Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Nihon and Nihongo: Some resources for beginners

Japón e idioma japonés: Recursos en la WEB para principiantes y recién llegados

For leisure, learning languages is always a good alternative. For daily life, learning the local language is quite important to fit into the local society. For personal development, learning a language is key to understand the local culture, because languages are not only composed by translated words connected together by grammatical rules, but also composed by gestures, manners and local customs.

Japanese language and the culture of the country it self have thousands of followers around the world. Several have posted very interesting material over the WEB. Next I am posting some links to sites that I have visited, which can help beginners to enjoy their Nihongo lessons and in general their life in Japan.

Japanese lessons

  • In Spanish:
    • Curso de japonés Gunkan, by Juan José Ferres Serrano. Very very interesting initiative. Try to use Google translator to follow it in different languages.
  • In English:
    • Japanese Pod 101. Audio and texts of daily life conversations explained and recreated by a group of persons, among which, the voice from a nice Japanese girl will capture your attention.
    • Pera pera Penguin: columns from the Daily Yomiuri. Very very interesting short stories and conversations to build up your vocabulary and your kanji.
    • Wa-pedia Japanese grammar: General guidance on Japanese language grammar.
    • MLC Japanese Language School in Meguro: I have not assisted there, but the material posted seems convincing.
Japanese on your computer

- From the Nihongo Pera Pera site:
- How to type furingana on Microsoft Word.
- How to type Japanese on your computer.

- How to make your resume in Japanese. Resumes in Japan have commonly a certain format. This site will guide you throughout the process.

Other online dictionaries and translators. You may try several translators, since they may have been built under different algorithms.

- Excite Japan: Just copy and paste the contents, as it is done with the Google translator.
- Several links provided by the "Japanese Studies" group, University of Victoria. Very useful and highly recommended.
- Hiragana megane: It will add hiragana on top of the kanjis to any web site written in Japanese. Very very interesting tool.
- Kanji furigana for Japanese learners: Similar to the link above.
- Dictionary Japanese-English.

Life in Japan

- Nipponia: An online magazine in several languages (including English and Spanish) where several aspects of the life in Japan are described.
- Survival kit for natural disasters: Even though it is in Spanish, if you live in Japan, it would not be a bad idea to translate it using google resources available online. Very important.
- Gaigin pot: Info on your life in Japan.
- Metropolis magazine Japan: Your guide to cultural events in Japan.

- Conversion chart for Japanese dates: Since the Meiji era. Believe me, you will need it.

Do you want to eat fresh cheese in Japan? Difficult, unless you order it from these sites:

- Mundo Latino online shop.
- Bomprecomercado.

Moving out?

- Try the boxes offered by the kuroneko.
- Moving overseas? You may also try the kuroneko services.


- JR time tables.

- Are you Bolivian? Bolivia as seen by a Japanese tourist.

- Are you Vietnamese? Have a look in the page of my friend Tinh san.

- Are you married? Questions and help to foreigners on matters related to giving birth in Japan.

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