Reading is an extremely important part of learning a new language.
And when a particular language’s writing system is completely different from one’s native language, finding great resources for reading is a necessity.
Luckily, there are a ton of resources …
If you’ve ever attempted to learn Japanese online, chances are you’ve heard of JapanesePod101.
JapanesePod101, by Innovative Language, is one of the most well-known Japanese learning programs out there. It utilizes video and audio lessons, vocabulary lists and more …
Who doesn’t dream of studying abroad?
You get to travel, see the world, learn new things and meet new people, all while getting an education at a reputable school. If you’re a Japanese language student, what better way to get …
How often do you say “like” when you’re speaking to a friend? What about “um”?
These little space-fillers are called filler words, and they’re extremely useful for maintaining the flow of a sentence.
So, as a Japanese learner, you may …
Let’s be honest with ourselves here: Sometimes, we’re all a bit lazy.
We cancel plans to go out because we have a couch, a blanket, Netflix and a cat waiting for us after work.
We text somebody who’s literally in …
Who needs a classroom, anyway?
If you want to learn the Japanese language but don’t want to spend the gas and tuition money to go to a traditional Japanese class, you’re not alone.
What’s better than learning a new …
Don’t you just wish you could pack your TV and take it with you wherever you go?
Oh wait, you can.
Android devices have some pretty awesome television apps.
This is terrible news if you’re guilty of binge-watching your favorite …
Learning grammar is always tricky, isn’t it?
Even when you were learning your native language growing up, grammar probably presented some serious roadblocks here and there.
According to some, Americans still suck at English grammar!
If native speakers can’t …
You know that feeling when you’re trying to find that perfect app and nothing quite does the trick?
You might shrug ¯_(ツ)_/¯ and say it just can’t be helped.
Wait, what’s that? You happen to be looking for an awesome …
One of the most important phrases you can learn in any language is a genuine apology.
Imagine traveling to a different country and accidentally offending someone or making a small but substantial mistake. It happens! Social norms are so different …
Whether you’re a spring bunny or a polar bear, there’s one aspect of the weather everyone can agree on: it makes a great ice-breaker.
Awkward silence? Mention the storm coming in.
Not sure what to say on the phone to …
Introducing yourself in English is usually pretty straightforward.
It goes something like this:
“Hey there! How are you? I’m Em.”
“Hi Em, I’m Julie. Nice to meet you.”
“Nice to meet you, too.”
A handshake ensues, then small talk.
There’s one thing people around the world will always have in common—we all have fleshy, squishy mammalian bodies.
Isn’t that connection beautiful?
That being said, we also talk about those bodies constantly, no matter where we’re from.
We talk …
Doing anything on a daily basis can be hard.
Adhering to a strict skincare routine? Good luck on Friday night.
Eating healthy? Maybe for a few days, but then the craving for a pizza kicks in with a vengeance.
Learning the Japanese writing system can seem as difficult as successfully deciphering a toddler’s drawing: Nothing you have learned this far prepares you for it, and making a mistake can have drastic consequences.
Japanese writing looks completely different from English …
Japanese is a pretty incredible language.
It sounds pretty. It’s a unique language. It has words that don’t even exist in English.
And yet, when some people consider learning Japanese head-on, they quickly get spooked away. It’s no …
You’re a social butterfly.
You don’t have time to study thousands of kanji or obsess over the use of every Japanese punctuation mark.
You just want to learn how to speak Japanese, so you can get right into …
We talk about animals a lot more than we realize.
We have our lion’s share of animal idioms, we give humans animal characteristics and we gush about our pets.
Maybe you watch adorable cat Vine compilation videos online. If …
Have you ever wondered what that weird little circle is at the ends of Japanese sentences?
Are you lost in the sea of parentheses and brackets sprinkled into the Japanese text on websites and social media?
What do all …
Videos have become a part of just about everyone’s life.
Whether we’re scrolling through YouTube, binging a Netflix show or absorbing the latest political news through social media, we watch videos pretty often.
Thirty minutes a day on average, …
When’s the last time you went a full day without typing something?
Typing is practically second nature to us these days.
We’re texting, writing essays, working online gigs, exchanging ideas and sometimes (or a lot of the time) having arguments …
When you first started learning Japanese, you were probably taken aback by all the different writing methods the language boasts.
Who wouldn’t be a little overwhelmed? After all, English has one alphabet. One!
It can be pretty daunting to …
Do you have a nickname?
Your friends might call you one thing after an incident you wish everyone would forget already.
Maybe your family calls you something else entirely, and no one knows why or how it got started.
The particular smell of a breeze in late autumn.
A deep love for books that dips into the philosophical.
Daydreams and nostalgia.
Words have the power to evoke all those feelings.
And in Japanese, there are words for all the …
You’ve probably seen blog titles like this before.
“Get Fluent in an Hour!”
“Learn 5,000,000 Kanji in Two Days!”
“Absorb the Knowledge of an Ancient God in 10 Easy Steps!”
These wild promises are pretty ridiculous.
Mostly because there’s …
“I’ll never date another apostrophe. The last one was too possessive.”
Ha! Get it? Did you laugh or groan?
I bet you groaned.
But you have to admit: Puns are funny because they’re just so bad.
Whether they come from …
Love is in the air!
Yell it loud and proud!
Express it with romantic phrases!
Isn’t love wonderful?
Maybe you’re planning to drop the L-bomb to a beloved who speaks Japanese. Or perhaps you simply want to broaden …
Human beings greet each other a lot.
We greet our significant others in the morning, our friends and coworkers during the day and new people when we go out to parties or other events.
We greet the people who …
You might never need to use the word “defenestration” in a sentence, but it sure is a great word to know, right?
Japanese also has words like this: slightly more difficult and obscure, but definitely good to know.…
Who doesn’t love playing a good game?
Games provide us with a way to escape from reality and to have some fun during our downtime.
But believe it or not, games can also be great teachers.
Learning with games—especially …
Put the kettle on and settle down in your comfiest chair.
It’s time for a 休憩 (きゅうけい) — break.
Here at FluentU, we write a lot of articles to help you improve your fluency in whatever language you’re interested in.…
It’s been a long road, but you’ve finally made it.
You’re officially an advanced Japanese learner.
The journey has probably been a difficult one but ultimately incredibly rewarding.
Celebrate! Be proud of yourself! Far too many don’t get to …
Is the act of reading a good book finally dying out?
We firmly believe that it isn’t.
However, we definitely can see why curling up with a good book is a bit harder to manage nowadays.
Between work, school and …
YouTube isn’t just a place to watch people eat copious amounts of food or play video games.
It’s also a fantastic resource for learning a new language.
We’re not just talking about watching Japanese lessons on YouTube, either (though …
Nobody likes to be stuck in the middle.
Middle school? Middle of a work shift? Middle seat in the back of a car?
And nothing makes you feel stuck in the middle like being an intermediate language learner…
You know what they say!
The best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
And the best way to teach someone a valuable lesson is with a quirky proverb.
What is it about idioms and proverbs that find …
Let’s make a pretty bold guess here:
Did getting hooked on アニメ (あにめ) — anime make you want to learn Japanese?
There’s no shame in that. In fact, anime’s been a gateway for Westerners becoming interested in Japanese culture for …
Let’s not kid around.
Japanese comedy can be… strange.
But in a good way.
There’s not much else like it and Western comedy really can’t match the ironic surrealism of Japan’s token comedy styles.
If you’re a Westerner who …
Everything is better when you don’t have to leave the house.
Work, food, parties, language learning.
So what can you do to minimize your no-pajama-wearing time and still learn Japanese?
You might already be learning with courses, classes and …
Confession: I have a crush on a Japanese man.
Well, not a crush exactly.
More like an intense reverence for his music and talents.
I first saw this gentleman perform in his band at a venue a few years …
It’s in anime.
It’s on Japanese television.
Even some of our Western admirers have appropriated it.
Yep, we’re talking about 可愛い (かわいい) — “cute,” known phonetically as “kawaii.”
Whether you’ve been learning Japanese for years or just have a …