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芭蕉の化身
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Posted 12/11/14
こんばんは みんなさん!クラウドです。 Good evening everyone, Cloud here!
As someone who primarily studies Japanese alone, I rely quite heavily on websites, apps and so on.
In this thread I'd like to share some of the resources I've found helpful and encourage everyone else to do the same.
では、はじめましょう!

Firstly, there is a very useful site called LEXILOGOS.
http://www.lexilogos.com/english/index.htm
The site has (/links to) dictionaries covering not just Japanese, but a whole bunch of languages (including Gaeilge!). I can't vouch for the quality of the dictionaries however, as I mainly use the site for this:
http://www.lexilogos.com/keyboard/japanese.php
An online Japanese keyboard for ひらがな, カタカナ and kanji. So you can go ahead and type out what you want to say (romaji-style!) before copying and pasting it elsewhere (e.g., here). Very very handy if, like me, you don't have a Japanese language keyboard. べんりですね?

Next up, a site I find extremely useful for working through texts with new kanji without ふりがな (you know, the tiny little characters that help you read kanji). Again it's primarily a dictionary, which seems to be very good. The site is called Denshi Jisho (電子辞書) which I believe means 'electronic dictionary'. The feature I love is the ability to search for a kanji by radicals:
http://jisho.org/kanji/radicals/
Maybe 冊 先生 will cover radicals in his lessons (which are excellent by the way, go check 'em out) but as I understand it, they are particular parts which are used in many kanji. A complex kanji might have many of these, while some kanji actually appear to be radicals in themselves. In any case, if you spot a kanji you don't recognise, you can select some of the radicals which make it up and Denshi Jisho will give you a list of kanji that match those radicals, allowing you to find the one you need. It even highlights the most common kanji in regular use for you. Thank goodness, because how on Earth am I supposed to find out what '承前' is if I see it in a book? Oh, it means 'continued' and is read しょうぜん. Thanks DJ!

I hope some of you find these useful!
Please feel free to share alternatives and other resources you've discovered. Next time I get a chance, I'll add a few more recommendations here.
じゃ ね !
先生
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Posted 12/11/14 , edited 12/11/14
ありがとうございましたクラウドさん!
Thanks for making this thread. As I love books, I'll share some book resources here:

1) Japanese from Zero - http://www.yesjapan.com/store/learn-japanese-from-zero-1.html This book helped me learn Hiragana and some basic grammar when I just started learning Japanese from absolutely ground zero.

2) Essential Kanji - http://www.shambhala.com/essential-kanji.htmlI love this book since it shows you the calligraphy, handwritten, and print form of about 2000 kanji!

3) A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar - http://shop.whiterabbitjapan.com/products/a-dictionary-of-basic-japanese-grammar This is the BEST grammar book I've come across so far, I highly recommend it.

4) Japanese the Manga Way - http://www.lammerstranslations.com/japanese-the-manga-way.html I've learned so much informal Japanese from this book! Also, thanks to this book, I can read manga better.

5) Japanese Kanji Flash Cards - http://kanjiflashcards.com These cards are really amazing, they helped me learn so much kanji, plus their small size makes them easy to carry around for studying on the go!

6) Japanese Visual Bilingual Dictionary - http://www.dk.com/us/9780756675561-japaneseenglish-bilingual-visual-dictionary/ This has the most random vocabulary, but when I'm tired and don't feel like studying much, I look at the pictures and the vocab word underneath each picture.

I hope these resources help
学生
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Posted 12/12/14
I also learn Japanese mostly alone but I'm going to learn Japanese next year at school.
I learnt basic greetings in primary school.
I learnt how to understand Japanese from watching English sub anime and now I can understand it without subtitles.
I can kind of speak Japanese fluently but I sometimes make mistakes.
I can remember the hiragana characters and I know some kanji because I am Chinese.
芭蕉の化身
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Posted 12/12/14

thespiritofearlyeducation wrote:

I also learn Japanese mostly alone but I'm going to learn Japanese next year at school.
I learnt basic greetings in primary school.
I learnt how to understand Japanese from watching English sub anime and now I can understand it without subtitles.
I can kind of speak Japanese fluently but I sometimes make mistakes.
I can remember the hiragana characters and I know some kanji because I am Chinese.

Man, I wish I could've started learning Japanese in primary school. Not much call for it in my neck of the woods until university level (which is really quite late to be starting a language as fundamentally different to English as 日本語). Even then, it's not a very common subject, maybe two places in the country had it when I was leaving school a few years back.
And you learnt how to understand it from anime? That's amazing! Anime is a really fun way to learn but I've only ever picked up words and phrases here and there from it. I'm just now starting to be able to understand it but without the subtitles, I'd still be lost!
学生
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Posted 12/12/14

CloudPersona wrote:


thespiritofearlyeducation wrote:

I also learn Japanese mostly alone but I'm going to learn Japanese next year at school.
I learnt basic greetings in primary school.
I learnt how to understand Japanese from watching English sub anime and now I can understand it without subtitles.
I can kind of speak Japanese fluently but I sometimes make mistakes.
I can remember the hiragana characters and I know some kanji because I am Chinese.

Man, I wish I could've started learning Japanese in primary school. Not much call for it in my neck of the woods until university level (which is really quite late to be starting a language as fundamentally different to English as 日本語). Even then, it's not a very common subject, maybe two places in the country had it when I was leaving school a few years back.
And you learnt how to understand it from anime? That's amazing! Anime is a really fun way to learn but I've only ever picked up words and phrases here and there from it. I'm just now starting to be able to understand it but without the subtitles, I'd still be lost!


Oh. I thought every school taught Japanese or french or german but its not compulsory. And thanks yeah I do watch a lot of anime.
芭蕉の化身
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Posted 12/12/14

Ichibanx3 wrote:
2) Essential Kanji - http://www.shambhala.com/essential-kanji.htmlI love this book since it shows you the calligraphy, handwritten, and print form of about 2000 kanji!

Ooh, I should've asked for that book for Christmas, that sounds good!
Since we've got books (サンキュー、一番先生) and websites, next I'll share some of the apps I use.

My favourite was Obenkyo https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.Obenkyo&hl=en which is available for Android and (with greatly reduced functionality) Windows phones (can't speak for Apple, I don't think they have it though).
It has ひらがな、カタカナ and enough kanji to keep you going for ages. It also has a special section for numbers and Tae Kim's Guide to Grammar, which I found thorough, easy to follow and would highly recommend: http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar
The best part of the app, though is easily the tests. You can test yourself on recognising characters or, better still, drawing them. It asks you to draw a character and then corrects it, right down to stroke order and direction. The recognition is pretty good too, I've found, but if it messes up you can still overwrite it and keep your score up (or cheat, if you're so inclined)! Sadly, since I got a Windows phone recently, I can't do this anymore, as only the Android version of the app has this feature. I also miss being able to search the kanji and the huge vocabulary list.

In order to replace it, I recently downloaded the Takoboto app (which is also available online in website form, I've just discovered: http://takoboto.jp/. This app is all dictionary, you can look up words (in English or Japanese) or kanji and get translations. You can also save lists of your favourite words or kanji, which I'm using to compile my own mini-dictionary of words related to space right now. As with Denshi Jisho, this app allows you to look up kanji by radicals, a feature I definitely appreciate having offline on my phone and it seems to be able to pick radicals out of any kanji you type in so you can find similar looking ones.

It's great to be able to carry a dictionary around on your smartphone. I could work through a Japanese novel without having to boot up my laptop and if I was ever bored sitting on the train or in class, I'd run through some tests in Obenkyo or pick out new kanji to learn. とてもべんりです!
芭蕉の化身
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Posted 12/12/14

thespiritofearlyeducation wrote:

Oh. I thought every school taught Japanese or french or german but its not compulsory. And thanks yeah I do watch a lot of anime.


We get English and Irish at primary level and you can sometimes do French or maybe Spanish after school. At secondary level, you take on at least one foreign language, the most popular ones being French, Spanish and German. It's down to each individual school what's on offer but my choices were: French or find another school! It's mainly a numbers thing. We had neither enough pupils interested in doing a different language nor teachers that could teach anything except French. Some bigger schools offer Italian or Japanese and I believe Polish and Chinese have become more popular recently.
先生
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Posted 12/12/14
Thanks for the internet resources, Cloud-San, I'll definitely check them out! Also, I want to mention this website: http://www.tofugu.com because it has some great culture and language related articles! And as for me, Spanish language was mandatory in primary school, and in secondary school either Spanish, French, Italian, or Latin were mandatory. I wish they taught us Japanese in secondary school, but I don't live in an area with a lot of Japanese speakers. There are actually a lot of Korean speakers in my area!
百芸
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I've been using JapanesePod 101 for years. I think their lessons and instructors have been very good. Plus, I find that since it is a podcast, it works with well for the times I'm on the road.

There are a lot of mobile apps that I find pretty helpful, but that depends on the device you have. I can post more about them later.
学生
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Posted 1/14/15
There's is also a website called Lingq that focus on reading.
百芸
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Posted 1/15/15
iPad apps I use:

Midori -- it's probably the best e-dictionary I've used. If you use it with the built-in Japanese iPad keyboard, you can easily look up lots of words. I hardly have to go to jisho.org and similar sites anymore. Plus you can mark items to be used as flash cards.
Innovative -- it's the iPad app from JapanesePod 101. It lets you browse all the lessons, transcripts, and notes by difficulty level. I think you need at least a Basic subscription for this to be useful.
Learning Japanese -- this is the iPad version of Tae Kim's Japanese grammar text.
Kanji LS -- this is a flashcard program for Kanji that also lets you practice writing them. Very important, imo.
Comic Walker -- this app lets you read a bunch of Kodoshana manga magazine titles in Japanese. Great practice for reading, though you want to be at an intermediate level. There are some English titles associated with Yen press, but very few.

Android apps I use:

Aedict -- another e-dictionary. Not as good as Midori, but still useful.
JLTP Practice -- I use this mostly for the Kanji-of-the-Day widget. I then look up vocab for that kanji and put it in my flashcard decks.
Kotoba-chan -- A great vocab program divided by JLPT rank. The flashcards work very well.
Obenkyo -- Another flashcard program, but with more capabilities. You can test katakana, hiragana, numbers, kanji, vocab, and particles. It has a comprehensive grammar section. And it also lets you practice writing katakana, hiragana, and kanji.
Conjugation Japanese -- A test program solely for all the verb tenses.
Manga News -- A number of news and culture articles are posted everyday, in manga form, in Japanese. Useful for practicing grammar and reading.


That's pretty much everything that I think is worthwhile. You can also use Anki on your PC. It's available for free.
学生
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Posted 1/20/15
At school this year I'm going to learn Japanese and we are going to use the Obento Deluxe Work Book. I haven't used it or even opened it because school hasn't started yet.
先生
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Posted 1/20/15
Are you on summer vacation since you live in Australia? If so, I'm so jealous! And I've never heard of that book. Let us know how it is when you eventually use it!
芭蕉の化身
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Posted 1/20/15
すごい, Dittoさん!
Gonna try Anki out when I get a chance. I miss the full features of Obenkyo on android sometimes. There are few enough apps for Windows phones and that means even fewer decent Japanese ones. At least I can still read Tae Kim's text - it seems to be everywhere - and I've found it great for reference when I want to check grammatical rules.
百芸
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Posted 2/13/15 , edited 2/13/15
Has anyone else tried out "Japanese in Mangaland"? I really like this series.
http://www.amazon.com/Marc-Bernabe/e/B00JLKBV7G

And I think Ichi-san will be pleased: he's a Spanish language translator for manga. He also publishes these books in Spanish. You can find all this stuff on his site.
http://www.mangaland.es/
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