Links

Note:
This page is a legacy from a previous version of this blog when links pages were what you did on sites.
The headings are the links.
As links die I’ll prune this page and also remove links out into their own posts.

The Japanese Page

A slightly sprawling site mainly dedicated to learning kanji for the JLPT. Most interesting is the Mai nichi mai nichi kanji pe-ji that lists two kanji each day. One from the easier level 3 and 4 JLPT and one from the harder 1 and 2 JLPT. Given that there are 2000 kanji required for JLPT level 1, at the rate of one a day it would take a long time but learning just one a day is an easy way to get started and doesn’t take up a lot of time. Before you take the big step into kanji you can also learn about hiragana here. There are also sections dealing with grammer, vocabulary and culture.

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Rikai.com

Don’t know how they achieve it (some clever perl scripts I think) but this site allows you to access other sites in Japanese through it. When you access a site through Rikai you get little popups giving you translations of the words, and kanji. It doesn’t give a natural translation but it is a huge help in trying to understand japanese websites.

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Kanji Networks

Ever wondered why a particular kanji is the way it is? This site has a comprehensive entomological dictionary of Kanji. Indexed by Kun and On readings as well as by stroke number and radical, it should be easy to find the kanji you’re interested in. I also found the annotations about styles and elements quite interesting.

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AJALT Online

AJALT are the people who publish the Japanese for Busy People series. Here they have a lot of materials online including Flash animations backing up topics in JFBP1, as well as quite large sections on survival Japanese and real world Japanese. The real world Japanese are conversations organised by situation and are covered at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. Survival Japanese is more basic phrase and word lists and grammer fundamentals in romaji. They still have a specialistic vocabulary for the World Cup.

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MLC Meguro Language Center (Tokyo)

This is the downloads page of MLC. Here you can find a lot of useful files in pdf and flash format, covering hiragana, ~na and ~i adjectives, verbs and particles.

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The Japanese Embassy in London

The Embassy sometimes arranges free screenings of Japanese films. There are also listings of cultural events and links to various exchange programs and NGOs.

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The City Lit

Where I attended Japanese Classes.
They have classes from pre beginner to intermediate. They seem to have the best value in London on a cost per hour and the courses are also broken into shorter modules so if you decide its not for you won’t have spent a lot of money on a whole semesters course. I found that they had different starting times from most schools that follow a traditional academic year with a September start.

The classes are small (15) and taught in Japanese. This isn’t as daunting as it sounds. It starts off with a short amount of Japanese and builds up over time. My teacher ちかさん is also very good at Japanese through mime ;-). The classes I take are 3 hour lessons on Saturdays but the City Lit also do 1.5 hour evening classes over a longer period.

I’d recommend classes to anyone learning Japanese on their own. You get a chance to practice, to hear someone speak, you can’t rewind and you aren’t as easily distracted. It also provides definite targets and an impetus to keep on studying.
These were my first classes really since leaving college long ago. But I have none of the fear and loathing of my schooldays. Adult education is different. It can be hard work but its also fun and I’m doing it for myself not for an exam.

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School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS)

SOAS administers the Japanese Language Proficiency Tests in the UK. These tests measure your ability to read write and listen to Japanese and are given every December worldwide. There are 4 grades. Grade 1 is needed to study at a Japanese university and Grade 4 being beginner.
SOAS also offers revision classes for these exams, and general classes in Japanese at many levels.

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Jim Breen’s Japanese Page

Jim Breen is founder of the EDICT project, the gold standard Japanese Electronic Dictionary. As you would expect he has an interest in all things Japanese and Japanese computing in particular. This page has many interesting links. It should be your first stop.

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Japanese Language @ About.com

This is a subsite of about.com. It is quite comprehensive with wordlists and soundfiles to go with them, games, daily expressions (learn a little each day and some day you’ll know a lot) and best of all a bulletin board that links you to people that’ll help with language questions, homework and culture.

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Kodansha International

Kodansha International,the publishers of the Japanese for Busy People series as well as numerous other Japanese language books and dictionaries keep this online presence. They publish many books about Japan and her culture besides the language guides.

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Cinemasie

A French site reviewing and cataloging asian films including Japanese drama and anime. In both French and English.
The shop attached to the site mainly has Region 3 (China) versions of discs. Some Japanese R2 that might be cheaper to get direct from Japan.

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Japan Travel and Living Guide

Detailed site about Japan. You can search through it by city to find most information you might need when travelling there.
The site also has a penpal service, so you might practice your Japanese with someone and in turn help them with languages they might want to learn.

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Modern boys and mobile girls

William Gibson writing in the Observer about why he sets his novels in Japan.

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Days of the week in Japanese

If you ever wondered why Japan has a 7 day week that’s very like the west’s this page has an explanation for it.

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Japanese for the Western Brain

A series of essays about Japanese grammer from an English viewpoint. They give some clear explanations of

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OtakuWorld Anime and Manga Guide

I suppose the British equivalent of the phrase Otaku would be Anorak. ( おたく means “your house.” Since otakus traditionally paint their windows black and lock themselves up in their rooms, I guess it means stay-at-homes. While otaku is an ok phrase in anime fandom, I think it has negative undertones as a description of someone in Japanese.) But from your dark room lit by the glare from your computer screen you can head here as a starting point for everything Anime and then some.

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