Japanese Language

Using the internet, as a supplement to a disciplined text-based learning approach, is a necessary component of a balanced learning process.  Here are some sites that are worth browsing.

The Kanji Site
A nice little kanji study site that gives offers some basic kanji help, from JLPT (the Japanese Language Proficiency Test offered by the Japanese government) kanji quizzing, to basic explanations.

Kanji Alive Download
The download page for free kanji study software, developed by the University of Chicago.  This tool is well-designed and well worth the download, especially since it’s free!

Java Kanji Flashcards
Some free on-the-web flashcards for quick drilling and review.

Kanji Go for Mac Users
Non-mac users, so sorry to say, but….  “Kanji Go,” a free software download from RedKitsune.org, is the absolute BEST kanji dictionary and customizable drilling software in existence.  If you didn’t already have enough reasons to switch to a Mac, here is one more big one, and it’s free.

Official JLPT Site
This is the official website for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, the JLPT (日本語能力試験).  Say what you want about this test, but it is the undisputed standard, and we all have to face it sooner or later if we want to work a Japanese language skill-required job in Japan.

The Japanese Page
This is a one-stop for Japanese language learning that has numerous and varied resources for online language learning. This site is run by a man acquainted with the webmaster of TenColors, who lives not too far from Tyler’s old stomping grounds.  It’s a PHP-based site with lots of networking features, in addition to the abundance of nice static content.

The National Institute for Japanese Language
This is an institute that dates back to 1948, with an interesting history, dedicated to conducting scientific research on the contemporary Japanese language.  It is worth being aware of and benefits both L2 (second language learners) and L1 (native speakers) of Japanese.

Learn Kansai Dialect (関西弁)
This is a detailed site, dedicated to the self-study of kansai-ben, the most well-known of all the Japanese regional dialects, spoken in Osaka, Kyoto, and across the Kansai region.  It tends to be the dialect spoken by tv comedians and top chefs of the world famous Osaka-area cuisine..  not to mention the geisha of Kyoto’s historical Gion District!

This is a great site for frequent updates in English on the social and professional goings-on of the big Tokyo music and acting celebrities.  The entertainment industry of Japan is one of the biggest, fast-paced, and most exciting–well worth keeping up on the breaking news of the day.

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