5 Awesome Tools for Learning Japanese

Yo, Brent here.
おっす、ブレントだ。

I don’t use enough Japanese in my posts. So, I’m gonna try to use it more now on my main blog.
However, still not good enough, so it’ll just be the intro and the outro for now lol

Anyway, back on topic. I’ve been looking around, and I found a few really cool sites and tools for learning Japanese.

5. Rikaichan/Rikaikun

Well, if you’ve been learning Japanese for a bit, you probably already know about this, but I thought I’d add it anyway. It’s ridiculously useful. It lets you hover over Japanese text and it’ll tell you what it means. Basic tool, but invaluable when you’re doing active learning.

Here’s the links: Rikaichan for Firefox and Rikaikun for Google Chrome

4. Furigana Injector

This one is very useful, but you need to download HTML Ruby for the full effect. If you don’t, the furigana will end up beside the kanji in parentheses. But, it turns that wall of kanji into readable kana, and that’s always good to me.

And…BAM. Here’s the links for Firefox and Chrome.

3. Kanji Koohii

This is one of my favorite sites ever. Now, there is a bit of AJATT hate, but at the same time, there’s a lot of people on there working on it, so it just depends on who to talk to. However, everyone is amazingly helpful and nice. Now, there are two sites I’m gonna link here. Kanji Koohii is an online SRS basically, but it only works for Kanji. It keeps up with a lot of your stats too, so it’s really fun to use. There’s also a script that is RTK Lite. Instead of learning all 2000-something, you learn the 1100 Kanji from JLPT 2 down, and 92 supporting kanji. That’s what I’m doing, but seeing as I haven’t worked on it in a while, it’s hard for me to remember. It’s a Greasemonkey script, and I’ll link it here.

Greasemonkey Script, and RTK Lite thread.

Kanji Koohii

Koohii Forum

3. Kanji Damage

Now, I know I’ve mentioned this one before, but I really like his style. Shultzz in general wins the internets. Now, If you want to learn Kanji with Yo momma jokes, then he’s the guy to look to. The system is very similar to RTK, however, his stories are much more interesting, and he has a section under each of the kanji with compounds, and he ranks both the kanji and compunds on how useful they actually are. He also takes out some of the Jouyou Kanji, but if you’re not studying for JLPT, then it’s not a big deal, cause he gets rid of the one’s that aren’t seen a lot at all.
I really recommend him if you’re stuck on RTK, because it’s just more interesting. And if you combine Kanji Koohii and Kanji Damage, I think it would work really well. Just put his stories in the section that you have the option for in Kanji Koohii.

Kanji Damage

2. Sabotenweb

This is an older site, and I don’t see it recommended a lot, but it does have a lot of useful sites on it. Some of the sites may be down now, because it is rather old, but it has links to a lot of popular sites (Like Tae Kim’s Guide) and some ones that typically go under the radar (Like The Japanes Page). Definitely check this one out when you have a chance.

Sabotenweb

1. Lang-8

You knew I was gonna make this my number one, didn’t you you sly dog? I love Lang-8, and I tell everyone about it when I can. You can write a blog in Japanese, and people will correct you. Then you can just drop those sentences in an SRS and you’re good. Make sure you correct other peoples blogs though! It gets kind of addictive in all honesty. Also, PRO TIP: Write you blog in both English and Japanese, so they understand what you’re trying to say. It helps both of you out.

Lang-8

Well, that’s all I have for now, but stay tuned, because I’m gonna have more updates soon.

じゃあまたな!
Talk to you later!

 

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My top 5 favorite sites for Japanese information

I’ve never done a list before, so it’s probably not gonna be all that good, but let’s jump into it. I’ve been to a lot of sites about Japan and Japanese, and these are 5 of my favorites, in no particular order.

5. Lang-8

Lang-8 is an amazing site. You post a blog there, and natives of whatever language you’re learning correct your work. The people there are really nice, and you’ll get more out of it if you correct entries too. (There are a lot of people that need English help.) I haven’t been on there a lot recently, mostly because I’ve been trying the improve this blog. However, once I get this blog up and running, I’ll probably be there almost (If not every) day.

4. All Japanese All The Time

Ah, yes. The infamous AJATT. This is another great site for learning. However, he gives an entirely new way to learn. (Sort of. It’s actually really common, but for those of us used to the “Burn it into your skull with worksheets and tests” methods we used in school, it’s a breath of fresh air for most. Playing video games and watching anime is considered studying? Woot!) Also, he’s known for being quite inspirational. So, I tend to check his blog to see if he updated, just to get some motivation sometimes. (Because RTK can be quite maddening…)

3. Reviewing the Kanji

Speaking of RTK, it’s online, fan-created SRS is on my list as well. While I may not visit as much for kanji, the forums are a very good place to get information on different styles of learning and tips about learning Japanese when you’re just tired of hearing about AJATT and you wanna try something else. Although, there are posts about it too.

And…Some of the people see AJATT as a cult. And I can’t really disagree with them somtimes. The fans of that method can be over the top sometimes. But I digress. Onto number 7!

2. J-Pop Asia

Yeah. I don’t visit here on a regular basis anymore, but it’s the best place I’ve ever seen to get music. They have top 20 charts from Japan, people’s favorite artists, and their database is top-notch. Every artist has at least one video, and it’s fun to mess around on it. You can buy houses on your favorite songs and I always seems to pick artists no one else buys houses on… >_> (Teriyaki Boyz are awesome!)

1. Epochrypha

Holy…crap? He revamped his site like crazy! He said he started this year, so at least I know I’m not crazy.

Anyway, with the new revamped site, you can see a lot of good information to help you on your journey to learn Japanese. He has a summary of all of the verb conjugations (and I really like that) and other things like keigo (Polite and honorifics) and Masculine and Feminine speech differences. (Not a whole lot on that.) Anyway, check that site out ASAP!