Here are a collection of my recommended or frequently used resources!
Apps I Can’t Live Without
- This dictionary app is something that I use pretty much any time I find myself needing to speak in Japanese, listen to Japanese, read Japanese, or write Japanese. Unlike Google Translate or some other translating apps such as the LINE messenging translator, Imiwa? provides you all of the possible definitions and example usages. You can even enter in a sentence and it would break it down into the different words and particles. A great app that I highly recommend to anyone studying Japanese regardless of level. (Oh, and it’s completely free!)
- If you’ve been studying Japanese for a while it is very likely that you have already heard about Anki flashcards. It’s a flashcard app that helps you actually learn by letting you rank your comfortableness with a term and then brings it up more or less frequently depending on how you ranked it. The mobile app is steep at $25, but it acts more as a donation to the creator who made the system for free online. I highly recommend Anki flashcards. If you don’t want to purchase the app you can download it to your computer for free here or view the free web version on your mobile device from here!
- This is a really helpful app for when you want to ask a question to a real person, rather than an online dictionary. On HiNative you can view questions about your native language, and also ask questions to speakers of your target language. It has a simple and easy to use interface and is probably a more well-kept secret in the Japanese language learning circle considering it doesn’t seem to be overpopulated. How it works: You go onto the app and click “Ask.” From there you can either choose from a set question templates or ask a free question. Once you submit your question, other uses who are browsing the app may choose to answer. One downside is that there’s always the possibility you won’t receive an answer, but for the most part I have always received an answer. I try to make sure that I am not just asking questions of other people but also answering other people’s questions. Great app that I check daily!
- HelloTalk is a language exchange app. Here you can set your guidelines for a language partner and also search for language partners. It is easy to use and they do a good job at protecting users from spammers or people who hope to use the app for things other than it’s intended use (they remind you that it is not a dating site!). A cool feature they have recently added is called “moments.” With that you can share your thoughts on pretty much anything and other users will be able to like, comment, and more importantly, correct any errors in your writing so that you can learn. If you are at the level where you want to practice conversational Japanese but don’t have people in real life that you can chat with, this is a great app to do that. Even if you are a beginner it is also worth checking out because there are users who are at all different levels and you can still talk to someone who has a higher English skill. Please do check it out!
- Jisho.org (Online Dictionary)
- This website is a beautifully designed life saver. I highly recommend this site because it gives you a list of all definitions and gives examples of use. Good resource to learn the nuances between different words with similar meanings.
- Website with useful information on “what can I do with a B.A. in Japanese studies”
- Cafe Talk or italki
- Online sites where you can take Japanese lessons 1:1, find language tutors, or language partners.
- Only in Japan
- Really well thought out and high quality videos about Japan.
- Life Where I’m From
- Get an idea of what everyday life is like in Japan. Meant for kids, featuring a child, but is really interesting nonetheless.