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 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!

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

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 - 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!