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Japanese Language Learning Resource List

Nugalis IT

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A good way to study Japanese is using an app for it, we are a start-up and our first project is "Japanese Easy Learn" which allows the user to exercise on pronunciation, writting, creating favourte lists with most used words/expressions, etc. It can be downloaded on Android cellphones and tablets in google play, give it a try and let us know your opinion about it (p.s. it's free ^_^) :

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nugalis.japanesephrasebook

regards.
 

Lestat84

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Credit to nihongomaster for this one:
If you like manga and the idea of gaming to help you learn, you can try out Nihongo Master at Nihongo Master, Learn Japanese Online . A lot of the site is free including the lessons to get you started. We can teach you to read write and speak basic Japanese for free. It's gaming because you score points and rank against other learners. You can also create teams. Our lessons also have a lot of custom illustrations in manga form to help you learn. It sounds like it's right down your alley. Also, once you're done with the beginner lessons, if you don't want to lay you can still use your video games and manga with our free dictionary to lookup words and see how to use them. At least with the beginner lessons you'll understand how to read and use a dictionary more effectively.
And credit to Mwani for this one
I remember seeing this book and others like it in my library, which showed you Japanese in a manga context. I thought it was an interesting idea. If you really like manga then this might be an option for you. It's called Japanese in Mangaland. Good luck!!

Also the thing that was most helpful for me besides actually going to school for it was Pimsleur's Japanese. You can find it to download somewhere online. It is an audio program that starts from the very basics so you can listen to it while you do other things. I found it really helpful and it's really well done.
 

tokyodrift

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I would recommend: Learn Japanese Online The Smart Way

I used to study using textbooks, but now I do most of my studying on my ipad or iphone. Cooori is great because I can access it anywhere and its AI software adapts to the words I have trouble remembering. It is also good for learning kanji because its kanji flash card sets give example sentences using kanji you have learned in previous lessons. Cooori's navigation is also clean and easy to use.
 

nirvama

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For me, I always found Google a best source of learning Japaneses. I already have been there for a student exchange program and I must say that the time that I spent there was very good and really awesome.
 

willsjah

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If you want to have someone explain Japanese grammar in details starting from the absolute beginners' level, please check out our "Mirai Japanese" app.

Disclaimer: I'm part of the dev team. :)
 
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SCP173

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So what's the best combination of resources, and techniques, to learn how to read (only read) Japanese at high-school graduate level, within two years of 2-3 hours a day? I'm using Anki in combination with romajidesu.com. A kanji comes up in Anki and I look it up, then write it down with its meanings. Then when it comes up again in Anki, I regurgitate everything I know about it before checking to see if I was right. I checked out Heisig, but it seems he only offers one meaning per kanji, whereas on romajidesu.com there's several, along with all the compounds the kanji occurs in. Anyway, once I'm at a certain point, and have memorized all of Japanese Verbs and Essentials of Grammar (which seems like an extremely awesome beginner book, very condensed and to the point), I plan on moving on to learn the rest the same way I did English - playing games, with a dictionary in hand.

I'm coming to find that learning to read is a hella lot easier than writing. I may only remember a kanji's shape vaguely, but I may still recognize it when I see it. Of course there are those that are similar but trial and error should smooth that out.
 
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I have currently completed 1 year of Japanese at my university and am currently studying abroad in Japan but have come to learn that I do not perform very well in the education system so I wish to study Japanese independently. I want to ask where can I start studying on my own at an intermediate level? I understand hiragana, katakana, a few kanji, elementary grammatical structures, and have a small vocabulary. What books or programs would be good for me to start at? I've bought many Japanese video games abroad and would like to do whatever I can to learn this language so that I can play them. Thank you for your time.
 

Josiah

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Here is one I believe you should add. It's a site called "Nihongomaster.com". Basically it teaches you from the ground up, you learn to read, write and you can message other people that are studying too. Take a look and see what you think please!
 

MaiNakazato

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Hi! Hajimemashite!
My friend told me about this forum, and I am speechless and amazed to see so many people who are passionate about learning Japanese and our culture. I think any Japanese who sees this forum will be so happy and thankful :)
The reason why my friend told me about this forum was because I'm making Japanese lesson videos on my YouTube channel.
I'm a struggling actor with big dreams and no acting gigs, so I decided to make something that I could utilise my skills as well as have fun with acting!
I designed my videos to be more practical and realistic, so in the given situations, you will see 6 different characters who speak quite differently from each other following the textbook phrases. The first lesson video gives you character assessment test too, so you can easily see which Japanese will suit better to your personality.
I also wanted viewers to hear how it actually sounds like if you are in Japan, so I didn't try to slow it down or make it extra clearer. I hope you will eventually get used to the speed and the words, so it will be helpful when you are actually in native Japanese conversations.
So here is my YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/comeplaywithmaihead

I will also be posting some videos only in English, but you can ignore them!
I'm trying to come up with relevant situations to go over in my videos, but I'm running out of ideas, so you will be always welcomed to give me any requests or suggestions in the comment section :) That will be very helpful.

I'm also doing a reporter for a new YouTube show produced by a Japanese producer, and on this show, we introduce Japanese culture, food, people, places, events in English. We only have 2 videos so far, but already have a couple of shootings this month, so should be able to update constantly. On the first two videos, a professional makeup artist put traditional Kabuki makeup and Oiran makeup on me, and we went to a fashion show in one of the leading fashion districts in Tokyo.
I think you will enjoy it!:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzNcQjg_IpqSZiho1TXUPzA


I really want a lot of people to see my videos, and find out what I can do better for viewers to learn Japanese!

Thank you very much for reading this long post.
Hoping to hear from you all!
 

LeftCoastDave

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Great thread!
Here are a few resources I'd like to share with others!

NHK (if you get it in your area) has a TV show called "Meet and Speak". Basic language lessons, cultural lessons also.
NHK's Meet & Speak page: NHK WORLD TV | Meet and Speak
Meet & Speak episodes on youtube: NHK Meet and Speak - YouTube

For online/mobile devices I've found a few that I like to use:
iKno: iKnow!で英語。ちょっとの努力で、大きな成果を。 - iKnow!
I enjoy the mobile app, good for quick study sessions while on break at work. Got a great deal for a 12-month subscription around the holidays (December). I'm not completely "blown away" but the level of interaction, but the first "core" lesson appears to be based on the "Core 1000" vocab words for Japanese. There is a "Speed vocab test" that fun to test yourself with. I would love to see a portion of their program that focuses on verb conjugation or sentence construction, so if anyone could recommend an app with that...

OpenLanguage: Real Language Taught By Real People · OpenLanguage®
They have several different languages available. They have a Japanese podcast that I've found very informative and useful that I would HIGHLY recommend for anyone in the beginner or early-intermediate level at least. Cannot comment on the mobile app at this time as I don't have a paid subscription (currently @ $30/mo). That's a little pricey but with everyday use your grasp on the language would grow, no doubt; I've picked up a lot just with the free preview podcast alone. Look up the podcasts on iTunes. Definitely on my list of subscriptions to get.
 

thesuker

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こんいちは! Not sure if this link is listed here, but I'd like to share it with all of you. This morning I read the かさじぞう folk-tale in my textbook, and, having found it really good and accessible, started looking for more children folk-tale stories and stumbled upon the following link: 昔話のジャンル別 福娘童話集

It has many many stories with audio reading included. It has kanjis, but it's possible to copy and paste them on your dictionary.
 

haibuihoang

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I want to suggest my effort on creating a Japanese integrated dictionary at RomajiDesu - Japanese dictionary and translator I included in this dictionary the JMdict of Professor Jim Breen, example sentences, Kanji dictionary with many look up methods, mecab morphological analyzer, etc... Hope you find it useful!
ありがとう!
 

majide.nihongo

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I teach Japanese in Brazil, and recently started posting lesson materials regularly. It's still in its infancy, but it might be of interest to beginners. And I'd love to get topic requests! I will try and put together lessons based on the popular topics.

majideJapanese.com

Cheers!
 

jamesknelson

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I'd like to contribute Read Your Grade to the list!

Read Your Grade is a website for those who are stuck trying to find good material for practicing reading at their current level. It is a list of books ordered by their estimated easiness, with links to Aozora Bunko if available (so you can read them for free), and Kindle links as well if you prefer to read that way. I'm aiming to place material at all levels on it - there are some pretty easy texts with full Furigana, as well as classics like those by Natsume Soseki.

I hope you find it useful! I'd love to improve it if you have any suggestions.
 

JLPTGeneral

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JLPTの試験を練習する為に以下のAppを使って見てください。
This application provides a collection of Japanese Proficiency Tests from N4 to N1. Each test includes four sections, namely: Vocabulary – Kanji, Listening, Reading Comprehension, and Grammar. We provide you with actual tests from 1991 to 2006. The answer keys for N4 and N3 tests are included, but not for N2 and N1 tests.
You can choose to do one part or the whole test. Also, this application allows you to do tests about vocabulary – Kanji, listening, reading comprehension with the questions being shuffled across different years, and within a pre-defined time limit.
This application will help you to familiarize yourself with Japanese proficiency tests that are completely similar to the actual tests.
Notice: The listening part may not be available in all tests.
JLPT General - Các ứng dụng dành cho Android trên Google Play
以上、宜しくお願い致します。
 

Felizzz

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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 (Quizlet - Flashcards & Study Tools on the App Store on iTunes)
You can download flashcards here for almost everything, very useful.

Software:
I offer beginner Japanese lessons on my youtube channel. I hope these videos will help others
felicity essel - YouTube
 

sonder

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Hi, thanks for this! I find it's very easy to find many resources by a simple Google search but it's hard to tell which ones are good and even where to start. This will definitely help out a lot.
 

think_too_mut

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Along the way, I bought 15 different books (some are recommended in previous posts by other members) , tried and retried, never learned anything.

The problem was - no teacher or book were teaching with writing. Then, when I realized I will be staying in Japan longer than I thought, maybe forever, took up Kumon training.
Fantastic, it simply goes up and up. True, it may be building on what I already picked and making it systematic.
It goes from scratch, with writing, lots of writing. They send you workbooks and CDs. Each month you pay for the next set and they send it. There are options with Skype video class but I don't need that.
Each subsequent set has about 30% from the previous one, to reinforce it.

A friend from Australia tried to get into it but no, only if one is in Japan (sending materials, payment in convenience stores).

I saw their advertisement in Japan Today, I think both this site and Kumon would benefit if they advertise here, on JREF.
 
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