Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/nicklanc/public_html/japanesewords.net/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

Free Kanji/Kana Flash Cards

This post is going to be really, really short.  This is just a reminder to let everyone know that the final deadline for submitting your essay for the Kanji/Kana flash cards contest  is tomorrow, Friday April 23 (Japan time). I look forward to getting all your essays and reading about your studies with Japanese.

Japanese Flash Card Contest Judges


Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/nicklanc/public_html/japanesewords.net/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

We are starting to get our first essays in for the Japanese flash card contest, so I figured now would be a good time to put on a little information about the three judges. As I mentioned before, there are three judges who will be reviewing the essays and all have experience with Japanese and English. Here they are.

The final deadline is April 23 (Japan time), so remember to send your essay in soon!

Eri Kobayashi

Eri is originally from Tokyo where she has spent the majority of her life. After high school, Eri moved to California to study abroad. She spent her first two years at a community college, and then went on to graduate from CSU Sacramento with a BA in Family Consumer Science. After working in the US for a short time, she returned to Japan to work for a company in Tokyo. Currently, Eri lives in Miyakojima and teaches English to children. She also teaches Japanese on Edufire.

Masa Kitada

Masa is also Japanese, and is originally from Hiroshima. Having a fascination for plants and insects, Masa graduated from Tokai University with a degree in Entomology. He now works for the Japanese government as a plant quarantine inspection officer. Since he does a lot of field research as well as working at airports, Masa studies English both because he enjoys it and because it is a necessity for his job.

Nick Lancaster

Nick is originally from California. Having a fascination with ninjas as a kid (ninja turtles anyone?), he eventually became interested in the samurai and feudal Japan. While pursuing an international business degree at CSU Sacramento, Nick went abroad to study at Waseda University to live in Japan and improve his Japanese. He enjoyed it so much he returned to Japan after graduation to work for a University in Tokyo helping students come to Japan. He currently lives in Miyakojima enjoying the beautiful oceans of Okinawa.

Win Free Japanese Kanji or Kana Flash Cards


Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/nicklanc/public_html/japanesewords.net/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

I mentioned in the last post I wrote reviewing White Rabbit’s Japanese Flash cards, Japanese Kana cards, and the Kanji Poster that I would be holding a contest to give away some of the cards that White Rabbit Press was kind enough to donate. Shortly afterwords I had to leave to Tokyo for a friends wedding (I’ll try to get some pics up soon) and just got back a few days ago. Upon arriving back in Miyako, I had to start preparing for my wife’s parents who came to visit yesterday from Nagano. So without any more delay, here are the details for the contest:

THE PRIZES

  1. Japanese Kanji Flash Cards 1 (2 sets)
  2. Kana Flash Cards

THE CONTEST

I thought quite a bit about what the contest would be, and what I finally decided on was a short essay. The essay should be about why you started learning Japanese and your interest in Japan (assuming you have one lol). Their is no minimum length, but  please keep the maximum within one page (single spaced, 10 font).

The essays will be reviewed by myself, my wife, and one other person. The winnering essays (with the permission of the writer) will be posted on Japanese Words as inspiration for others. Writing in Japanese is highly encouraged!! The winners will also be invited to write a guest post about their Japanese studies and experience with Japanese and Japan. A total of three winners will be chosen (2 for the Kanji cards and 1 for the  kana cards). Please specify which set you are entering for. Each person may only apply for either the kana cards or the kanji cards as the essays will be evaluated separately. Winners will be required to pay for shipping.

The Rules

  • Submit one essay (send to Japanesewords(at)gmail.com) no longer than one page (single spaced, font 10), describing your interest in Japan and studying Japanese.
  • In your e-mail please include your name, how long you have been studying Japanese, and which cards you are entering for. Each person may only apply for one set of cards. (Essays for the Kana and Kanji cards will be evaluated separately).
  • **ALL essays must be submitted by 6:00pm on April 23 (Japan time)
  • Winners will be contacted via e-mail for shipping information.

I look forward to reading your essays and hearing all about your experiences with Japanese. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

White Rabbit Press Kanji Poster and Kanji Flash Cards


Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/nicklanc/public_html/japanesewords.net/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

A couple of weeks ago I received an e-mail from White Rabbit Press, the maker of the Kanji Poster, Kanji Flash Cards, and other Japanese learning products, asking if I would be interested in in promoting their products on Japanese Words. They offered to send a poster and some cards for review and also sent some for giveaways (more on that later).

So let’s start with the Kanji poster first.

Kanji Poster Review

To start with, it is very well packed. The poster came packaged in a tube with stuffing at each end to keep it from getting damaged.

After pulling the poster out of the tube and unrolling it, my first impression was that it was huge. It is nearly 4 feet across and almost 3 feet tall (I guess it needs to be to hold all the kanji). The poster is made of thick glossy paper so it should last. While it isn’t particularly beautiful (my wife didn’t want me to hang it in the living room), it is very functional. The kanji are easy to read and are ordered and colored according to the JLPT. The bottom of the poster contains the readings for each kanji.

Two things that I would like to see added is a sample word and the base meaning of each kanji. Though doing so would probably make the poster a bit too large. And if I had to choose a third, I would say corresponding “Remember the Kanji” numbers. I think the ideal way to use the kanji poster is to put it in a location where you will see it everyday. Then just slowly work your way down the list. I would also recommend putting a white board next to it where you can practice writing. Going through the motions of writing will help you remember.

Kanji Flash Cards

Like the poster, the cards where also well packed. No surprise there.

The cards themselves are also made of high quality material with a glossy finish. The card contains all of the information you would want to know about a kanji, the reading, the stroke order, the meaning, and the base elements. It also contains a number allowing you to match it to the kanji poster. Once again, I would prefer a “Remember the Kanji” number as well.

Now to be perfectly honest I haven’t really used flash cards much since I found out about Anki. Anki keeps track of what I am learning and shows me the right cards at the right time. However, I am in front of the computer quite often. If you are not, then flash cards are still a great option. They can be taken anywhere (I used to use flash cards everyday on the train when I was studying at Waseda University. They were a huge help.

The Conclusion

Both Products are well made and will make a strong and helpful addition to your Japanese study materials. I have been impressed enough with them that I have added them as an affiliate to Japanese Words. So, if you are thinking about purchasing, please use the link below and help support this site.

The Giveaway

I am still working on the details of the competition, but White Rabbit Press has donated some a few items (2 decks of kanji cards and 1 deck of kana cards) as the prizes. The next post will contain all the details.

Japanese Learning Products

Calling a Business in Japanese


Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/nicklanc/public_html/japanesewords.net/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

If you are just learning Japanese or maybe even are an intermediate speaker, making a professional phone call (a call to a business or company) can be a little bit intimidating. This article contains a few tips you can use, as well as some Japanese words and phrases that should help you out.

The difficulties

Speaking on the phone adds additional communication barriers. First of all you can’t see the persons face and gestures. This means you have to have a greater understanding of the language. It is also possible that you could get a bad connection or have  times when the phone cuts out. That is difficult enough in your own language, but more so in a second language.

But probably the biggest difficulty to speaking on the phone in Japanese has to do with the use of Keigo. For those who don’t know, keigo is an honorific form of Japanese and actually has a completely different set of words. It is the common method used in any kind of professional setting.

Lastly, you will be dealing with your own nervousness. Worrying that you might misunderstand or not be able to speak adds additional stress that can make your mind go blank. I have experienced this many times.

Make Japanese phone calls with ease

1. Don’t be afraid

If you are nervous you will have difficulty speaking. Just remember it is okay to make mistakes. If they don’t understand what you mean, then just explain it a different way (even more practice). It can be scary, but the more you do it the easier it gets.

Each phone call you make is a chance to practice. Don’t pass it up. It can be easy to ask a friend to make the phone call for you, but it will be much more helpful for you if you try and do it yourself. Once you realize you can do it, you will gain a lot of confidence.

2. Getting past keigo

There are actually two ways around this. The first is to practice and become familiar with using keigo. If you plan to live in Japan for a an extended time this is a good idea.

The second is much more simple. Just ask them kindly to not use keigo. Also, don’t feel bad about asking them to repeat or slow down. It is very common for support to speak very fast because they are basically saying the same things to each customer. Just keep asking them to slow down.

3. Speak slow and clear

When speaking on the phone silence can be a bit scary, and you may feel that you need to reply immediately. Take your time and think about exactly what you want to say. It is better to speak slowly and concise with good pronunciation and make sure they can easily understand.

It is also very helpful to plan out exactly what you need to accomplish before you make the phone call. Even to the point of planning out the phrases you want say. The more your prepare the better things will go.

Give it a try

If the opportunity presents itself, give it a try. The more you do it the easier it gets.

When I was working in Tokyo as an admissions counselor, I occasionally had to speak to parents who only spoke Japanese.  At first I was a bit intimidated and asked my co-workers to make the calls for me. Eventually though, I decided that I would only get better if I did it myself. What I found, was that it was not nearly as difficult as I thought.





Learn Japanese Through Anime and Manga


Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/nicklanc/public_html/japanesewords.net/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

If you are learning Japanese there is a good chance that you are into anime or manga. At least this seemed to be the case when I studied in Japan, and also when I worked as an admissions counselor at a Japanese University. The great thing is that Japanese anime and manga can be used to supplement your Japanese studies. And thanks to the Japan foundation, there is a free source. anime-manga.jp


It looks like the site is still in the works, but already has an expressions module, which includes the expressions, the grammar, and pronunciation.

There is also a word quiz module with a beginner, intermediate, advanced, and phrase section. If each section contains it’s own words then there are a total of 1,700 Japanese words to study altogether, plus a number of Japanese phrases.

It looks like they will also be adding an expressions by scene module and a kanji module in the near future. So as long as they keep ading to the site, this will become a great tool for you to study Japanese.

Check it out and don’t forget to leave a comment here with your impressions of the site.

anime-manga


Warning: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/nicklanc/public_html/japanesewords.net/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ultimate_ga.php on line 524