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Japanese Language Learning Resource List

Lestat84

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I like many of you want to learn Japanese, but also like many, i had no idea where to begin. This thread is intended to solve that problem of "where do I begin and how do I advance?". I would like to create a running list of all the best resources, textbooks, apps, tools, and everything else that could be useful in the process of learning Japanese.
The way this will work is that anyone can post a resource here, and I will add it to the list. When you submit your item for addition, you should include a brief but detailed description of what the tool is, how to find it (for example a link or download if applicable), and why you recommend it. Also, if it is software or any application, please specify the platform(s) it is compatible with. If your tool is useful, I will add it into the list. Hopefully we can create a truly great reference point for everyone to use and learn from. If you like my idea, please feel free to give me some reputation. The community greatly appreciates your contributions.
The List:
Note: If you have something that does not fall under any category I will be glad to add a category.

Textbooks/Study Guides/books:
A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar: Seiichi Makino, Michio Tsutsui: 9784789004541: Amazon.com
I would recommend it to anyone serious about studying the language. Don't bother to buy the Intermediate and Advanced ones, they seem more like anecdotes than anything else. That is, unless your planning on publishing or something.

Japanese Core Words and Phrases: Things You Can't Find in a Dictionary
It's useful for beginners all the way to advanced and will teach important things you didn't know you should know

Handbook of Modern Japanese Grammar
An excellent reference material. Probably not so useful to beginners, though.

Learning Methods/Strategies:


Websites:

macaronics.com
It'll send you a regular translation assignment by email, with a sentence in Japanese to translate into English.
There's furigana for each word, and if you highlight a particular word or phrase with your mouse, it will look up its meaning for you in the same window.

Learn Japanese | Tae Kim's Guide to Learning Japanese
Tae Kim's grammar guide was a neat start for me, after I did Remembering the Kanji by Heisig. Heisig seems to be very unpopular on these forums, though.

Games:


Mobile Applications:
(Android) My favorite Android app is Kana Mind. It shows you the kana and you have to choose the corresponding romaji sound. It has a proficiency tracker and can tell you how much you've learned. It also doesn't let you move on until you are proficient in the ones it's teaching you.
(Android) A great Android app is Kana By Hand. It let's you try to write kana on your device's screen and tells you your accuracy. It shows stroke order as well and will even teach you a few words.

(Android) If you are planning to take the JLPT, the Android app JLPT Words will teach you all the necessary vocabulary for levels 3-5 in kana, kanji, or romaji. You can quiz yourself and there is a dictionary included in the app.

Quizlet (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/quizlet/id546473125)
You can download flashcards here for almost everything, very useful.

Software:
 
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Lestat84

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sign... it's all on the internet. In one place, with everything you'll ever need.
Yes it is, however good resources are not always easy to find. I simply intend to make it easier for everyone. This will also help clean up the board a little and cut the number of questions such as, "where do I begin learning Japanese?". If you don't like my idea, you don't have to respond.
 
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I've mentioned this before in this forum, but since you're collecting these as a resource list:
Check out macaronics.com, which is a site I created as a hobby, to help my own self-study in reading comprehension.
It'll send you a regular translation assignment by email, with a sentence in Japanese to translate into English.
There's furigana for each word, and if you highlight a particular word or phrase with your mouse, it will look up its meaning for you in the same window.
I like many of you want to learn Japanese, but also like many, I had no idea where to begin. This thread is intended to solve that problem of "where do I begin and how do I advance?". I would like to create a running list of all the best resources, textbooks, apps, tools, and everything else that could be useful in the process of learning Japanese.
The way this will work is that anyone can post a resource here, and I will add it to the list. When you submit your item for addition, you should include a brief but detailed description of what the tool is, how to find it (for example a link or download if applicable), and why you recommend it. Also, if it is software or any application, please specify the platform(s) it is compatible with. If your tool is useful, I will add it to the list. Hopefully, we can create a truly great reference point for everyone to use and learn from. If you like my idea, please feel free to give me some reputation. The community greatly appreciates your contributions.
The List:
Note: If you have something that does not fall under any category I will be glad to add a category.
Textbooks/Study Guides:
Learning Methods/Strategies:
Websites:
Games:
Mobile Applications:
(Android) My favourite Android app is Kana Mind. It shows you the kana and you have to choose the corresponding romaji sound. It has a proficiency tracker and can tell you how much you've learned. It also doesn't let you move on until you are proficient in the ones it's teaching you.
(Android) A great Android app is Kana By Hand. It lets you try to write kana on your device's screen and tells you your accuracy. It shows stroke order as well and will even teach you a few words.
(Android) If you are planning to take the JLPT, the Android app JLPT Words will teach you all the necessary vocabulary for levels 3-5 in kana, kanji, or romaji. You can quiz yourself and there is a dictionary included in the app.
Software:
 

Lestat84

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Thanks for the addition. I will add that right away. That sounds really helpful.
 

BrianLewis

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Lestat84

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Thanks to you sir as well. I will have a mod or Admin add it.
 

Macrobiotic

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I already recommended it in your other thread but I'll do it again. I think "Japanese Core Words and Phrases: Things You Can't Find in a Dictionary" by Kakuko Shoji is almost a must have. It's useful for beginners all the way to advanced and will teach important things you didn't know you should know.
 

Lestat84

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thanks everyone for all the submissions. this is becoming a really great list.
 

Tamayo

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Consider adding Pimsleur's Japanese and Mirai Language's iStart Japanese app for the iOS devices. I haven't gotten very far in them, but they both teach a lot of important basics and do so in an incredibly natural, free-flowing way.

They both cost money -- Pimsleur has three sets of Japanese lessons, 30 lessons per set. The iStart Japanese app costs around 7 dollars for 50 lessons, but they have a lite version with the first 5 lessons for free. Note: The app teaches you kana, stroke order, and other important things about Japanese culture, not just the language.
 

hiperson3673

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readthekanji.com

this site is a great tool for memorizing kanji and reading sentences. it's basically a giant flashcard deck that asks you to translate a specific word/phrase within a sentence. you can also open a pop-up window for the word/phrase that lists basic details of the kanji such as meanings, step-by-step stroke illustrator, and on/kun pronunciation. there's also stats that chart your progress, definitely a nice feature. unfortunately you start out with a limited version, but the full version only costs $5 a month.
i've found this site to be a really awesome "time-killing" study resource, especially when i'm stuck at work with nothing to do :)
 

CptGuapo

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Saiga Kanji Dictionary
To me the best online source of Kanji. I've learned a lot with that great tool. Although being only a section of the main site, its database is the best one among the particular initiative that I know of, and it's completely free. It's still a work in progress, but what is already available is really awesome. To whom it may concern, the main site offers Japanese Arts services, like Shodo, Oshie, Sensu, among others. Highly recommended.
 

Jfan

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Some of the stuff for beginners I've used and found helpful

Textbooks

Genki

- Solid textbook for beginners, with kana characters and kanji introduced early. These books come with a good amount of audio (although it may cost extra depending on your package). Only downside is it is fairly heavy on group exercises, which makes it less than perfect for independent learners, although still good.


Minna no Nihongo

- The other main textbook that many people use it seems. Can be a bit difficult for self-studiers initially as it avoids English (Genki has much more English for explanations, etc). Forces reading speed and experience though.

Readers

- Good bilingual readers are a bit hard to come by in Japanese. These aren't really for beginners, unless you're the type that likes to jump into real materials early on. The language in these isn't too bad though compared to some of the other readers I've seen.

Read Real Japanese Fiction

Read Real Japanese Essays

Grammar-specific study

Japanese Step by Step

- A solid grammar book for beginners. Some people love this book due to it's unique layout, others not so much. I was of the former.


Google translate

- A nice page to have handy when you just want to know what things mean without looking everything up yourself.

Video Games

Whiplash Japanese

- A nice rpg style game for those still learning their hiragana, katakana, or starting out in kanji. Basically you need to translate characters to keep monsters from resurrecting or to go through the different areas as you play the adventure.

Audio-based

JPod 101

- Tons of podcast audio lessons for people of all levels. They do a good job of making sure each lesson builds on itself and you get a feel of more real, non-textbook language.
 

NiceguyJP

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Here's a site you may want to consider:

http://newsinslowjapanese.com/

It has popup definitions and readings with audio. It appears to be
Updated frequently with current articles. It is just at my level which is
Intermediate to upper level. It's all free too.
 

Andromedashun

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Learn Japanese Online | Nihongo-Pro.com is a great site for JLPT practice. You can find tons of quiz over the past few years. It covers mostly grammar and vocab and sometime reading comprehension (which is a bit different and easier than real test). Anyway this is probably the best japanese learning website I have found. Enjoy! :D
 

Lestat84

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I just bought Japanese Demystified a few days ago and i really like it a lot. it's $25 well spent ion my opinion.it comes with a 60 track audio CD that includes pronunciation help and oral practice. Each chapter and section have quizzes or tests at the end of them, helping you to asses your strengths and weaknesses in what you've just learned. I'm impressed by this book, and i appreciate that it goes in-depth and into great detail so that readers understand even things like characteristics of hiragana and katakana and how they compare. This is a great book for beginners, and a good book for intermediate students. if you're looking for a book that will teach you Japanese so that you fully understand how to speak, read, and write, this is your book. It's also your book if you want to start from the beginning. This is my most highly recommended book for beginners.
 

Tamayo

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I'd also like to add a free addon for the Mozilla Firefox browser called Rikaichan. When you activate it, it shows you information about words written in both kana and kanji when you mouse over text. It's been absolutely invaluable when I want to look up a word without knowing how to spell it. (I can just type the word out in kana phonetically and see what comes up when I mouse over it)

It's also great for when you can't read a kanji and all you need to do is mous eover for a list of definitions in order of how common they are.

Get it here. Also search Mozilla's addon sight for the Rikaichan name dictionary, which you can have prioritized in the addon settings!
 
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I prefer rikaisama Rikaisama to rikaichan (especially for the ability to create anki vocabulary cards with a keystroke, after a little setup, but it has a ton of other added features beyond what rikaichan does.)
There's also a rikaikun for Google Chrome, which is a rikaichan port.
I don't know if anyone has made a rikai variant for IE or Safari.
 

Tamayo

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Huh, I hadn't heard of, though I have heard of Rikaikun. I'll be checking that out, thanks!
 

Lestat84

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The one problem being that Firefox is nothing in comparison to Google Chrome.

Totally off topic but 100th post here. Oh Yeah!
 

baskerville

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I am loving Macaronics! Thanks dpapathanasiou!
+1 also on A Dictionary of Basic/Intermediate/Advanced Japanese Grammar. I cannot recommend that enough.:)

A bit off topic: I went to the Nihongo-pro.com website and I saw this picture of a girl with a headset. Does anyone know who this model is? I keep seeing her everywhere, not just in my country.
 
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