Shadowing is a language learning technique developed by linguistic professor and famous polyglot Alexander Arguelles. It is a modern language learning technique defined by taking in large amounts of audio in your target language and carefully picking out the sounds of the language and repeating them. You can find books for sale that teach Japanese … Continue reading 4 Ways Shadowing Boosts Your Japanese
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Welcome back! Let's learn a few more hiragana this time. Do you remember the tenten which modify the sound of consonants from the previous lesson? We saw them applied to the hiragana for "k" sounds like this: Review: か ka, which with tenten becomes が ga、 き ki, which with tenten becomes ぎ gi、 く ku, which … Continue reading Learn Hiragana For Beginners (Part 2)
Let's learn how to read Japanese. I'm making this series as a prequel of sorts to my introduction to learning kanji. While hiragana is not required for that lesson, already having a good foundation in the sounds and phonetic letters that make up Japanese is the ideal way to get into Kanji. What's the secret … Continue reading Learn Hiragana For Beginners (Part 1)
Topics Covered: 日, 月, Writing Dates, Onyomi/Kunyomi, Radicals Prerequisites: You won't need any prerequisites to understand this lesson, but a background in Hiragana (The 46 letters representing the sounds of Japanese) is always useful when studying the readings for Kanji. Learning Hiragana is super easy and can be done within a week! But don't worry … Continue reading How To Learn Your First 2 Kanji (Guide To Written Japanese: Part 1)
I'm not a fan of articles where the answer to the lead-in question is carefully nested 3/4 of the way in, so please allow me to clear the air by saying that as adults it is chemically impossible for our brains to pick up new languages the way small children can acquire their first, and … Continue reading Should We Learn Languages Like Children?
Disclaimer: My spoken Japanese is not perfect. Japanese pronunciation has been done dirty in the way it’s been taught to foreign speakers. Granted, if the first semester of any language course were spent only drilling the specific sounds and tonal patterns of a language not much progress would be made anywhere, although it would certainly … Continue reading 4 Japanese Sounds Foreigners Keep Getting Wrong (But Are Easy To Fix)
Many students of Japanese balk at the idea of having to learn the 2,136 standarized Joyo Kanji commonly used in modern Japanese. And this isn't without good reason. Kanji are a unique feature of Japanese that, while obviously having their origin in Chinese, are a completely different beast with multiple readings and often times even … Continue reading Learn 2,000 Kanji in 2 Years? Reviewing WaniKani
Like many this past December I sat down for the N1 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. It was not my first time taking the N1- I’d failed it by a small margin the previous year (I bombed the vocabulary section yet inexplicably performed well everywhere else). With the bad memory of failing the test … Continue reading 5 Habits That Helped Me Learn Japanese (And Pass N1)
I have something very interesting to share with you today. For those studying Japanese it's also a great opportunity for some listening material. Have you heard of the all-female musical theater troupe in Hyogo, "The Takarazuka Revue"? The shows they produce are wonderfully and unabashedly garish and ornate. While regarded socially as a bit more … Continue reading The Japanese Cinderella: The Takarazuka Revue
Once you've gained a certain level of proficiency in a skill, do you ever look back on yourself as a beginner and regret old inefficient habits? I regret cutting a lot of corners when I first got into Japanese. While looking back and thinking about how I can get study Japanese differently in the future, … Continue reading My 2 Biggest Mistakes Learning Japanese