You’ve clicked on this article because you need other points of reference for your studies of the Japanese language. And with the difficulties that come with learning a language, it only makes sense to look elsewhere for help if what you’re doing now isn’t working.
We’ve compiled a list of learning resources meant to assist and advance your study of the Japanese language.
The Japanese From Zero! Series
Japanese From Zero! is a series made by George Trombley and his wife Yukari Takenaka. This series does an excellent job of pushing the beginner through the ropes of the Japanese language. The textbooks come loaded with exercises, easy-to-understand explanations and writing practice to engage all of your senses. This way you get a full grasp of how the language works in everyday situations.
Another great thing about this series is that it uses playful illustrations, mixed in with culture notes that tell you about how the Japanese interact on a daily basis. Geared with this information it’ll hopefully+ help you become more interested in learning the language and will make the experience less painful.
A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar by Seiichi Makino and Michio Tsutsui is one of the most powerful books I’ve used in my frequent studies of the Japanese language. As the name implies, you can assume it’s a large dictionary of grammar that explains the differences between particles, grammatical structures and more. It comes with easy to understand examples under each definition that helps alleviate any possible misconceptions you’ve had about a grammar topic.
The dictionary is sorted alphabetically by grammar. For example, the particle も(mo) can be found in the “m” section. The book uses a nice color-coordinated system. For important topics relating to a grammatical structure, it’ll mark it in red and everything else is in black.
A Dictionary of Basic Grammar is a perfect reference book, for concepts you’ve probably forgotten along the way, and for learning new ones as well. There are actually 3 books in the “Dictionary of Japanese Grammar” one for the basics, intermediate and advanced learners. So you can continue pursuing your studies further.
Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese
It’s hard not to compile a list of Japanese language learning resources without mentioning Tae Kim’s guide to learning Japanese. Without a doubt, this guide is your existential entryway into the world of Japanese and for free! Textbooks often start you out slow, and while I believe it’s important to understand the fundamentals, I also don’t believe it should take you longer than normal. That’s where Tae Kim’s guide empowers you to improve. His guide focuses on getting started with you talking the language as soon as immediately and most importantly the guide is free!
Within the first chapters of the book, you’re already learning kanji with key vocabulary. Tae Kim removes all of the paddings and pushes you ahead. As you go through the guide, you’re challenged thoroughly. With this book, every inch of the Japanese language will be closer to you. There’s often this hatred for kanji that bubbles up within some of the learners, it’s annoying to memorize.
However, Tae Kim’s approach of kanji, at first sight, makes this hatred seize, you start to realize that long Japanese sentences written with kana, could be shortened using kanji, saving you from that pesky carpal tunnel.
Click here to visit the website: http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/
Kanji Study App
It’s important to learn Japanese grammar, but its equally important to learn the vocabulary and even better the kanji that’s associated with many of those words. The Kanji study app developed by Chase Colburn has been a very useful tool for me.
It is unfortunately only being updated on android. But, for those of you on Google’s OS, you’ll find this app extremely useful. Kanji study app provides an extensive kanji list that can be segmented, sorted, grouped and can be scheduled with an SRS system in place, so you can benefit from the memory techniques studied before.
Take your kanji learning on the go with your phone. You can practice the stroke order and get an extensive list of example sentences and vocabulary to grow your understanding of the language. There are even self-testing options so you can self-evaluate your progress.
Download the app here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mindtwisted.kanjistudy
WaniKani created by Tofugu — a website that caters to providing readers a breadth of knowledge for becoming more fluent in Japanese — is a subscription-based platform that focuses on remembering the kanji in a fun and intuitive way.
At its core, you focus on the radicals of Kanji, which are the strokes that make up each character. By learning the fundamental strokes necessary for reading and writing the Chinese characters, you will eventually get a better grasp at understanding how to read and write them.
Updated: 12-27-2020 I added WaniKani as a resource for learning Japanese.