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Archive for the 'Kanji' Category

Fall In Love With Learning

enjoy learning the language you wantLet’s face it. Learning Japanese seems like a daunting task. You’ve got your hands full with new alphabet systems, grammar structures, formality levels and expressions…not knowing where to start, tackling this language and its nuances may be overwhelming. Luckily, the team at JapanesePod101 is dedicated to ensuring your linguistic success.

As a foreign language enthusiast, I’ve flirted with a fair share of online learning sites (especially for Japanese), but none of them were ever the one my heart was looking for. I had almost completely given up my pursuit of Japanese, until JapanesePod101 made me fall in love with learning.

Why JapanesePod101 Works:

  • Fun AND Free! How often do you see this combo?! Really though, JapanesePod101 takes away the stress and monotony that most online language sites induce. No more clicking through boring flashcards! Instead, indulge your senses in an audio-visual treat with native speaking hosts, to learn everything from famous Japanese quotes, to essential vocab for Star Wars Day.
  • Where to Start:From Absolute Beginner to Advanced fluency flexer, JapanesePod101 has got you covered. As soon as you log in, your dashboard guides you on a learning path to help you master Japan and its language. You can choose to start from the beginning or jump to a learning path that suits you best.
  • Customize to Optimize: JapanesePod101 grants you creative liberty to tailor-make your own lessons. They’ll help you navigate your way through hiragana, katakana, kanji, and even the streets of Tokyo if you so choose. You learn what you want, when you want.
  • Convenience at the Core: With an accompanying mobile application, you can master Japanese while riding the subway to work, waiting in line for lunch, or sitting on the couch when your computer is just out of arm’s reach. You can view and finish lessons as slow or fast as you want, working best for your schedule.
  • Retain and Remember: After finishing a lesson, there are accompanying assessments to help ensure that you’ve actually learned what you intended to. You can take the assessments as many times as you want, so if you’re ever feeling rusty, these mini-tests are a great refresher.
  • bonus points if you can read any of these lanterns
    A JapanesePod101 account is a Free Lifetime Account, which means exactly as it sounds. You can use JapanesePod101’s resources forever, and for free. So what are you waiting for? That kanji isn’t going to memorize itself!

How I chose to continue my Japanese education

Get great resources from JapanesePod101!

One of my main goals has always been to become fluent in Japanese, but despite all the Japanese courses I’ve taken in college, I still seem to be stuck at the intermediate level. Now I am nearly graduated from college and have finished taking all my Japanese courses. Seeing how expensive it is to go to a language school, I decided I needed a cheaper alternative to continuing my Japanese education. Luckily for me, I recently discovered JapanesePod101.

When I discovered JapanesePod101, I KNEW that I had found what I needed. After browsing through it’s website and signing up for a membership, I noticed that there are some perks compared to taking lessons in a classroom setting.

Here are some of the main perks:

The ability to start a level of your choosing
When registering for classes, whether it be in university or in language schools, typically you’re required to take a placement test, which may misplace you to be in the wrong class. When first taking a placement test for my college, I got held back to a lower class level because I didn’t remember enough kanji, despite being proficient at the grammar and vocabulary. With JapanesePod101 however, the great thing is that you can choose at which level to start, ranging from absolute beginner to advanced. Also, if you feel that your kanji is not good enough at the level you chose to start at, you can always look at the kanji study resources offered on their site, which is what I am doing.

Work at your own pace
Because you’re required to work at the pace your class may set for you and expected to meet deadlines, you may not always be able to retain the information that you’ve learned. JapanesePod101 allows me set my own goals and deadlines and take the time I need to go over the lessons. Whenever I’m too busy to really immerse myself in the lessons, I try to at least have a look at the word of the day feature or at any of the short vocabulary lists they offer. I also take a look at their facebook page where they post fun and interesting content.

Cost effective
You can sign up for the free lifetime account and have a taste of what they have to offer, but by paying to upgrade to the premium account, you can access so much more of their resources. Compared to the hundreds or thousands of dollars one may spend taking Japanese courses, JapanesePod101 is definitely an absolute bargain.

Native instructors
When taking classes outside of Japan, you may not always get to have a native instructor, however with JapanesePod101, I have access to learning from one. To make this even better, one of the features of this site is the option to work one-on-one with an instructor, who can provide feedback. By doing so, I believe it helps with learning to speak Japanese more naturally, rather than using outdated words and phrases that may be used in college textbooks.

Learn Japanese slang words at JapanesePod101

There are other features I found that I also thought were worth noting such as…

Lessons catered towards studying for the JLPT
Passing the exam for at least the JLPT N2 is what I strive for. If you’re hoping to someday be able to work in Japan like me, then you’ll most likely have to pass the JLPT first. JapanesePod101 offers lessons that will help you do just that. There are various audio lessons which include lesson notes for grammar, vocabulary, and kanji. This resource is definitely something I find helpful when I’m studying for the JLPT. For those studying for the N4 or N5, JapanesePod101 also offers practice tests which are free. :)

Kanji flashcards
Kanji has always been my greatest weakness at Japanese. However with JapanesePod101’s kanji flashcards, the number of kanji I know is steadily increasing! By continuing to study these flash cards, I know that I will kill that kanji section of the JLPT. ;)

Video Lessons
Not only are there audio lessons but video lessons as well. Personally, I think it’s more fun by watching the video lessons and also, these videos include subtitles in both Japanese and English to help follow along. The video hosts are very entertaining, making my learning process much more enjoyable.

Improve your kanji skill with JapanesePod101

So if you ever want to try your hand at learning another language cheap, then JapanesePod101 is definitely the way to go. Ganbatte and don’t give up on your Japanese! After seeing everything that they have to offer, I know that I will continue using their services to help improve my Japanese skills.

August 2016 Recap - Japanese Made Easy

Hello Learners, and welcome to your Monthly Recap that will make Japanese easier to learn!

Through this post, you will:
- Receive your free ebook in PDF form to easily master Top 1500 Japanese Kanji
- Know the latest update and upcoming features on JapanesePod101.com
- Catch up with posts and video released this month that you shouldn’t have missed

japanesepod101 monthly recap


Contents:
  1. New Lessons
  2. Itadakimasu! Super Sushi Ninja Challenge
  3. Current Offers
  4. YouTube Videos You Shouldn’t Have Missed in July
  5. Top Blog Articles in July
  6. JapanesePod101 Corner


1. New Lessons Top

- (Beginner) Must-Know Japanese Sentence Structures #4 - Must-Know Japanese Sentence Structures: Asking About Location or Position
The Sentence Patterns series brings you a great new way to learn Japanese! With this series, you’ll build on your conversation skills by learning the most common and useful sentence patterns in Japanese.
In this lesson, you will learn how to use the sentence pattern “Where is A?”

- (Bonus course) Japanese Vocab Builder #54 - Crossing Borders
Our Japanese vocabulary lists are listener favorites, and now we’ve made it even better! In each lesson, you’ll hear the Japanese words and phrases from the Japanese vocabulary lists. Join us for Japanese Vocab Builder!
In this lesson, you’ll learn words and phrases for Crossing Borders.



2. Itadakimasu! Super Sushi Ninja Challenge Top

We just started the Super Sushi Ninja Challenge on August 2nd, 2016. You will have until Monday, August 8th to send a video of you ordering Sushi in Japanese, in any restaurant serving this dish. Participants all over the world will get a chance to win a box full of Japanese treats!

Find more details about the challenge and learn how to order sushi in Japanese here!

sushi ninja challenge japanesepod101 learn japanese



3. Current Offers Top

- Get the free book in PDF form to easily master 1500 Kanji with your Free Lifetime Account
You’ll learn how to read, write and understand kanji through an easy, step-by-step method. By the end, you’ll master over 75% of the must-know joyo kanji! In other words, you’ll know MORE words and read and understand a TON more Japanese!

- Your WTF deal! Get 30% OFF Premium on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday only!
30% OFF Premium to start speaking Japanese is a big deal. This is why the deal only lasts for 72 hours! Unlock our ENTIRE learning system – ALL audio and video lessons, mobile apps, lesson notes, Premium study tools and more! That’s as low as $7/month and up to $72 OFF for FULL access! Ends 8/5/2016!

Until Friday! Click Here to Learn Japanese with a BIGGER 30% Discount!



4. YouTube Videos You Shouldn’t Have Missed in July Top

Learn the Top 10 Sad Words in Japanese

Introduction to Kanji Script – Woman Radical 女

Ask a Japanese Teacher! What is DESU?



5. Top July Blog Articles Top

Japanese Honorifics Guide: San, Kun, Chan, Sama and More

Have you ever felt confused about all those -kun, -chan and -senpai you hear when watching anime?. After reading this post your Japanese will sound more natural as you will learn how to use Japanese honorifics!

Top 10 Language Learning Strategies

Learning a new languages is not an easy task. It’s difficult to find one method what suits you best. In this post we’ll tell you about 10 proven simple learning strategies to help you boost your language skill.

How Will Learning Japanese Make You Rich

When learning a new language the money on top is an added bonus, but we will tell you how this hobby can turn into a source of revenue!



6. JapanesePod101 Corner Top

Your are more than 396,000 to have subscribed to our YouTube channel, 108,000 to have liked our Facebook page and 18,000 to follow us on Twitter! There is only one word for this: ありがとう!

Your support is precious and the more engaged your are the further we will take you in your way to Japanese fluency. Like it, talk about it to your friends, grandparents or your goldfish, we have tips to improve memory, don’t worry!

The more you’ll share, the more content and free books we will be able to create for you. Let’s keep it up together!

Learn to Read and Write Japanese Kanji Characters

You all have experienced that feeling, right?

…Or this one.

But what if I told you…

THIS IS POSSIBLE NOW!

With this new series, you will discover the Radical Approach to Mastering Kanji. It’s perfect for Japanese Beginners! You’ll learn how to read, write and understand Kanji through an easy, step-by-step method – radicals – the building blocks of Kanji.

And here is the first Kanji achievement you can successfully unlock: one of the most useful characters, the radical for “person,” 亻.

Next episodes of this series to Master Kanji are already available on the wesbite!

You are just a click away from becoming a Kanji Master!

How JapanesePod101 makes learning grammar easy and fun - JapanesePod101 Review

理解することはまあまあできるけど、話すのは難しい!
Understanding is alright, but speaking is hard!

Hi, my name is Noemi and this is what I have been saying for over a year whenever someone asks me about my level in Japanese.

I have tons of learning books, and I think they are all good but just too heavy to carry. My Japanese friends are helping me, but it is impossible to remember everything they are teaching me, especially in a more casual context. I also took Japanese classes for 2 years, and those are generally a great option, but not so much for my wallet.

In other words: I was stuck at my let’s say lower intermediate level and this needs to change. I am in Japan now, so it’s time to learn.

Basically, what I need is something light and inexpensive that allows me to learn at my own pace.

I started using JapanesePod101. I was afraid I would give up, but I have now been learning by myself for a few weeks and I enjoy it!

The three main reasons I like learning with JapanesePod101 are:

1. Audio Lessons
Commuting in Japan or anywhere in the world can be quite long and boring. I am getting tired of my iTunes playlist so I’ve decided not to waste my time and listen to those lessons while I’m in the subway.
What about when I don’t have any data in the subway? It doesn’t matter, because if I download the lessons I can listen to them anywhere at anytime!
I can always check the script if there are words I couldn’t catch or kanji I am wondering about.
I am not only learning Japanese, but also about important cultural points, which is really important to me in such a unique country.

You can find them here:
http://www.japanesepod101.com/index.php?cat=Introduction

2. The Grammar Bank
Grammar has always been my nightmare – in English, German, and even my native language French.
Of course, this is also my biggest problem in Japanese and the reason I can not talk fluently for more than 20 seconds. “Grammar” is therefore the first word I looked for when I signed up to JapanesePod101.
Filters can be used to study grammar points by JLPT level, category, series, and more. For each item, there are examples in both romaji and kana. Audio and explanations are also available. The Grammar Bank is an extremely useful tool for everyone struggling like me with grammar. I promise you that you will progress!

But first of all, you should check this introduction to grammar:
http://www.japanesepod101.com/japanese-grammar-introduction/

3. The Practice Tests
Checking my progress and realizing I am actually learning new grammar points, words, or kanji is one of the most important things overall.
I can make my own statistics and it actually helps me to set weekly objectives, which maintains my motivation to learn.
I like printing sheets to practice my kanji or check if I can finally reach that JLPT4 level.

There other points that I really appreciate as well:

  • If you don’t like wasting your time on complicated websites or waiting forever for a confirmation email, well JapanesePod101 is amazing, because everything is simple and fast.
  • Do you have a question? Just ask it and a JapanesePod101 staff member will answer you!
    The vocabulary. Although it’s not what I am currently focusing on, there is a 2,000-word dictionary, with examples, that you can study by subject.
  • You can easily find what you are looking for. The website is well organized by subject, level, JLPT or alphabetical order. You won’t do the same lesson twice ;)
  • It is very entertaining. As I mentioned, I am learning new vocabulary and grammar points, but at the same time, I am discovering more about Japan.
  • Kanji learning. They are my second biggest nightmare and as they are just everywhere in Japan, it’s very frustrating to understand only 20% of them. JapanesePod101 is helping me to increase this percentage though ;)
  • I am still learning, and I will keep you updated on my level in a few weeks, but I can already feel progress. This is at the same time very exciting and challenging.
  • There are other points I could talk about, but I think that everyone who is learning Japanese or wants to learn will find what they need on JapanesePod101.

    Learning languages doesn’t only look good on a resume, I believe it makes us richer too, so if you are interested in learning Japanese, definitely check JapanesePod101 out!

    Click here:
    http://www.japanesepod101.com/

    A Trip to the Baseball Game

    Today, we bring you another blog post from Motoko, JapanesePod101.com lesson creator, host and Office Party Planner! Motoko will be sharing more bilingual posts on our blog, so check back often and leave a comment!

    Hi all, Motoko here.

    Today I’d like to tell you about the baseball game the Innovative Language team went to at the end of September. But before I do, which sports are popular in your country? And do you know which sports are popular in Japan?

    The answer is: soccer and baseball.

    Soccer came to Japan because it was popular in Europe. Baseball, on the other hand, can be written in kanji (野球), and that’s because it was introduced to Japan much earlier than soccer was. In fact, it came to Japan in 1872. It is said that it started when an American man taught some Japanese college students how to play baseball.

    Of course, playing baseball is quite popular, but also people young and old love watching it. Stadium tickets come in two types; one is “reserved seating” where you can choose where you’d like to sit ahead of time. Another is “non-reserved seating”, where you can choose where to sit on game day. The second kind is cheaper. Spectators drink beer, eat snacks, and watch the game. Throughout the game, staff (mostly ladies) carry beer tanks through the crowd, so you can easily get more beer without leaving your seat!

    The game was held at Meiji Jingu stadium, which is close to Shibuya. The seating areas are divided among the two teams. In this stadium, the seats on the first-base side were for Yakult Swallows supporters, and the seats on the third-base side were for the opponent’s (Chunichi Dragons), supporters. So, if you’re cheering for the Swallows, you need to have a seat on the first-base side.

    Speaking of cheering for the teams, we found some unique supporters’ gear to help us do just that. Some people had pairs of miniature plastic megaphones and made loud noises by beating them together. Other people had little umbrellas and danced with the cheering groups. Each baseball team has their own mascot. Tsubakuro is the mascot of the Yakult Swallows – “swallow” is tsubame in Japanese. Actually, the first baseball team ever to have a mascot was from Japan. Did you know that?

    (Sep, 2012)

    -

    野球観戦

    こんにちは。もとこです。

    今日は9月下旬(げじゅん)に会社で行った野球(やきゅう)観戦(かんせん)についてお話します。

    みなさんの国ではどのスポーツが人気がありますか。日本ではどのスポーツが人気がありますか。みなさんは知っていますか。

    正解(せいかい)はサッカーと野球です。サッカーはヨーロッパで人気ですから、日本でも人気になったと思います。野球は「野球」と漢字の名前がありますから、サッカーより野球の方が日本に来たのは早かったです。1872年に初めて(はじめて)野球が日本に来ました。アメリカの人が大学生に教えたそうです。

    野球をするのはもちろん人気ですが、見るのは老若男女(ろうにゃく なんにょ)問わず(とわず)人気です。チケットには席の場所を決めることができる「指定席(していせき)」と当日に席を選ぶ「自由席」があります。自由席の方が安いです。みんな、ビールを飲んで、ごはんを食べて、試合(しあい)を見ます。試合中に男の人や女の人がビールを売りにきますから、おかわりもしやすいです。
     
    今回は明治神宮球場(めいじ じんぐう きゅうじょう)というスタジアムに行きました。渋谷(しぶや)に近い野球場(やきゅうじょう)ですね。ここでは1塁側(るいがわ)が「ヤクルトスワローズ」の席、3塁側(るいがわ)が「中日ドラゴンズ」の席とわかれて座ります。つまり、ヤクルトを応援(おうえん)する人は1塁側に座って応援します。
     
    応援には特別なグッズがありました。ひとつは筒(つつ)で、たたくと大きい音がでます。もうひとつは傘(かさ)で、応援団(おうえんだん)の人と一緒におどります。それぞれのチームには「マスコット」がいます。例えば、ヤクルトスワローズのマスコットは「つば九郎(くろう)」です。ちなみに、初めてマスコットを作ったのは日本の野球チームだそうです。知っていましたか。
     
    (2012年9月末)

    A Marriage Celebration in Japan

    Today, we bring you another blog post from Motoko, JapanesePod101.com lesson creator, host and Office Party Planner! Motoko will be sharing more bilingual posts on our blog, so check back often and leave a comment!

    Hi everyone! Motoko here!

    A few weeks ago, we celebrated the marriage of Marvin. He’s part of our Technical Team and is from Germany. The wedding ceremony was held in May – and what’s more, his bride is Japanese!

    In Japan, there are all kinds of wedding ceremonies. There’s the traditional Shintō shinzenshiki, which is held at a shrine, and the Buddhist butsuzenshiki, which is held at a temple; there’s also the kyōkaishiki, or church wedding, which has been gaining popularity in recent years. Another more unusual variant is the jinzenshiki, or civil wedding, in which the couple pledge their eternal love in front of the wedding guests, so their gathered family and friends become the witnesses to the marriage.

    Do you know how to congratulate someone on their marriage in Japanese? An easy way to say it is:

    Go-kekkon omedetō gozaimasu.
    ‘Congratulations on your marriage.’

    Now, this next one is a bit difficult, so I rarely use it, but if you were to write your congratulations formally on a greeting card, you could use the following expression:

    Kashoku no ten o shukushi, o-futari no go-takō to go-hatten o o-inori mōshi agemasu.
    ‘With humble congratulations on your wedding ceremony, and prayers for your great happiness and advancement.’

    This is often also accompanied by phrases that mean ‘Please have a long and happy life together’, such as:

    Suenagai o-shiawase o o-inori mōshi agemasu.
    ‘With humble prayers for your many years of happiness.’

    Or:

    Suenagaku o-shiawase ni.
    ‘Wishing you everlasting happiness.’

    
On this occasion, we as a company presented Marvin with go-shūgi (gift money). On all kinds of occasions in Japan - such as marriages, births, when someone goes on to a higher level of education, funerals, and so on - it is customary to give a monetary gift to represent one’s feelings. When we present someone with go-shūgi, I think it’s not just saying ‘Congratulations on your marriage!’, but also ‘Please put this towards the wedding and your new life together’. 

What kinds of marriage ceremonies are there in your country? Are there any kinds of special customs like go-shūgi?

    A lesson about go-shūgi-bukuro (special envelopes for monetary gifts) can be found here:

    Learn Kanji - Everyday Kanji 20 Bonus video

    結婚祝い

    こんにちは、もとこです。
    今週、技術スタッフでドイツ出身のマーヴィンさんの結婚祝いをしました。今月、結婚式をあげるそうです。花嫁さんは日本人の方だとか!
     日本では色々なスタイルの結婚式が行なわれます。神社で行なう伝統的な「神前式(しんぜんしき)」やお寺で行なう「仏前式(ぶつぜんしき)」、教会で行なう「教会式(きょうかいしき)」は近年人気を集めています。また、変わったものでは「人前式」というスタイルの結婚式も最近はあります。結婚式に来た人たちの前で永遠の愛を誓い、集まってもらった親族や友人がその誓いの証人になります。
     みなさんは結婚のお祝いを日本語でなんて言うか知っていますか。シンプルな表現では
     「ご結婚おめでとうございます。」
     (ごけっこん おめでとうございます。)
    ちょっと難しいので私はあまり使いませんが、フォーマルにグリーティングカードに書くなら
     「華燭の典を祝し、お二人のご多幸とご発展をお祈り申し上げます。」
    (かしょくの てんを しゅくし、 おふたりの ごたこうと ごはってんを おいのりもうしあげます)
    という言葉もあります。ずっと二人仲良く過ごしてくださいという意味の
     「末永いお幸せをお祈り申し上げます。」 や
     (すえながい おしあわせを おいのり もうしあげます。)
     「末永くお幸せに。」
     (すえながく おしあわせに。)
    という言葉もよく添えられます。
     今回、会社としては「ご祝儀」をマーヴィンさんに渡しました。日本では、結婚や出産、進学、お葬式など、何かがあるごとに気持ちを添えてお金を渡す習慣があります。ご祝儀の場合は、結婚おめでとうございますという気持ちだけでなく、結婚式やこれからの新しい生活に役立ててください、という気持ちも込めて渡されるのだと思います。
     みなさんの国ではどんな結婚式がありますか。ご祝儀のように特別な習慣はありますか。
    ご祝儀袋についてのレッスン
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage_vCt7fmm0P2w

    Top 5 pop culture things/icons you need to know about Japan

    Japan is a country rich in pop culture that has started to gain recognition and popularity throughout the world. As popular culture changes quickly and drastically, we focus this lesson on the most recent pop culture.

    Popular Music

    • Japan boasts the second largest music industry in the world after the United States.
    • Pop music is especially popular in Japan, although you can find all sorts of music in Japan done by Japanese artists-including rock, rap, hip-hop, reggae, and more.

    Popular Movies

    • Recently, the popularity of domestic Japanese movies has been on the rise, with the annual box-office revenue for domestic movies hitting an all-time high in 2008.
    • Of the top Japanese films of 2008, the highest-grossing title was the animation film Gake no
    • Ue no Ponyo (”Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea̶ ;)
    • Hayao Miyazaki directed this movie as well as other popular animated titles such as My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away, which was the first anime film to win an Academy Award.

    Popular Television

    • Variety shows, true to their name, feature a variety of different content-cooking segments, comedy segments, skits, and quizzes are just some of what you’ll find on a typical Japanese variety show.
    • Variety shows often feature a large panel of currently popular celebrities and sometimes a studio audience.
    • Quiz shows that feature contestants (who are almost always celebrities) answering questions on numerous subjects, such as science, history, math, the Japanese language, pop culture, and so on, also enjoy great popularity.
    • Japanese dramas are also very popular among Japanese people of all ages.
    • Many current dramas’ running in Japan are adaptations of popular movies, comics, or animated shows.

    Popular Foreigners in Japan

    •  Jero, is an African-American singer who was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
    • He has gained popularity singing enka, a traditional type of pop music that is especially popular among older people.

    Popular Japanese Men/Women Abroad

    • Actor Ken Watanabe became a recognized name after appearing alongside Tom Cruise in the 2003 war film The Last Samurai.
    • Issey Miyake is the most well-known Japanese designer in the world, and he is considered the first Asian designer to gain worldwide recognition.

    Popular Sports Figures

    • Ichiro Suzuki joined the Seattle Mariners in 2000, a move that many watched with great interest, as he was the first Japanese position player to play regularly for a Major League Baseball team.
    • Shizuka Arakawa made headlines when she received a gold medal in the 2006 Winter Olympics, a first in the event for a Japanese skater.

    Advanced Japanese Lesson:肌触り

    やわらかい毛布を触っているところを想像してみてください。「わぁ、この毛布、とっても肌ざわりがいいね」と感想を口にする人もいるでしょう。
    「肌ざわり」とは文字通り、肌に触れるときの感じを意味しています。同じ意味のことばに「手ざわり」があります。

    では、似たような言葉「耳ざわり」はどんな意味なのでしょうか。聞いていて心地よい音楽やことばを指すのでしょうか。
    Read the rest of this post »

    Advanced Japanese Lesson:長い信号

    「この信号、長いね」
    「えっ? どこどこ? 何メートルくらい?」
    これは、私の知人とその娘さんの会話です。
    Read the rest of this post »