Unfortunately, studying Japanese using Anki doesn’t make for crazy updates and epiphanies, which would be great for the blog. Instead, an hour has been carved out of my daily existence to refresh and to learn new sentence patterns and vocabulary. It’s a tad dull, but I’m really beginning to see the difference from where I started, to what I know now. For example, when starting out a flashcard would give me something like this:
はい - Which sould like this ‘hai’, and means ‘yes’ in English. Simple once you learn hiragana, and spend any time watching or listening to any Japanese media; ‘hai’ is used over and over again, you won’t miss it, I guarantee!
Here is what I am up against now:
So, as a refresher, when I get the card, I don’t see the subscript above the kanji (those complicated characters), and I am also not privy to the explanation below. All that comes after I have made the attempt to figure out how to say it, and what exactly does it mean.
I am working with about 40 review cards a day and 10 new cards. This level of commitment has been getting progressively more difficult due to the difficulty of the cards, paired with everything else in my life requiring more and more attention as the semester progresses.
Anyways, I thought to myself, why don’t I give anyone reading this an opportunity to learn a few basic phrases in Japanese, so if you end up inviting a Japanese student into your home for a homestay, or going abroad, you can at least superficially, for a minute, trick them into thinking you are ‘fluent.’
The following is a podcast I have come up with that will go over these sentences. Below the embedded link is a list of the sentences I have shared, which you can follow along with, while listening to the dialogue.
Hajimemashite – Greetings
watashi wa _____desu. I am _______(name).
Dozoyoroshiku – Pleased to meet you.
Now, by no means am I the first to do this. There are so many eager individuals out there who have taken this challenge on, and have created far superior series of podcasts for the learning of Japanese. Here are some of the best instructional Japanese podcasts I have found:
Japanese Pod 101 – (paid subscription, beginner to advanced) – Many message boards recommend this site, regardless of the cost to subscribe. Has an impressive collection of hierarchical taught lessons. Given the cost, you might be better off looking for something else if you’re not 100% committed.
Learn Japanese Pod – (free?, beginner to advanced) – Great until you realize that in order to start with the first podcast, and access the next 100 or so, you need to somehow subscribe to a premium membership that this site doesn’t make apparent anywhere. Big letdown as the reviews are all positive, and the few podcasts they offer to get you hooked are quite good.
(free!, intermediate to advanced) – This site is well laid out, with options on following along with the spoken text. There is also a regular speed option, so you can practice your listening skills at a faster pace. This site looks incredible!
An additional video that features the content of the news, with subtitled text overtop, so you can practice your own newscasting skills, once you are familiar enough with the Japanese.
Delvin Japanese – (free!, beginner to advanced) – This is not a podcast, but a fully interactive video based Japanese instructional site. It is truly an exceptional site. Learning language through common situations. If you haven’t already followed the link, seriously do, even if you don’t plan on studying Japanese. Just the interface itself for the lessons is incredible.
In addition, I have also come across some helpful sites that offer a breakdown of basic essential Japanese phrases, as well as helpful websites for conjugating Japanese verbs (which can be rather tricky at times!):