Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com


Posted by on October 14, 2009 in Japanese Study Tools | 2 comments

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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:



  1. Hello dear web host, recently, I have been listening to more podcasts, for movies, music and lectures. I have a question about learning. I find that the sight learning lags way behind the learning “by ear”. Do you think , when learning a new langauge is it important to not just know what you’re hearing but, to learn the written language as well? Perhaps this comes from my trepitdation in learning an alphabet that is so far from the Latin based ones that I’m more familiar with. Thank you for your assistance, Sheila

  2. Sheila, Great question. I think the best answer I can give is “it depends”. I say this because it depends on what your goals and motives are for learning the language.

    If you are learning because you want to be able to converse in Japanese and hold general conversation then your focus should be on listening and speaking. I do recommend that everyone at least learn the hiragana and katakana as I feel this will help with pronunciation and getting the brain out of “English mode”.

    If you are looking to live or work in Japan then learning the characters is very beneficial. It will give you a a much better understanding of the Japanese language itself as well as make living in Japanese society much easier.

    I hope that helps.