Virtual Japan Tours

Run So the Internet is full of big rabbit holes to fall down. Some pleasant, some not so pleasant. And then. others…a virtual Japan tour, a new dialect, and…well… As we all know (right?), Japan doesn’t have a single language. It has a bunch of regional dialects, with foreign students mostly learning 関東弁, the language of the capital, Tokyo. I think the dialects are interesting, and I really find it interesting that 関西弁 is the dialect of comedians. And then, we come to Tajimi in Gifu prefecture, home to a virtual tour of Japan. And you book your virtual tour reservations courtesy of Hans, who is the white guy in… Read More

Continue Reading

The Paradox of Busuu

I registered Busuu for Japanese. That is, I paid money for it. It has a big claim in that it’s going to get you, not fluent in Japanese, but to a point where you can survive and speak some basic sentences if you are suddenly strapped into a parachute and dropped into Tokyo. And how does it do this? First of all, though, let me say that some languages in Busuu have placement tests. So if you have some experience already, it tests you, and then starts off at a higher level. Japanese doesn’t have this feature, so everyone starts off at lesson 1. I’m not too proud to admit… Read More

Continue Reading

Talking to Yourself (PG Rated)

I do love dancing to Caribbean music. There is one song that contains the lyrics If you can’t get a woman, take a manIt’s the only solutionTake a man Nothing wrong with that, but not my personal preference. But for Japanese studying, the lyrics would be If you can’t get a language partner, talk to yourselfIt’s the only solutionTalk to yourself Again, not my personal preference, but this time I am all for it. You can do language shadowing, or you can follow along with LingoDeer stories, but getting language practice this way is, well…better than nothing.

Continue Reading

So Many Choices: What To Do?

The Japanese teaching industry seems pretty strong. People watch some anime, think Japan is a land of mystical ninjas and magic girls in short skirts, and say to themselves, “Boy, I bet Japanese would be great to learn!” Then after your first year of gently being taught hiragana and katakana and a few simple kanji, you look at the road ahead of you and see that it’s long and bumpy and curvy. And there are no ninjas or magic girls, just an occasional bowl of Sapporo Ichiban with green onions. What! Too hard? AJATT and Dogen agree with you, sort of, but by simply being independently wealthy and/or doing nothing… Read More

Continue Reading

So Many Choices: Grammar [Apps and Web Sites]

Web sites and apps, the painless way to study Japanese grammar. Ha, ha! Oh, I’m so funny. There is no painless way to study Japanese grammar. Just a lot of hard work and regular study. At some point, the pain lessens as you become more fluent in regular conversations. At least, that’s my theory. If it ever happens to me, I’ll let you know. This list isn’t by any means the full list of what’s out there. It contains entries I’ve had personal experience with. I roughly break these down into the following categories: Websites ImabiThis one is the full course meal. The owner of this site has a grand… Read More

Continue Reading

So Many Choices: Grammar [Books]

Japanese grammar. You start off studying it thinking, “Say, this isn’t too bad!” And then you get into て form, and adjective conjugations, and set grammar constructions, and then you listen to real Japanese people speaking outside of a classroom, and realise that you know nothing, John Snow. But, you have to learn some kind of rules, so when you go to speak, people can cheerfully smile at you and say 「日本語は上手ですね?」. Japanese people are very polite, you see. This entry is a bit long, so I am going to talk about apps that I use for grammar in a separate post. Books Holy cow, there are a lot of… Read More

Continue Reading