Tag Archives: tools
Google Images: The Best Japanese Dictionary Available?
Everyone has used Google-Sensei’s fantastic Image Search feature to find things online. Sometimes it gives you whacked results, but most of the time it’s pretty spot-on. That being said, most people probably don’t think about it being used as a dictionary. Think about it for a moment and it will make sense. If you type in “banana”, Google-Sensei will return a wide array of photos featuring bananas. If you enter “car”, you’ll get a variety of content featuring cars. Why not apply this to language learning? Why not apply this to Japanese? For example, in the article image I entered “バナナ” (banana). Behold, photos of bananas! The next time you are stuck on a word, type it into Google-Sensei’s image search. The image feedback has the added bonus of helping it stick in your brain. That is all.
Japanese Learning Tools: Lang-8
I’ve heard about Lang-8 for a while, but never actually looked it up until recently. As it turns out, this was a fantastic move. More on that in a moment. So, what is Lang-8? On the surface, it’s a journal that you post to with a community. However, it’s so much more than that. Lang-8 is a community with native speakers of over 190 languages for you to interact with. An Overview of How it Works Basically, as mentioned before, it is a journal that you post to, with a twist. When you sign up, it asks you for two things (aside from the standard information all sites ask for upon registration, like email): your native language and your target language(s). The twist is that all of your posts will be in the target language, not your native one. So for me, this means […]
Podcasts + Text = Podcastle
Part of immersion is listening to audio, such as podcasts. However, most Japanese podcasts do not come with written transcripts. This represents an issue when studying because it can be difficult to correctly understand what you hear. This is where Podcastle comes in. Podcastle is a project funded by the Japanese government for foreign Japanese language learners. It provides a speech recognition system to automagically convert the audio into text. While you play the audio, it tries to keep up but can sometimes become “desynchronized”. It helps if you know enough Japanese to be able to tell when it’s messed up, as it can sometimes be off by a few words. Knowing kana at a minimum may be enough to be able to tell this. While its speech recognition is not all that accurate (let’s face it, though – none […]
Audio Source: TBS Radio Podcasts
I found another great resource for audio immersion. TBS Radio 954 has a site chock full of downloadable podcasts. They are mostly talk shows, which is perfect. They feature very clear speech as well, so they could be used for sentence mining. The podcasts are in mp3 format, which means you can load them onto a digital device and carry them with you. There’s dozens of hours of content up there that I’ve grabbed so far, and I haven’t even gotten through half the site yet! It also seems to be somewhat regularly updated, so you can find a few per week on average.
Immersion Tools: TuneIn
Immersion tools can be difficult to find, especially when it comes to anything besides text. When you’re talking audio or video, it can also become very costly as well. However, my goal here is to provide as much material as I can find that’s free, to open it up for more people to learn. With that being said, I’d like to introduce tunein, a free website featuring free radio streams from all over the world.They have countless stations from all over the place. Most importantly, they have many, many Japanese radio stations. One thing I should mention, however, is the fact that not all of them work 100% of the time. Some are links to sites where you must register, and some are down. If you trip over one of these, just move on to another one. I’ve found most […]
Grooveshark: Free Internet Radio (Tons of Japanese Music!)
I found something about a month ago that I’ve been meaning to post. It’s called Grooveshark, and it’s made of pure awesome. It’s a free internet radio, with a twist. You can choose what you listen to, and when by making your own playlists. And as far as I can tell, there are no limitations to this. Features: Tons of [Japanese] Music to choose from – I’ve not found any artist yet that isn’t on Grooveshark. Web-based – you don’t have to download a desktop application to listen. You just need a web browser. Playlists – you can build and save your own. You can also share them with others, as well as get other people’s playlists. No commercials – just hours of play time. Unlimited (as far as I can tell) play time. I’ve never been prompted to upgrade […]
SRS: Flashcards 2.0
Updated 7.12.2011. What is SRS? SRS stands for “Spaced Repetition System”, and works off the idea that you should stretch out the time in which you review whatever it is that you’re studying in order to keep it in long term memory. That’s the short answer, anyway. I first heard about SRS over at AJATT (All Japanese All The Time) in a number of his blogs. And I’ve got to say, it’s working damned well for me. One thing Khatz stresses is that drilling yourself repeatedly to try and remember something only utilizes your short term memory, and therefore it stays there – in short term memory. Take, for example, that kid in your class in high school or college that always aced his exams by cramming the night before. Ask him about any of it a week later: さようなら, […]
Updated Kana Table
おはようございます！ As some have probably already found, there is a kana table provided here on the site. However, the format just wasn’t as user-friendly as I would have liked, so I’ve changed some things. I revamped and split the table into two tables: one for Hirigana and the other for Katakana. These are printer friendly for convenience. The reason I created these was simple – most of the tables out there that I found sucked. Either they were an image (which means you can’t copy the characters) or they were poorly formatted and looked terrible or worse – they were hard to follow. These include the so-called “extended” characters, not just the regular 46 “pure sounds”. There’s a link to the table at the top and left of this site. Also, here.
My Method of Remembering Kanji
Not to say that I’m far enough along to be set in my ways yet, but what I’m doing thus far seems to be effective. Basically I have been doing a lesson in RTK every day, with the exception of lessons that are over about 3 kanji. I start off by writing the kanji in my sketchbook, along with it’s keyword meaning. I then take on board the author’s ‘story’ behind each kanji, and use that to come up with my own. Once I’ve done this, I head over to Reviewing the Kanji and enter all of that into a card there. Then, I review the cards, and come back to any I’ve failed a few hours later (not right away). Update: I now use Anki with the Lazy Kanji Mod for my reviews. When I go back to failed […]
Tools I’m currently using to learn Japanese
Updated: 4.14.13 Since this page was very similar to the content already present on the Links page, I’ve decided to combine the two pages into one uniform list so everything is kept up to date. Check out the Links page here. See Also: Table of Contents Overview of the Method