Everyone knows that the GOOG is an incredible resource no matter what you’re doing (Japanese language learning included!). Despite this, there are very few people who know about some really useful features. Some of them “hacks,” some of them just somewhat hidden. Although there are way more than ten ways to use Google for your Japanese learning (you’ll list more in the comments section, right?), these are my favorite Google “gems” that will help you speed up your Japanese studies in no time.
This is a request. No, it’s a plea. Consider this the voice of all the Japanese who wish they had a nice Westerner to practice their English with, but can’t. I’ve been talking to a lot of Japanese people about finding English-language partners, and there was quite a consensus… So much so I was able to create a little list. First, let’s see who these people are. [Read more…]
Why, it was just yesterday that I teamed up with Koichi to kick some Katakana butt on edufire. A rather special class, it was – none of your usual vocabulary fluff. We’re talking real, useful katakana and it’s guaranteed to knock the Christmas socks off any native Japanese speaker when they hear you, or Tofugu isn’t a wonky bean-curd fishman! So, let’s get stuck right in to this 2-part blog post – Gakuranman x Tofugu – Fluency through Katakana Special!
I went for a vintage look with the slides – what do you reckon? Is the ‘Fugu a classic fish yet or still wet around the gills? [Read more…]
Mmm. Macs. I’m about the biggest fanboy you’ll see, which probably means a totally biased review. This morning, on the way to work, I made the trek to my version of Mecca and walked past ground zero for Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference. I’ve been thinking about how macs make it easier for me to study Japanese, but the announcement of one particular feature on Snow Leopard (the new OS, which will cost a mere $29) has motivated me to finish this article. Here’s Mac versus PC, blow by blow, when it comes to Japanese study. Let the flame wars begin. [Read more…]
Philip Seyfi sent me an e-mail asking me to check out his Adobe Air application Nihongoup (for a long time I thought its name was some sort of weird misspelling, or a fish reference, which of course we approve of Ha! Logo is now NihongoUp! Don’t say we never did anything for you). He hooked me up with a free copy (it’s normally $4.99) as well as five more to give away to all of you. You’ll have to keep reading to figure out how you can win. [Read more…]
Deas lives on and blogs from Hakatajima, halfway between Honshu and Shikoku. He’s a fellow wonky culture lover who tends to write about his personal struggle to conquer the Japanese language, as well as about trips abroad, adventures in eating, life as an ALT, and comedy. From tongue twisters, to old radio dramas and just being silly, he approaches Japan from a casual perspective, tempered by time and humor.
In this guest post, I thought I’d walk you through some convenient methods for picking the pace up on your speech, dropping unnecessary syllables, and blending in with the kids your age. (Unless you’re older and you want to be like the uncomfortable teen’s awkward mom poorly using “Wassup?” If that’s you, this article might not be for you. Then again, some people can pull it off. Your call.) The following examples are all found in the above video as well. Choose your favorite format, and follow along. And of course, feel free to leave comments and ask questions! [Read more…]
[box type=”info”]Newer version of the Japanese Particles Cheatsheet[/box]
Japanese particles can be fun, if by fun you mean eye gouges and hair pulls. I haven’t come across too many people that enjoy Japanese particles. Tolerate? Sure, there are a few, but most people aren’t fans, and most teachers don’t make things too easy. Yesterday I taught a couple of courses on Japanese particles over at eduFire, and did everything I could to make particles easy and understandable. I figure if someone like me, who lacks a technical understanding of all grammar (in English, especially), can understand particles, then so should everyone else. I made things easy, cut out the fat, and simplified everything as much as possible, and I think for the most part it worked for people! [Read more…]
No doubt, if you’ve taken Japanese lessons from me before, you probably have heard this “rant” before. The one about Star Wars and how it was “inspired” by a Japanese film, and Yoda (which is a Japanese name, by the way) is actually an old Samurai master who speaks with Japanese grammar. I use this as a jumping off point when teaching people about Japanese grammar, so I thought it would be fun to share it with all of you as well! [Read more…]
I got this tip from Joyce, a college professor, and expert in Godzilla studies (not even kidding). She uses this as part of a lesson on cultural insight. Sounds like a fun class. Read on!
It’s funny enough to put something into an online translator to change it to Japanese, then putting it back through the opposite way to see what it comes up with, but this is on a whole new level. This is actually a version of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer made just for Japan, culture insight included. Let’s take a look: [Read more…]
This is just a quick post mostly referencing an article over at NihonHacks (so you can just go over there and read about it too), about a couple cool tools to add furigana over your kanji (furigana = hiragana that’s on top of kanji to show you how to pronounce it).
There are two tools – one for adding furigana to OpenOffice documents (which is really useful since you can just copy and paste a bunch of Japanese into it, and then get the furigana), and another for Firefox. [Read more…]
A few days ago I did a live e-lecture about Japanese counters (and how suicidal they can make you). To go along with the presentation, I put together an e-book for you to use as a Japanese counter resource. Let’s take a closer look at counters, and then I’ll provide the link to the e-book which goes into a lot more detail and specifics! [Read more…]
[box type=”tick”]Check out Tofugu’s new Japanese Resources Guide! It has the best Japanese resources and reviews for each! It’s also more updated and has more resources than this article![/box]
I’m really proud and excited to announce Tofugu’s first annual “Top 10 Online Resources for Learning Japanese for Free” list, which includes an e-book that’s available for download at the end of the article. There’s also video down there for all you people who don’t like reading things!
Have you ever wondered what was out there in the tubes of the interwebs in terms of improving your Japanese? Honestly, a whole lot of junk. Some of that junk is mediocre, but most of it is pretty junky. I’ve sifted through all that and came up with a list of the best Japanese resources on the web. Granted, everything is just my opinion, but I think this is a really well rounded list that should have something (hopefully a few things) for everyone! If you’ve been a reader on Tofugu for a while now, you’ve probably seen some of these. Still there’s a lot of new stuff here, so please, dive in, and tell me what you think! [Read more…]