What have you done today?
If you’re like most people, the response isn’t that thrilling.
“I went to work.”
“I went to school.”
“I consumed disconcerting amounts of coffee that test the limits of both science and reason.”
But what if you could have a much more interesting response to that ubiquitous question?
If you’re studying Japanese, you don’t ever have to give a boring answer again.
Japanese word of the day resources can help you accomplish something interesting every day by introducing you to new Japanese words and phrases on a daily basis.
These six resources can help get your vocabulary on point while adding a little excitement to your life.
Why Use a Japanese Word of the Day Resource?
If you’re trying to expand your Japanese vocabulary, word of the day resources are a great option.
For one thing, using one makes it easier to study every day. Since these resources are designed to be used daily, they become a part of your daily routine.
After some time, you won’t even have to think about setting aside time to study—you’ll just do it.
By using word of the day resources, you’ll also encounter words you might not otherwise think to study.
Of course, you’ll see plenty of common words. But you may also run into some weird Japanese words that are fun and totally usable but you’d never think to learn without your word of the day resource pointing you in the right direction.
Word of the day resources also allow you to fit a little learning into every day. If you want to learn Japanese fast, daily study is one of the best ways to do so. It helps keep your language skills strong and ensures that you don’t backslide.
And these resources take so little time that you can fit a bit of studying into even the busiest day.
How to Get the Most from Every Japanese Word of the Day
Subscribe to word of the day email lists to get learning in your inbox.
A lot of online word of the day resources offer an email subscription, so go ahead and sign up.
If you’re getting words delivered straight to your inbox, it’ll make them even easier to remember to study and save you those valuable seconds it takes to visit your favorite website or app for your daily Japanese word.
Consider using multiple resources if you want to learn faster.
If you’re prepared to spend a little more time expanding your vocabulary, consider using multiple word of the day resources.
Each resource offers different kinds of vocabulary. Sure, you may occasionally encounter a word you’ve already learned, but that’ll only help to reinforce it.
Plus, if you use multiple resources, it’s easy to fit them into different parts of your schedule. For instance, use one at breakfast, one at lunch and one at dinner. A delicious Japanese word is part of a balanced meal!
Try using the words you learn immediately.
Don’t wait to try out your new word. If you learned some food vocabulary, try using it the next time you visit your kitchen. Learn clothing vocabulary? That’s a perfect excuse to go shopping for clothes so that you can mumble it to yourself and hope the salespeople don’t judge you for it—or, if you’re in a Japanese-speaking place, practice on the salespeople!
Regardless of how you do it, using the vocabulary you’ve learned immediately will help reinforce what you learned and prepare you to use it in conversation.
Learn the words in context.
Learning new vocabulary in isolation isn’t the best idea: Sure, you’ll learn to recognize the word if you see or hear it somewhere, but you might not be able to actually use it.
Make full use of the sample sentences each resource below includes with its word of the day, then give it even more context by looking it up on FluentU.
FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons. By using this program, you’ll get a chance to hear new words in many different contexts, the way real native speakers actually use them.
Additionally, you’ll be able to add words to your vocabulary list and get tested on how well you remember them with adaptive quizzes that learn along with you. Pairing the word of the day resources below with FluentU is a powerful combination!
6 Japanese Word of the Day Resources to Spice Up Your Daily Routine
This handy physical resource is a printed set of practice sheets, formatted much like a page-a-day calendar, complete with a year’s worth of daily kanji practice. However, since this pad doesn’t attach specific dates to words, it’s easy to just pick up where you left off even if you miss a day.
Each entry provides stroke order instructions to write the kanji, its meanings and readings as well as two examples of the kanji used in a compound.
Since you’re not learning specific words but rather kanji, this means you’ll be able to recognize and read it in any words you see it in. It’s learning that packs a punch!
Additionally, each sheet is edged by boxes in which you can practice writing the kanji of the day.
The entries start relatively simple and get more complex as you go on. It’s such a painless way to practice kanji that you might be sad when you finish the entire pad.
But don’t get too sad! “Kanji a Day Practice Pad Volume 2” was created so you can ramp up the difficulty and keep the learning ball rolling.
Okay, this is kind of cheating: This isn’t a word a day but a phrase a day. But it’s still pretty awesome.
Brought to you by the same publisher as “Kanji a Day Practice Pad,” this pad offers a very similar format, but with a focus on phrases rather than kanji.
Designed for intermediate Japanese students, this practice pad focuses on teaching useful phrases that’ll help with everyday situations if you ever visit Japan.
Each sheet features the Japanese phrase, the English transliteration (in romaji), the translation of the phrase as well as any relevant Japanese cultural notes associated with it.
As an awesome bonus, buying the pad gives you access to online audio recordings of each phrase so you’re never in doubt about how to pronounce something.
If you prefer to enjoy your Japanese word a day from the comfort of your phone, the Japanese Word of the Day app is a terrific option.
This app was crafted by someone living in Japan and features real words you might encounter, including some less common vocabulary that’s useful to know.
Each word comes with usage examples and audio pronunciation to help you practice. You can also enable notifications so you never forget to study.
Want to reinforce what you’ve learned? Quizzes are available to test your knowledge.
And guess what? You can even use the app offline so that you can study Japanese without piling up data bills higher than Mount Fuji itself.
It’s free. It’s versatile. And it’s daily.
No one can claim that Innovative Language’s Japanese word of the day isn’t darn close to perfect.
Each entry comes with everything you could possibly want to know about the Japanese word on display, including: an audio pronunciation, an associated image, the word spelled in kana, examples of phrases and sentences that use that word and audio pronunciation of the examples.
Plus, you can sign up to receive emails with a word-of-the-day mini lesson to fill your inbox with great learning material.
If you want to spread the Japanese love, you can also share the word of the day on social media or even embed it in your own personal website.
Prefer a simple, refined format? Transparent Language provides a Japanese word of the day with a soothing, minimalist aesthetic. All the better to focus on the word itself!
Every day, Transparent Language provides a Japanese word along with its audio, romaji reading, translation and what part of speech it is.
After that, you also get an example sentence that uses the word, complete with its own audio pronunciation, reading and translation. Use this as a chance to learn the word in context and study how it’s actually used in conversation.
You can share the word of the day on Twitter, have it delivered to you via email or subscribe to the RSS feed.
While CosCom’s word of the day isn’t updated daily, boy is it good when it is!
Each entry generally features several words, usually based around a similar theme, like days of the week or easily confused homonyms.
But that’s not what’s exciting here.
The exciting part is that each word is available in romaji, kana and kanji, and you can easily toggle between each option, allowing to connect the variations in your mind. This feature also makes the website a great choice for learners who are specifically studying spoken Japanese.
New words are usually added weekly.
So what have you done today?
These six Japanese word of the day resources can help you answer: “I took a step closer to Japanese fluency.”
And that’s something to be excited about!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Japanese with real-world videos.