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On this pageWhy learn Japanese | Links to Languages.Org.Au Japanese resources | Guides, online courses and tutorial sites | Reference | News and current affairs
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Why learn JapaneseJapanese is spoken by more than 120 million people, most of whom live in Japan. Speakers of Japanese are more closely grouped geographically than speakers of most other major world languages. Historically, Japan also had an era of separate functioning as a society from the wider world for more than two centuries, so the country is culturally distinct in many ways that enhance the interest of learning about Japanese language and culture. The written language uses three kinds of scripts – Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji. The third of these has much in common with Chinese character script. Japan has a rich cultural tradition. It has the third-largest economy in the world and is an important centre for business, industry, technology, pop culture (including Manga) and martial arts.
Links to Languages.Org.Au Japanese resources
Guides, online courses and tutorial resourcesThese are listed alphabetically.
- BBC Guide to Japanese and other links – An archived BBC resource that includes a guide to Japanese as well as links to Japanese podcast lessons, phrases for travellers, a free Japanese online course and a Kanji dictionary. Note: these resources date from 2006 to 1010, but they are free and they are not geo-blocked, unlike some more recent BBC resources for languages.
- Duo Lingo Learn Japanese – "There are two truths about Japanese culture. First, it is celebrated the world over — film, food, literature, music, art, all of it. Second, to best appreciate it, you must first learn Japanese!".
- Easy Japanese is one of the resources linked from this page. It is a program of Japanese lessons produced by Japan's public broadcaster, JHK World Radio Japan. FluentU is a great resource for seeing vocabulary and language in context. It uses YouTube videos and explains vocabulary in context. The free version is less interactive than the paid version. This can be used as an app or a website.
- Japan Foundation classroom resources page – this one is for teachers of Japanese.
- Japanese 101 – This site is designed as a starting point for people who want to learn more about the Japanese language.
- JapanesePod101.com – This is another resource, distinct from the one listed above. There are two types of signup: free or premium.
- Linguanaut Learn Japanese – Linguanaut offers free Japanese (Nihongo) lessons online, from Phrases, Alphabet, Numbers, Adjectives, Names, Verbs, Vocabulary used in Japan.
- Live Lingua – The people at Live Lingua have made available a selection of free learning resources based on some of the FSI Japanese courses. These include two Japanese courses, six ebooks and 26 audios.
- Mango Languages – Learn Japanese. You may be able to access the full version through your ACT library membership.
- Omniglot Useful links for learners of Japanese – links from a wide variety of sources.
- Omniglot – A collection of useful phrases in Japanese with sound files for some of them.
- The Japanese Page – This site is for beginners and intermediate students of Japanese.
ReferenceOnline sources to look up words and phrases – a quick option is to run a Google search with the required expression in English followed by the words "in Japanese", eg accommodation in Japanese, then select from sources (some of which also provide an audio version of the Japanese) such as the ones listed below (listed here alphabetically).
- Cambridge English-Japanese Dictionary – Type the expression to be translated into the search field.
- Jisho – Enter any Japanese text or English word in the search box and Jisho will search a myriad of data for you. The data used in Jisho comes from a variety of open source projects.
- Online Japanese Dictionaries and Glossaries – This page is a collection of annotated links to online Japanese dictionaries compiled by Jim Breen, Monash University.
- Tangorin – An online Japanese-English dictionary with example sentences and many features to help you learn Japanese.
News and current affairsThese are listed alphabetically.
- BBC News – Japan – News in Japanese from the BBC.
- Japan Today – Japan news and Japanese national, crime, entertainment, politics, business, technology, sports stories in English. Features and analysis. An online journal based in Tokyo. GPlusMedia Co.
- NHK World Japan – NHK's On Demand website with video, audio, programs and playlists. Categories include Art & Design, Current Affairs, News, Travel and more. Scroll to the bottom of the linked page to see the categories.
- SBS Japanese News – Available as podcasts/vodcasts.
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