Onomatopoeia like ギリギリ and ドキドキ are so widespread in conversational Japanese and creative contexts that you’re sure to have come across them if you chat to Japanese speakers or read fiction in Japanese. If you’ve mostly studied Japanese in a more academic context, though, you might not have come across them as much.

We’ve already covered books on onomatopoeia, but Onomappu is the first … [ Read more ]

Sakura Tips

Sakura Tips is a podcast that’s been out for several months, so we’re a little late to the game. Mari, the podcast host, amazingly and consistently releases one podcast episode per day. Each episode is only about four minutes long, so you can easily incorporate this as a practice activity for your daily studies, or speed through several episodes in one day.

Mari talks in a … [ Read more ]

Bunsuke’s Newsletter

Bunsuke’s Newsletter is a great way to add a dose of Japanese reading practice to your daily routine. After signing up, you’ll receive a daily email with a short excerpt from Japanese literature, complete with vocabulary list, grammar explanations, and a translation of the text. Bunsuke includes an Amazon link for the book they took the excerpt from, so you can read on if one … [ Read more ]

popIn WAVE

popIn WAVE is an audio platform for multiple media outlets, including The Weekly Economist ( 週刊しゅうかんエコノミスト) and HUFFPOST Japan. Via this platform, you can listen to a wide range of “spoken articles,” all based on corresponding written articles. These spoken articles examine the stories behind the original articles, and discuss related topics, often with the writer or editor of that article.

All the content is professionally … [ Read more ]

Lorenzi’s Jisho

Lorenzi’s Jisho is a new Japanese learners’ dictionary based on JMDict, the Japanese-Multilingual Dictionary File that many other Japanese-English dictionaries, including the mighty Jisho, are based on. Lorenzi’s Jisho has many similar functions to Jisho, such as an extensive range of lookup options, including English, Japanese, romaji, kanji, and many more.

Lorenzi’s Jisho also has some handy bonus features, like pitch accent information and a … [ Read more ]

The Real Japanese Podcast

Introducing “The Real Japanese Podcast: 日本語で話すだけのラジオです!” Episodes average at about 15 minutes long, making them short enough to be digestible, but long enough to be interesting and immersive. The host, Haruka, is a native speaker of Japanese who has a pretty active online presence accross many platforms as a Japanese teacher.

My favorite thing about this podcast is that Haruka releases a script of every … [ Read more ]

Konnichi What’s Up

This YouTube channel has been around for a few months now, and new videos are added twice a week, meaning there’s already quite a variety to choose from. Made by students in global communications at Doshisha University in Kyoto, the channel covers a range of topics that are interesting for Japanese learners. These include explanations of how to use words in context, especially common slang, … [ Read more ]

Japan Reader

Let’s face it — reading Japanese is hard. Perhaps the most common complaint we hear from intermediate Japanese learners is that they can decode a text, but they can’t really just sit down and read it. To build up reading fluency, it’s important to avoid stopping to look up unknown words as you go, because you need to develop reading skills like guessing words from … [ Read more ]

Fuji Family / バイリンガルファミリー

Fuji Family/バイリンガルファミリー (bilingual family) is a YouTube channel which features a family of three traveling around different parts of Japan.

In this family, the mother is from Ireland and the father is Japanese. Both parents know Japanese and English and talk to their bilingual son, Sean, in both languages during the segments.

The videos have a very natural and comforting element to them. The camera, held … [ Read more ]

Japanese with Teppei and Noriko

You may already be familiar with Teppei and Noriko, the hosts of this new podcast. Teppei and Noriko are both experienced Japanese teachers who each have their own podcast. They’ve teamed up recently to help Japanese learners increase their listening skills by providing short, natural conversations in Japanese.

There is no English in the podcast but the two speak very clearly in simple, but natural sentence … [ Read more ]

Japanese Swotter

Japanese Swotter provides material called “Japanese SPEAKING DRILL,” which spans different levels (from beginner to intermediate) and lets you practice speaking. Each drill features a specific grammar point or an expression and you get to listen to short example sentences. After listening, you can either repeat or conjugate what you hear. There’s also a series of advanced listening materials called “Yonaka no Hitorigoto (Night Soliloquy)” … [ Read more ]

けんと レイディオ Channel

Don’t you just love the cute things kids say? We do too. We especially enjoy the bilingual conversations 4-year-old Kento and his father have in “けんと レイディオ Channel.” This translates to “Kento’s Radio Channel.” If you’ve ever wondered how Japanese kids talk outside of scripted shows or movies, you can listen to the authentic dialogue of young Kento and his dad.

In this podcast, the pair … [ Read more ]

Nihongo to Tabi (日本語 to 旅)

Nihongo to Tabi is a relatively new YouTube channel, launched back in January of this year. The host and creator of the channel, who is unnamed, didn’t really start publishing videos at warp speed until May though. As this is being written, he’s currently up to 167 uploads! That’s quite the output for such a short time frame — at some points, he was even … [ Read more ]

Is あなた Polite or Rude?

My Sensei Said I Should Never Use あなた, So Why Did I Learn It in the First Place?

さすが Is Not Always a Compliment

A Word That Is Not “As You Expect.”

How I Learned 1,607 Chinese Characters in 18 Months

For a trip to Japan, I wanted to be able to read at a middle school level or higher. Here’s how I accomplished that goal.

Nあ~ Casual Nihongo

Looking for listening materials for Kansai-ben (i.e. dialect)? Check out Nあ~ Casual Nihongo, a great podcast channel for those who are eager to learn Kansai-ben!

In each episode, the Kansai-ben speaking host, Dai, plays audio of a short conversation in Kansai-ben, and provides commentary on it. These conversations are real, natural conversation, which almost makes you feel like you’re a fly on the wall in an … [ Read more ]