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Kickstarter alert: learn Japanese from a video game

I've wanted to learn how to be passable in Japanese for many years now. Not only because of my job but also because I've always thought it would be cool to learn another language and really, what better language to pick than the one that I ...

 
 
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Slime Forest Adventure is beating me up

After a few years of barely looking at Japanese, it should come as no surprise that my language skills have atrophied. I can still read hiragana, but katakana is a bit touch and go, and Kanji? Phhht, forget it. I think I remember the Kanji ...

 
 
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Tiger & Bunny step up to fight...languages?

There are plenty of weird and wonderful guides in the English language that aim to teach you Japanese. This in mind, it doesn't seem at all strange that Japan's anime industry would want to try something similar for teaching English, and it...

 
 
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What does the JET expansion mean for Japan?

A few days ago, Josh brought word that the ruling Japanese political party, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), is planning to more than double the JET program over the next three years. All of this is part of Prime Minister Abe's plan to g...

 
 
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Moonspeak: Maou-sama and Gargantia's languages cracked

Ah, fantasy. You know it's a fantasy world (including the fantasy of science-fiction) when the world in question has its very own made-up gibberish language. This spring in particular is rife with them, and the two most notable are The Devi...

 
 
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English teachers ahoy: Japan to expand JET program 200%

Have you ever wanted to live in Japan? If you're reading this site, chances are you've at least considered it. And for many an English-speaker, the most accessible gateway to living in Glorious Nippon has been the Japan Exchange and Teachin...

 
 
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Conquering fear and picking up Japanese again

I always felt that Japanese was one of those languages that if you didn't maintain constant use of, you're screwed. There's so much to know in terms of vocabulary, kanji, and grammar, that any lapse in practice spells utter doom -- I may as...

 
 
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A look at: Character Chowdown for iOS

A couple weeks back I wrote about Character Chowdown, a new game for iOS (Universal, Free) that seeks to help students (or anyone, really) learn new languages. For now, the game is focused on Japanese characters, and with your free download...

 
 
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Drunk in Japan? Have a better time with these 10 tips!

When I went to Japan, I didn't have the chance to do a lot of drinking. I was vaguely interested in doing a pub crawl, but the other people I was with weren't, so that sealed the doom on that plan. However, if you find yourself bar-hopping ...

 
 
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Japanese loanwords are more common than you think

English loan words are pretty common in Japanese at this point, and are peppered throughout conversation. But English owes Japanese just as much, and Japanese loanwords are also found in common conversation in English-speaking countries.&nb...

 
 
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Japanese sign language undergoing major revisions

As if learning Japanese wasn't hard enough for us dirty gaijin, imagine the difficulty of also learning their sign language! Japanese Sign Language is apparently quite different from American sign language and is chock full of signs for phr...

 
 
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Business Japanese Test to be scrapped, JLPT left standing

For those of you studying Japanese, you've probably come across the Business Japanese Test (BJT) once or twice. It's something separate and apart from the well-known JLPT, but has a similar function -- it was meant to test your level of Jap...

 
 
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Use Rikai Browser to handle your J-E translation on iPad!

Remember Tim bringing up that iPhone study app a few months back? Well, the team at Long Weekend is back with a new app for the iPad called Rikai Browser, which will feature a built-in Japanese-to-English touch dictionary.If you're looking ...

 
 
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Never Enough Kanji: Japanese Government Adds More

How are you doing learning all 1,945 official jouyou kanji, fellow nihongo learners? I'm doing okay- thanks to my Learning Japanese the Baka Way program and Kanji Test for 2.5 Millions: Premium Edition, I'll be hitting fourth-grade level an...

 
 
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Study your Japanese with these transforming kanji pieces!

Who needs hand-made flash cards or even pre-printed ones when you can just buy these transforming kanji toys? At $1 a piece, it's a steal to collect all 1,945 basic kanji! Actually, they only have six different kanji that come in three flav...

 
 
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Learning Japanese with waterproof flashcards

Now, I know the purpose of these waterproof flashcards is to allow you to study while soaking comfortably in a nice warm bath, but I think I'm ready to take it one step further: I think I'm ready to start studying Kanji completely underwate...

 
 
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Learn Japanese...with toilet paper?

You know that I'm interested in every kooky way possible to increase my immersion in the Japanese language, but this is a line even I will not cross: Kanji Quiz toilet paper. I am drawing a line in the sand here, people.I guess I shouldn't ...

 
 
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Japaneseclass.jp gets some Facebook goodness

One of my new pursuits, integrated as part of my program to Learn Japanese the Baka Way, is to use japaneseclass.jp to review Kanji, vocabulary and grammar. The site proposes to make learning Japanese into an RPG-styled game, which doesn't ...

 
 
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Japanese to English translation produces...Yiddish?

I've seen Google Translate turn out some pretty strange things, but I never expected it to start channeling my grandparents. Today I learned that some RPG hero is referred to as "kvetchy", a Yiddish word meaning whiny bitch. See, ...

 
 
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Learning Japanese the Baka Way: The Kanji Experience

It is my fervent hope that these records of my Japanese-learning exploits will be of use to my fellow moonspeak students, however, isn't there another option to consider? Shouldn't I endeavor to educate the non-Japanese-studying reader all ...

 
 
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Learning Japanese the Baka Way

I am ashamed to report that so far, my New Year's Resolution has been a complete and utter failure: I haven't read any yaoi. I'm afraid this year is going to be just like all the others, and I'll neglect my important resolution to instead a...

 
 
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Evangelion used in JLPT Level 1 test?

The Japanese Language Proficiency Test and anime go together like Shinji and emoism. They lead into each other. So it only makes sense that a scene from Neon Genesis Evangelion is used in the JLPT Level 1 test. No, seriously. And what's fun...

 
 
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I didn't get into the JLPT, so now what?

I didn't think I needed to be there day one to register for the JLPT. I ended up waiting about two weeks, and then went to sign up. Of course, I didn't expect the demand for seats, and was shut out of the 500 available seats for taking the ...

 
 
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Quickie: What if Japanese translation were rocket science?

Translating Japanese can be a pain in the ass. Even for those who haven't tackled studying the language find it impossible to make heads-or-tails of machine translations. And it seems like so many product manuals and official documents come...

 
 
 
 
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Japanator Link Love: How to Japonese

[We continue our "link love," a selection featuring other great websites that share our interest in Japanese culture.] Hijacking Dale's column just for a moment, I'd like to bring your attention to a spot of the Internet I just re...

 
 
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Japanese is easy? An alternative viewpoint on the language

My Japanese is not that great. I know enough to get around the country and understand the basics of simple conversation. For me, reading kana is fine, but not kanji so much. It's one of those things where I knew if I committed more time to ...

 
 
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Some crazy Texan thinks Asian names are hard

OK, I'll admit it. I think that hearing the name "Wang" is pretty hilarious. Unfortunately, Texas state Rep. Betty Brown (R-Terrell) actually thinks people with silly Asian names need to drop their thousands of years of family his...

 
 
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Notes from the Classroom: Using your PS3 as a study tool

Call me a fanboy or what have you, but I just love my PS3. I've got plenty of games to play on it, and it's probably the best console to use when you're trying to learn Japanese. Dale would suggest just building yourself a custom Media Cent...

 
 
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Big changeup coming to the JLPT tests

While persuing FG earlier today, they brought to light that the JLPT tests are undergoing some major revisions that will be effective starting in 2009/2010. Normally the JLPT test is arranged from Level 1-4, with 1 being the most difficult....

 
 
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Notes from the classroom: I'm done with classes, now what?

Not everyone has the opportunity to take two years of college classes. Some of you might have already, and still aren't up to par for passing the Level 2 or Level 1 JLPT test. Well don't worry, that's how a lot of us are.Right now, I'm don...

 
 
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Notes from the classroom: Adopted versus adapted words

"Hey, check out these mangas, they're awesome!""Brad, of all animes out there, how could you have not watched Ninja Scroll?""Ninjas and geishas are really cool. I can't wait to see them when I go to Japan!"You ...

 
 
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Notes from the classroom: Starting off on the right foot

Heading into your first Japanese class is not easy. It might be your first experience with a Japanese person, as opposed to those disembodied voices you'd hear when watching anime. At the same time, you're surrounded by 20 people you've nev...

 
 
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Weekend Reading: It's not easy being a Japanese student

Japanese is not an easy language. I hear it all the time -- from teachers, from Japanese people, and from people who couldn't even tell you the difference between Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. But the language isn't impossible. I've been th...

 
 




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