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Study Resources

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Popular Textbooks

Minna no Nihongo starts the Japanese learner off right away using kana, so it can be challenging for beginners. Used by many Japanese language schools and private tutors in the area.

Genki is a popular textbook series that introduces the language through Romanized Japanese.

Japanese for Busy People is available in both a Kana Version and Romanized Version.

 

Online Resources

TextFugu is an online textbook for learning Japanese. It’s priced at $20 USD a month or $120 for a lifetime.

Japanese LinguaLift is another online course. There is a free trial, but regular access costs $145 USD for 6 months.

Nihongodict is a free online Japanese <-> English dictionary.

The Japanese Grammar Guide is a free, massive guide to Japanese grammar.

Japanese Verb Conjugator is free and useful for grammar beginners, as verb endings are often ignored in online dictionaries.

Kanji Damage – A free, humorous guide to remembering Kanji.

Reddit – The popular website has a special section for Japanese Learning. It usually ranges from intermediate to advanced but occasionally has useful help for beginners, and they’re usually willing to answer questions.

 

Japanese iPhone/Android Applications

Dictionaries

Kotoba! (iPhone, free)

Utilizes the JMDict files from the popular online Japanese dictionary, Jim Breen’s WWWJDIC. Dictionary files are embedded in the application so no web access is necessary to use the app.

英辞朗 (Eijiro) on the WEB (iPhone, free)

This is the app version of 英辞朗 (Eijiro) on the WEB, a great online dictionary for looking up phrases, idioms, and even full sentences in both Japanese and English. The only downside is that web access is necessary to use the app.

Study Tools

AnkiMobile Flashcards (iPhone, ¥2200)

This is the mobile version of Anki, a Spaced Repetition System (SRS) software program for the computer that allows you to create, edit, and import flash cards for studying. The mobile version is somewhat pricey for an app, but a lot of Japanese learners swear by SRS systems, and many of them were initially developed for studying Japanese so there are a lot of pre-made card decks available for download.

Mnemododo (Android, ¥345)

Mnemosyne is another free SRS program for the computer, for which Mnemodo is the mobile version. This app allows you to take your Mnemosyne cards on the go, although you cannot edit the cards on your phone. Like Anki, many Mnemosyne-compatible card decks already exist for Japanese language studies.

Kanji Flip (iPhone, ¥500)

Japanese Flip (iPhone, ¥500)

These two apps are similar to SRS programs in that they track which cards (kanji or vocabulary words) you need to work on more, and which you already know well. Studying is broken down by JLPT level, so both apps may be useful to a wide range of students.