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New Japanese Studying Assets: Winter 2021


As Winter’s chill settles in, it is also a good time to settle in with some new Japanese studying sources with which to review! Our intrepid staff has compiled a few of the finest new sources we have discovered for Winter 2021-2022. Have a look and see if there’s something new to you as effectively!

CicoJapanese

CicoJapanese is the identify of a channel the place the host, Cico, teaches informal Japanese phrases. You’ll be able to entry her content material on most social media channels together with Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. Relying on which platform you select, the content material is barely totally different. On Twitter, for example, Cico appears to be extra lively. You will get extra of a glimpse of her way of life, typically that includes movies or photographs of Kyoto the place she lives, or of her household’s actions.
The movies that Cico creates are all comparatively quick, clocking in at round 45 seconds. The content material is all the time fairly useful and consists of subjects like textbook versus actual Japanese utilization, and alternative ways to say the identical factor in Japanese. Cico is energetic and enjoyable, which makes her movies pleasurable to observe. Her lovable daughter is commonly featured in her movies as effectively.

The content material might be finest for newbie to intermediate Japanese learners, and is very useful for individuals who need to follow extra pure methods to talk conversational Japanese. She additionally presents group classes, and you’ll attain out to her for extra info. Have enjoyable scrolling and studying!

Platform: Twitter, Instagram, TikTok
Price: Free!
Test it Out!

Asakusa Child

In search of one thing new to observe on Netflix? We have got you coated. Asakusa Child is a movie primarily based on the lifetime of famend Japanese comic Kitano Takeshi, a.ok.a Beat Takeshi, who you might also know as an actor, a film director or a well-liked TV present host and commentator nowadays. The story, primarily based on true occasions, takes you thru the early years of Kitano’s profession at France-za in Asakusa, a comedy membership that doubles as a strip membership. Though Kitano begins off with little comedic ability, he apprentices underneath Fukami, the proprietor of the membership who acknowledges his potential, and Kitano rapidly picks up varied methods of the leisure commerce, like faucet dancing. The movie showcases Kitano’s rise to fame and displays on a few of the hardships of the business.

When it comes to language use, the movie portrays Tokyo’s “good-old” shitamachi dialect, which is considerably vulgar and blunt, however has an excellent rhythm and a component of humor missing in the usual Tokyo dialect. For those who resolve to test it out, hold an ear out for expletive phrases (a.ok.a. curse phrases) like ばかやろう (bakayarо̄, which means “dumb-ass”). You will hear Kitano use it fairly incessantly, even right now.

Regardless of it being a movie in regards to the profession of a comic, it has darkish undertones with themes of debt, betrayal, and demise. The performing is spectacular, and options some well-known Japanese actors, a couple of of whom you could acknowledge. The photographs are vivid and superbly crafted, offering a sensible glimpse of retro Tokyo. Whether or not you are acquainted with this comic or not, it is one to observe!

Platform: Netflix
Price: Netflix Subscription
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Let’s Study Japanese – Miho Channel

If this channel looks like a blast from the previous, that is as a result of it’s! Round 11 years in the past, the host began this YouTube channel to show Japanese. Though only some dozen movies have been launched on the time, previously yr it has been revamped with tons of recent content material. Miho, who runs the channel, used to show on the College of Pennsylvania, and is aware of English in addition to her native Japanese. The channel is geared toward serving to each English audio system studying Japanese, and Japanese audio system who’re serious about studying English.

The size of every video depends upon the content material. As an illustration, the “3 Min Japanese” segments are a few of the shortest and have extra conversation-like subjects. The grammar movies are a bit longer, go into extra depth, and supply examples. The longest are the shadowing workouts (which may be over an hour lengthy) the place all the pieces is repeated twice. These are maybe a few of the most useful movies for novices, particularly those that do effectively with repetition workouts.

The movies are focused extra towards newbie to intermediate learners, however she has content material for all ranges; the N5-N1 listening follow movies are an excellent instance. The quantity of Japanese and English used is not all the time constant, so you will seemingly want some data of each. One different factor that is likely to be an adjustment to listeners is the upper pitched, barely distorted vocal impact on Miho’s audio, however you could not discover it to start with. Sadly, video manufacturing stopped in August because of private well being points, however we hope to see her again at some point.

Platform: YouTube
Price: Free!
Test it Out!

BretMayer.com

kotowaza level 1 page on bretmayer.com

This web site, created by a man named Bret Mayer (clearly), is a vital instrument for anybody critical about studying kanji, and particularly useful for anybody trying to take Japan’s official kanji data take a look at, the Kanji Kentei.

Mayer’s website has plenty of helpful sources that make researching kanji phrases practically painless: vocab lists, a 4-character idiom index at varied ranges, proverbs starting from easy to advanced compound constructions, an inventory of phrases with non-standard kanji utilization, and extra. He additionally supplies reminiscence hints and useful explanations to drive house the which means of kanji. For instance, 顎を出す (in the past o dasu), consists of the reminiscence trace beneath it: “So drained you’ll be able to solely prolong 出 your jaw 顎 ahead.” One other instance is the kanji phrase 鄙見 (hiken) means “a dumb thought.” Under this, he supplies the next rationalization: “Used to criticize one other’s opinion, or play down your individual.”

Because of the quantity of adverse and complicated content material on the positioning, superior learners, these searching for to take the Kanji Kentei exams, and even upper-beginner or intermediate learners who’ve a excessive kanji proficiency will seemingly get probably the most use out of it. Newbie and intermediate learners should not be discouraged from visiting although, as it is a nice useful resource for digging into actually wacky kanji. I am you, 飇風 (hyoufuu, which means whirlwind). It must also be famous that the kanji part of this web site is just one half of the content material. It’s also possible to discover pages devoted to Japanese tea and a few tales in Japanese and English accessible by way of the homepage.

Platform: Web site
Price: Free!
Test it Out!

IRODORI Japanese On-line Course

Irodori Japanese Online Course sample lesson page

Anybody searching for an upper-beginner, standards-based, interactive, and easy-to-use on-line Japanese studying course might be delighted to attempt the IRODORI Japanese On-line Course. This free Japanese-learning website is designed by the identical individuals who made the Marugoto textbooks, that are recognized for his or her interactive and colourful content material. IRODORI is designed very equally: enjoyable, intuitive, and filled with understandable media. In contrast to Marugoto, nevertheless, IRODORI is barely faster-paced and is designed for individuals who have already accomplished an absolute newbie course in Japanese (i.e. the A1 stage, in accordance with the Japan Basis’s language requirements). So, should you already know hiragana, katakana, some kanji, and primary grammar and vocabulary, then the IRODORI Japanese On-line Course could also be best for you!

The content material is extremely organized with classes divided into 9 subjects (content material themes) with two classes per subject. All 18 classes are populated with writing, studying, listening, and talking actions. Whereas studying and listening actions could also be comprehensible for an internet language course, IRODORI is exclusive in that it incorporates areas for learners to report their very own talking and writing follow with every lesson. These may be saved to a person “portfolio” which customers can entry later to see how far they’ve come of their research. There’s additionally a distinction made between learning (i.e. studying new materials) and practising (i.e. reviewing materials you may have already discovered).

Irodori Japanese Online Course sample lesson page

It is truly onerous to imagine that every one of this content material is accessible to everybody freed from cost. You’ll be able to see their content material lists for the Elementary 1 and Elementary 2 ranges, vocabulary lists (Elementary 1 and Elementary 2), expression lists (Elementary 1 and Elementary 2), and a kanji record (Elementary 1 and Elementary 2). It’s also possible to discover a print model of IRODORI for ranges A1 to A2 freed from cost right here. In truth, the IRODORI On-line Course is predicated on this print model, which was designed to assist foreigners regulate to life in Japan and encourage others to return to Japan for highly-skilled work.

Platform: Web site
Price: Free!
Test it Out!

Japanese Tomato

Japanese Tomato Youtube Channel teaching basic Japanese

With solely 14 movies as of the publication of this text, this small YouTube channel has garnered over 85 thousand subscribers and over 1,000,000 views on their very first video alone. Japanese Tomato movies are easy Japanese classes that normally cowl a single subject reminiscent of, “Colours in Japanese” or “Can You Learn Hiragana in 3 Seconds (Animal Version).” The teachings are very primary and will attraction to absolute novices. After content material is offered, you’ll normally be given a follow session to make use of what you may have simply discovered. Watching one or two of those quick video classes could also be a great way to complement studying.

Whereas these movies will not be amazingly revolutionary, nor excellent within the visible results division, the channel manages to get hundreds of views on every one. Commenters actually appear to benefit from the tempo of every video lesson and are typically comfortable to have discovered one thing new. There are solely a handful of movies printed, however the channel appears to replace commonly.

Platform: YouTube
Price: Free!
Test it Out!

Study Natively

Natively - book reading community for Japanese language learners

Self-proclaimed as a “book-reading neighborhood for Japanese language learners,” this web site is basically a database of books in Japanese and different written sources which can be damaged down into ranges by issue. The positioning emphasizes getting native content material into the fingers of learners and depends on the language-learning neighborhood to grade sources to assist set up content material. It employs seven ranges into which all texts (excluding textbooks) are categorized primarily based on these neighborhood scores. Assets are additionally organized by class together with, however not restricted to, manga, gentle novels, youngsters’s books, graded readers, and extra.

The positioning tries to align its issue ranges to these of the Japanese Language Proficiency Check (JLPT). In a e-book search web page, you’ll be able to truly kind the books you might be searching for by JLPT stage. It additionally accommodates specialty classes so you’ll be able to seek for books which can be free, books which have gained awards, and even these within the WaniKani e-book membership.

All in all, this website is great for learners of Japanese searching for some steerage and construction on the place to start on their studying journey. It may be a useful useful resource if you’re trying to find simply the proper manga or a textbook to match your present stage. If you’re a extra goal-oriented individual, it’s the good website for planning which books you’ll deal with sooner or later.

Platform: Web site
Price: Free!
Test it Out!

@KayoShodo’s Calligraphy Programs

Kayo Shodo guided Japanese calligraphy lessons

Kayo Sensei is a Japanese calligrapher who focuses on providing guided classes for every factor of the Japanese writing system throughout hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Whereas many textbooks and conventional programs provide some type of writing follow, it may be tough for non-Japanese folks to be taught the right shapes of characters apart from merely attempting to repeat how they’re printed on computer systems and in books, which might fluctuate quite a bit from how a Japanese individual would possibly write a personality.

Kayo Sensei makes the method of navigating Japanese handwriting simple by means of recorded video and photograph tips about Twitter; self-published textbooks specializing in hiragana, katakana, and kanji; in addition to each video corrections and a digital course thrice a month. Each her textbooks and tips about Twitter are particularly useful, displaying each the broad strokes to reaching the right form and steadiness of every character, and the extra exact components that separate a “good” character from a “nice” one.

Platform: Twitter, PDF, Zoom
Price: Free tips about Twitter, textbooks for between $11 and $19, and classes beginning at $19 a month.
Test it Out!

Sōseki Venture Web site

Sōseki Project website for reading Japanese literature

The Sōseki Venture is a web site that gives plenty of options to make studying the works of Japanese author Sōseki Natsume within the authentic Japanese extra accessible for college kids of Japanese. The web site, created by Ian Sotherland, options Sōseki’s novels Botchan, Sanshirō, Kokoro, and I’m a Cat, and 4 of his shorter works: Ten Nights of Desires, Bunchō, The Tower of London, and Peculiar Sounds.

Clicking on a e-book title takes you to a touchdown web page that breaks the work down into totally different chapters. From right here, every chapter is damaged down additional into sections, every with their very own audio narration. The textual content is offered with out furigana to start out, however sure phrases are underlined, and hovering your cursor over these phrases will show each furigana and a definition. There’s additionally a research information for every part, giving a tough translation to reference should you get caught, and a vocabulary record. Lastly, the positioning presents PDFs of the totally different texts, each with and with out furigana, an English translation, and the MP3 recordsdata of the narrated readings, although not each model of the textual content is at present accessible for obtain.

Altogether, it is a wonderful means for extra superior Japanese learners to get extra genuine studying follow with superior, well-known, and well-regarded traditional Japanese literature. The instruments provided make tackling these books much more digestible, whereas giving a pupil area to try to learn independently earlier than searching for assist. Moreover, Sōseki is required studying for a lot of Japanese Language and Literature graduate research applications within the US, and the Sōseki Venture helps college students discover new depths within the author’s work.

Platform: Web site
Price: Free!
Test it Out!

Mochijapa YouTube and Twitter Accounts

Irizuki Ayano is a Japanese instructor who teaches each as herself on Twitter, and because the VTuber Mochina Amatsuka on YouTube. Earlier than she grew to become a licensed Japanese instructor, Ayano Sensei labored within the online game, voice performing, and modeling industries. As such, she’s very well-versed in Japanese pop-culture, and a few of the suggestions she shares on Twitter replicate that curiosity. Overlaying a various vary of subjects in her content material, she posts about all kinds of fascinating vocabulary that pertain to slang, particular franchises like Naruto, standard snacks, and extra, providing new methods for learners to interact with Japanese popular culture.

On YouTube, Mochijapa presents a variety of content material, from extra conventional language-learning research movies, movies on particular vocab or grammar factors, widespread misconceptions or errors for Japanese learners, and even a video discussing pitch accent. The movies are very prime quality, with instantly helpful content material delivered in a enjoyable and informative manner, and it is clear that Mochijapa cares quite a bit about efficient instructing. I simply want she had extra movies!

Platform: Twitter and YouTube
Price: Free!
Test it Out!


From all of us right here at Tofugu, we hope you may have a restful finish of the yr, and a fruitful ラストスパート on learning Japanese in 2021! For those who uncover any new Japanese studying sources, ship us an e-mail at good day@tofugu.com or attain out to us on Twitter @tofugu. We’re all the time on the hunt for some new, nice sources. Here is to 2022!



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