Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

JapanesePod101

ipod dark

So far we have covered tools for memorizing Japanese words and phrases, learning and reading kana and kanji, and of a great dictionary. Today we are going to talk about a program I used to use quite a bit when I first started working in Tokyo, JapanesePod101.

When I first started using JapanesePod101 is was basically a podcast, and a pretty good one. It had interesting (sometimes odd) conversations in Japanese, with explanations of the meaning and culture in English. It was very helpful for both hearing spoken Japanese and learning a lot of new words. I had a long commute so it worked perfect to help fill the time and keep me learning Japanese.

Since then, JapanesePod101 has expanded into a much more complete Japanese learning suite. There is still a free podcast, but if you choose the premium membership you also get an audio dictionary, a kanji dictionary, a grammar section, video lessons, transcripts for all the lessons, and a scheduler to make sure you stay on track with your goals.

The JapanesePod101 is a great podcast for practicing your Japanese listening skills. It has gotten even better as a full Japanese learning suite. You can check it out at the link below:

JapanesePod101

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Intial D’s AE86 (hachi roku)?

initial d

I’m a huge car enthusiast, so when my brother started telling about an anime he was really enjoying about cars it certainly caught my attention. Now to be honest, I don’t really watch a lot of anime. I have seen pretty much all of the Miyazaki films and most of dragon ball, but that’s about it. But once I started watching Initial D I couldn’t stop.

The cars and racing were interesting and it was good practice for listening in Japanese. When I studied abroad in Tokyo, I started reading the Manga as well. It was great because I knew most of the stories which made reading it was much easier.  I would also occasionally play the Initial D arcade game when I came across it.

When I lived in Tokyo it was actually pretty common to see ハチロクs (hachiroku). In fact, there was a tuned one that was parked in the same neighborhood I lived in. Since I saw rare cars all the time, I never really worried about taking pictures. However, now that I have moved to the smaller island of Miyakojima, seeing any kind of sports car is much rarer. Especially older models like the ハチロク.

So the other day when I came across a ハチロク, and just happened to have my camera, I took a few shots. It looks like they were going for the look of Takumi’s car after the modifications (for those of you who have seen the anime).

86 front

86 corner

86 back

For those who would like to see a real ハチロク in action, this is one of my favorite videos, putting two ハチロクs against a Nissan GTR. The video is all in Japanese, so it should give you a little bit of Japanese language practice (though there isn’t much talking).

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National Geographic in Japanese

Japanese National Geographic

I am a huge National Geographic (ナショジオ) fan. Nature shows were some of my favorites to watch growing up as a kid. I was (and still am) fascinated by nature and can sit and watch nature programs for hours on end. If only the videos were available in Japanese then I would be able to watch interesting videos and practice Japanese. The only way it could be better is if they were free.

Today I stumbled across a blog called “Wired in Japan” that had a post pointing to the National Geographic YouTube site in Japanese. There are a ton of videos, and since it’s National Geographic, you can be sure they are using proper Japanese. Take a look and get some Japanese listening practice.


You can find the link here: National Geographic in Japanese

I recommend that you watch each video at least a couple times. This will allow you to get a better idea of the story, and then focus on learning the Japanese words and phrases.

You can find more information on watching Japanese videos below:

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