JapanesePod101
JapanesePod101.com Blog
Learn Japanese with Free Daily
Audio and Video Lessons!
Start Your Free Trial 6 FREE Features

Archive for the 'Learn Japanese' Category

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.

Good Resource to Learn Japanese, Check it Out!

I have visited Japan for three times, and each time this country always surprise me with its culture, scenery and people. As a dancer, I have attended many workshop and classes in Tokyo, and met many inspirational people.
Check it out!

However, the biggest problem that came up to me is the language barrier. I have had problem to communicate with people about my ideas, stories. As we all known, communication is the most important thing for a friendship. So I started to look for online lessons, since taking actual classes is not possible for me, and I would rather save the money by finding some low budget online tutorial.

That’s when JapanesePod101 popped up to me. I have used it for a year, and I can’t deny that JapanesePod101 has provided me enormous help with my Japanese learning.

Here are the reason why I chose JapanesePod101, and also why you should too!

Easy Access

In this fast paced society, efficiency is the core to survive. JapanesePod101 gives you the efficiency with high quality content to boost up your language learning process. Language learning becomes much more easier from one click through the website or through your smart phone. With this prestige, you can learn Japanese on the bus, go to school, in the bathroom… WHENEVER and WHEREVER you want. ( Well, but please be safe, don’t want you bump into a car while you learning)


6 FREE features at JapanesePod101

Down to Earth

One problem about language learning is that those materials you got are so out of date, and you start to sound like an ancient person coming out of the cave. Language changes through time, people creates new slangs, dialect, or even words. So if you want to talk with your Japanese friends and also keep up your coolness, you must try JapanesePod101. They have native instructors to help you sounds like a local. The material is always keep up with current events and society, which offers many down-to-earth information. Want to make your Japanese speaking on fleek? Try JapanesePod101.


Talk like a LOCAL

Systematic Learning

It is hard to start learning a new language. Many people gets really confused when they first start, since they don’t have a guide path to follow. Sometimes you want to learn slangs, the other time you just want to remember kanjis. It’s never going to work without a good guide. Thus language learning needs to be systematic to set up a good path for language learners. That’s why JapanesePod101 provides to its users with lessons focused on different levels, and a community to share your progress. It helps you start from the scratch, and boost you to higher level. You can also find other people’s experience, and make study buddies by simply join the community provided by JapanesePod101.


Start as a beginner

CHEAP!!

One last thing, it’s cheap! You can learn Japanese by just saving money for one meal or one shot from the bar. Everyone loves cheap and good stuff, and you get your value back by rocking on fluent Japanese.


Learn Japanese Free!

Improve Your Language Skills with JapanesePod101

Tokyo_street_view.jpg

Recently, I moved to Japan for a few months to experience an internship abroad and improve my Japanese skills. In the US, I had taken four semesters of Japanese and felt the need to improve before entering my third year. I thought the easiest solution would be moving to Japan for the summer and forcing myself into total immersion. When I arrived I was surprised by how much I could get around with english and how timid I was about using the Japanese I had learned for the past two years. I realized that I was never going to progress with my skills unless I actively studied and forced myself to use what I had learned. This is where JapanesePod101 came in.

I’ve been following the lesson plan that they gave me and it’s been really helpful, the lessons are interesting and valuable. The majority of the material that I’ve been through thus far has been video content that explore helpful phrases, sentence structures, and cultural knowledge. Other really helpful aspects of the site are key parts to learning Japanese like: repeating new words after a native speaker to get your pronunciation correct. They also have fun little treats like word of the day, that you can sign up for. The best part about the site is that they offer free PDF’s with all of their lessons.

screen-shot-0029-06-29-at-11729-pm.png

I know that many people, like me, are eager to learn kanji because without these characters it’s hard to understand the written language. JapanesePod101 offers ways to study kanji like flashcards that are spread throughout the lessons with a larger lesson at the end testing you on all of the kanji you’ve learned. Furthermore, the company is constantly putting out new information on bases like the JapanesePod101 facebook page. Here lighter content is posted like kanji videos or “20 words You’ll Need to Know for the Beach.”

screen-shot-0029-06-29-at-125715-pm.png

How to Learn Japanese Through Fairy Tale Stories

Top 6 Japanese Fairy Tale Stories and Characters

Hi Listeners,

Do you know what the top 6 Japanese fairy tales are?

Reading short stories in Japanese is a fun way to learn the Japanese language and culture. Check out the 6 Japanese fairy tale stories below and learn must-know folk story words and phrases in Japanese!

1. Top 6 Japanese Fairy Tales

Top 6 Japanese Fairy Tales

1. Momotarō, the Peach Boy

The Japanese title is 桃太郎 (ももたろう; Momotarō). Born from a peach and raised by an old couple, Momotaro grows into a strong boy and starts fighting evil creatures. He is a symbol of bravery and humility.

2. The Crane of Gratitude

The Japanese title is 鶴の恩返し (つるのおんがえし; Tsuru no on-gaeshi). An old man frees a crane and later takes in a young woman. Behind closed doors, she turns into a crane and makes beautiful cloth out of her feathers.

3. The Rollong Rice-balls

The Japanese title is おむすびころりん (Omusubi kororin). A kind man drops his rice-ball and follows it down a hole into the mouse world. He’s rewarded, but when a mean-spirited man tries the same, he is punished.

4. The Inch-High Samurai

The Japanese title is 一寸法師 (いっすんぼうし; Issun bōshi). A boy who is only an inch tall protects a noblewoman from a demon. He’s swallowed by the demon and fights his way out from the inside.

5. The Story of Urashimatarō

The Japanese title is 浦島太郎 (うらしまたろう; Urashimatarō). A fisherman is taken to the Dragon Palace under the sea. He stays for 3 days, but when he returns to the surface, 300 years have passed.

6. Bamboo Hat for the Jizō Statuettes

The Japanese title is かさじぞう (Kasa jizō). A man goes to market to get mochi to celebrate New Year’s but gives his hats to the jizou. Later they reward his kindness.

2. Fairy Tale Characters and Words in Japanese

Here are some common fairy tale characters and words in Japanese you may come across while reading Japanese folktale stories.

Japanese Romaji Meaning
妖精 yōsei fairy
ユニコーン yunikōn unicorn
shiro castle
マジック majikku magic
魔女 majo witch
スペル superu spell
ドラゴン doragon dragon
オーガ Ōga Ogre
王様 ō-sama king
王子 ōji prince
王女 ōjo princess
昔々 mukashi mukashi once upon a time
魔法使い mahō tsukai wizard
人魚 ningyo mermaid
巨人 kyojin giant
こびと kobito dwarf
ままはは mamahaha stepmother

Check out even more fairy tale words in the video below!

Conclusion

You might not understand every single word in Japanese stories at first but try to guess what they mean in context. Illustrations will also help you understand the story. After reading it, make sure to look up the words in the dictionary and read the story a few more times. If you do that, you’ll surely get better at reading Japanese.

So what Japanese tale would you like to read first? Do you know any other fairy tale stories in Japan? Did we miss any Japanese fairy tale words? Let us know in the comments!

Your Learning, Streamlined – The New Lesson Interface

Click Here to Get Your All Access Pass at JapanesePod101

Your Learning, Streamlined – The New Lesson Interface

Your learning is about to get a whole lot easier.

More than ever, learners are choosing mobile as the platform to study Japanese. Mobile has always been a part of our DNA. We began our life on your iPod, and have remained by your side ever since.

In our 11th year, we’re returning to our roots as a way to learn Japanese on-the-go. How? With a brand-new lesson interface just for you.

Hint: It will launch in beta later this month!

If you want to secure access to this brand new upgrade, take advantage of the upcoming All Access Pass Sale! Click Here to Get 25% OFF All JapanesePod101 Subscriptions!

(example taken from JapanesePod101.com)

It’s built from the ground-up to be a great experience on your phone, tablet, and computer.

You don’t have to compromise anymore.

Take the whole lesson experience with you wherever you go.

Our lessons are the heart of our learning system and now they’re the heart of the interface as well. Just tap the big play button to start learning right away.

(example taken from JapanesePod101.com)

As you scroll through the lesson contents, the player sticks with you at the bottom of your screen.

Pause, rewind or adjust your speed and volume without losing your place.

(example taken from JapanesePod101.com)

Navigation is also just a tap away.

Quickly jump to the dialogue, vocabulary, or lesson notes with our new lesson navigation bar. Available at the top of your screen wherever you are.

(example taken from JapanesePod101.com)

And for the first time ever, you don’t need to download a PDF or jump between tabs to read the lesson notes and transcript. Read it all on your mobile browser as you listen.

(example taken from JapanesePod101.com)

There are many more small improvements but the end result is this: a drastically improved lesson experience on mobile and desktop.

Spend less time squinting at your screen and more time reaching your Japanese goals.

The new lesson interface will launch in beta this month.

We can’t wait to hear what you think. Keep on studying!

Sneak peek! And if you take advantage of our upcoming 25% OFF All Access Pass Sale, you secure full access to this new update! You unlock our complete Japanese learning program – 430+ hours of audio/video courses from Beginner to Advanced, Premium Study Tools, Bonus Apps and much more!

Click Here to Get 25% OFF All Plans until March 31st, 2017.

To your fluency,

Team JapanesePod101

P.S. Get 25% OFF ANY Plan! Master Japanese with YOUR All-Access Pass!

Want to learn Japanese fast with an ALL-ACCESS PASS to our entire learning system? Get 25% OFF Basic, Premium and Premium PLUS and unlock ALL audio/video lessons, study tools and exclusive apps that you’ll ever need. And with Premium PLUS, you get your own teacher! Just $3 a month & up to $137 in savings. Ends March 31st, 2017.

Get Your Japanese All-Access Pass! Click here to get 25% OFF ALL Plans!

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

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 - 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

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!

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).

Create Your Free Lifetime Account and Start Learning the whole Japanese Language from the Beginning!

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

Start Learning-on-the-Go with Your Free App

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

Improve Now your Reading Skills with the Japanese Reading Comprehension Series for Absolute Beginners

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

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 - 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

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!