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My Honest Review and Opinion of JapanesePod101

Howdy people, my name is Thomas. I’m a blogger and huge Japanese enthusiast. Today I’m going to review www.JapanesePod101.com and give you guys a 100% honest opinion on it. I am not being paid or otherwise compensated for this, and all opinions are my own. Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m brutally honest and blunt, so I won’t pull punches in a review. That said, enjoy.

honest review of japanesepod101.com

My first impression of JapanesePod101.com was that it looked a lot like what I had come to expect from language learning sites, from Rosetta Stone to Duolingo, I knew the drill and the layout of the main page was the same, bare-bones info page that I always see when I go to a site with a landing page that tries to get you to sign up right away. By comparison, ILL’s main site is much more informative about the company and their services, and actually convinced me to try them out in the first place. Perhaps I’m just too jaded to be taken in like many consumers by a simple ad. I want more info than what they share with their marketing spin all over it. I want facts, features, simply stated and without divisive wording so present in marketing pitches.

The negatives pretty much stop there. This service is wonderful! After signing up, you get a straight-talk offer to get a huge upgrade for a dollar of bandwidth. I took the offer, naturally, though I later had an issue with backing out of the $25 a month subscription it signed me up on. I didn’t realize I could just change my settings for the auto-renewal. It is enabled by default, but when I forgot, they were good about refunding me. I had my money back within a week, not bad for communicating across the globe to do it.

japanesepod101 video and audio lessons

The dashboard takes a bit to get used to, but once you figure out what everything does and where it all leads, it is extremely useful and well-designed, though I would prefer if the lesson videos and series videos were organized the same way. I found that I could find some lessons through the actual lessons tab, and others by picking through the series videos. Maybe I just got turned around in the interface but I didn’t feel like I had a good way to get a singular overview of every single lesson to know how much they covered.

Now we come to the best part, and the reason why I truly endorse JapanesePod101.com. The lessons themselves. Oh, my, god. These people know how to teach Japanese. The videos don’t just teach vocabulary and hope you can pick up the pronunciation by imitation like Rosetta Stone tries to. And unlike that same product, which I used before, JPod never talks down to you or treats you like a child. Rosetta Stone seriously showed me juice and milk to teach me how to say the Japanese words ジュース&ぎゅうにゅう one of which is just the same word in katakana, which they don’t explain, and the other is never used anymore, instead they use the katakana’d version of it too! Not JPod, they treat you like an intelligent student right off the bat, explaining the basic structure of the language and rolling it right into vocab.

japanesepod101 vocabulary lists

I loved how Risa explained a lot of the concepts, and much to my pleasant surprise, they didn’t just cover lists of words and pronunciation, though they have tons of word lists and very good pronunciation guides. No, my favorite part is that they covered grammar! You have no idea how much, as a student who learned under tutors and college for all of my Japanese learning journey up to now, how infuriating it is to not have the grammar explained! If you know conjugations of verbs, you can teach yourself so many words just from hearing them and reverse engineering them to dictionary form! Risa does an amazing job of walking you through the grammar points and makes them not feel so scary as grammar was for many people who hated taking English.

One big negative that I have to nick them for though, is the teaching style. Now I’m not talking about the lessons themselves, I mean the overall organization of the lessons. Because you can freely float around between lessons, they don’t build upon each other. I am only in semester 3 of Japanese, and I could hop into Advanced and while I didn’t necessarily find it stuff I already knew, I had no difficulty understanding the lessons and mastering the content. If I tried to do that with a college course, I’d get lost very fast. That sounds like a positive at first, but the problem is that you can’t push your students if you make everything somewhat accessible to people with a good grip on the language already. Perhaps they have more structured or difficult content in other areas, but the lessons from Absolute Beginner through Advanced seemed to have no difficulty curve at all which means they wouldn’t push me to get better.

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It’s a delicate balance, trying to appeal to masses while also pushing every one of those people to “git gud”, believe me, I know. But in the business of teaching language, you have to make a decision on whether you’ll push your users or make everything more accessible to them so they can learn more content easier. I feel like if the lessons were more rigidly structured in points and built upon previous lessons it would work better. Perhaps if it was organized more like a game where you progress down a linear path but have branches where you can head off into side paths of learning and explore things that are at the same level as what you’re learning now, it would be more effective.

Honestly, I would love to see JPod get into Tangential Learning and “gamify” their content a bit. This IS on the internet after all, most people are used to games from their phones and tablets by now, so they won’t be unfamiliar to basic game UI. That said, this is getting a bit more into “I wish” territory.

All in all, I would highly recommend JPod for anyone interested in learning a language from the ground up or as preparation to get into college courses. It is far better than most of the other kinds of software and websites I have been to, mostly because the videos are very well organized and presented, with comprehensive learning material teaching the basic workings of the language as well as the grammar structures along with vocabulary.

Like Thomas, give it a try and create a Free Lifetime Account, get started learning Japanese and share your review with us!

How to Say Nice to Meet You in Japanese

nice to meet you in japanese

If you are in Japan for business or travel, or meeting you Japanese friend’s family in your own country, we are sure you would love to impress your Japanese hosts.

You want to introduce yourself, say hello and learn how to say nice to meet you in Japanese. But you have heard that it is difficult and a mistake can cause great confusion or trouble.

Don’t worry! Here we bring you some useful tips for that successful first meeting for all Japanese beginners.

Discover the list of Top 10 Lines to Introduce Yourself in Japanese



1. My name is [name].

こんにちは。わたしは [name]です。
Konnichi wa. Watashi wa [name] desu.
“Hello. My name is [name].”

  • こんにちは (Konnichi wa) is the Japanese equivalent of “Hello” and can be used at any time of day.
  • わたし (Watashi) is a polite way for males or females to say “I” or “me.”
  • (wa) is a particle that follows the topic you are going to be talking about.
  • です (desu) is called a copula, and refers to one type of “to be” verb.


2. Nice to meet you.

Just as important, remember to say:

はじめまして。
Hajimemashite.
“Nice to meet you.”

or the unique expression:

どうぞ よろしくお願いします。
Dozo yoroshiku onegai shimasu.
This roughly translates to “Please treat me well.”

or formal and polite expressions:

お会いできてうれしいです。
O-ai dekite ureshī desu.
“I’m happy to meet you.”

お目にかかれて嬉しいです。
O-me ni kakarete ureshī desu.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

お目にかかれて光栄です。
O-me ni kakarete kōei desu.
“It’s an honour to be seen by you.” or “It is an honor to meet you.”

お目にかかる (O-me ni kakaru) is the humble form of 会う (Au; meet).


Using this kind of phrase shows respect for the person and also that you are looking forward to a good relationship with them. It is sure to make a great impression!

Example:

初めまして。どうぞお入り下さい。
はじめまして。どうぞおはいりください。
Hajimemashite. Dōzo o-iri kudasai.
“Please come in, it’s nice to meet you.”

初めまして、ピーター。私の名前はリチャードです。
はじめまして、ピーター。わたしのなまえはリチャードです。
Hajimemashite, pītā. Watashinonamaeha richādodesu.
“Hello Peter, my name is Richard and it is nice to meet you.”

初めまして。
はじめまして。
Hajimemashite.
“Nice to meet you, sir.”

Check this Video Series to Learn All Basic Japanese You Need To Perfectly Communicate with Native Speakers!

Keep in mind that in Japanese, we give our full names by saying first the last name and then the first name. So, take the person’s last name and better attach the suffix san (さん), and now you can greet people politely in Japanese! Click here if you want to know which Japanese suffix apply to which person and how to use them all: San, Chan, Kun, Sama

You will surprise everyone with your Japanese skills and politeness. Now people will be pleased to meet you and your efforts won’t go unappreciated!

Writing a Japanese Address on a Postcard

  1. - Postal symbol, preceding postal code
  2. 107-0052 - Postal code, composed of 7 numbers
  3. 東京都 - Prefecture (県, ken), with the exception of Tokyo (都, to), Hokkaido (道, do) and Osaka/Kyoto (府, fu)
  4. 港区 - Municipality, city (市, shi), village (村, mura) or ward (区, ku). Here it is Minato ward.
  5. 赤坂 - Area. Here it is Akasaka.
  6. 3丁目4-4 - City district (丁目, chome), city block (番地, banchi), bldg/house number (号, go)
  7. ジョン シナ - Recipient’s name. In Japan the last name precedes the first name and is often followed by a honorific suffix like San (さん) or Sama (様), corresponding to Mr. or Ms.

Click here to learn how to send out a Japanese postcard with our fun FREE video!


P.S. Win a personal postcard all the way from Japan! Just click the link above and submit your name and email address :) Hurry! Contest ends this Friday, 10/14/2016!

How to Learn Japanese with Video Games?

Do you remember holding your first Game Boy? Do you remember the “Golden Age” of Japanese video games? I bet it was the reason to start learning Japanese in the first place for some of us. And you are here reading this article, so you probably have a keen interest in video games!

Learn Japanese for free

If you are learning Japanese and you do like video games, this is perfect. By knowing how to read Hiragana and Katakana, and with a bit of foundation in Japanese grammar, I have the pleasure to announce that you unlocked a new achievement: Playing video games to practice Japanese!

After a long day of work or school, sitting down at your desk with an other textbook might be the last thing you want to do. It is a way more fun to use our entertaining audio and video podcasts related to everyday life topics, but video games could supplement your studying. It would be misleading to say any video game can teach you Japanese, but as a supplement of JapanesePod101.com, it appears to be a legitimate and fun tool to study.

Click Here To Learn Japanese with Free Audio and Videos Lessons

Nowadays, more and more games offer you the opportunity to change the language settings to be in Japanese, they are not region locked or requiring to buy a Japanese system anymore. From Animal Crossing to Final Fantasy, choose a game, and check those tips for studying by playing!

1. Choose a genuinely fun game. It’s your chance to have a good time while learning. It shouldn’t be a chore! Take your time and go easy, you don’t want to get bored quickly or to suffocate because learning too much at once. You don’t need to stop and look up for every single word or kanji you don’t know. If you can understand the meaning of the sentence through the context, you can go on, otherwise you will get bored really quickly.

2. Start with a game you are familiar with. It will make it easier to know the framework of the story and understand the context. Try to avoid horror games, you could assimilate negative emotion from the game to studying. It would be difficult to learn Japanese while associating it to the sensation of fear!

3. Take notes while playing game. When you face unknown expressions, just pause the game, and write it down on your notebook. Once you are done playing, use a dictionary and look up each of the words. Learn those new words among other things you are already studying. As the same vocabulary words are often used over and over again, your list might get shorter and shorter.

Learn Japanese with Free vocabulary list

4. Enable Japanese subtitles. It will help you to identify unknown words and kanji. It will be useful as far as you’re using a dictionary while you play. If you prefer to play with English subtitles make sure you are not only focused on subtitles but also on the Japanese voices. If you realize you are only reading English, better switch everything to Japanese or it won’t be of any help.

5. Make real-world friends. A lot of games offer you the opportunity to connect with people online while playing online. Depending on the game, it could be “learn or die”, you won’t be able to go further if you are not able to communicate with other players. You will meet people sharing the same interest. Just plug in your headset and enjoy conversing with native speakers, which will improve your speaking and listening skills. While playing online and through forums and gaming community, you can get the benefit of immersion.

If you don’t have the resources required to play but you really want to learn Japanese with video games, there is a solution for you: YouTube. Today is the golden age of “Let’s Play” videos on the platform, video showing game walkthroughs. Those video offer you some gameplay clips with audio commentaries by the gamer explaining every step. It can a great listening practice, a native speaker addressing to the viewers in an everyday life Japanese, sometimes using some slang you won’t find in any textbooks! Risa’s adventure videos can also be an alternative full of cuteness and a good material to improve your level! Here is the reason why you should learn slang if you want to become fluent!

Create your free lifetime account and enjoy free japanese lessons every week to master the language

The 10 Day Hiragana Challenge

September either sounds like back to school or end of holidays. Getting back to work? Well, that’s usually harder, but if the summer didn’t get rid of your motivation to learn Japanese, then you’re about to start on the bleeding edge thanks to:

The 10 Day Hiragana Challenge

The “Challange” is quite simple: within 10 days you’ll be able to perfectly READ and WRITE all Hiragana. That’s all you’ll need to master one of the three alphabets of Japanese language.

From Tuesday, the 6th of September we will release one video per day during 10 days on our YouTube channel, to give you all the resources and tips to learn those Japanese characters. Every day from the 6th to the 15th, Risa will teach you the secret to easily learning 46 hiragana in 10 days.

Don’t miss any video of this upcoming series and not only you’ll know the basics of Japanese pronunciation but you’ll be able to identify a lot words used in everyday life. It’s your best way to get started learning Japanese!

Click Here to Subscribe to JapanesePod101 YouTube channel!

And if you want to access the Full version of the Videos lessons and take this Challenge a step further by learning both Hiragana and Katakana in less than 1 week, sign up for a Free Lifetime Account and enjoy the entire series from the 6th of September!

10 Best Responses to “How Are You” in Japanese

Hi Japanese Learner, how are you? This is one of the most common question used in everyday life. There are many possible responses to this question and various tons to use.

You must learn those different ways to respond because one answer may fit better, and having a greater range of expression is a sign of fluency. With this Japanese lesson, Risa will teach you the 10 best responses to “How Are You” in Japanese. Here we go!

Click Here to Learn How to Pronounce Those 10 Phrases

1.私は元気です。
わたしはげんき。
Watashi wa genki desu.
I’m fine.

2.大丈夫です。
だいじょうぶで。
Daijōbu desu.
I’m okay.

3.眠いんです。
ねむいんです。
Nemui n desu.
I’m sleepy.

4.絶好調です。
ぜっこうちょう。
Zekkōchō desu.
I’m great.

5.調子が悪いです。
ちょうしがわるいです。
Chōshi ga I’m feeling bad.
Warui desu.

6.いい感じです。
いいかんじです。
Ii kanji desu.
I feel good.

7.悪くないです。
わるくないです。
Warukunai desu.
I’m not bad.

8.おかげさまで。
Okagesama de.
Thank you for asking.

9.まあまあです。
Māmā desu.
I’m feeling so-so.

10.ぼちぼちです。
Bochibochi desu.
So-so.

Click Here to Access to the Video and Audio version of this Lesson

Don’t forget to sign up for a free account on JapanesePod101 and access entertaining lesson to help you from absolute beginner to reach fluency.

4 Reasons Why Japanese Slang Words Will Make You Fluent

Learn 4 honest reasons you need Japanese slang words and why they are so vital to truly learning and mastering the language.

Teachers may normally cringe at the thought of their students learning Japanese slang words. After all, slang words and phrases are typically defined as being grammatically incorrect. So why would your teacher want you to spend time learning the “wrong way” to speak Japanese? Here are 4 of the top reasons why you should study slang words and expressions when learning Japanese or any new language.

reasons to learn japanese slang words

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1. Native Speakers Use Slang Expressions in Everyday Conversation

If you are going to study a foreign language and plan to use it to speak with native speakers, then you have to learn slang words and expressions. Otherwise, just using formal expressions and grammar may alienate you from native speakers and make it more difficult to establish a real connection. So it is best to at least learn some common slang words and expressions if you’re planning to meet or speak socially with someone.

2. Slang Words Are Used All Throughout Japanese Culture

If you turn on any popular Japanese TV show, listen to any song, or watch any movie, you are quickly going to see the value of learning Japanese slang phrases. Just like everyday conversations between native speakers, Japanese culture is filled with slang phrases and expressions. Without at least some knowledge of the more common slang phrases, popular culture and most conversations will be very confusing and potentially alienating.

Want to Amaze Native Speaker? Be a Good Lover? Our Vocabulary Lists are Made for You!

3. Slang Expressions Help You Better Express Your True Thoughts and Feelings

Only relying on formal grammar and vocabulary is very limiting, especially in social situations. Just like in your native language, using the appropriate Japanese slang words can help you express a broader range of emotions, thoughts, and feelings.

4. Proper Use of Slang Makes You Sound More Natural

We’ve all met foreigners who technically used formal language perfectly but still sounded odd and well….foreign. But when you use the right slang words and expressions, you will sound more natural and like a true native speaker. If you notice, even most politicians include a sprinkling of slang expressions and words throughout their speeches to help them sound more natural and to better connect with the audience.

The Dark Side of Slang Expressions

Learning Japanese slang words can indeed help you sound more natural, better understand the people and culture, and make integration much easier. However, there is a dark side: using the wrong slang expressions can also make you look foolish, uneducated, and potentially disrespectful.

But how do you know which slang words or phrases to use and when?

The truth is that you can’t learn the most modern and appropriate slang words in textbooks or formal classroom settings. By the time the information gets incorporated into a formal curriculum, it’s already outdated and no longer in use by actual Japanese people. And while you can learn current slang expressions from Japanese TV shows, movies, songs, and games, you may not understand the context. If that happens, you may use the right Japanese slang words but in the wrong situation and still look like a fool or possibly even offend someone.

Step out from the darkness and Get Your FREE PDF eBook to Master 1500 Kanji easiliy

So where can you learn current slang expressions and the right context in which to use them?

At JapanesePod101, native speaking instructors create audio and video lessons that can include slang expressions and words. Our instructors provide context and examples for all the Japanese slang words used in any lesson to make sure students understand the right time and place to use them.

Japanese slang words and expressions may be grammatically incorrect but they are vital to truly understanding and immersing yourself in the culture. In fact, it will be very difficult to fully understand any movie, TV show, song, game, or even 1-on-1 conversation without knowing a few of the more common slang expressions.

However, it is important to learn the proper context and use of even popular slang expressions or you may come across as confusing, disrespectful, or uneducated.
At JapanesePod101, you’ll learn how to use slang phrases and words to draw the right attention and avoid these problems.

Don’t forget to sign up for a Free Lifetime Account on JapanesePod101.com to access tons of FREE lessons and features to become fluent in Japanese!

Japan exclusive rarest Pokemon! Pokemon Go finally released!

After having been delayed many times for different reasons, the mobile-gaming sensation, Pokemon Go, is finally released in its home country: Japan! Are you already on your way to be the very best like no ever was? After reading this post you’ll discover the rarest Pokemon in Japan and you’ll learn how to be the ポケモンマスター (“Pokemon Master”) in Japanese!

pokemon go japan exclusive rarest pokemon

From rumoured release to multiple delay, the mythical creature franchise, Nintendo has been keeping us waiting without official launch date for weeks. “When will it finally come out in Japan? Isn’t it Nintendo home country!?”. But after painfully watching Pokemon Go being released all over the world, Japanese residents finally get the chance to be back on track!

Pokemon Go users have taken the streets with their smartphones in order to catch’em all and train their creatures for battles! The mobile game is the perfect excuse to communicate with players you cross paths with. You definitely need to know how to introduce Yourself in Japanese.

Whether you want to challenge them or just share the location of the wild Pikachu you saw behind the station, learning the Most Used Japanese Phrases will help you to face all situations!

No more chat! People in Japan are already crazy about Pokemon Go and play it while having lunch with friends!

一番になりたい ? You want to be the very best? To be a good Pokemon trainer is all about charisma! You should start working on a cool trainer posture! But watch out, you may have a look before on Japanese gestures and their meaning to avoid any embarrassing pose!

Commuting, lunch break, night walk… all perfect opportunities for you to capture Pokemon! But it was while walking to the office, listening to a podcast about Japanese superstitions, that I encountered the rarest Pokemon ever, to be seen in Japan only!

If the legend is true Risamon can be seen time to time on JapanesePod101 YouTube channel for funny lessons. Our advice if you want to optimize your chance to capture it, is to follow the dedicated Risamon Learning Path available here. And at the end of the road you may realize you will able to hold a conversation in Japanese!

For you Japanese learners, here are 3 phrases you’ll need to know today:

  • Gotta Catch ‘Em All!
    全部捕まえてやるぜ!
    Zenbu tsukamaete yaru ze!

  • I wanna be the very best!
    一番になりたい!
    Ichiban ni naritai!

  • My dream is to become the pokemon master.
    私の夢はポケモンマスターになること。
    Watashi no yume wa Pokemon masutā ni naru koto.

    Next week we’ll publish here the Top 20 phrases you must know to be the best Poke Master!

  • How will learning Japanese make you rich?

    The chance to speak with other people in their native tongue and the love for a culture can be all the motivation you need to learn 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!

    how does learning japanese make you rich learn language

    For Japanese beginners: Click here to learn the most common phrases!

    1) If you have language skills beyond your colleagues who just speak English, and if your company needs those skills to open new markets or reach new customers, you are much more valuable than other employees. A lot of people are getting big raises for this reason.

    2) You can make some extra money with your language skills as a teacher. You can work for yourself, give private lessons at night after school, or work on weekends. Language companies are often looking for freelancers to help with clients who are relocating. You will make more money than being a waiter/waitress or doing some baby-sitting. Alternatively, you can enjoy the comfort of teaching languages from home via Skype, even if the rates are a bit lower.

    3) Take advantage of your language skills by translating documents or websites for companies or people. Interpreters and translators are among the top five fastest growing occupations!

    https://media.giphy.com/media/nvHU9Q9NiMx7a/giphy.gif

    FREE Japanese lesson for you: 25 Phrases you Must Know!

    4) “Time is money.” If you’ve been learning the Japanese language, when traveling to Japan you will be able to optimize your stay. Having the ability to communicate will open cost effective doors: you’ll quickly find what you seek, travel faster, find the best prices…

    Low costs, High return on Investment
    Learning a language is not expensive, you can borrow books from the library or you can learn online for free with JapanesePod101.com. You can access from your computer or your mobile device more than 2000 lessons, features like flashcards and more. All it will cost you is 2 min to create your free account.

    In 2014, The Economist showed that for somebody making $30,000 annually, learning a language would increase their income by about $600 per year. Once you factor in compounding, it could mean nearly an extra $70,000 in the bank by retirement.

    Click here to become both rich and fluent in Japanese!

    JapanesePod101 Free Lifetime Account: Is it really free?

    You want to learn Japanese but you don’t want to spend a cent. You don’t want to lose time creating an account if they ask you for your credit card just after. For you Japanese learner, we tell you how you will access great resources for free for life and without card or having to pay. This is your unique path to fluency for free.

    free lifetime account japanesepod101 benefit

    JapanesePod101 is not really free, is it?
    Although there are paid plans, yes, it is FREE. Every single lesson that we have ever created has been free for a certain period of time. And every new audio and video lesson (we publish 3-5 lessons a week) is completely free to access for 3 weeks before going into our lesson library.

    What’s a Free Lifetime Account?
    A Free Lifetime Account is – simply put – a free membership at JapanesePod101.

    What do I get with this Free Account? How can I learn for free for life?
    Here’s how you learn every day without paying a cent at JapanesePod101. You have access to all of these features for life:

  • New audio and video lessons every week – 3-5 new, free lessons a week
  • The first 3 lessons of every single series – 100+ lessons in total
  • New Daily Dose of Japanese lessons – a new free lesson every day
  • Japanese Word of the Day lessons – a new free lesson every day
  • Throwback Thursday lessons – a free random lesson every Thursday
  • The Innovative Language 101 App for the Android, iPhone and iPad
  • The 100 Most Common Words List to get a head-start on learning vocabulary
  • Vocabulary and phrase lists for topics, themes and holidays
  • Bonus resources and mobile apps in the Japanese resources section

    Do I need a credit card to sign up?
    No. All you need is a valid email address to join. The only times you’d require a credit card (or another payment method such as PayPal) is if you want to upgrade to a Basic, Premium or Premium PLUS subscription.

    To sum-up, you create a free account only with your email address, you’ll get a 7-day trial to experience Premium access to JapanesePod101, and after this period you will stay on as a “Free” member accessing all our tool and resources mentioned before. So what are you waiting for?

    It will take you only 30 seconds and a valid email, no credit card, no money asked, to create your free lifetime account and get on the way to reach Japanese fluency!

    How to activate your free lifetime account?

    1- Choose your level (Absolute Beginner, Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced) and enter your email address.

    2- Activate your account.

    3- Click on “No Thanks” at the bottom of the page to validate your free lifetime account, or benefit from the 1$ package.

    4- Enjoy your free account for life, and master Japanese language!

    Start speaking Japanese now!