to write down new terms so as to build their own reference material.
Following are some of the first terms with which students will become familiar: