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Japanese Word of the Day - octopus (noun)

Learn a little Japanese everyday with the free Japanese Word of the Day Widget. Check back daily for more vocabulary!

タコ (タコ) octopus (noun)

八本の足のタコ
はっぽんのあしのタコ
eight-armed octopus

茹だこ
ゆでだこ
boiled octopus

タコ墨
タコすみ
octopus ink

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Japanese Word of the Day - draw (verb)

Learn a little Japanese everyday with the free Japanese Word of the Day Widget. Check back daily for more vocabulary!

描く (かく) draw (verb)

芸術家が絵を描く。
げいじゅつかがえをかく。
The artist draws a picture.

芸術家が絵を描いた。
げいじゅつかがえをかいた。
The artist drew a picture.

芸術家が絵を描いている。
げいじゅつかがえをかいている。
The artist is drawing a picture.

子供達は幼稚園のクラスで絵を描いたり、塗ったりしている。
こどもたちはようちえんのクラスでえをかいたり、ぬったりしている。
The children are drawing and painting at kindergarten class.

その芸術家は、筆で中国の文字を描いている。
そのげいじゅつかは、ふででちゅうごくのもじをかいている。
The artist is drawing Chinese characters with a writing brush.

イラストレーターに、絵を描くように依頼しました。
イラストレーターに、えをかくようにいらいしました。
I asked the illustrator to draw me a picture.

絵を描く
えをかく
draw a picture

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The 5 Review Tactics that Will Sharpen Your Japanese

top 5 review tactics to boost your japanese

Have you ever returned to JapanesePod101 lessons you’ve completed?

Accessing a lesson once is enough to learn more Japanese. But to master what you’ve learned, to understand Japanese the second you hear it, to read with just a quick glance, and to speak smoothly, without thinking… you need to review.

In this blog post, you’ll learn the 5 review tactics and learning tools that will truly sharpen your Japanese (all of which I’ve been able to resources for on JapanesePod101.com).

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1. Listen to lines over and over again!

One of the best ways to learn Japanese (or any language) is to listen to native speakers over and over again until you understand what they are saying. By listening closely and often, you start to pick up the rhythm of a language and pronunciation from a native speaker. It’s not surprising, then, that Innovative Language offers a great line-by-line feature that lets you listen (and read along!) as many times as you’d like. I really recommend taking advantage of this feature— aside from moving to Japan, it is the best way to immerse yourself in the language.

2. Use a voice-recording tool to perfect pronunciation.

No one likes to hear themselves recorded, but it is a great way to perfect your pronunciation! Record yourself and compare against a fluent speaker. If you sound different, repeat after the fluent speaker until your pronunciation matches. Innovative Language has a great voice-recording feature that makes recording super easy. Never hesitate or be shy about your pronunciation again.

review tactics

3. Master recorded conversations.

Another excellent way to review your Japanese is to record conversations and go over them again and again until you have the entire conversation mastered and can repeat it line by line. Now, it might be kind of awkward trying to explain to someone why you are recording them speak so it is fortunate that Innovative Language has dialogues available for download right off of their website. I found these also come with transcripts of the entire conversation, which is great if you don’t want to spend tons of time translating the conversation yourself.

4. Use mobile devices to reinforce previously learned conversations.

It might sound redundant at this point, but constant review is the best, and only, way to perfect Japanese. In that spirit, I strongly recommend downloading the recorded dialogue to your mobile device and incorporating it into your music playlist. You’ll be amazed how effectively quick reviews throughout a day can reinforce what you’ve learned.

review tactics

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5. Read with line by line notes.

The guaranteed accurate transcript of the recorded dialogues is one of the most useful features Innovative Language offers. You can read along with a fluent speaker to really master pronunciation and natural conversation. You should start slow at first, then slowly increase the speed with each pass through. Every time you read through, your pronunciation will become more intuitive and your ability to understand fluent speakers will greatly increase.

Imagine a child who just learned how to read. At first, they slowly struggle through a sentence, but on the second try, they know what the most of the words sound like and so they read a bit faster and easier and on the third try, they read that sentence at normal, native speed.

review tactics

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Using these five simple review techniques the most challenging parts of learning Japanese will become your areas of comfort. Conversations will no longer be excruciating and embarrassing, but rather offer a chance to show off your new skills and communicate with someone from a different culture in their natural language. You will be able to casually listen to Japanese and understand everything. Reading, too, will become natural and enjoyable.

Learning any language takes time and dedication. With the right focus, however, you can ensure the maximum impact of your efforts. Consistently listening to fluent speakers, recording your own voice and comparing it against fluent speakers, mastering conversations, listening to them on go, and following along with written transcripts will put you on the path to becoming fluent in Japanese. Learn from the mistakes that so many have made, myself included, don’t let what you’ve already learned slip away.

Review, review, review!

Japanese Word of the Day - basketball (noun)

Learn a little Japanese everyday with the free Japanese Word of the Day Widget. Check back daily for more vocabulary!

バスケットボール (バスケットボール) basketball (noun)

男子と女子がバスケットボールをしている。
だんしとじょしがバスケットボールをしている。
The boys and girls are playing basketball.

男性がバスケットボールをしている。
だんせいがバスケットボールをしている。
The man is playing basketball.

バスケットボールは裏庭でも国際アリーナでも、どんな場所でもプレーすることができる。
バスケットボールはうらにわでもこくさいアリーナでも、どんなばしょでもプレーすることができる。
Basketball can be played anywhere from backyard hoops to international arenas.

大学のバスケットボール
だいがくのバスケットボール
college basketball

バスケットボールをする
バスケットボールをする
play basketball

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Japanese Word of the Day - light bulb (noun)

Learn a little Japanese everyday with the free Japanese Word of the Day Widget. Check back daily for more vocabulary!

電球 (でんきゅう) light bulb (noun)

電球が切れたら、変えてください。
でんきゅうがきれたら、かえてください。
Change the lightbulb when it burns out and goes dark.

白熱の電球
はくねつのでんきゅう
incandescent light bulb

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Japanese Word of the Day - blonde hair (noun)

Learn a little Japanese everyday with the free Japanese Word of the Day Widget. Check back daily for more vocabulary!

ブロンド (ブロンド) blonde hair (noun)

その女性の髪はブロンドです。
そのじょせいのかみはブロンドです。
The woman has blonde hair.

ブロンドの髪の女性
ブロンドのかみのじょせい
blonde-haired woman

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Japanese Word of the Day - Saturday (noun)

Learn a little Japanese everyday with the free Japanese Word of the Day Widget. Check back daily for more vocabulary!

土曜日 (どようび) Saturday (noun)

私は毎週土曜日に、五時間、家事をする。
わたしはまいしゅうどようびに、ごじかん、かじをする。
I do housework every Saturday for five hours.

土曜日に予定がない
どようびによていがない
no plans for Saturday

土曜日の夜
どようびのよる
Saturday night

Own a blog or website? Share free language content with your readers with the Japanese Word of the Day with Audio Widget. Click here for instructions on how to embed and customize this free widget!

Japanese Word of the Day - rooster (noun)

Learn a little Japanese everyday with the free Japanese Word of the Day Widget. Check back daily for more vocabulary!

雄鶏 (おんどり) rooster (noun)

雄鶏が辺りを見回しながら、鳴いている。
おんどりがあたりをみまわしながら、ないている。
The rooster crows while it glances around.

その雄鶏が鳴くと、私は起きる。
そのおんどりがなくと、わたしはおきる。
When the rooster crows, I will wake up.

鳴いている雄鶏
ないているおんどり
crowing rooster

Own a blog or website? Share free language content with your readers with the Japanese Word of the Day with Audio Widget. Click here for instructions on how to embed and customize this free widget!

Japanese Word of the Day - change (verb)

Learn a little Japanese everyday with the free Japanese Word of the Day Widget. Check back daily for more vocabulary!

変える (かえる) change (verb)

カメレオンは、自分の色をオレンジ、緑、黄色に変えました。
カメレオンは、じぶんのいろをオレンジ、みどり、きいろにかえました。
The chameleon changed its color to orange, green and yellow.

彼女はリモコンで番組を変えています。
かのじょはリモコンでばんぐみをかえています。
She is changing the channel with the remote control.

起業家は、自分達のアイデアで世界を変えます。
きぎょうかは、じぶんたちのアイデアでせかいをかえます。
Entrepreneurs change the world with their ideas.

会議の進行によって、時には、予定を変更することも大事だ。
かいぎのしんこうによって、ときには、よていをへんこうすることもだいじだ。
At times it is necessary to revise a schedule as the meeting goes on.

仕事を変える
しごとをかえる
change an occupation

予定を変更する
よていをへんこうする
revise the schedule

原稿を改訂する
げんこうをかいていする
revise a manuscript

Own a blog or website? Share free language content with your readers with the Japanese Word of the Day with Audio Widget. Click here for instructions on how to embed and customize this free widget!

How to Overcome the Top 4 Japanese Learning Fears

Every Japanese learner will have these fears“I’m not good enough yet.” “I don’t think I’m making any progress.” “What if I never reach my goals?” Japanese learning fears – we all get them from time to time. What are yours? And are they worth being scared of?

how to overcome learning fears

In this blog post, we’re killing the top 4 Japanese learning fears – 1) what are the fears learners tend to have the most and 2) how you can overcome them!

Here are the top 4 language learning fears according to our users:

1. “I’m not good enough to start speaking yet.”

Do you feel like you’re not good enough to start speaking yet? It’s a pretty common fear or misconception that most learners have. Here’s how you overcome it:

  • The best way to get good at speaking is to start speaking from day 1.
    So if you’re holding yourself back, because you think you’re not good enough, well, that’s exactly why you’re not good enough. You need to open your mouth and start talking!
  • If you think you’re not good enough, just learn Japanese lines you want to say!
    In our lessons, you get the exact phrases and scripts for introducing yourself making small talk, ordering food, expressing opinions, and much more! So if you think you’re not good enough, the lessons will give you the exact lines to say.
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    2. “I’m afraid I’ll never be fluent.”

    Many successful Japanese learners worried about that, only as a beginner. They started learning Japanese and, it’s funny because the better their Japanese got, the less they were worried about that. So, how can you overcome this?

  • You’ve got to set small, specific goals.
    Fluency is a big vague goal. Arguably, we don’t even speak fluent in our native language. There are over a million words and we use about 2,000 words only. So you should focus on smaller goals like being able to introduce yourself or having a 5-minute conversation. Or 10 minutes. Something you can measure so you know you reached it because you can’t really measure fluency. It’s a pretty vague goal! But you can measure small goals like having a 5-minute conversation. And as these small goals add up, you’ll be speaking very comfortably!
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    3. “I’m afraid that I’m not making any progress.”

    In other words, getting stuck. If you’re afraid you’re not making progress, there are two things you can do right now.

  • Use the dashboard to track your progress.
    If you need numbers to believe it, our dashboard tracks all the lessons you’ve completed and shows how much you’ve accomplished.
  • Try a harder lesson on the site.
    It sounds crazy and you might not understand it but you will in minutes. Our lessons come with line-by-line translations and the lesson hosts explain everything. THEN, you’ll be making progress because you now understand something you didn’t minutes ago.
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    4. “I’m afraid of not understanding anything I hear”.

    This is very common. You hear advanced grammar and vocabulary and it goes completely over your head. To beat this…

  • If you’re taking an advanced lesson, simply read along.
    Reading along with our line-by-line tool is the best way to instantly understand advanced conversations. The translations and scripts are right in front of you.
  • For real-life situations, learn useful phrases.
    Like “Can you say it more slowly?,” “Can you use simpler words?” or “I don’t understand what that meant.” There’s nothing wrong with saying that you didn’t understand something or with asking for help. And our Survival Phrases lessons cover must-know phrases like this.
  • learn japanese

    So, these are the top 4 fears and how to overcome them. And if you want to have the perfect tools to overcome them, don’t forget to create your Free Lifetime Account at JapanesePod101.com!