Welcome to the NHK's easy Japanese lessons
May 11, 2018 2:18 AM   Subscribe

If you have watched so much anime you're starting to pepper your speech with the six or so words you're confident you can pronounce correctly, than the NHK's Easy Japanese series might be just the thing to level up your Japanese.
posted by MartinWisse (23 comments total) 67 users marked this as a favorite
 
Nani?!
posted by Brocktoon at 2:21 AM on May 11 [5 favorites]


NHK World has this sort of clumsy earnestness to it that I’m not sure if I find endearing or frustrating. Maybe both. It is complicated.

Core Kyoto is a really interesting show, though, even if the production values and presentation are a bit cheesy!
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:13 AM on May 11 [1 favorite]


When did Japanese people start eating eggs? A long たまご。
posted by persona at 4:12 AM on May 11 [34 favorites]


Core Kyoto is a really interesting show, though, even if the production values and presentation are a bit cheesy!

Not as cheesy as The Mark of Beauty desu.
posted by sukeban at 4:55 AM on May 11 [1 favorite]


Oh, yeah, NHK World gets kind of into that sort of territory at times. On the other hand, they do actually have some shows with some genuinely pretty useful and interesting info! Dining with the Chef is a legitimately educational cooking show, for instance.
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:11 AM on May 11


Did you know there aren't any dentists in Hawaii?
posted by snwod at 5:23 AM on May 11


Oooh thanks I will check this out; I am sort of treading water with the Mirai and Skritter apps at this point.
posted by little cow make small moo at 5:24 AM on May 11


For those NY Mefites, there's a web/mobile app called Mango for language learning. It normally costs $20/month, but if you have an NYC public library card, you have access to that for free (which is not as well publicized as it should be). Even if you don't live in the city, but live in the state, you can still get a city library card.

also there's a streaming video service, Kanopy, that you get access to through the library
posted by kokaku at 6:09 AM on May 11 [3 favorites]


The Japan Foundation also has some free introductory courses.
posted by sukeban at 6:14 AM on May 11


And if you're a bit above introductory courses, MATCHA is a travel webzine that has an "Easy Japanese" version as well as the regular Japanese one.
posted by sukeban at 6:16 AM on May 11 [5 favorites]


Lingodeer is way better than Duolingo if your looking for a learning app for android. Also free.
posted by AlexiaSky at 6:45 AM on May 11 [4 favorites]


Before visiting Tokyo last year, I briefly tried an app named Human Japanese for iOS; it put a lot of priority on being able to write the hiragana correctly, putting the strokes in the right order with the right amount of curvature and proximity and such.

(Disclaimer: I know next to no Japanese; the tamago joke above was about the extent of my comprehension.)
posted by acb at 7:08 AM on May 11


For those NY Mefites, there's a web/mobile app called Mango for language learning

It also exists for other libraries and universities around the country. Check to see if your library already has it!
posted by Philipschall at 8:29 AM on May 11 [1 favorite]


I spent ~3 years learning Japanese in college, some via classes and some via self-study, and in the nearly two decades since, it pains me that not once have I used it outside of watching the occasional anime (and most of the time, that is with my kids), so most of it has degraded. It's to the point where most of my old knowledge feels just barely out of reach.

I'd absolutely love to pick it up again, but my wife, of Chinese ancestry (and fluent in Mandarin & Cantonese), gets really pissed whenever the topic of Japanese language comes up either for me or the kids*. I'd have to go through refreshers like this only in private, and I'd be afraid that my already-shaky Cantonese would start getting lost in the process.

* This is, as best I can tell, because my Japanese even now is at least as good as my Cantonese, and my Japanese then was far better than my Cantonese has ever been, so she considers it a slight against her and her language that I've never learned it as fully.
posted by mystyk at 8:50 AM on May 11


I go to NHK's Easy News page all the time. The articles have simpler vocabulary, with furigana for all kanji (which you can turn off if you like) and audio for listening practice. It's a mix of world news and Japan news.
posted by kurumi at 9:32 AM on May 11 [3 favorites]


For those NY Mefites, there's a web/mobile app called Mango for language learning

It also exists for other libraries and universities around the country. Check to see if your library already has it!


Mango is also an option through Military One Source, as part of their digital library resources, if you happen to be a U.S. Service Member or dependent.
posted by mystyk at 9:39 AM on May 11 [1 favorite]


Lingo Deer is AMAZING. they have a thing where you can give a coffee (small donation) to one of the 3 teams... Teachers, engineers, and designer.

It is far better than duolingo. I use duolingo for a review of stuff I've learned from Lingo Deer.

I'm not great with romanji but I have learned to say a few phrases and words and recognize a few more.

I also now get ridiculously excited if I'm reading some manga and in the image there's a noise being made with characters in the art...for ex, in an English comic, words like POW or the sound of a siren (OOOEEEOOOEEE) are part of the art. So now I know those are characters in the manga and I can figure out the noise!
posted by sio42 at 2:13 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]


Also this series is hilarious. I listened to a few episodes a couple months ago. It's a bit too earnest for me to actually listen to anymore tho.
posted by sio42 at 2:17 PM on May 11


i go to NHK's Easy News page all the time

I came to mention them too. I think the op links were mostly verbal lessons, but Japanese is also the most pain in the ass language to read, and finding material written at a 2nd grade reading level but not fake textbook writing can be really hard. I like that the "easy news" material is real news about moderately adult stuff. There's an app called "NHK 日本語" that I use on Android.

Asahi Shinbun (a national newspaper in Japan) also has a kid's edition, but I haven't read it myself.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 3:35 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


> Nani?!

Mendokusai.
posted by needled at 4:45 PM on May 11


In addition to the Easy Japanese radio program, NHK World Television offers Easy Travel Japanese along with Japan-easy and Japan-easy II. Gone from NHK's VOD service, but not forgotten, is Meet and Speak, a series of travel-oriented Japanese lessons that follows young people visiting Japan.

In addition to being able to say please and thank you, I wanted to learn to read Japanese because I wanted to be able to read the signs if I ever visited. I used WaniKani and I recommend it highly.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:11 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


It is far better than duolingo. I use duolingo for a review of stuff I've learned from Lingo Deer.

Public service announcement: duolingo's English translations of many Japanese terms are absolutely terrible*. If you are a beginner STAY AWAY

* or at least they were about six months ago when I tried the Japanese lessons just to see what they were like, as they had recently become available.
posted by dubitable at 3:56 AM on May 14


To talk about lingodeer one of the best options is that you can choose the level of writing that's good for you (romanji up to literate) . I use the kanji/literate option and move it down when I'm confused on pronunciation, then move it right back up. It has really helped me be able to recognize kanji better, even if it's just between a multiple choice selection.

The grammar had little explanations so if you need to reference it will help.

The vocabulary builds and they reference previous lessons. It also grades on full ime input if you would like . I started using my cell to type in Japanese through this program with direct feedback.

Duongo I got through in a week or two (I studied in in college, but hadn't actively studied in years) but Lingodeer is a really structured and takes some time. Some of it's vocab for me, but it does do a pretty good job with n5 grammar as well. I'm about 75 percent through at this point, and starting to look into Wanikani and regularly reading NHK easy (the grammar is still a little past lingodeer at this point, but I understand enough to look it up when I'm confused).

After I finish Lingodeer , I'm going to have to look into something more structured like Tae Kim's or Genki again.
posted by AlexiaSky at 1:10 PM on May 15


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