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 the transcript appears in large text underneath.

YouGlish allows you to add extra parameters to your search, like filtering by female and male. Although the gender filter works well for Japanese, the parts of speech, phrase type, and hashtag context filters don’t work very well on Japanese videos (at least, not yet). There are a few settings as well, like filtering out restricted videos (like YouTube’s Kid Mode) and adjusting how many seconds before the word the video starts playing.

Many of the videos that come up first are from popular TEDx Talks, university lectures or videos from Japanese government ministries. But I’ve also found videos I might not have ever come across otherwise, like weekly bilingual Japanese/English tarot card readings and book reviews.

I’ve also used YouGlish to look up words I’ve just learned to see the various ways the words can be used in different contexts. If you create an account and log in, you can save your favorite search terms and videos.

Whether you’re practicing pronunciation, hoping to learn how certain words (like さすが) are used in various scenarios, or just want to find high-quality Japanese videos to watch on a specific topic, YouGlish is a good tool to find Japanese video material.
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