Methods and Motivation:
- Japanese Level Up — A site made by someone who’s been studying Japanese for almost a decade, if I remember correctly. Lots of unique tips, as well as guides to ドラマ and variety shows. The site also contains a “level up” chart that describes “levels” of Japanese as well as what it takes to get from one to the next.
- Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese — The well-known site where many Japanese younglings get their start. An old favorite of mine. Takes you from the basics to advanced grammar.
- 日本語の先生 Nihongo Sensei Diary — This is a blog written by a person with decades of experience teaching Japanese. There are lots of posts about grammar, separated by JLPT level.
- Nihongo Day by Day — A blog written by a Japanese tutor. It is written in Japanese and teaches things that people actually say. It also covers the differences between similar grammar patterns. If you aren’t that comfortable reading entirely in Japanese, there is an English version of the site here.
- Yahoo! Japan 知恵袋 — A giant Q&A. Just search for a topic you’re interested in and learn about it, and a little Japanese on the side. Or a lot. It’s all in Japanese. Go for it.
- 読書メーター — A place to keep record of all the Japanese books and manga you’ve read. Every month you get a report on your reading. Also a good place to look up books and find popular reads, in case you’re stuck and don’t know/don’t care about what to read.
- Native Monks — This website helps you find tutors so you can learn on your own terms via Skype. I haven’t tried it, but it looks promising for beginner and intermediate learners.
Stuff to read:
- 日本昔ばなし — Plenty of Japanese folk tales in English and Japanese.
- DentsuY&R — Bilingual articles.
- 言っとくけど — A Tumblr run by Lan. Includes Japanese phrases along with the readings and English definitions.
- 日本語ノート— A “Japanese notebook” run by another Japanese learner. She introduces new vocabulary and phrases she learns by reading novels. Mostly in Japanese, including definitions for new vocabulary.
- コトバンク — An online service that searches several dictionaries at once, displaying all the results for you. My new go-to dictionary.
- 日本語俗語辞書 — Dictionary for slang terms.
- 四字熟語辞典オンライン — A lookup for four-character expressions.
- 漢字辞典オンライン — A lookup for individual kanji. Includes all the essential information for a given kanji.
Apps and Other Resources:
- Let’s Learn Hiragana – I didn’t even know what an SRS was when I was using this book, but I didn’t even need one to remember the hiragana because of this book. Yes, it’s that good.
- Let’s Learn Katakana – Everything I said above applies here. I often hear people have more trouble with the katakana. I used this book, so I can’t imagine why 🙂
- Casio EX-word Electronic Dictionary – This electronic dictionary was a lifesaver while I was in Japan, especially when I was in the hospital without a lick of knowledge of medical terms. Multiple bi-and monolingual dictionaries, audio, note-taking, not to mention several hundred classical works in both English and Japanese. Perfect for bookworms.
Bloggers Studying Japanese
- As The Brush Moves
- Lan’dorien’s Mysterious Journey
- Japan Newbie
- Nothing In Particular
- Liana’s Extensive Reading Journal
- Liz Learns Japanese
- Is It Possible?