All About Japan! Guide to the Virtual Learning!

 




Cheers to Japan! 
Since I know a lot of people who are into the Japanese cultures, anime, manga, and all other aspects of Japanese, I would like to make a contribution by posting an all-out blog about Japan-- how, when, where, and what. Also, since I'm part Japanese myself, I'd like to definitely help others out there who are also mix bloods like me, and have lost touch with their "Japanese"-ness. Hello!   

Free Travel to Japan?!

Here we go:
First, I'd like to go ahead and share the news about the possibility of YOU going to Japan. Yes, YOU. One of my friend shared this news via Facebook, and caught my attention, which in turn made me want to share this with you. According to Danny Choo's Blog, "the Japanese ministry of tourism is going to invite 10,000 foreigners to Japan - and pay for your travel." Apparently, after the earthquake, travels to Japan have been decreasing, and they would love for you to come back and experience Japan in its entirety-- with a new perspective and mindset. Wouldn't you love to participate in this matter? Here's the scoop. Go to Danny Choo's blog and participate in their survey, and follow their news blog. The application has not started, but keep on a look out on the Japanese Tourism website: http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng for any news and updates. This is Danny Choo's blog about the Japan Free Travel: DannyChoo.com. Go ahead and check out his blog too! I'm pretty sure, it will entertain you as it has for me. 

Here's a snippet of what he posted on his blog:

"Applications will be done through the internets and folks will be invited during 2012. Applicants need to submit their travel plans for when they are in Japan and if the government thinks that you truly intend to visit (and not overstay as an illegal immigrant) then they will pay for your return ticket.
The Japanese governments strategy for this plan is that they expect travelers to blog and use social media to spread the word about their experience in Japan which should hopefully lead to more folks visiting Japan.
The amount of foreigners visiting Japan since the earthquake and nuclear accident has decreased a ton - some prefectures like Yamagata have experienced up to 80% drop in overseas visitors.
The Japanese government is spending 1.1 billion yen on this project."
Pretty cool, yeah? Now go check it out. See, plan, and share this to others, so they might also have a chance!

Beginners, Newbies, Learners 

As I have said this before, I am also a Japanese beginner. I don't know much about its language, much less about the Japanese culture --- not 100%. For those of you who are not fortunate enough to learn Japanese in your high school, university, etc. here are some of the best compilation of sites in which I find very helpful to increase your knowledge in Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. No, what about grammar? Oh yes, for English speakers, this will be a tough one, because their grammar styles are not similar to how English is spoken. You'll understand why when you see it. I'm not an expert myself, so please do not rely solely on the websites I recommend. There are hundreds of great websites out there for beginners Japanese learners. Use your Google search engine! :)

Websites
  1. http://www.jlpt.jp/e/
  2. http://nihongoichiban.com/
  3. http://www.jpf.go.jp/e/index.html
  4. http://www.tanos.co.uk/jlpt/aboutjlpt/
    • Go to the left menus and select your level.
  5. http://www.jlptstudy.com/

Here are explanations: N1-N5 are the levels of proficiency you are in. If you believe that you have SOME levels of practice in Japanese, go to N2-- N1 is literally for basic hiragana or for those of you who want to review your knowledge. If you have a strong foundation in reading and understanding Hiragana/Katakana, go to N3/N4/N5. It depends on your level. Try them out; if they're too hard, go a level lower. I believe that if you really want to learn and can put your mindset into something, you will achieve it. Just like learning Japanese, no matter how old you are, you are still capable of learning. Don't give up, ok? Oh, there are tons of "print outs" available for you to practice writing. The answer to learning is in practice.

If you have ANY questions about any of the websites I mentioned above, please let me know. I may be able to help you navigate through the sites to help with your needs.

On mobile, on particular the iPhone, I have a couple of suggestions. Do not pay for an app you do not know anything about. I have a couple of free ones that deserve a 5-star, and the quality reached beyond what you probably can receive from a paid app. No, I do not go against app developers who want to charge for their apps, I'm just saying that there are good ones out there, and they are free. However, if you do believe that you know an app that is great, and you paid for it, great! Share with us!

Apps
  1. J Phrases
    • I feel like this app is very comprehensive on their Japanese basics. They give you study cards, lessons, and quizzes to get you geared up for your daily Japanese learning. On top of that, they cover the hiragana, katakana, kanji, grammar, and all other necessities to get you started (they also give in a little kick on some of the slangs and idioms native Japanese people use, so you might sound smarter and not so much like a foreigner when you go to Japan, hehe). Forget those basic "learn Japanese in 1 day" books, you've got this app that will do the trick! On top of that, it's good for your iPhone and iPad! Check out their website: Kotobainc.com
    • If you like it, support their full version; It's ad-less!
  2. Learn 日本語
    • This is probably one of my favorite "books" to read for getting you in touch with some basic grammar. I do have SOME Japanese background in reading H/K/Kanji, but I need grammar help still. Try it out! They cover the "writing system" (which is also helpful if you need help with the basics), Basic Grammar, Essential Grammar, Special Expressions, and Advanced Topics. Oh boy oh boy! They're free too! They give comprehensive details like a textbook, but in an app form. Great, huh? Homepage link: here.
  3. Nihongo Up (Game)
    • This is basically a game that you do if you feel like reading Japanese basics are just not enough. Go play some games (shooting, fill-in-the-blanks, etc) to get your knowledge tested. Not bad for a review. Homepage link: here
  4. JA lite
    • Yes, this is a lite version. It's already very helpful, by itself being a lite version. This will suffice by itself- until you're done.
  5. Kotoba
    • This is by far the most important app that you can find. The dictionary! And most of all, it's free! The best "paid"-like app that you need to have if you plan to learn and understand Japanese.
Here's to more apps listed by reddit: link

Know this, there is not one good app that will satisfy your every needs. If you want convenience from the touch of your hands, you will need multiple apps to get started. All of the apps I've mentioned above are not sufficient by itself. You need practice, which websites will provide with the most extensive exercises to get you writing and writing and writing. Japanese is not something that you can learn in an instance-- so learning "Japanese in ONE day" is a bogus. There's just no way, unless you're some incredible, crazy, genius. Which I believe you are :D So now, get going!


Alright! I hope you guys can somehow benefit in one way or another! It's been a pleasure to share this news with you. Oh, the Japanese free tour also has been announced by Yahoo! and Telegraph, so it's definitely not fake. Trust me, I'm as giddy up as you are to have learned about this news! I wish I can get chosen, because I'd definitely would loveeeee to go to Japan to visit & tour-about! Hope you and I can get chosen! Stay tuned!




konayukiss.blogspot.com
Photo credit: http://4dwallpaper.com

4 Comments:

MarieLo said...

Great post! I will definitely be adding some of those apps to my collection.. thanks!

konayukiss said...

No problem! Great it helped! :)

Nicolas said...

Thanks for the reference. We keep working hard at Nihongo Ichiban to make it easier to learn Japanese.
Ganbatte Kudasai.

konayukiss said...

No problem Nicolas! It is definitely a great app! Keep up the great work!

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