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Recently, I moved to Japan for a few months to experience an internship abroad and improve my Japanese skills. In the US, I had taken four semesters of Japanese and felt the need to improve before entering my third year. I thought the easiest solution would be moving to Japan for the summer and forcing myself into total immersion. When I arrived I was surprised by how much I could get around with english and how timid I was about using the Japanese I had learned for the past two years. I realized that I was never going to progress with my skills unless I actively studied and forced myself to use what I had learned. This is where JapanesePod101 came in.

I’ve been following the lesson plan that they gave me and it’s been really helpful, the lessons are interesting and valuable. The majority of the material that I’ve been through thus far has been video content that explore helpful phrases, sentence structures, and cultural knowledge. Other really helpful aspects of the site are key parts to learning Japanese like: repeating new words after a native speaker to get your pronunciation correct. They also have fun little treats like word of the day, that you can sign up for. The best part about the site is that they offer free PDF’s with all of their lessons.

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I know that many people, like me, are eager to learn kanji because without these characters it’s hard to understand the written language. JapanesePod101 offers ways to study kanji like flashcards that are spread throughout the lessons with a larger lesson at the end testing you on all of the kanji you’ve learned. Furthermore, the company is constantly putting out new information on bases like the JapanesePod101 facebook page. Here lighter content is posted like kanji videos or “20 words You’ll Need to Know for the Beach.”

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