If you’re an independent soul and would like your time in Japan to be flexible and adventurous, a working holiday could be your best option. What follows is the full guide—from applying for your visa, to work and housing options, and even how to convert to a standard working visa if you want to stay in Japan—all from someone who has done it. I’m British, … [ Read more ]
There are tons of Japanese reference and learning apps out there, so if this one looks familiar to you, don’t worry. That’s because it isn’t new at all. It’s been around on iOS since 2008.
But Japanese has undergone some major changes recently and is now the shiny, new version 4!
This app has a ton of new content:
- Built-in Japanese-English dictionary with
… [ Read more ]
Pulling material from both NHK News and Hukumusume, TangoRisto allows users to make the most of their reading experience with unique features, customizable vocabulary lists, and easy Japanese dictionary lookup.
When you open the app, you’re given a few options to choose from:
- NHK News Easy
- Top NHK News
NHK News Easy is Japanese news written for kids – think … [ Read more ]
In this series, Tofugu asks learners what Japanese learning resources and methods they use to study and why. Today, we talk to Jonathan Kirk, the guy who made the popular kanji learning app, *Kanshudo*. Jonathan focused on building up his reading skill first (which led him to create his kanji learning system). So if you want to boost your Japanese reading ability, pay attention.
Editor’s Note: … [ Read more ]
The kanji methods war is broken up into several camps, which I will be naming the following:
– Vocabulary & Context
– Reading Reading Reading
– Mnemonics With Readings
As I go through each “Way Of The Kanji,” I’d like to look at the positives, negatives, and history of each (if possible).
Koichi at Tofugu offers up an excellent primer on identifying unknown kanji characters and lists some useful resources. Even more useful resources are mentioned in the comments, so check them out as well.
Looks like a non-Japanese (aka USA, for now) Amazon Kindle store now stocks books in the Japanese language. This opens up some huge opportunities for study, though it does currently have its share of problems. Koichi spent the weekend reading terrible books and trying things out, though, so he’d be able to share them with you.
Since it’s normally pretty hard for beginners to find reading resources, Tofugu put together a list of resources for beginners to study with, listing them with a little bit about each including some suggestions on how to study with them.
Is Japan really as expensive as people say it is? Ashley Thompson has discovered many ways to save money, both as a resident and as a traveler. Some are fairly standard, but others were learned through trial and error.
Koichi at Tofugu has come up with a list of ten things he really wishes he had known during the days of his youth that would have made my Japanese-learning life so much easier.
At the core of Japanese there’s hiragana, the basic Japanese alphabet (or syllabary, if you want to be pedantic about it). But it wasn’t until pretty recently that hiragana was standardized. Until the 20th century, people could basically write hiragana however they wanted to. Those different ways of writing hiragana were called hentaigana (変体仮名).
A lot of people don’t know this, but the Japanese language is actually a big mishmash of several not-Japanese languages put together. At one time though, a long long time ago, the Japanese language was a slightly less mishmashy combination of several languages. This is what’s known as “Yamato Kotoba” ー the real Japanese language from a time when there wasn’t so much outside language … [ Read more ]
The Japanese YouTube scene is more sparsely populated than its American counterpart. However, there is definitely a rising J-vlogging scene. But as with all things up and coming, sometimes it’s hard to tell where to start and find out what’s worth your time. Fortunately, I’ve found several awesome Japanese YouTubers for you.
If you’ve ever considered a trip to the land of the rising sun you’ve probably done some research on proper Japanese etiquette. Many daily customs are significantly different from those of the western world. Hopefully this compiled list of proper manners will be all you’ll ever need to survive your stay in Japan. Check out these etiquette resources and never again bring shame and dishonor … [ Read more ]
Japanese drama is a pretty excellent way to study Japanese. Watching it is one thing… but actually actively studying it is another. I will tell you exactly how to do that and get a ton of benefit compared to the time spent.
Editor’s Note: some good links and suggestions in the comments section as well.
These 100 words will get you through an untold number of situations, problems, and feelings, just by knowing these all-important words. I’m not saying that there aren’t any other important words out there (and I hope you add to the list by commenting below), but I do think this list of 100 words will get you really, really far if you are, for some reason, … [ Read more ]
I’m guessing a lot of you know how to type in Japanese (hint: you don’t need a Japanese keyboard), but did you know about all the “hidden” special characters you can type out while you’re in Japanese input mode? You aren’t only limited to hiragana, katakana, romaji, and kanji. There are a score of other weird characters you can use to make your text a … [ Read more ]
Instead of a Japanese language electronic dictionary, Tofugu recommends you get an iPhone or iPod Touch.
Bad news everyone. It looks like if you want to be considered as a literate member of the Japanese society, you’re going to have to learn an additional 196 kanji to make it in every day life. A proposal is in (and it seems like it’s going to pass.
This list has been broken up by category, that way you can find the things you’re most interested in quickly and easily (without having to scroll through the entire list). Within each category, I’ve listed resources starting with my favorites and working my way down. Those marked with a tofugu logo () are “Tofugu approved,” which mostly just means they’ll give you a warm and … [ Read more ]