Last updated: 9-17-13
Here is a page of links that I’ve found related to learning Japanese.
- Lang-8 – An online language exchange website that allows you to communicate with native Japanese (and other) folks. Article on this coming soon.
- TextFugu – An online learning guide for beginners. I’m hesitant to call it a “textbook” because the connotations that go with it, but if there is one out there I’d use, this would be it. The first “season” is free, and the rest requires a subscription (they have monthly and lifetime subscription options). Worth every penny.
- V2K Japan – A new blog written by three friends who want to share Japanese culture, language and products.
- fengyunzhibo.com - The site is in Chinese, but there are many, many streams of Japanese television here.
- Remembering the Kanji (Vol. 1) by James W. Heisig – This book teaches the over 2,000 general-use Kanji. It’s divided into lessons, and begins with “primative” kanji first, building up to the more complex kanji.
- All Japanese All The Time (AJATT) – This site is one of my main guidelines for teaching myself Japanese. It does not teach Japanese, but teaches a way to learn Japanese, or in the poster’s words, become Japanese. I follow this closely, but there are a few deviations I’m making to make it work for me. Either way, it’s a great site.
Raziko for Android – this is a great app that allows you to listen to Japanese radio. Even if you don’t understand what you are listening to, listen anyway. It will eventually pay off, an you’ll start understanding parts of it down the road.UPDATE: This no longer works outside of Japan. Turns out it was only made available temporarily after the 2011 tsunami, which is when this page was written.
- JED – Japanese-English Dictionary for Android – Having one of these is quintessential to learning any language. This one has advanced search features allowing you to search by English or Japanese. It gives you the results in Kanji or Kana (or both if it applies), as well as in Romaji so you know how to pronounce it.
- Kana Table – Displays the common hirigana and katakana in one place. I looked for a text based one all over the net, and was unable to find a nice one, so I made one. Now printer friendly!
- Rikaichan – A FireFox plugin (Rikaikun is also available for Chrome) that acts as a Japanese dictionary when you hover over kanji or kana. Very useful for all those Japanese web sites.
- Anki – A cross-platform SRS tool to use for reviewing and retaining Japanese. There are mobile applications available as well, and all include a sync option if you sign up for a (free) account. Hands down the best tool out there for the job in my opinion.
- Reviewing the Kanji – A useful SRS tool that helps review/retain Kanji/Kana/Whatever. Matches up with the book so you don’t have to key in the Kanji. I used this when I started out, but have since switched to Anki. Some still swear by it, though.
- last.fm – Has a very wide variety of Japanese music to choose from. A bit like Pandora (which unfortunately doesn’t have much Japanese music).
- Google 日本語 – No more searches in English! Japanese search only! A simple change of URL will help with immersion.
- Installing and Typing Japanese on Vista / Windows 7 (YesJapan) – How to install and type in the language for Windows Vista and 7.
- Japanese Input on Windows XP – Same as above, but for Windows XP.
- Japanese Input on Mac – Same as above, but for Mac.
- FNN News – A great resource for reading and listening to the news on complete Japanese.
- NHK World – Japanese Lessons – These are audio books with accompanying workbooks – 100 lessons free. They are good for some basic expressions.
- Yahoo! Mail Japan – Yep, might as well swap over to that Japanese email account as well.
- Japanese Playstation Manuals- The ones for the PocketStation, original Playstation and PSOne all include furigana!
- TBS Radio 954 Podcasts – Chock-full of downloadable Japanese talk show podcasts, in MP3 format. Literally dozens of hours worth.
- TuneIn – Japanese internet radio streams. Lots of stations to choose from.
- Grooveshark – Like Pandora, but you choose the tracks you want to listen to.
- Freshverse - Japanese TV stream. Free. Only one channel, but it’s in higher quality than anything else out there. UPDATE: Looks like this site is down for a while. The stream hasn’t functioned in over 6 months and no activity on the site since last year.
- サイマルラジオ (saimaru rajio/simul radio) – Tons of Japanese radio stations to choose from, all in one place. Click the plus signs to open up a station.
- Tae Kim’s Blog – a blog with lots of helpful info on learning Japanese. Anyone trying to learn Japanese on their own would eventually stumble onto this. It’s like the rice of learning Japanese.
If there are any links you find useful and would like to see posted, please send me an email at torabisuburoman[at]yahoo[dot]co[dot]jp.