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The Top 5 Shortcuts To Learning Japanese!

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Hey Listeners!

So you’ve decided to study Japanese, now what?

Chances are you’re looking to become fluent and conversational as fast as possible, right? Well then, look no further! This is the list for you!

Without further ado, here are the top 5 shortcuts to learning Japanese!

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1. Create A Study Schedule And Set Some Goals:
This one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many unorganized language learners there are in the world! Creating a schedule allows you to manage your time wisely, enabling you to free up time to study consistently. Goals are also a key component of learning Japanese. These give you motivation and something to strive for.

2. Make It Fun:
You may roll your eyes at this one, but it’s true! If you learn how to make your study time enjoyable, chances are you’ll be more inclined to study! Try changing it up every now and then with something new. Watch a TV show in Japanese or listen to some Japanese music! The sky is the limit!

3. Find A Language Partner:
This is one surefire way to improve your conversational skills. Having a language partner allows you to practice your target language in a conversational manner. This will help you gain fluency even faster!

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4. Use Word Lists To Build Up A Solid Vocabulary:
This is a great way to build up your fluency, one word at a time. At JapanesePod101, you can use one of our many word lists. Choose whichever topic you want to study and go!

5. Make Mistakes:
Lastly, don’t be afraid to make mistakes! In fact, make a lot of them! Nothing helps you improve more than correcting your own errors. If you catch yourself saying something wrong, you’re likely to remember it the next time around. So just remember, everyone makes mistakes! Learn from them!

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Again, there is no magical, overnight way to learn Japanese. However, doing a few or all of these will help you out substantially. And remember, if you’re really interested in getting on the fast-track to fluency, sign up for a FREE lifetime account at now!

Top 5 Japanese Pop Culture Icons

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Japan is a country rich in pop culture, which has spread all around the world and had a big influence. Popular culture changes quickly and drastically, but who are the biggest icons from Japanese Pop Culture in recent years? Here is our Top 5!

1. ハローキティ – Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty, also known as Kitī-chan in Japanese, is one of the major characters in Japan, and a symbol of “Cute” culture. Hardcore fans of Kitty are called kitirā (キティラー). Hello Kitty is popular overseas as well. For example, celebrities like Paris Hilton, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga are known to be enthusiastic Kitty fans.

2. AKB48

AKB48 is currently the most popular idol group in Japan, and known for the fact that they have many overseas fans as well. Working from the concept of “idols whose fans can meet and greet”, they have live performances at their own theater, or handshake sessions as part of their service to their fans. AKB was the first female idol group in Japan to adopt a general election system to decide on its members.

3. 初音ミク – Hatsune Miku

Many people may think of Hatsune Miku as a character with green twin ponytails. Hatsune Miku has been recognized as one of the most famous characters in the world, but the name was originally used for a synthetic vocal sound source. When they created a character of a virtual reality idol for the sound source so that it would be more realistic, it became a big hit across Japan. And not only did it become popular in the country, but it has also gained a big reputation overseas, and even performed in the first part of one of Lady Gaga’s concerts.

4. きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ – Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is a fashion icon of the Kawaii (かわいい, “cute”) style, which is highly regarded overseas, and has gone on multiple word tours. She has also been chosen as the “Harajuku Kawaii Ambassador” (Harajuku kawaii taishi, 原宿カワイイ大使) based in Harajuku, which is the center of Japanese pop culture. Although she started her career as a fashion model in Japan, she has become well-known as a singer since her first single Tsukematukeru (つけまつける) was a big hit.

5. ポケモン – Pokemon

Pocket Monsters – also known as Pokemon – have captured the hearts of children, not only in Japan, but also around the world. It all started from game software for Game Boy which was released by Nintendo in 1996. The game was so popular among both boys and girls that it became one of the biggest megahits in the Japanese game industry. This year Pokemon celebrated its 20th anniversary with a 5 million dollar commercial.

You can learn more about Japanese Culture on our site with FREE audio podcasts!

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10 Japanese Anime Words other languages want in their Dictionary

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Thanks to Japanese, we realize we miss a lot of words and expressions in our own languages. If you’re looking for Japanese words we should have in our dictionary, this list is for you!

You can hear these commonly used words in anime or dramas. They are pretty easy to understand, but when it comes to translating them or to explaining the meaning, it’s a different story! However, we tried to find the best definition for you, so arigatou for your understanding!

1. 先生 (Sensei) “Professor”

This word can be used for all the people that teach you something. A teacher, a doctor, a philosopher… everybody can be a sensei for somebody else.

2. お疲れ様 (Otsukaresama) “Good work today

After a good day of work, you can use otsukaresama as a catch-all farewell of sorts when you’re passing a coworker in the hall on the way home at the end of the day. It means that even if you’re tired, a good job has been done.

3. しょうがない (Shoganai) “Nothing can be done about it/It can’t be helped”

The Japanese phrase shoganai, or “it can’t be helped,” is an important word in Japanese. It’s often used to describe Japanese culture, thinking and values. Shoganai is essentially a philosophy. It says that if something is out of your control, it’s better to quickly accept it and move on.

4. 頂きます (Itadakimasu) “I humbly receive”

In Japan, it’s common to say itadakimasu before eating a meal. The word itadakimasu is often translated as “I humbly receive,” but when relating to food, it’s often compared to saying “Let’s eat,” “Bon appétit,” or “Thanks for the food.”

5. 猫舌 (Nekojita) “Cat’s tongue”

It’s not uncommon to see, for example, in a ramen restaurant how Japanese people enter, order, eat and leaves in just a few minutes. Some people seem to not care about something being really really hot. In Japan, people who unable to eat really hot food are called nekojita. It literally means “cat’s tongue.”

6. 木漏れ日 (Komorebi) “The light that filters through the trees”

This is the word the Japanese have for when sunlight filters through the trees – the interplay between the light and the leaves. It’s a beautiful word with a poetic meaning.

7. 上げ劣り (Ageotori) “To look worse after a haircut”

This is the horrible feeling you have after visiting the hairdresser and they totally messed up your hair!

8. ドキドキ (Dokidoki) “Onomatopoeia for heartbeat”

This is usually used to refer to the heart beating in relation to love, like how the heart beats faster when you are around that one special person. You will often find it Japanese romance anime and manga.

9. 森林浴 (Shinrinyoku) “Forest bathing”

This word is used when you get deep into the woods, where everything is silent and peaceful for relaxation.

10. バカ (Baka) “Idiot”

Do you really need an explanation?

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How many of these words did you already know?

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Top 10 most famous Japanese Food

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1. おでん。- Oden.

2. しゃぶしゃぶ。- Shabu shabu

3. 天麩羅。- Tempura.

4. 寿司。- Sushi.

5. 焼き鳥。- Yakitori.

6. 牛丼。- Gyudon.

7. 蕎麦。- Soba.

8. 餅。- Mochi.

9. 納豆。- Natto.

10. おでん。- Oden.

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Here are some handy ways you can master the quotes with this lesson:

  • Press the sound icon to hear each word and read along
  • Review all words in a slideshow by pressing “View Slideshow”
  • Listen to all the words in one lesson with “Play Audio”
  • Add the words to your Word Bank or Flashcards
  • Print the entire list out for your personal review
  • Leave us a comment and put these quotes to use
  • Speak and master even more Japanese with our fun audio and video lessons made by real teachers. Click on “Browse Lessons” in the top menu to access our massive library. Then, start speaking minutes into your lesson.

    Click Here to Learn Japanese Quotes with FREE Audio Pronunciation!

    Top 10 Hardest Words to Pronounce in Japanese

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    1. ツイッター。 – Twitter.

    2. 伝えられなかった。 – Could not tell.

    3. 侵略。 – invasion.

    4. 便利。 – Convenient.

    5. 出力。 – Output power.

    6. 店員。 – Clerk.

    7. 旅行。 – Traveling.

    8. 暖かくなかった。 – Was not warm.

    9. 駐車場。 – Parking lot.

    10. おっちょこちょい。 – Clumsy.

    Click here to access this lesson for FREE!

    Here are some handy ways you can master the quotes with this lesson:

  • Press the sound icon to hear each word and read along
  • Review all words in a slideshow by pressing “View Slideshow”
  • Listen to all the words in one lesson with “Play Audio”
  • Add the words to your Word Bank or Flashcards
  • Print the entire list out for your personal review
  • Leave us a comment and put these quotes to use
  • Speak and master even more Japanese with our fun audio and video lessons made by real teachers. Click on “Browse Lessons” in the top menu to access our massive library. Then, start speaking minutes into your lesson.

    Click Here to Learn Japanese Quotes with FREE Audio Pronunciation!

    The Top 5 Places To Travel In Japan!

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    For many Japanese learners, traveling to Japan is a main source of motivation.

    So, why not learn about the top places to visit when you get there!? Here our the top 5 places you need to visit when you go to Japan!

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    1. Kyoto
    Japan’s formal capital, Kyoto is perhaps the most historical city in the entire country. Famous for its legendary temples and ancient aesthetic, Kyoto is a must-see city in Japan. Kyoto is known around Japan as the “thousand-year capital.”

    2. Tokyo
    This one is a no-brainer. Tokyo is regarded by many as the largest city in the world. If you want to see a futuristic metropolis that looks like it’s straight out of a video game, look no further!

    3. Osaka
    Osaka is one of Japan’s largest metro areas and is a business hub. But this city offers so much more than that! With temples around every corner in addition to modern attractions, Osaka is the perfect choice for someone who feels like Tokyo is just too much.

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    4. Okinawa
    Known for it’s beautiful beaches and warm weather, Okinawa is the perfect getaway from the fast-paced life of Japan. Okinawa is compromised of over 150 islands, so there is a lot to explore! The major area of Okinawa is Naha.

    5. Sapporo
    Located in northern Japan, known as Hokkaido, Sapporo is famous for skiing and food! The city also hosts a snow festival for the winter, which is a popular event among tourists! Made sure to grab a famous bowl of ramen while you’re here!

    Introducing Our Brand New Dashboard!

    Hey Listeners!

    Guess what? Your language learning goals just got a little easier!

    As you’ve probably realized by now, there have been some major improvements made to your dashboard! These updates have been designed to improve your overall experience with the website and help keep you organized and on-track! Here are a few of the changes:

    • Your progress is now tracked right, smack in the middle of the page to keep you motivated and organized.
    • A new, sleek and easy to navigate design allows you to worry less about where to click and more on learning Japanese!
    • An enlarged profile picture that gives your dashboard a unique and more personal feel.
    • A new layout for the “Latest News” feed to keep you informed on all of the most recent updates.
    • Bigger buttons to make it easier on the eyes. Locate your all of your lessons and materials faster than ever.

    Stay tuned, as more updates are being rolled out later in the month!

    Enjoy your new dashboard,

    Team JapanesePod101

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    The Top 5 Reasons To Learn A New Language… NOW!

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    Are you currently debating whether or not to learn Japanese?

    You aren’t alone. Learning a new language requires a huge investment of time, and often money as well. That’s why so many people are hesitant to spend the amount of effort required to become fluent in another language. However, learning a new language can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life and there are a number of reasons why you should start studying one… and start studying now!

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    More Opportunities
    That’s right. It’s not rocket science. A new language can open up many new doors. You’re able to work in countries other than your own, leading to a world of new opportunities. It can also qualify you for many new jobs in your home country as well! There are tons of employers who look to hire multilingual professionals every year!

    Meeting New People
    This may be one of the most rewarding parts of learning a new language. You’ll be able to get to know speakers of other languages on a more personal level. Meeting people from around the world is one of the main reasons people begin to study a language, so don’t ever feel like making new friends isn’t a good enough reason to start studying!

    Exploring A Different Culture
    Whether you decide to live abroad, or you’re just taking a vacation, knowing the local language will give you the ability to better understand the people and culture of a different country. This can open your eyes to not only their country, but your country as well! You can understand how people see your home from their perspective.

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    Health Benefits
    Good news! Studying a new language actually comes with health benefits! Studying a new language helps keep your brain sharp! By studying every day, you’re helping your mind fight off the old age and stay fresh!

    Because It’s Fun
    When it comes down to it, learning a new language is just plain fun! There’s always something new to learn and the rewards are endless! Whether your goal is to meet new people or to get a job in a new country, language learning is something that is actually enjoyable!

    Start Learning Japanese For Free By Clicking Here!

    There are millions of reasons to learn a new language, so what are you waiting for? Dive in head first and start studying with us! You can sign up for a FREE lifetime account and start achieving your Japanese language goals today!

    3 Tactics For Boosting Your Japanese Listening Skills at JapanesePod101

    3 Tactics For Boosting Your Listening Skills

    Hello Listeners,

    When it comes to listening to and understanding Japanese, most beginners struggle. They hear the few words they know. And the rest just fly in one ear and out the other. Does this happen to you too?

    In this post,  you’re going to learn about 3 tactics that are guaranteed to sharpen your listening comprehension skills!

    1. Try Our Listening Comprehension Series

    Try Our Listening Comprehension Series!

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    This is a complete lesson series dedicated purely to testing and improving your listening skills. You can find all of the videos from this series in the “Bonus Video Lessons” section of our site! In the video lesson, you’ll hear a dialogue in your target language. Then, you’ll be asked to answer a question about the dialogue to check if you understood the sentences. There are no translations except for the subtitles, so everything you hear is in your target language!

    2. Review The Dialogue Again And Again

    Review The Dialogue Again And Again!

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    Most learners listen to a listen and simply move on, but by reviewing it again, you make sure that you fully understand what you hear. The key to fully understanding a dialogue is to review it over and over again. With our audio lessons, you get the dialogue track so you can listen to the conversation without distractions.

    3. Read Along With Our Line-By-Line Feature

    Read Along With Our Line-By-Line Feature!

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    Reading along is the best way to get the meaning instantly. With the Line-by-Line feature, or the PDF lesson notes, reading along is easier than ever! You can get the transcript of the dialogue in the target language, the transliterated version, or the translated version. This is available for all of the lessons in this series!

    With these 3 tactics, you’re sure to improve your listening comprehension skills and get one step closer to your language learning goals! Try it out and let us know what you think!

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