Nihongo with Ako – Japanese Podcast for N4/N3 Levels

I recently had the honor to be on 日本語 with あこ (Nihongo with Ako), a podcast hosted by Japanese teacher Ako Suzuki. I had come across her podcasts in the past but never listened to them properly. (I was more familiar with her online lessons.) But after listening to some episodes, and appearing on Ako’s podcast myself, I saw they’re really great listening practice for JLPT N4/N3 level learners.   About Ako Sensei Ako Suzuki has been teaching Japanese for 19 years. She has group and private lessons for all Japanese levels (although she’s currently fully booked.) As well as a YouTube… Read More…

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Japanese Graded Readers for JLPT N5 and N4 Learners

Learning beginner level Japanese can be frustrating at times when you want to be able to do more with the language. I often see people asking about reading materials for JLPT N5 and N4 level learners. The trick is that most novels and light novels written by Japanese people for Japanese people. The Japanese language that native Japanese speakers learn is a little different from the Japanese non-native speakers learn. Which can make finding good books for beginner Japanese learners difficult. However that’s why I want to introduce you to the magic of Japanese graded readers!   What are Graded… Read More…

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How to Get from Intermediate to Advanced Japanese

Many language learners hit this point around intermediate level where they feel like they’ve plateaued. It’s the same for Japanese learners, coming in at around JLPT N3 to N2 level. This point, where you feel yourself stagnating, is the time to change up your approach to studying Japanese! Here is how you get from intermediate to advanced levels with your Japanese learning.   70% Consume, 30% Study Up until the plateau, most of Japanese learners’ time is taken up by studying. Especially if they attend Japanese classes. This means focusing on a textbook, studying for tests, doing homework; all important… Read More…

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Study Beginners Japanese With Science!

By study beginners Japanese with science, I don’t mean Matrix-level download the language to your brain (although I wish I did!) I mean, using science books aimed at young Japanese people to learn a wide variety of general knowledge and Japanese vocabulary. The science books I’m talking about in particular are なぜ?どうして?科学のお話 or “Why? How? Science Stories”. Here’s a review of these science books aimed at children and how you can use them to boost your Japanese! なぜ?どうして?科学のお話 (Why? How? Science Stories)   Genre: science, textbook, for children Great for: Beginners (JLPT N4-N3) Length: about 180 pages per book (total… Read More…

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Reading Japanese Intensified – Review of Tango Risto

If you’re anything like me and you struggle to improve your reading then you want to get Tango Risto. I have always struggled with reading comprehension. It is the hardest part of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test and a must need for any level of Japanese. I try to read novels to improve this but that means I lack a core amount of Japanese vocabulary and grammar. Namely, the news. In the past I tried my own 2 Week Japanese Reading Challenge but going out of your way to find a good article for your level can be hard. Tango… Read More…

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Cheap Japanese – You Don’t Need to Break the Bank to Learn Japanese

I was at a convention the other day talking about how beginners can learn Japanese for anime and manga. At the end one person asked me. “I was thinking of starting Japanese with Rosetta Stone, but is it worth the price tag?” I’d never used Rosetta Stone but after asking others everyone said: nope. Which got me thinking, do you need to break the bank to learn Japanese? Here are some cheap Japanese language options for beginners and intermediate.   There are plenty of free resources online (such as flashcard programs Anki and Memrise) that are easy to find. But… Read More…

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