japanese resource

Beginners Japanese textbooks

So I get a lot of questions here and on Instagram about the books I use for Japanese and what I would recommend to beginners. So I thought I’d put together a little list of books I would suggest you start off with as a beginner in Japanese (these are all books I have used myself or had/would consider using) Obviously I’m not saying you need all of these books, pick one and see how it goes (although I do recommend using more than one resource)! I may do another post like this for intermediate learners if there’s enough interest (with the textbook series they will take you to a higher level, but this is just recommendations as a starting point) ^^ 

Learning Hiragana and Katakana Flashcards

Japanese Kanji Flashcards Volume 1

Japanese Kanji for Beginners

Japanese From Zero Series

Kana From Zero | Hiragana From Zero | Katakana From Zero | Kanji From Zero

Japanese From Zero 1 | Japanese From Zero 2 | Japanese From Zero 3

Japanese From Zero 4

Genki Series

Level 1 textbook | Level 1 workbook | Level 2 textbook | Level 2 workbook

Japanese For Busy People Series

Kana workbook | Level 1 kana ver | Level 1 romaji ver | Level 2

Basic Japanese

Japanese for Beginners

A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar

Essential Japanese Grammar

Essential Japanese Vocabulary

600 Basic Japanese Verbs

anonymous asked:

How do I tell someone I'm non-binary in Japanese?

if you just want to say “i’m non-binary”, you could say:

日: (俺・僕・私・自分は)Xジェンダーです。
jp: (ore / boku / watashi / jibun wa) x-jendaa desu.
en: i’m non-binary.

note that the first part of the sentence is in parenthesis because in Japanese it’s common to drop the subject of the sentence, even though that isn’t the case in English.

that said, if you want to be more specific (and if any of these happen to describe you), you could also say something like:

日: (俺・僕・私・自分は) 無性です。
jp: (ore / boku / watashi / jibun wa) musei desu.
en: i’m genderless / agender.

日: (俺・僕・私・自分は) 中性です。
jp: (ore / boku / watashi / jibun wa) chuusei desu.
en: i’m gender neutral /  an androgyne.

日: (俺・僕・私・自分は) 両性です。
jp: (ore / boku / watashi / jibun wa) ryousei desu.
en: i’m bigender / ambigender.

日: (俺・僕・私・自分は) 不定性です。
jp: (ore / boku / watashi / jibun wa) futeisei desu.
en: i’m genderfluid.

the above gender identities are relatively common among non-binary people in Japan. note that 中性 / chuusei can potentially translate into two different genders in English. i’d say it’s commonly used to mean androgyne within the non-binary community, but there’s also a strong association with gender neutrality because 中性的 / chuuseiteki is often used within society in general to mean unisex or gender neutral.

having said all that, just like when speaking English, the person you’re talking to may not be familiar with the above words. in that case, you might need or want to explain what being non-binary means for you.

日: (俺・僕・私・自分は) 男性でも女性でもないです。
jp:  (ore / boku / watashi / jibun wa) dansei demo josei demo nai desu.
en: i’m neither male nor female.

日: (俺・僕・私・自分は) 男性でも女性でもなく、性別はないです。
jp: (ore / boku / watashi / jibun wa) dansei demo josei demo naku, seibetsu wa nai desu.
en: i’m neither male nor female. i have no gender.

日: (俺・僕・私・自分は) 男性と女性の間の性です。
jp: (ore / boku / watashi / jibun wa) dansei to josei no aida no sei desu.
en: my gender is in between male and female.

日: (俺・僕・私・自分は) 男性でもあり女性でもある性です。
jp: (ore / boku / watashi / jibun wa) dansei demo ari josei demo aru sei desu.
en: i’m both male and female.

日: (俺・僕・私・自分は)  男性でも女性でもなく、ある性別の間に性自認が変わります
jp: (ore / boku / watashi / jibun wa) dansei demo josei demo naku, aru seibetsu no aida ni seijinin ga kawarimasu.
en: i’m neither male nor female, my gender identity changes from gender to gender.

日: (俺・僕・私・自分は)  男性でも女性でもなく、 いずれも全く関係ない性です。
jp: (ore / boku / watashi / jibun wa) dansei demo josei demo naku, izuremo mattaku kankei nai sei desu.
en: i’m neither male nor female. my gender is completely unrelated to either of those genders.

……..and i totally took this relatively simple ask and ran away with it. oh well. hopefully it helps you, anon. either way, this post is officially my *points at this* post for future asks. lol

08.26.2017 edit: added the pronoun 俺 / ore by request.


Being a polyglot, I decided to make a post about how to study any language, Without further ado, here it is:


This is the most crucial step to studying/learning a new language. In order for your brain to pick up the new words and ideas, it needs to be more immersed in the language you’re learning. Now for most of us who are learning languages in school, that’s kind of hard, especially since most language classes do most of the work in English until you build a level of fluency. This is the primary reason why immersion programs or immersion schools are so much more successful in teaching a language: you’re forced to talk, write, speak, and think in the language you’re learning. Your brain makes connections faster and thus learns faster to understand and process the language. I would suggest that when you’re learning the language, whether it’s in class time or homework, try to work only in that language. Don’t automatically translate things into English because that’s only going to inhibit your process. Even if your knowledge of the language is limited, practicing thinking in the language, reading the language without translating, and speaking will greatly improve your progress. You’ll find yourself become more fluent and the language will flow rather than be halting because your brain is trying to translate things instead of thinking fluently.


Vocab is one of, if not the, most important aspect of learning a language. I would even go as far as saying it’s about 70-80% of effectively knowing a language. Think about it this way, if you’re at a restaurant and you’re asked to read the menu or if you’re out and you’re reading signs and advertisements, will knowing hundreds of verbs and their conjugations help you get by? Most likely not. Vocab on the other hand will make the difference between understanding and being totally clueless. If that example didn’t do it for you here’s another one: when you’re speaking to someone how can you express yourself if you don’t know the words? Chances are even if you know no grammar but know key words in the language someone will understand you. Most people don’t pay that much attention to grammar anyway when you’re speaking. As long as you have a basic understanding of it, you’ll be understood. I’m not saying that grammar isn’t important, far from it, but so many people underestimate vocab and focus on grammar and that hinders your learning. Try to learn as much vocab as you can because it will bring you one more step to being fluent. The key to knowing a language is to understand it to a high degree. You can’t understand if you don’t know the words. Find a list with the most common words in the language you’re learning and try to learn them all. Have a goal to learn 10-20 new words per day and you’ll go a long way. If you’re trying to learn vocab I would recommend to have a sheet with all the words you’re trying to learn and their definitions. Hide the words and try to write the vocab by seeing only the definitions. Writing down helps you remember and this method is foolproof. I’ve used it for 6+ years in French and it’s never failed me.


When I say basic grammar, I mean the typical verb tenses and some basic structures. This doesn’t mean learning every single verb conjugated in every single tense, but rather learning the patterns of grammar and how to apply them. Work smarter not harder. Learning the patterns makes it easier to recognize them when you’re reading and remember them when you’re writing. In my opinion, one fault with the way languages are taught in school is the way they teach grammar and how much time they spend on it. Most native speakers don’t worry as much about grammar as non-native speakers do. Again, I’m not saying grammar isn’t important because it is and  you have to know it, but the way it’s taught ruins it. Try to make a chart with all the verb tenses and the patterns that go with the different types of verbs and then a list with the irregular verbs/exceptions. This should be enough to help you gain a basic mastery of grammar. If you know the basic rules, it will become second nature as you speak, write, and read more.


The language you learn at school is very very different from the language actually spoken in its native country. Most of the language you learn is very formal while in real life, formality is disregarded to a degree and slang is prevalent. In order to build a fluency, you need to read and listen to the language in its natural form to pick up the slang and words that are actually used and not the archaic words that nobody ever says. Listen to music from that language, watch the news in that language, read a book or magazine in that language etc. This will again help your brain learn and process the language better. It will also help with vocabulary and general understanding. Children’s books are the best when you’re starting out. The language is simple and the grammar isn’t to complicated. Start with children’s books and then work your way up to novels and other forms of literature. Listening to the language is also crucial. Try to find mediums where the language is spoken and just listen. Don’t translate or stress yourself out trying to understand it all because you won’t the first couple of times. Just let it sink in. Gradually, you’ll find yourself understanding more and more and you’ll improve. With the speaking aspect, speak as much as you can. Don’t be embarrassed if you stumble, can’t express yourself as much as you would like, or have an accent. I also find that watching/reading/listening to translated works is helpful. Find your favorite book and read it in the language you’re learning, it will help you understand and learn more because you already know what’s going on and can focus on the vocab and grammar. Find your favorite movie and watch it in the language you’re learning. Again, it will help you learn more vocab. The more you practice the better it will get. If you distance yourself from speaking you’ll never improve. Balancing reading, listening, and speaking is the key to being successful.


Nobody becomes fluent over night. Cliche but true. Don’t expect to instantly know everything. It’s normal to struggle and have trouble. Failing is part of the learning process and if you stop practicing because you’re afraid, you’re never going to learn anything. Let go of your fears and insecurities and go for it. If you fall down, pick yourself up and start again. Don’t be embarrassed if you mess up but rather learn from your mistakes and grow. The things we remember most are usually the things where we’ve messed up or had a negative experience with. So use the hiccups as a learning experience and your language skills will improve. 

If you follow these steps, I’m confided that you’ll be better in no time :) The key is to enjoy what you do and have fun! Good luck!

Introducing Language Printables

My boyfriend and I are trying to save up so we can rent a new place and get married, so we have been working hard on a new project: Japanese Learning Printables, which we’re selling on Etsy. He’s a professional graphic designer and I have been teaching languages since 2003, so we decided to put our professional skills together and design some products that we hope Japanese learners will find useful.

Here’s a brief overview of what we’ve made so far:
Language Study Printables Pack 1

This bundle contains eight different printables in PDF format, both in A4 and letter size. Colour and black and white versions are included.

There are New Kanji blank sheets for you to practice kanji, with spaces for mnemonics, stroke order, on’yomi and kun’yomi, example sentences and more. Language Exchange sheets allow you to document new vocabulary and phrases, as well as cultural points as you participate in language exchange, meaning you get more out of your experience and can review afterwards. There’s also space for feedback for your partner and goal tracking. 

To increase productivity you can track your reading and study hours with these Reading Log and Study Log pages.

To keep track of new words or compounds you can use our New Vocabulary sheet, with space for readings, example sentences, so you can lean in context, and review tracking included.
Learning in real-life context is particularly difficult for self-studiers, so with this in mind we designed  this Grocery List printable, which you prepare at home, as you would a normal list, then take shopping so that you can use Japanese in context, even if you’re in a non-Japanese environment. 
Also included in the Language Study Printables Pack 1 are Anime Log and Drama Log trackers, where you can note down examples of words in context you encounter when watching Japanese TV, track where and when you heard them and monitor your reviews.

Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced Journal Prompt Printables
There are three different levels available individually, or you can buy the bundle and get all three at a discount.  Again the printables come in PDF format, including both A4 and letter size versions.

Designed with self-studiers in mind, these packs cover basic to advanced Japanese, including topics on your interests, memories, goals, as well as your opinions on a variety of current events, cultural points and social issues.

Each pack contains 31 unique language prompts, one for every day of the month.

  • Beginners Journal Prompts should be good for self-studiers who are at around JLPT N5/N4 level, or who are working through Genki I and II. Topics include writing about your environment and interests, whilst giving you opportunities to use beginner level grammar and vocabulary. An English translation cheat sheet is included to help you if you get lost. 
  • Intermediate Journal Prompts would best suit those at about JLPT N3/N2, or working through a textbook like Tobira.  Topics include writing for different purposes, talking about culture, re-telling anecdotes and expressing your opinions. An English translation cheat sheet is included to help you if you get lost.
  • Advanced Journal Prompts are designed for those at N2/N1 JLPT level, or beyond. They are written by a native Japanese speaker and are designed to help you create independent texts on engaging and relevant topics, whilst using advanced language skills such as persuasion, criticism, and expressing nuanced opinions that often appears at this level.

We really hope that you will take a look at LanguagePrintables on Etsy and favourite our store. We put a lot of thought into making these as useful as possible, and so we would very much appreciate your support through buying or simply reblogging this post.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask. If you have a request for a language learning printable you’d like to see on our store in the future, then please let us know!

Benkyōgo: Full Japanese Verb Conjugation Cheatsheet

Introducing the Benkyōgo Verb Conjugation Cheatsheet!.

This cheatsheet covers all verb conjugations you will learn from starter textbooks (and all of those covered in the Genki Textbook series), organised into a colourful and handy chart.

The chart includes:
- Conjugation forms & explanations.
- Examples of -る, -う and する・くる verbs conjugated in all forms
- Clear, simple layout

Verb conjugations included:
Dictionary, Long form, Short form, Te-form, Negative, Negative past, Potential, Volitional, Ba-form, Passive, Causative, Causative-Passive.

This is a high quality A3-sized PDF, perfect for printing out.

Click HERE to view and purchase this cheatsheet.

Satori Reader ~ A new project by the team that brought us Human Japanese (°◡°♡)

Morning fam! Because I am a huge throbbing nerd for the Human Japanese series and use it every other day for routine study, their latest project - Satori Reader - was brought to my immediate attention.

Screenshots have been taken of the website’s free content to give you a peek into what is on offer. I’m giving it a trial run for the moment, but my fingers are itching to subscribe - something I can do at any point with relative ease.

For anyone who is floundering in the grey waters of intermediate study, and especially for those whose study is self perpetuated, there’s a good chance you’re looking for some sort of landmark in that churning mess to orient yourself by. A metaphorical island, with sparkling shoreline, verdant forest, and plentiful resources to help you grow and flourish.

I’m talking content. As many bloggers have mentioned, there is a plethora of material out there to help us learn the framework and mechanics of 日本語. It’s not at all difficult to source grammar lessons, vocabulary lists, kanji writing schematics, charts and even entire textbooks - and for that we are eternally thankful. However, the intermediate learner sitting at their own dining room table with an open laptop, a cup of tea, the latest anime OST on repeat and a Japanese novel in their quivering hands is leafing through the pages and quietly mouthing how in the everliving f**k…

This is where SR gently takes your hand and says, here’s how, you foulmouthed otaku.

This is an excerpt from a level 3 difficulty article about Kona the cat (可愛いね)

Like every other article available on the website, it is voiced over by a native speaker, clearly and naturally - with all the intonation you would expect to hear in conversation *heavy breathing* Not only that, but as the audio plays, the corresponding Japanese text is underlined in blue to show where in the text they are reading from. This means that if you are proficient enough, you can follow along at pace.

Too slow? They got you fam! Individual lines of text are divided into sound bytes, meaning you can take this task one sentence at a time.

Individual kanji, jukugo (several kanji that make up one word) and particles within the text can also be clicked to reveal a Human Japanese style dictionary entry. Words you’d like to revisit can be added to your studylist.

The symbol marking the end of each sentence, when clicked, offers you an english transliteration, which I advise you utilise with a degree of self control. Try to hold off clicking it until you’ve really given the sentence a go - clicking on kanji you don’t recognise and piecing all the information together in order to get an idea of what’s being said. Then, when you finally check the translation, your hard work might be rewarded with a confirmation that you indeed read correctly. Which, by psychology standards, is a healthy and affirming process. We are hardwired for rewards my dudes!

I could go into detail about the many little features that make this web project so well thought out and considerate of our individual study methods and goals, but I’ll leave that to you to explore and find out. For me at least, the true worth of SR lies mainly in the reading content and the empathetic format it’s presented in.

The way it Aladdin style reaches out, offering us a whole new world.

Give the free subscription a whirl! If you like it, consider a paid subscription. This directly funds future content which directly benefits you!

~ Thanks Human Japanese team ~

Update (╯✧▽✧)╯

After giving SR a good go and fully testing its arsenal of functions, I realised my initial review bordered on plain lazy. This update is going to give you warm prickles because it turns out that one of the features included in the Review section of SR is an integrated flash card program with full Anki support *prayer hands emoji*

This means that whatever vocabulary you add to your studylist automatically generates a flashcard that you can either review within the SR website, or via your Anki software. Here’s an example:

Straight away, SR gives you an edge in your revision by implementing context. In fact, as well as offering you the sentence you saved the word from, it offers you a link to the entire article it was taken from (see: REVEAL IN FULL ORIGINAL CONTEXT)

This is incredibly helpful, as dictionary entries for any word or phrase you select often include a specific explanation about how that word is being used within the context of the sentence or how it is being used by the narrator to portray his or her story.  

I hope that this extra glimpse into the Review section of Satori Reader gives you an idea of how incredible a resource this is.

Go ahead and enjoy the unique pleasurable pain that is reading and comprehending 日本語!!

Using Buzzfeed for Reading Practice

I just recently found out that Buzzfeed has different websites for different countries, WHICH ALSO MEANS THAT THERE’S TONS OF READING MATERIAL IN DIFFERENT LANGUAGES! This is really really good for reading practice, since the articles are short, the genre is familiar, and the topics are relevant and interesting. At the moment, there are only 6 languages available (including English).

Brazilian Portuguese

English (US) / English (UK) / English (AU) / English (CA)




Spanish / Buzzfeed Spain / Spanish (Mexico)


News Channels on Youtube

Here are some radio shows/news channels on Youtube broadcasted in various Asian languages. 

Cantonese: RFA | VOA | Apple News | Ming Pao News

Mandarin: VOA | RFA | NTD Chinese | BBC

Taiwanese Hokkien台視台語新聞

Vietnamese: VOA | RFA | Người Việt TV | BBC

Tibetan: VOA | RFA

Khmer: VOA | RFA | Khmer News Daily Playlist

Burmese: RFA | VOA | BBC

Lao: RFA | VOA

Thai: VOA | Thai PBS News | Morning News | BBC

Uyghur: RFA | Istiqlal TV

Farsi: VOA | Euronews | BBC

Dari: VOA | 1TV Kabul

Pashto: VOA | 1TV Kabul

Urdu: VOA | BBC

Indonesian: BBC | Metro TV News

Malaysian: KiniTV Malaysian

Korean: KBS News | YTN News | JTBC News

Japanese: BBC News | ANN News | TomoNews Japan | FNN News

RFA Radio also has tons of radio broadcasts in Burmese, Khmer, Cantonese, Mandarin, Lao, North Korean (!!!), Tibetan, Uyghur and Vietnamese. 


Alright, I had a post on Instagram displaying my treasure trove of Japanese language learning books. I wanted to show off a few of them and talk about all of them. The first photo displays them all (tumblr limited me to 10 photos only, so I’ll discuss some of them without photos, sorry!). Starting from the bottom of the pile:

1. Kanji Power by Tuttle. It’s what you think it is, a kanji workbook. It has a kanji, a mnemonic, some space to practice writing, on'yomi, kun'yomi, stroke order, and some vocabulary/phrases. It has some kanji not covered in my other kanji books.

2. If You Teach Me Japanese, I’ll Teach You English. It’s a strange little book and it’s taking me a while to get the hang of it, but this book was written specifically for language exchanges. Each lesson is done first in Japanese, then again in English. You and your partner serve as the “teacher” in your native language, while you practice that language. So I would read through as the instructor in the English lesson and guide my partner with the scripted dialogues, helping them along the way so that they learn English. They would do vice versa for me with the Japanese. I got this one specifically to aid me in exchanging my language with my partners. They do great with the Japanese and I needed guidance on how to help them with English. So this one isn’t really to learn Japanese, it’s to help me exchange with my Japanese friends.

3. Japanese Step by Step. This is one of the few books that focuses on teaching you SPEAKING Japanese. Most of my books help in reading, writing and I’m having to supplement with Memrise and YouTube for listening and speaking. This book has very easy to understand lessons, starting with syllables not syllabaries. Shows you in English what they’re trying to teach you in Japanese. So it’s almost like learning in parallel, I’m not explaining it well. It’s a really good book, you should just check it out.

4. Beginning Japanese by Yale University Press. This was originally my Dad’s book that he used to teach himself Japanese since he was being stationed there (way back in ye olden days). He very kindly gave it to me. This book also focuses on SPEAKING Japanese, not reading or writing in it. As such, it’s entirely in romaji! Not ideal, but if you just want to focus on speaking the language, this is a good place to start. Very thorough.

5. Reading Japanese by Yale University Press. Same authors as book #4, but not originally my Dad’s. Since this one is focused on READING (hence the title of the book), it is not in entirely in romaji. Whew! What a relief. I just got it today, so I have no feedback other than, I wanted both of these books together. It’s kind of like an entire course at your fingertips.

6. Japanese Kanji for Beginners by Tuttle. Covers JLPT N5 & N4. This is my primary Kanji workbook. I LOVE it. It’s set up pretty much the same as Kanji Power, it has exercises after each lesson so you can practice what you learned. The Kanji Power has the same things, but after a certain number of kanji have been introduced, instead of after each individual lesson. So they differ that way and in that they have different kanji. This book is specifically for JLPT N5/4 whereas Kanji Power is about expanding your kanji.

7. A Japanese Reader by Tuttle (notice the theme?). Pictures 2-4 are about this book. I cannot say enough nice things about this book! The book is split in two; open it like we open all books in the Western Hemisphere and it’s lessons starting with hiragana, open the book the other way and it’s all the reading lessons: from top to bottom and right to left! It’s so cool! The first few elementary readings aren’t actual sentences. They’re just to get you accustomed to the style of reading and the syllabaries (this is where I’m at). The readings get way more advanced though and are excerpts from Japanese literature, some fictional and some non-fictional.

8. A History of Japan. This is another one of Dad’s book that he is lending to me (sadly I don’t get to keep it). I haven’t read it yet but I’m looking forward to it. Granted, it has nothing to do with the language itself, but who here has learned a language without learning anything about the culture, history, and society of the country that speaks the language? Half the point of learning a language is to learn the history and culture of the target language’s country. So I have a book on Japan’s history to supplement the language learning.

9. A Dictionary of Japanese Food by Tuttle. Pictures 5 & 6 are of this book. Just as I stated in the above book, it’s important to know the culture and history of the place whose language you are learning. The “Japanese Kanji for Beginners” book had an exercise in the first lesson involving food. One of the dishes stood out to me because I had no clue what it was “shabu-shabu.” I still don’t know what it is, but now I have a dictionary so I can look it up! If ever I learn how to cook Japanese food, shabu-shabu will be very near the top of the list of things to make and try. The back of the book has some appendices on chopsticks, some ingredients of Japanese food, and food etiquette.

10. The Handbook of Japanese Verbs (picture 7). Verbs seem to be the guts of a sentence in Japanese so I figured it’d be important to learn them a little more in depth than my grammar book goes into. Besides explaining verbs, it has exercises to practice!

11. All About Particles (picture 8). Much like the verb book above, this is all about particles (another very important part of the Japanese language) and also has exercises to help you grasp the concepts. Goes in depth about the particles and actually has sentences in Japanese, literal translations, and English translations. It’s very thorough.

12. Japanese Coursebook by Living Language. Akin to the Yale University Press books that I covered earlier, this book is a complete course for learning how to SPEAK Japanese. As such, it is entirely in romaji but is set up different than the Yale books and has different vocabulary. I use them in conjunction with each other, so that I get the most vocabulary overall.

13. Japanese Grammar by Barron. Pictures 9 & 10 are of this book. This is my absolute favorite book out of them all. Besides being pocket-sized so I can take it just about anywhere with me, it’s a grammar book. I’m not a Grammar Nazi, I’m a Grammarian (one who studies grammar [on purpose]). I read grammar books for my native English and I greatly enjoy grammar for Ancient Greek too (my first foreign language and first true love). All the other books focus on a particular portion of grammar, or the writing system, or speaking. I wanted a book that focused entirely on grammar since I’ve heard it’s so vastly different from English (it’s not THAT different guys). As you can see in the very last picture, the book is printed in two colors. I cannot begin to express how wonderful this is for me. I have Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome (SSS or 3S) and basically what that means is, my eyes don’t work right (duh). They don’t pick up all the wavelengths of light that they’re supposed to. So some colors (and light sources) are harder for me to see and make me very sick trying to look at them. It seems like I have dyslexia but it’s not my brain, it’s just my eyes suck. The added color is much easier on my eyes than all black print on white pages (college was nightmare, in case you wondered).

Last book,

14. Kanji Starter 1. Not a lesson book at all! It has 200 kanji and is essentially a book of mnemonics for them. I use it as a catalog and mark the kanji I’ve mastered from other sources in this book. I also use it as a quick reference when I get suddenly forget a kanji I’ve already learned. That way I don’t have to find the right lesson book and track it down. I got this kanji book before any of the others and it served as the introduction to what i was getting myself into. It made the kanji seem so not scary that by the time I picked up a workbook, kanji was beautiful, logical, and fun. No fear!

Sorry this was so long. I’m on a mobile device so I can’t do the nice “keep reading” breaks or formatting. So it’s just a really long, darn post. But now you know of 14 books you can use for Japanese learning! Also, quick note, all of the books with bar code stickers on them were all purchased form the same site.

ThriftBooks.com has so many books, including rare ones, old, ones, and textbooks, for a fraction of the price. I looked up some of my Tuttle books, one of them was like $19.95 normally (without shipping and tax). On ThriftBooks I got it for $3.50! If your total purchase is over $10 shipping is entirely free too. So if you’re looking for language resources, a new novel, or you’re in college and need textbooks, check the site out because it might save you a boat-load of money.

BaBa Dum! A Fun Vocabulary Game

Vocabulary can be a difficult aspect of learning any language. There are so many different words to know and it’s hard to know words for seemingly random items. That is where BaBa Dum is a great resource!

BaBa Dum is a game based learning website where you have several different options to play with. The options include:

  1. Choosing Picture from Word
  2. Choosing Word from Picture
  3. Choosing Picture from Sound
  4. Typing Word from Picture
  5. And a mixture of everything!

Obviously there are several options open for whatever method suits you.

Right now, BaBa Dum has a fairly extensive language list available, including:

  • British English
  • American English
  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Greek
  • Portuguese
  • Japanese
  • Lithuanian
  • Polish
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
  • It also has a Japanese Kana learning game!

Overall, this website seems to be very useful, and is definitely worth checking out!

[App Review]—LingoDeer (Japanese)

**EDIT** The LingoDeer team read my review and fixed some of the things I pointed out :>

Learning Japanese?? I was originally going to review LingoDeer’s Chinese lessons next, but I was contacted by the team who developed the app and the lessons after the read my review on the Korean course. They asked if I was learning Japanese and, if so, if I could do a similar review for the Japanese course (please note that I have never done any sort of sponsored review or anything like that; I review what I want and I review them honestly). I said I would, so here we are! Maybe this will get me back on track with studying Japanese, anyway. Those of you who were around during this blog’s early stages will remember I was studying Japanese for a while, but I had to abandon it because I just didn’t have enough time ㅠㅠ Welp, it’s time to start again!

I do want to note that, other than the obvious language difference between this review and my review of LingoDeer’s Korean course, there is also a huge difference in my perspective between both of these reviews. Having studied Korean for over seven years now, my LingoDeer Korean review was done more from a been-there-done-that perspective. A lot of my intuition as not only a long-term Korean learner but also a Korean grammar blogger and a language teacher went into it. However, I am nowhere near the same level in Japanese, so this review is written from much more of a beginning learner perspective, with a bit of my teacher brain as far as what is and isn’t effective for language learning thrown in.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s jump on in!

What is LingoDeer?

LingoDeer is a language-learning app for the three major east Asian languages, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, and Japanese. It is developed by teachers of those three languages, so that’s pretty cool!

Very first impressions

As I said in my review of LingoDeer (Korean), the LingoDeer app’s design and interface is very clean and visually appealing. I do get some loading screens still, but none of them are super long unless I’m on my home Wifi. I’d been thinking about maybe getting a new, stronger router anyway… 

Learning Hiragana and Katakana

You can start with learning Hiragana and Katakana, or you can just skip it and go straight to learning the actual grammar and other material. For the sake of this review (and since my Katakana memory has always been pretty bad), I did the Hiragana and Katakana courses. Before you start a level in the Alphabet section, you can flip a toggle for whether you want to learn Hiragana or Katakana. Ultimately, though, it doesn’t really matter since they are presented together and you will be asked to match the corresponding Hiragana and Katakana. I have actually never used a source that teaches them together in this way, and I really like it because it made it easier for me to remember the Katakana. The main differences between doing one writing system vs. the other (for example, choosing to do them in Katakana mode instead of Hiragana) is that you will only be presented with stroke order diagrams for the set you chose, and they will occur more frequently. At the end of the day, the choice is yours.

 Again, the sound files in this app are really great, so you can hear the sounds very clearly. My only real issue with the Hiragana/Katakana-learning exercises is when you have to match multiple pairs at once. There are a few screens like that at the end of each level, and if you want to hear the readout of the sounds as you do them, you have to flip a toggle on the screen because the sound is off by default. Since this is a language learning app, I really think it would make more sense to have the sound on by default. Also, you have to flip the toggle every new screen rather than flipping it once and that being your setting for the level. Having to flip it every single time just to get the automatic audio got annoying pretty quickly.

Just as the Korean course had extensive Hangul charts, there are interactive Hiragana and Katakana charts in the Japanese course. You can click on the individual spaces to have the sounds read out, which I liked. However, there seems to be a little bug such that sometimes when I go to the charts they don’t read out when I press the spaces. In those cases, I have to restart the app for the charts to work properly.

Finally, there are notes explaining the Japanese writing system, and they’re quite extensive! This app certainly does give a lot of information.

Getting in to learning

This app is currently structured 100% for beginners in the sense that you must start with the first level. There is no way to test up into a higher level. This test up feature is there in other comparable apps, so its absence here is very noticeable. Until such a function is (hopefully) added in, anyone who wants to use this app will have to obligatorily do the lower levels first regardless of their skill level.

All of the actual learning levels have grammar notes at the beginning, which you can access if you swipe to the tile left of the first lesson tile. I think it would make more sense to have the notes tile be the first one you see, as it is easy to miss and the notes give a ton of important information that beginning learners really should read. The notes are detailed and very helpful, but there are some typos here and there, and I noticed some unusual Romaji (though I’m not sure if it’s just that they were using a different Romaji system… are there multiple Romaji systems??). The word for “China,” which I had always seen before in Romaji as “ch(y)uugoku,” was written as “tyuugoku,” which threw me off.

When you get into the learning levels, you can choose how you want writing to be displayed, and there are a TON of options! You can go for full on normal Japanese writing with the Kanji and all, Kanji with Hiragana (my setting), Hiragana only, Romaji only, Hiragana and Romaji… you can choose what would suit your needs best and adjust as you become more comfortable reading Japanese.

As for actually learning, there is a variety of activities including word-picture matching, listening and choosing the right answer, inserting grammatical elements into the right places, and unscrambling sentences, and more. The only thing that I really wish the learning levels has is some speaking practice! I’ve said it many, many times before, but HelloChinese is a similarly structured app that has speaking practice built into all of its levels. If LingoDeer also had it, I would be so happy~ Also, as I mentioned in my LingoDeer (Korean) review, this app is fairly quiet in the sense that it does not automatically read out sentences for you on some screens, and there is no indication given that you can access audio for those screens. It would be nice if there was maybe a little play button to make it clear that you can hear audio on those screens with no auto play, or maybe an overall option (that could be toggled on or off as you please, of course) for automatic audio playback.

One other little bone I have to pick is that, when doing syllable-by-syllable unscrambling of sentences, the app starts indicating what the first syllable you pick should be within about three seconds. Maybe some people like the hints, but I could do without them for sure. I would be happy if the time to hinting was increased, or if there was a toggle to turn it off completely.

Upon completion of a level, you can get up to five stars. When you first start studying, you set a goal for how many stars you want to get each day, and if you choose the lowest possible number (five) and do a single level perfectly, your study for the day is complete.

The biggest error I have seen in this course so far is that the notes in the “Household” section (as far as I got so far) are missing ㅠㅠ I sent a report in, so hopefully that’s fixed soon. Considering how responsive the LingoDeer team has been to me so far, I’m fairly confident it will be fixed soon.

Overall, I like the structure of the lessons and the pacing. I could definitely see myself using this app long term!

Review and stats

(This section is more or less copypasta from my previous review, so feel free to skip it if you read that one!)

If you want to go back and review vocab or grammar flashcards, there is a section where you can do that. The review questions are the same as the regular level questions. You can choose to do a single lesson, or you can combine lessons for a comprehensive review. Also, there is spaced repetition listening practice, which is pretty cool. You can choose how you want the words and sentences presented, with Japanese, the English translation, or just the audio and no writing. After listening, you can reveal the correct answer and rate your recall/performance “weak,” “good,” or “perfect.” You can also choose if you want a word or sentence-focused review. Seems like a good feature.

As for stats, you can check how long your learning streak has been ongoing, and it even tells you how long you have studied for. There are some little achievement badges for things like learning time and streaks also. You can also set a time for reminders to study if you would like. However, I notice that the app is not synced to your phone’s clock but some other clock, perhaps that of the server it’s hosted on. So, for example, if I use the app in the morning here in Korea, it will still count any stars I get to the previous day since the app’s date hasn’t rolled over yet. There is not an option to change the app’s clock to sync to your time zone as far as I can tell.

Oh, and there is offline learning! You can download the course take it with you if you are, say, going on a flight or off to some remote area where there is no internet or cell service!


LingoDeer’s Japanese course is really fun and easy to use! The grammar notes are very informative, and the lessons are not too heavy so they don’t feel burdensome or intimidating to a new learner. The pros and cons:


  • GREAT audio files
  • Lots of good notes and information on grammar
  • Spaced repetition practice and flashcards
  • Study reminders
  • Lessons that are informative and useful without being overwhelming
  • Offline learning


  • No function to test out of lower levels
  • Typos in notes and other places
  • App clock not synced to phone clock
  • No speaking practice

McDonalds “The Future Me (Part 2)” Japanese Anime Commercial [ENG SUB]

More videos here

Good work!
Cover for me while I’m gone, okay?
Don’t worry! I can take care of it! You can leave this place to me!
Just focus on your job search!
Excuse me.
Using the things I learned from senpai…
Please refill the fries before rush hour hits!
Not bad, newbie.
Using the things I learned working there…
I’m not sure if this integrates all our ideas, but how about a strategy like this?
Hmm, sounds good.
Thank you very much!
Those things will surely…
How’d the interview go?
Aced it!
Thank goodness!
I was so worried! I could barely focus at work, but I knew I had to fill your shoes! The manager even praised me yesterday!
Is that so?
Are you going to be able to come in next week..?
You bet.
Those things will surely connect to the future me!
アルバイト パート募集中
Your perfect work ethic is surely out there as well! Now hiring part-time positions!

Commercials are great, quick resource to brush up on your Japanese listening comprehension! Not to mention Japanese commercials are (barely) arguably the best in the world!

                               Blue’s Japanese FC Masterlist!

                                      ᴀ ʙᴜɴᴄʜ ᴏғ ᴊᴀᴘᴀɴᴇsᴇ ғᴀᴄᴇs ғᴏʀ ʏᴏᴜʀ ʀᴘ

I generally believe there is a lack of Japanese characters in the rpc and more than often, I see people use Korean FCs for ethnically Japanese characters. Therefore I recently started working on a masterlist of Japanese faceclaims to enable more people to be aware of the Japanese faceclaims out there! It includes trans faces, though there are a small amount I know of so there are not many. Everyone is listed with their family name first, then their given name.

This page is being constantly updated by me as there are definitely a lot more Japanese faces to add. But if you have any suggestions please do message me. This list will not include deceased, retired or under 16 faces. As of writing this, the masterlist contains 500+ faceclaims.

If you are an RPH who uses my masterlist for FC help purposes, please credit us as we worked hard on this.

You can sort the faces by these categories:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Ethnicity (for bi/multi-racial faces)
  • Eye colour 
  • Hair colour
  • Occupation
  • GIF count*
  • RP icon count*
  • My favourites

*includes resources made by everyone! If I missed a resource, feel free to message me and I’ll add it as soon as I can. This is also good because it means you can help create resources for people who have none!

I was inspired by the Vietnamese FC list by thanhpls! Please love and support her masterlist too.

PREFACE: This is a nine part series of some important things to keep in mind while studying Japanese grammar. It’s very different from English, so try not to study it through an “English lens.” To understand grammar points better, it’s really beneficial to learn the characteristics behind Japanese grammar. These notes are taken from A Dictionary of Japanese GrammarTo see the other parts, click here.

PS: I’ve decided to skip part 6 (politeness and formality).

8. Sound Symbolism

Giseigo (onomatopoeia) and gitaigo (words that depict psychological states) are integral in spoken and written language, even for adults. Sound symbolism is an adverb that is sometimes followed by the quotation marker と and a verb that co-occurs with the sound.

Voiceless consonants tend to represent something small/light/pretty while voiced consonants represent something big/heavy/dull:

きらきら(と光る) : shine sparklingly

ぎらぎら(と光る) : shine dazzlingly

ころころ(と転がる) : small object rolls

ごろごろ(と転がる) : heavy object rolls

ぽたぽた(と落ちる) : small amount of liquid drips

ぼたぼた(と落ちる) : large amount of liquid drips

Consonants “k” and “g” tend to represent hardness, sharpness, separation, and sudden change:

くっきり(と見える) : be clearly visible 

きっぱり(と別れる) : separate from people once and for all

ぽっくり(と死ぬ) : die suddenly

Consonant “s” tends to represent a quiet state. “Sh” consonant seems to represent some quiet human emotion:

しとしと(と降る) : rain quietly

しんまり(と話す) : talk quietly/intimately

しょんぼり(とする) : be despondent

Consonant “r” tends to represent fluidity and slipperiness:

つるつる(している) : be slippery

ぬるぬる(している) : be slimey

Consonants “m” and “n” tend to represent tactility, warmth, and softness:

むちむち(している) : be plump

なよなよ(としている) : be slender and delicate

“P” tends to represent explosiveness, crispiness, and suddenness:

ぴん(とくる) : come in a flash

ぷい(と出て行く) : leave suddenly

“Y” tends to represent weakness, slowness, and softness:

よぼよぼ(になる) : become senile

よれよれ(になる) : become worn out

ゆっくり(話す) : speak slowly

やんわり(と言う) : tell softly

“U” tends to represent something that has to do with human physiology or psychology:

うずうず(する) : itch for action

うんざり(する) : be fed up with

“O” tends to represent something negative with regard to human psychology:

おずおず(している) : be nervous and timid

おどおど(している) : be very nervous

For the complete list of examples, see A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar.


There are three different kanji for when you want to talk about making something, but when do you use each one?

作る「つくる」 what you’ll use probably 99% of the time when talking about making something. Things that you typically talk about making such as food or furniture

  • 晩ご飯を作る
  • 記録を作る
  • 棚を作る
  • 会社を作る

造る「つくる」 is for tangible things but on a large scale, so mass produced things like alcohol, miso, soy sauce, boats, etc.

  • 船を造る
  • 庭園を造る
  • 醤油を造る

創る「つくる」 is for when you make something new, can be tangible or intangible. This isn’t very common but you’ll see if used with things such as magazines and performances

  • 芸術作品を創る
  • 新しい雑誌を創る
  • 未来を創る

Robot exception:

  • If it is a robot of artificial intelligence, use 造る
  • If it is a child’s toy, then use 作る
My Fave YouTubers (For Language Learning)

I watch A LOT of YouTube and it’s honestly a great site for studying a new language (or to learn anything tbh). I watch them specifically aimed to teaching a language as well as some who just generally speak or talk about the language! (Great for listening comprehension and native conversation!)

Here are my faves:

Japanese YTs:

Korean YTs:

As you can see they’re are a few more Korean channels than Japanese channels so if you have any suggestions let me know!! I love these YouTubers because they talk about learning the language and culture as well as post videos of their daily lives living in that country and or studying the language etc etc. Some of them have second or even third channels that are completely in the language of study! If you aren’t already subscribed to them I recommend that you do! Hope you enjoy them as much as I do! ^^)/

anonymous asked:

Could you please recommend some songs/singers for me? I like a lot of pop, so if is possible, I'd prefer pop. But any singer/song of any language and genre (all of them, seriously) will be accept. Thank you!

Sure thing! (sorry for answering this a little late) Prepare yourself for a terrifying wall of links~ I’ve included 300+ songs in Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Vietnamese, Hungarian and Tibetan. Feel free to reblog and add on~


These ones are a bit more mellow, but they’re technically still considered pop ahahaha. The Cantonese section will probably be the longest, since I’m most familiar with Canto-pop.

Hubert Wu (胡鴻鈞) <333

  • 高攀
  • 化蝶
  • 暗戀
  • 交替之間

Linda Chung (鍾嘉欣 )

  • I’ll Be Waiting For You
  • 最幸福的事
  • 其實我不快樂
  • 一人晚餐
  • 發誓 

Alfred Hui (許廷鏗)

  • 仁至義盡
  • 面具
  • 如你是我
  • 護航

Pakho Chau (周柏豪)

  • 小白
  • 百年不合
  • 莫失莫忘
  • 現在已夜深

Fred Cheng (鄭俊弘)

  • 投降吧
  • 熊貓
  • 無名氏
  • 我就是我

Phil Lam (林奕匡)

  • 高山低谷
  • 頌讚詩
  • Goodman

Jason Chan (陳柏宇)

  • 回眸一笑
  • 別來無恙

G.E.M (鄧紫棋)

  • 喜歡你
  • What Have U Done
  • Get Over You
  • Good to Be Bad
  • 失真

Joey Yung (容祖兒)

  • 女皇
  • 續集
  • 連續劇
  • 花千樹


  • 妳的名字我的姓氏
  • 如果這是情
  • 開籠雀

Aarif Lee

  • You’re My Everything
  • 奇蹟等不到
  • 一片痴
  • 鵝毛

Joyce Cheng (鄭欣宜)

  • 上心
  • 你瘦夠了嗎?
  • 擁抱愛
  • 配角

Individual Songs

  • 最好的債 (Miriam Yeung 楊千嬅)
  • 一 (AGA)
  • 告白 (Kary Ng 吳雨霏)
  • 你們的幸福 (Kay Tse 謝安琪)


Wanting (曲婉婷)

  • 我的歌声里
  • 爱的海洋
  • 阳光下的我们

Mayday (五月天)

  • 我不願讓你一個人
  • 擁抱

G.E.M (鄧紫棋)

  • 單行的軌道
  • 下一秒(我們就要死掉)
  • 我的秘密
  • OH BOY
  • 泡沫
  • 龍捲風

Wang Lee Hom (王力宏 ) <3333

  • 依然愛你
  • 就是現在
  • 夢寐以求

Fun Wu (吳汶芳)

  • 壞脾氣
  • 孤獨的總和

Aarif Lee (李治廷) <33333

  • 一夜驚喜
  • 不是不愛才分開
  • 不可思議

Jeno Liu (劉力揚)

  • 談感情
  • 禮物
  • 崇拜你

Jolin Tsai

  • 不一樣又怎樣
  • 第三人稱
  • 美杜莎

Jay Chou (周杰倫) UGHHH

  • 算什麼男人
  • 你好嗎
  • 聽爸爸的話
  • 手寫的從前
  • 龍捲風

Individual Songs

  • 如果不是 (楊炅翰)
  • 如果有如果 (鄧福如)
  • 那些年 (胡夏)
  • 愛你 AINI (陳芳語)
  • 聽見下雨的聲音 (魏如昀)
  • 愛上你 (S.H.E.)
  • 信愛成癮 (ELLA)



  • とある始まりの情景
  • ビリーバーズ・ハイ
  • 花になれ

  • 君に届け
  • どんな未来にも愛はある

Unison Square Garden

  • シュガーソングとビターステップ 「ショートVer.」
  • 天国と地獄


  • Pick Me Up
  • Cling Cling
  • スパイス
  • 微かなカオリ
  • レーザービーム
  • ねぇ


  • イマジネーション
  • WENDY ~It’s You~
  • Naked
  • Beautiful Days

Bump of Chicken

  • Hello, World
  • パレード
  • 友達の唄
  • ray

Iname Toru (イナメトオル)

  • からくりピエロ
  • 神様のおくりもの


  • 夢の世界
  • アイシテル
  • ただ、ありがとう

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ)

  • きらきらキラー
  • ゆめのはじまりんりん
  • ファミリーパーティー

Individual Songs

  • Twinkle Days (chay)
  • イイナヅケブル (Charisma.com)
  • MEMORIA (Eir Aoi)
  • I LOVE YOU (クリス・ハート)
  • Dance Dance Dance (nissy)
  • ないものねだり (KANA-BOON)
  • ヨンジュウナナ【りぶ】

Keep reading