There's a wealth of information on the Internet related to learning
Japanese, and we thought we'd collect some of our favorites and
list them here for you.
(Note: pages will open in a new window)
1. Japanese Language FAQ
A good place to start if you're just beginning to study Japanese
is Ben Bullock's Japanese Language FAQ ("Frequently Asked Questions") site, which contains the answers
to questions ranging from "should I use ga or wa?" to "What is
a tanuki?" Incidentally, Ben's site is the FAQ for the sci.lang.japan
discussion group on Usenet, which is a good place to go and hang
out on-line with people who are interested in the Japanese language.
2. Jim Breen's Japan Links
Probably the best single source on the internet for information
about Japan and learning the Japanese language is Jim Breen's page of Japan links, which is constantly updated and which contains links to scores
of valuable tools. Most of the links on this page are also on
Jim's page; we just thought we'd present you with some of the
ones that we've found most useful. See also his dictionary page listed below.
3. Japanese WordMage
One software program that some of our students have found very
useful in their studies is Japanese WordMage from Lavasoft, a program that includes a Japanese word processor,
a large reference dictionary, and a flash-card system. The most
amazing thing about this package is that it doesn't require any
Japanese operating system to run. The latest version will also
allow you to view Japanese web pages. It's available for both
Macintosh and Windows.
4. Canon Wordtank
Another tool that some of our students have found to be very useful
is the Canon Wordtank, a very powerful but very portable English-Japanese and Japanese-English
electronic dictionary which (unlike most such products on the
Japanese market) can be configured to operate with English menus,
and which comes with an English manual. Note: if you're in Tokyo,
it's probably cheaper to buy a Wordtank in Tokyo than abroad.
5. Japanese-English / English-Japanese Dictionary
If your computer has a Japanese operating system installed, then
a great resource is Jim Breen's WWWJDic, a comprehensive and free English-Japanese and Japanese-English
6. Basic Japanese characters
If you're just starting to learn Japanese characters, then two
useful sites are the Joyo 96 page and Blake Sterzinger's Kanji Page, both of which use web graphics to teach a limited number of
basic Japanese characters.
7. Advanced Japanese characters
For more advanced students of Kanji, Professor Saeko Komori of
Chubu University has developed a web site which teaches the correct stroke order for all of the Joyo Kanji
using Quicktime movies of a person actually writing each character.
8. Context-Sensitive Web Dictionary
If you have a web browser which is capable of displaying Japanese
text, then go to Rikai.com, where you can type in the address of a Japanese web page. Rikai.com
will then rewrite the page in active HTML and send it to your
web browser. When reading the Rikai-modified page, you'll find
that when you move your cursor over a Japanese word, an English
translation will appear. (It works in reverse, too, for Japanese
readers who want help with English-language pages.) Note: sometimes
pages can take a very long time to load.
9. Browse in Japanese without extra software
If your computer doesn't have a Japanese operating system and
can't display Japanese fonts, you can still browse the web in
Japanese using the ACCESS-J server at Monash University. The server translates each Japanese
character into an individual graphic so it can be displayed on
any browser. Another great tool from Jim Breen.
- Useful Links Related to Learning Japanese