YouGlish

The YouTube word search tool, YouGlish, is now available in Japanese. If you want to listen to a way a word is pronounced in real life — or at least in a YouTube video — you can search a word and pull up hundreds of videos with that term. The videos are cued up to start a few seconds before the word is spoken and … [ Read more ]

にほんごボックス

The YouTube channel にほんごボックス launched around a year ago and has been publishing content regularly ever since, meaning they already have over a hundred videos to choose from. The intention behind the channel is to help non-native speakers of Japanese become familiar with natural, everyday language. That is, not the kind of Japanese used in textbooks to illustrate grammar points, but the kind you’re most … [ Read more ]

Let’s Learn Japanese From Small Talk

If you’re looking for a podcast that offers authentic, everyday Japanese, we recommend you check out Let’s Learn Japanese From Small Talk! The podcast is hosted by two native speakers of Japanese, and they cover a wide range of interesting topics about modern life in Japan.

One of my favorite things about the podcast is how well the hosts provide vocabulary support for listeners. Instead … [ Read more ]

Learn Japanese with Noriko

Can’t get enough Japanese listening materials? Noriko-Sensei’s got your back — she updates her podcast channel, Learn Japanese with Noriko, almost everyday!

What’s special about this podcast channel is how Noriko-Sensei speaks clearly and uses simple words and expressions. She maintains this clarity even while speaking at a natural speed. She doesn’t intentionally slow her speech down like you find in other beginner materials — but … [ Read more ]

Learn Native Japanese (LNJ)

とりま, ぱくる, じわる, エモい… how much Japanese slang do you know? If you want to spice up your vocabulary, follow Learn Native Japanese (LNJ) on Instagram for regular doses of slang!

The account is run by two native speakers of Japanese, Dai and Ryo. Each post is a short video of them introducing a Japanese slang word or phrase, from decades-old ones to newer, currently trending … [ Read more ]

日本語文型バンク (Japanese Grammar Point Bank)

For the grammar nerds out there, this one is for you! 日本語文型バンク (or “Japanese Grammar Point Bank”) is a collection of grammar explanations and example sentences, created by the National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics (NINJAL). They create a lot of amazing tools for analyzing and learning about the Japanese language, and this one is quite a gem.

The tool’s content is organized into … [ Read more ]

“Day to Day” and “Story for You” from Tree

It can be difficult for Japanese language learners to find interesting short contemporary Japanese stories to read with English translations online. A novel can be daunting in length and complexity, while children’s stories might not be interesting or relatable.

Enter the literary news site tree, from Kodansha publishers, and their web series, Day to Day. Tree, created with the goal of introducing readers to new Japanese … [ Read more ]

What Should I Call “You”?

How To Address and Refer to “Others” in Japanese

Japanese Structure vs English Structure

This is a cool diagram I found recently that compares the grammatical structure of a fairly complex sentence written in Japanese and English.

How Romaji Can Ruin Your Day

When you first start learning Japanese, you most likely start out with romaji. Romaji is using an alphabet you already know to write and read Japanese.

And when you get started out, romaji is great! “Pff, I don’t need to learn kanji,” you might think, “This romaji stuff is easy!”

Slow down there, sparky! Romaji might be easy for a while, but it’s just a matter of … [ Read more ]

News in Slow Japanese

This site is a basic but useful reading and listening resource. You’ll find short news articles read by site owner Sakura in both a slow and fast speed to suit your ability. There are three tabs for the text. The default tab shows the original Japanese text with popup definitions and translations. Another tab is for a romaji version and the third tab is the … [ Read more ]

Tatoeba

Tatoeba is a large database of sentences and translations. Its content is ever-growing and results from the voluntary contributions of thousands of members.

Tatoeba provides a tool for you to see examples of how words are used in the context of a sentence. You specify words that interest you, and it returns sentences containing these words with their translations in the desired languages. The name Tatoeba … [ Read more ]

How to Learn Japanese from Songs

You can’t learn a language just by studying vocabulary and grammar. There has to be something you give a damn about understanding in the long run. The sooner you grapple with the stuff you love in the original language, the better. Sure, it may feel like beating your head against a wall sometimes but here are some tricks to help, and also some warnings about … [ Read more ]

Kanji Converter

Kanji Converter is an interesting online tool that lets you paste Japanese text to convert. Well, there are other options for that, but where this one differs is that you can toggle different display options on and off. For example, you can show furigana or romaji and English translations. You can highlight all the words by part of speech (nouns, adjectives, particles, etc.). Clicking on … [ Read more ]

Obenkyo (Android)

Learn Japanese hiragana, katakana and kanji, and test yourself by drawing, or multiple choice. This application helps you memorize:

  • Japanese syllabary :Katakana & Hiragana, with flash card, keyboard, or drawing recognition
  • Numbers, in romaji, Hiragana, or kanji
  • 2300+ japanese kanji’s (level 1-5 JLPT or Jouyou 1-7) with stroke animation (source KanjiVG), translation, readings (Source KanjiDict) with flash card and drawing game.
  • 14600+ japanese words (in

[ Read more ]

Satori Reader

Satori Reader provides carefully curated, intermediate level content with which to practice and grow. With thoughtfully annotated articles spanning a variety of interesting subject matter and a unique system that presents content in a manner appropriate to your knowledge, it bridges the gap between the controlled, textbook Japanese that most students start with and the wide-open world of real-life, native communication. Each article is carefully … [ Read more ]

Jisho

Jisho is a powerful Japanese-English dictionary. It lets you find words, kanji, example sentences and more quickly and easily.

Enter any Japanese text or English word in the search box and Jisho will search a myriad of data for you. You can enter an entire sentence in Japanese or even perform a multi-word search with a mix of English and Japanese. If you enter longer Japanese … [ Read more ]

Manabi Reader (iOS)

Expand your Japanese vocabulary and comprehension by getting in the habit of reading short, native content daily. Manabi Reader makes it easy to jump into interesting native reading material without having to worry about your level: just one tap on any word you don’t know to see its reading and definition.

Don’t waste time trying to find engaging reading material—a curated selection of news feeds, online … [ Read more ]

Furigana Toggle (Firefox Addon)

This addon will let you toggle furigana on pages that have it embedded. That is of only limited use as a lot of sites in Japanese won’t have furigana embedded. Generally speaking, IPA furigana (Firefox, Chrome), which adds furigana to pages that don’t already have it supported, would be the better alternative but that only allows you to toggle the furigana on and … [ Read more ]