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Fall In Love With Learning

enjoy learning the language you wantLet’s face it. Learning Japanese seems like a daunting task. You’ve got your hands full with new alphabet systems, grammar structures, formality levels and expressions…not knowing where to start, tackling this language and its nuances may be overwhelming. Luckily, the team at JapanesePod101 is dedicated to ensuring your linguistic success.

As a foreign language enthusiast, I’ve flirted with a fair share of online learning sites (especially for Japanese), but none of them were ever the one my heart was looking for. I had almost completely given up my pursuit of Japanese, until JapanesePod101 made me fall in love with learning.

Why JapanesePod101 Works:

  • Fun AND Free! How often do you see this combo?! Really though, JapanesePod101 takes away the stress and monotony that most online language sites induce. No more clicking through boring flashcards! Instead, indulge your senses in an audio-visual treat with native speaking hosts, to learn everything from famous Japanese quotes, to essential vocab for Star Wars Day.
  • Where to Start:From Absolute Beginner to Advanced fluency flexer, JapanesePod101 has got you covered. As soon as you log in, your dashboard guides you on a learning path to help you master Japan and its language. You can choose to start from the beginning or jump to a learning path that suits you best.
  • Customize to Optimize: JapanesePod101 grants you creative liberty to tailor-make your own lessons. They’ll help you navigate your way through hiragana, katakana, kanji, and even the streets of Tokyo if you so choose. You learn what you want, when you want.
  • Convenience at the Core: With an accompanying mobile application, you can master Japanese while riding the subway to work, waiting in line for lunch, or sitting on the couch when your computer is just out of arm’s reach. You can view and finish lessons as slow or fast as you want, working best for your schedule.
  • Retain and Remember: After finishing a lesson, there are accompanying assessments to help ensure that you’ve actually learned what you intended to. You can take the assessments as many times as you want, so if you’re ever feeling rusty, these mini-tests are a great refresher.
  • bonus points if you can read any of these lanterns
    A JapanesePod101 account is a Free Lifetime Account, which means exactly as it sounds. You can use JapanesePod101’s resources forever, and for free. So what are you waiting for? That kanji isn’t going to memorize itself!


My Honest Review and Opinion of JapanesePod101

Howdy people, my name is Thomas. I’m a blogger and huge Japanese enthusiast. Today I’m going to review www.JapanesePod101.com and give you guys a 100% honest opinion on it. I am not being paid or otherwise compensated for this, and all opinions are my own. Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m brutally honest and blunt, so I won’t pull punches in a review. That said, enjoy.

honest review of japanesepod101.com

My first impression of JapanesePod101.com was that it looked a lot like what I had come to expect from language learning sites, from Rosetta Stone to Duolingo, I knew the drill and the layout of the main page was the same, bare-bones info page that I always see when I go to a site with a landing page that tries to get you to sign up right away. By comparison, ILL’s main site is much more informative about the company and their services, and actually convinced me to try them out in the first place. Perhaps I’m just too jaded to be taken in like many consumers by a simple ad. I want more info than what they share with their marketing spin all over it. I want facts, features, simply stated and without divisive wording so present in marketing pitches.

The negatives pretty much stop there. This service is wonderful! After signing up, you get a straight-talk offer to get a huge upgrade for a dollar of bandwidth. I took the offer, naturally, though I later had an issue with backing out of the $25 a month subscription it signed me up on. I didn’t realize I could just change my settings for the auto-renewal. It is enabled by default, but when I forgot, they were good about refunding me. I had my money back within a week, not bad for communicating across the globe to do it.

japanesepod101 video and audio lessons

The dashboard takes a bit to get used to, but once you figure out what everything does and where it all leads, it is extremely useful and well-designed, though I would prefer if the lesson videos and series videos were organized the same way. I found that I could find some lessons through the actual lessons tab, and others by picking through the series videos. Maybe I just got turned around in the interface but I didn’t feel like I had a good way to get a singular overview of every single lesson to know how much they covered.

Now we come to the best part, and the reason why I truly endorse JapanesePod101.com. The lessons themselves. Oh, my, god. These people know how to teach Japanese. The videos don’t just teach vocabulary and hope you can pick up the pronunciation by imitation like Rosetta Stone tries to. And unlike that same product, which I used before, JPod never talks down to you or treats you like a child. Rosetta Stone seriously showed me juice and milk to teach me how to say the Japanese words ジュース&ぎゅうにゅう one of which is just the same word in katakana, which they don’t explain, and the other is never used anymore, instead they use the katakana’d version of it too! Not JPod, they treat you like an intelligent student right off the bat, explaining the basic structure of the language and rolling it right into vocab.

japanesepod101 vocabulary lists

I loved how Risa explained a lot of the concepts, and much to my pleasant surprise, they didn’t just cover lists of words and pronunciation, though they have tons of word lists and very good pronunciation guides. No, my favorite part is that they covered grammar! You have no idea how much, as a student who learned under tutors and college for all of my Japanese learning journey up to now, how infuriating it is to not have the grammar explained! If you know conjugations of verbs, you can teach yourself so many words just from hearing them and reverse engineering them to dictionary form! Risa does an amazing job of walking you through the grammar points and makes them not feel so scary as grammar was for many people who hated taking English.

One big negative that I have to nick them for though, is the teaching style. Now I’m not talking about the lessons themselves, I mean the overall organization of the lessons. Because you can freely float around between lessons, they don’t build upon each other. I am only in semester 3 of Japanese, and I could hop into Advanced and while I didn’t necessarily find it stuff I already knew, I had no difficulty understanding the lessons and mastering the content. If I tried to do that with a college course, I’d get lost very fast. That sounds like a positive at first, but the problem is that you can’t push your students if you make everything somewhat accessible to people with a good grip on the language already. Perhaps they have more structured or difficult content in other areas, but the lessons from Absolute Beginner through Advanced seemed to have no difficulty curve at all which means they wouldn’t push me to get better.

japanesepod101 resources learn japanese

It’s a delicate balance, trying to appeal to masses while also pushing every one of those people to “git gud”, believe me, I know. But in the business of teaching language, you have to make a decision on whether you’ll push your users or make everything more accessible to them so they can learn more content easier. I feel like if the lessons were more rigidly structured in points and built upon previous lessons it would work better. Perhaps if it was organized more like a game where you progress down a linear path but have branches where you can head off into side paths of learning and explore things that are at the same level as what you’re learning now, it would be more effective.

Honestly, I would love to see JPod get into Tangential Learning and “gamify” their content a bit. This IS on the internet after all, most people are used to games from their phones and tablets by now, so they won’t be unfamiliar to basic game UI. That said, this is getting a bit more into “I wish” territory.

All in all, I would highly recommend JPod for anyone interested in learning a language from the ground up or as preparation to get into college courses. It is far better than most of the other kinds of software and websites I have been to, mostly because the videos are very well organized and presented, with comprehensive learning material teaching the basic workings of the language as well as the grammar structures along with vocabulary.

Like Thomas, give it a try and create a Free Lifetime Account, get started learning Japanese and share your review with us!

3 Reasons Why Successful Students Learn Japanese In the Car

Not only is it possible to learn Japanese in your car, there are 3 great benefits that will help you master the language faster and with less effort.

With everyone so pressed for time these days, it might seem like a daydream to believe that you could learn Japanese in your car—but it’s not! Thanks to a wide range of new technologies and resources, learning a language in your car is easier than ever. Not only is it easy to learn a language while driving, there are actually a number of benefits, especially if the lessons are part of a structured learning program like JapanesePod101. Here are three specific benefits to learning Japanese or any other new language in your car.

3 reasons why successful students learn japanese in the car

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1. Transform Downtime into Progress

How much time do you spend commuting to and from work? Learning a language in your car transforms your commute time into tangible progress towards your dream. So instead of being stressed over how much time you are “wasting” on errands and daily commutes, you can decompress and have some fun while you learn Japanese in your car!

2. Daily Exposure Leads to Passive Learning

Practice makes perfect and learning a new language is no different. The daily exposure you get when you learn Japanese while driving helps improve listening comprehension, pronunciation, and of course helps build vocabulary and improve grammar. Don’t worry: You don’t need to memorize everything as you listen in Japanese while driving. Just having continuous exposure to a foreign language helps you improve your vocabulary, learn faster, and ultimately retain more through passive learning.

3. Learning While Driving is Fun

Learning a new language does require a serious commitment, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! When you learn Japanese in your car, you get to take some time away from the PC or smartphone and immerse yourself in the language instead of just “studying” it.

Plus, there are a number of “fun” activities that you can do and still learn in your car, such as:
– Singing Along with Japanese Songs
– Playing Word Games or Trivia
– Just Listening Along and Seeing How Much You Can Pick Up and Understand

Want to Learn How to Get Angry in Japanese? Pick-Up Lines? Our Vocabulary Lists are Made for You!

Yes, you can learn a language while driving and have loads of fun doing it. Now let’s take a look at some specific things you can listen to while driving to help you learn a new language.

BONUS: 3 Ways to Learn Japanese in Your Car

Listen to Podcasts: Typically designed to focus on one topic or lesson, podcasts are a great way to learn a language while driving. Unfortunately, podcasts are rarely at the same listening/comprehension level as the language learner so listeners may not get their full value. But at JapanesePod101, our podcasts are created for every skill level so you don’t waste any time on material that isn’t relevant or suited to your exact needs.

Sing Along to Japanese Songs: Remember, just immersing yourself in a language can create passive learning and improve your pronunciation. Plus, with JapanesePod101, you can sing along and memorize the lyrics, and then look the words up and add them to your personal dictionary.

Playing Word Games or Trivia: There are audio games available online that you can download to any media device and listen to on your commute. Although we recommend this option for more advanced users, games are a fun and productive way to learn Japanese in your car because they require listening and comprehension skills.

Want To Master 1500 Kanji in Few Weeks? Download Your Free eBook Now

You won’t recognize or understand every word you hear in a Japanese song, podcast, or game—but that’s ok. The daily repetition and immersion in the language leads to passive learning that gradually increases your knowledge of vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. And the greater your foundation in grammar and vocabulary, the more you’ll understand and learn from the audio lessons, podcasts, or whatever you listen to while learning Japanese in your car.

Yes, you can learn Japanese while driving because it leads to passive learning via daily immersion in the language. Although you may not understand all or even most of what you hear at first, the exposure helps improve pronunciation, vocabulary, and even grammar over time. Learning a language while driving also helps transform your commute into exciting “exotic adventures” that secretly teach you Japanese in the process. Podcasts, songs, and even games can all help you learn Japanese in your car while eliminating the “boring commute” in the process!

At JapanesePod101, we have more than 2500+ HD audio lessons and podcasts for every skill level that you can download and use to learn Japanese while driving!
So don’t forget to sign up for a Free Lifetime Account on JapanesePod101.com to access tons of FREE lessons and features to become fluent in Japanese!

JapanesePod101 Review – Better Late Than Never: How I’m (Still) Learning Japanese

I first want to say that learning another language is difficult. It’s time-consuming, you always feel like you’re not pronouncing things right and it’s really easy to just give up. BUT DON’T! Learning another language is the best thing I have done to improve my mind and my view on the world.

how i m still learning japanese japanesepod101 review

When I decided to spend my summer in Japan, I had not learned a word of Japanese. I thought I would be able to pick it up from simply being around it all the time. I was wrong. When I arrived in Japan, I felt because of my language barrier I was missing out on a part of Japan that only people who spoke the language got to experience. This was when I started using JapanesePod101.

Reasons I enjoyed using JapanesePod101

  • It’s free!!! → Free is always better, am I right? It was really simply to sign up and it was amazing how I was able to use their basic services for free. If I wanted to learn more, I would simply upgrade my account (which wasn’t much) and their range of lessons just kept expanding.
  • Videos and Audio → It was helpful that the videos had a native-speaking host. The pronunciation and accents felt authentic.
  • Clear starting point → My biggest problem when I was trying to teach myself Japanese was that I didn’t know where to start! With the clearly laid out Learning Paths, I was able to know where to start and what the next step would be.
  • Go at your own pace → There is never a time limit to fulfill a certain number of lessons. Once you sign up, you get a Lifetime Account so you can use JapanesePod101 whenever you have time.
  • Click here to create your Free Lifetime Account and get on the path of fluency!

    I’ll admit, I am still at the absolute beginner level. But as I continue using JapanesePod101, I feel more and more confident in myself and my Japanese.

    JapanesePod101 Review – How JapanesePod101 Helped Me Prepare for the Trip of a Lifetime

    How JapanesePod101 Helped Me Prepare for the Trip of a Lifetime

    I was always interested in traveling to Japan. The culture, people, and natural beauty of the country were what drew me in. I knew that it was definitely a place that I wanted to visit in the future and something that would be on my bucket list. But for one reason or another, I had never really had the opportunity to travel across the Pacific. I was either too broke or too busy. That changed last summer when I decided to put an end to my procrastination and fulfill my dream. I purchased my ticket to Japan online and celebrated with a triumphant cheer. However, I soon came to a realization. I did not speak one word of Japanese.

    Flight to Japan

    I had one month until I embarked on my adventure and I wanted to learn as much Japanese as I could, so I decided to look into my options. While perusing the internet in search of a Japanese language program that would fit my needs, I kept finding myself at JapanesePod101.com. Admittedly, I was a little skeptical at first as I had tried similar language programs in the past with no success, but with hundreds of positive reviews as my reference, I decided to give them a shot. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that JapanesePod101 not only offered affordable prices, but also a free 7-day trial of their Premium plan. With nothing to lose and a whole new world to gain, I signed up for the Premium plan. The sign-up process was quick and simple. It may have taken me 2 minutes at most to submit my information and receive my confirmation email. After that, I was immediately able to log-in and start my studying.

    The layout of the site was beautiful and I was able to use it on my Macbook, iPad, and iPhone without any trouble whatsoever. Due to the fact that I had no previous knowledge of Japanese language, I started my journey at the “Absolute Beginner” level. Instantly, I found myself eyeing over a curriculum that I knew would be beneficial to my trip. Topics such as survival phrases, introductions, shopping, and ordering food each had their own individual lessons. I began my studying that night with the goal of learning basic travel Japanese before I left. JapanesePod101 made it easy to track my progress and that helped me stay committed to my studies. I studied every single night for one whole month.


    Here are some of the features of JapanesePod101 that I found the most helpful:

    Lessons by Native-Speaking Instructors
    Throughout my years, I’ve noticed that those who do not learn a language from a native-speaker tend to pick up an accent that derives from the teacher’s mother tongue. That’s why I think that this is one of the best things about JapanesePod101. Why learn from someone whose native-language is something other than Japanese when you could just as easily learn from someone who has been speaking it from birth? JapanesePod101 offers real dialogue from real Japanese speakers.

    Printable Notes Available to Download
    For me, this was a deal-breaker. Though I love the convenience of being able to study online from any of my devices, sometimes I just like to keep it old school and have my notes on a piece of paper that I can physically touch and write on. Fortunately for me, JapanesePod101 offers easy to print PDF notes and transcripts for each of the lessons in the curriculum. Printing them out only takes a few seconds!

    Japanese Word of the Day
    I think that this is helpful for those lazy days when you may not feel like studying. JapanesePod101 will send you one word per day from their Japanese Core Word List. This ensures that even on your days off, you’re still getting a healthy and relevant intake of Japanese language!

    Check out the Japanese Word of the Day widget!

    JLPT Practice Tests
    As someone who is thinking about learning Japanese language seriously in the future, this feature really stood out to me. JapanesePod101 offers a large number of practice exams for the N4 and N5 JLPT tests, exams which test your proficiency in Japanese and are required by many employers who look to hire foreigners. This struck me as extremely valuable for someone who might want to find work and live in Japan.

    Japanese Flashcards
    Last but not least, JapanesePod101 offers flashcards that make learning Japanese fun and easy. Users can select the set of flashcards that matches their current lesson in order to enhance their studies!

    Other Things to Think About When Considering JapanesePod101:

    JapanesePod101 offers a high-quality product at a fraction of the price of its competitors. For what you get, JapanesePod101 is a complete bargain.

    Different Levels for Different Learners
    I think that this allows the student to grow and mature as a learner. Students can advance from one level to the next as they improve. On the other side, if you already have some knowledge of Japanese, you can easily start at a higher level without having to re-learn things you already know.

    Available on Any Media Device
    This was a really big plus for me! I was able to use JapanesePod101 on my cell phone, tablet, and laptop. They even have their own apps!

    Study When You Want, Where You Want
    JapanesePod101 gives you the best of both worlds. Rather than taking a scheduled class, why not get the same benefit while studying in the comfort of your own home on your own time?

    Tokyo Tower

    In the End:

    I used JapanesePod101 to study for one month and then left for Japan. I stayed in Tokyo for 2 months and had the time of my life. There were definitely tons of things I couldn’t understand, but I was really surprised at how much I had learned! I was able to order food, go grocery shopping, and even order drinks at a local bar! I had become very comfortable with both hiragana and katakana and could actually read a lot of the signs and posters I saw. I can honestly say that I would have had a completely different experience without JapanesePod101. Without my studies, I wouldn’t have known how to ask for directions, get food by myself, or even thank someone for opening door for me! My time in Tokyo was one of the best times of my life…and I owe a large part of that to JapanesePod101.

    Click here to visit JapanesePod101!

    JapanesePod101 Review – 6 Reasons Why I LOVE JapanesePod101!

    JapanesePod101 Review - 6 Reasons Why I LOVE JapanesePod101!

    Hello Everyone!

    Ai-chan here! Just a random guest who was given the opportunity to write on JapanesePod101’s blog! ヽ(*⌒∇⌒*)ノ

    First off, a big round of applause to JapanesePod101!

    Why, you ask? Cause they are awesome!

    I started using JapanesePod101 about two months ago and I LOVE it!
    To be honest, I was never the type to learn from websites or apps because I always find myself giving up halfway (too boring). So I took the Japanese classes offered in my university and learning it directly from a teacher was the best. Unfortunately, it had to come to an end when I graduated last year. Unable to give up on my passion for the language, I tried all sorts of method to keep learning Japanese…from playing Japanese games to reading Japanese novels. I think that this is good practice but it feels like something’s still missing. So I talked to a close friend of mine, and she recommended JapanesePod101.

    I was reluctant to try it out at first because I was expecting it to be the same as the things I had before, but since my friend was going on and on about how easy and fun it is, I gave it a shot. Guess what? I was so WRONG!

    Here’s why I LOVE JapanesePod101 :

    1. They have TONS of resources! I learnt a lot because they cover a wide selection of topics. I find it really useful that they try to use daily life experiences as examples, because you can actually use them and apply them in real life.
    2. They have really awesome audio lessons! I love how their teaching is not limited to just telling you how it is pronounced and what it means, but also some interesting cultural facts related to the topic.
    3. The hosts from the lessons are very entertaining! That’s definitely one of the reasons why I have been using it for two months. The lessons are never boring! It’s what keeps me going back and wanting to learn more! If it had been like the lessons I used before, I wouldn’t even last a week.
    4. Their app is so useful! It’s also really easy to use, and being able to learn Japanese wherever and whenever using my iPhone at my own pace is just awesome! I take the train for an hour every day to get to work, and listening to the podcasts just makes commuting enjoyable.
    5. The dialogues for each lesson comes with the Japanese characters (hiragana/katakana/kanji), English translations, and also the romanji. I find this really helpful because I can learn word by word, including about what each one means and how it is spelt and read.
    6. They update their contents very regularly. There’s always something new to learn! (I followed their Twitter and Facebook as well, which means more updates and more to learn!!)

    There’s actually so much more that I could say about how great it is but rather than just listening to my side of the story, why not experience it yourself? It’s free to sign up anyway, so why not? ┐(´∇`)┌

    Click here to visit JapanesePod101!

    Thank you so much for the awesome opportunity and I hope everyone enjoys learning with JapanesePod101 as much as I do! 😀

    5 Tips To Motivate Yourself While Learning A Second Language

    5 Tips to Motivate Yourself

    1. Schedule your time.

    One of the most important factors in keeping your motivation up is developing it into a habit. Whether it be 20 minutes or 3 hours, schedule time to study every day and stick to it. Regular exposure solidifies what you learn and keeps you progressing. To make sure you stick to your routine, a great idea is to build a schedule for your day and decide that every day/Monday/weekend, you study from 6pm to 8pm. Just remember that 30 minutes a day, every day, is better than a binge 8-hour study session at the end of the week (though it’s obviously better than nothing).

    2. Learn a word a day with our great Word of the Day learning tool.

    Trying to learn everything at once and getting overwhelmed by the sheer number of words in your new language is not a good idea. Sometimes, even if you do learn new words, you forget them quickly because you haven’t heard them enough in context. As mentioned above, daily exposure to new words is an important factor in solidifying your target language. Our Word of the Day tool delivers you daily words and phrases, shows you how to pronounce them and use them in different contexts. Since you can get the WOTD via email, Facebook, or Twitter, this is a passive way of learning a language that fits into your existing daily social media routine. It only takes 3 minutes to review a word and practice its pronunciation, so you can do it on the way to work, in the gym, or even before you go to bed.

    Click here to get the Japanese Word of the Day for FREE!

    3. Make friends!

    Make friends!

    If there’s a community of people who speak the language you want to learn in your city, start attending those events! Friendship is the easiest way to get comfortable with the slang, intonation, and mannerisms of a new language. The key to learning any language is speaking a lot, so try to find a native speaker who can be your conversation partner. Having friends that speak your target language means that you will find yourself in situations where you have no choice but to speak that language. But since they are your friends, you will be doing things you enjoy with them. So these situations will probably have little or no stress. These friendships will also mean that you have someone you can ask about language, culture, and so on.

    4. Take a break!

    Break time

    If you’re having an off day or if your brain is already tired of studying, see if you can take a break and do something fun AND useful. Comic books, illustrated stories, and cartoons are a fun way to keep learning while reducing the target language text load for weary eyes. Plus, the images help you plant lasting seeds of memory, as researchers say humor opens up cognitive doors. This is a way to keep the target language active in your brain without the strain of studying a textbook.

    For example, if you’re studying Japanese, watching anime is a fantastic way to improve your language skill in a fun, light manner.

    Check out this article from our blog about 5 anime series that are useful to watch for Japanese learners.

    Don’t get stuck with the same content though. When things start to bore you, move on. Change up your books, movies, anime, music, dramas, and so on when they start getting old.

    5. Don’t give up!

    As with any goal, there are going to be pitfalls along the way. You’d have to be incredibly determined to never have an off-day or consider giving up. And when you do it’s ok, but the important thing is to pick yourself up after this temporary setback and keep going. Knowing you’ve overcome a few obstacles is only going to make the moment you have your first conversation in another language that much sweeter. Like the Japanese proverb says, ‘Fall down seven times, stand up eight.’

    If you need more motivation, check out this list of the Top 10 Inspirational Quotes in Japanese.

    5 Benefits of Learning a New Language

    5 Benefits of Learning a New Language

    “To have another language is to possess a second soul.” – Charlemagne

    Learning a new language is an achievement anyone can be proud of and it’s exciting and beneficial at all ages. It offers many practical, intellectual and aspirational benefits. A wave of new research shows the incredible psychological benefits of learning a second language. These benefits extend far beyond being able to order a cup of coffee abroad or ask directions to your hotel.

    1. Learning a Foreign Language Boosts Brain Power

    Medical studies have shown the positive effect learning a second language has on the brain. A foreign language is a whole new system with distinct rules, etymology, and meaning, which are just a few of the complexities of a language. Learning a new one puts the brain to work by recognizing this new language structure. As the brain works out meaning and makes full use of this new arsenal to express ideas, it sharpens its reading, negotiation, and problem-solving skills. The fact is, language centers in the brain actually grow in the process of learning a second language.

    Boost your brain power!

    2. Stave off Alzheimer’s and Dementia

    Knowing a second language can postpone the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s by 4.5 years. This is significantly better than the best Alzheimer’s drugs, which can only delay symptoms by 6-12 months. Brain scans have found a noticeable difference in the brain activity of bilingual seniors. Their brains work much more efficiently, more like those of young adults. Scientists believe these seniors’ brains have more reserve brain power that helps compensate for age-related memory loss.

    Click here to learn how to introduce yourself in Japanese!

    Want to learn how to introduce yourself in Japanese?
    Click here to check out this FREE Japanese video!

    3. Improved First Language

    As we go about our everyday lives, we rarely give a second thought to our own grammatical structure and vocabulary. However, when learning a new language, many people find they have a greater understanding of their first language. Learning a foreign language draws your focus to the mechanics of language: grammar, conjugations, and sentence structure. This makes you more aware of language, and the ways it can be structured and manipulated. These skills can make you a more effective communicator and a sharper editor and writer.

    4. Boost Your Memory

    We know that people who speak more than one language fluently have better memories and are more cognitively creative and mentally flexible than people who are monolingual. The more the brain is used, the better its functions work. Learning a new language structure entails becoming familiar with vocabulary and rules, and applying this memorized information to communication. This strengthens your memory because your brain’s ability to associate information with mnemonics has been boosted, and it is better at retaining information.

    5. Improve Understanding of the World

    A language is a doorway to a particular culture. Learning a new language enables a person to have a broader understanding of that culture. You will have access to a whole new array of film, music, and literature, and a greater understanding of the history and culture of the nation – and ultimately, a better understanding of the way the world works, including politics and international relations. You will be able to connect through books, TV, and the Internet and converse with a whole country’s worth of people, which broadens your horizons, interests, and views. A whole new world will be open to you.

    Click here to learn new and unique Japanese vocabulary and phrases with FREE Vocabulary Lists!

    Open up to a while new world.

    Too Convenient?

    Many listeners tell us when and where they listen to our podcasts.  At school, in the car, while walking their dogs, on the train, etc. But maybe sometimes it’s TOO convenient…  Simon wrote in to tell us where he has listened to our podcast and about a time when he made a funny mistake while living with a host family in Japan.

    “I’m an avid fan of Japanese Pod 101. I love the lessons and I listen to them at every opportunity I get (including on the toilet! Whoops – too much information!).

    Anyway, here’s my Japanese learning story:

    I was very privileged to do home stay for nine months the first time I lived in Japan (about 8 years ago). My home stay family were wonderful and they went out of their way to make me feel welcome and at home. I still keep in touch with them today.

    I always tried to use humble language with them (kenson no keigo). Far example, whenever I left the house I would say “Itte maerimasu!” instead of the more usual “Itte kimasu!”.

    One day, I was heading out and I needed a plastic bag to carry some things in. So I went to my host mother and asked her in the politest way that I knew how, ‘Ofukuro ga hoshi desu!’. I didn’t realize the blunder that I had made until a few days later my host mother explained that ‘ofukuro’ means ‘mother’! Amazingly, at the time she kept a straight face and handed me a bag! lol

    Thanks for helping me avoid more of these funny mistakes!”

    Great story Simon, I think we all share the embarrassment of saying something like that before.   And in the future, try to take a few breaks while studying! 😉

    Get a Head Start Learning

    When did you start learning Japanese?  High school? College? Or as a hobby after work each evening?

    One of our listeners, Zach, couldn’t wait and started when he was 11 years old!  He really loves studying Japanese and was VERY enthusiastic to tell us his story:

    “Konnichiwa, I’m Zach. I’m 12 years old, from the Philippines.

    Zach, one of our youngest listeners of JapanesePod101!I started learning Japanese last March. I was influenced by my friend Ki-el who was already 16 years old. When he told me of Japanese I was very thrilled. He introduced to me katakana and hiragana.  We learned Japanese together, practiced katakana and hiragana together, and I even helped him learn kanji.

    I was very addicted to Japanese that I always talked about it all the time, to my friends in school and in church, to my teachers and even my parents. I researched all over the internet and found you guys!!  I always check out your website every time you release a new episode. I even planned now to subscribe for a 1-month subscription with my friend Paul, 10 or 11 years old who also learns Japanese. I’m so excited about this  offer. I think I deserve one of those FREE subscriptions because I am DEFINITELY one of your biggest fans.”

    We were so happy to hear we have a young audience like  Zach and Paul that we decided to help them out with a free Premium subscription.

    How old were you when you started learning Japanese?