Resources Guide
Table of Concepts

DJT Guide Resources

This is an appendix to the DJT guide. Commonly recommended resources are marked with an . There is no "correct" way of learning, so you should try out the resources appropriate for your level and see which one you feel is best.








Table of Contents

Learning Resources

Useful Learning Tools










Learning Resources

Kana

Kana Teacher - Tests kana recognition. The recommended procedure for learning kana. Just grind until you know them. Does not teach stroke order or pronunciation. Optimal for pounding the readings into your head quickly.

Anki - Hiragana deck. Katakana and Hiragana deck: See Anki section of the first sheet in the Cornucopia of Resources.

Wikibooks - Has stroke order and other resources. The stroke order is quite useful, although the mnemonics are not so much.

Tae Kim - This site has a ton on kana, includes a video lesson, stroke order, as well as a pronunciation guide.

Memrise - Offers various SRS courses including kana courses which are perhaps the only thing the site does well in regards to the Japanese language. If Kana Teacher isn’t cutting it, give this a whirl. Way better than just attempting to remember them. By all means, use Kana Teacher.

Remembering the Kana - It only takes about 6 hours to learn both hiragana and katakana alongside it because it provides mental images with the kana to ensure you remember. Download the book and/or follow this video series made by an RTK forum member.

Kanji

Remembering the Kanji (RTK) by Heisig - A book that teaches kanji in an order based on the radicals of each character. It starts you off with simple shapes and gradually goes into more complex ones. It teaches stroke order and makes up pretty fancy mnemonic stories to help you memorize the kanji easier. It does not teach the readings until the second volume nor does it tell you how the kanji are used in context. (Most people do not use the second volume and instead learn readings through vocabulary.) As such, this method expects you to learn all the common characters before even getting started on learning vocabulary. Of course, you can still start learning vocabulary while doing Heisig.

KanjiDamage - Another kanji resource that uses a radical-based order. Unlike Heisig’s method it also teaches the readings and gives you examples of common words that use those kanji (great for adding them to your Anki deck right away). Take the introduction on the site with a grain of salt, as it isn’t very accurate, or is just plain wrong, as is the case with some other areas on the site, but that in no way makes this a bad resource in regards to learning. You may want to simply use the shared deck for Anki (see Cornucopia of Resources) instead of the website in tandem with another vocabulary deck in order to build up a big cache of words quickly.

Kyouiku - A subset of 1006 of the jouyou kanji that is taught in primary school. Has many simple words in the beginning (the numbers, elements of nature, body parts). Usually ordered by grade.

GeneticKanji - Slightly undeveloped alternative to the liberal ranting, poor jokery and the downright misinformation in KanjiDamage. It is presented in a fashion of frequency while covering the individual elements that make up a given kanji. In GeneticKanji’s approach, you would be taught all the subcomponents of these common kanji, and then the common kanji themselves, effectively combining both approaches.

The Kodansha Kanji Learner's Course - A book that uses a similar mnemonic approach to RTK, but also includes vocabulary and readings. Each entry includes 4 or 5 vocabulary words to illustrate the kanji's meanings and readings. These words consist only of previously learned kanji. Use it with an Anki deck such as this one .

Kanji Radical (Primitive) - Contains all 214 radicals, their alternative forms (which may be used more often or even exclusively instead of the 'proper' form), their meaning (which is sometimes related to the kanji they appear in) and their Japanese readings. Has both recognition and recall cards. You should read the deck page which has additional important information.

All in One Kanji Deck - Probably the best rote kanji deck on AnkiWeb's shared decks page. Contains 3278 kanji with recall-type cards and 3730 kanji with recognition-type cards. Additional information in the deck includes kunyomi and onyomi readings, example words using the kanji (may help you get a better feel for its meaning), which radicals and/or other kanji appear any given kanji, JLPT grade, Jouyou grade, stroke count, mnemonics, and more. You should read the deck page which has additional important information.

Vocabulary

Anki Shared Decks - This is highly recommended to learn vocabulary. Obviously, you will need Anki to use it. There are decks, you may search for them and see which one will best suit your needs. The most commonly recommended vocabulary deck is Core 2k/6k.

Rikaisama's Anki Real-Time Import Feature - An invaluable tool for creating a mining deck. Allows you to automatically create cards in Anki simply by hovering over a word and pressing "r". Here is a pastebin explaining how to use it since a lot of people in the threads seem to get confused.

Grammar

Tae Kim - This is the most commonly used guide on DJT because it is faster than the others listed here. Use the grammar guide, not the “complete guide” (which is incomplete). Tae Kim only has exercises in the beginning, after which there are no exercises to work on.

Japanese the Manga Way - This book teaches grammar through examples from actual Japanese manga, breaking down each sentence into its components to explain the meaning. It covers most of the same material as Tae Kim with less technical language, and will teach you enough grammar to begin reading.

Dictionaries of Japanese Grammar (DOJG) - A collection of three books, Basic, Intermediate and Advanced. As the name implies, these are dictionaries rather than guides. It goes in-depth into the various grammar rules, more so than virtually any other resource.

Genki - Genki tends to be more comprehensive than Tae Kim, and it has exercises that you can practice. This works as an engaging way to learn new grammar points, which may help drill grammar rules into your mind. The obvious downside is speed, of course. This resource can be found on the bottom of the pastebin.

Visualizing Japanese Grammar - A series of videos that lucidly explain the basics of Japanese grammar. Each grammar concept has a quiz to test your understanding. The videos can also be downloaded from the CoR .

Imabi - Written by a guy with a linguistics degree. More factually accurate and comprehensive than Tae Kim's guide, but its length and abundant use of linguistics terminology may make it unsuitable for complete beginners and/or people who would like to just quickly get basic grammar down and move onto reading. Those who plan on doing Core2K before they start reading, however, should have ample time (~3 months) to get through it before they finish that deck. While it has some flaws as a beginner’s guide, it can be very useful as a reference resource, especially for things which aren't covered in Tae Kim's guide.

An introduction to Japanese - Syntax, Grammar & Language - There are many words in each chapter (six chapters add up to a few hundred pages in the print version), so take it easy, maybe divide the work into subsections. Chapter 2 is when the actual grammar lessons start.

Japanese Pod 101 - A free (mostly) castpod-like teaching Japanese grammar, vocabulary and culture. There is a 1 week free-trial to pdf containing tips and other features, like flashcards with lesson’s vocabulary. Good for storing in your phone and listening while in idle activities, buses, walks, etc. A large collection of lessons can be found here.

JLPT Grammar List - List of all the grammar that you need to know for JLPT 5 to JLPT 1.

Practice

Reading

Reading List - This is a list of books, games and manga which we have compiled. You can sort through the list by skill, platform, etc. We recommend you have a look, regardless of skill level. Please contribute anything you read as well to it so it can become a better resource. A particularly detailed summary is not needed.

Yotsuba Reading Pack - This pack is designed for beginners who have just started reading. This is an accompaniment to the first two volumes of Yotsubato. This includes a vocabulary list and a pre-made Anki deck. Yotsubato! is a manga that is often recommended to beginners. Note that, if you don’t want to do the deck, following along the HTML file is still very helpful for slang.

Aozora - This site contains a collection of (mostly) Classic Japanese literature. This site is mainly for advanced readers and not recommended for beginners. Here’s some good recommendations of famous Japanese authors.

Asenheim - Another site for playing visual novels. Features older, officially released Visual novels.

Anime & TV

Kitsunekko - This site has a selection of Japanese subtitles for popular (anime) shows. The timing often does not match up with most available downloads, but you can try to retime it in a subtitle editing program or just look at it in the editor to compare with what you hear. There is a spreadsheet with shows and their subtitle delay, please fill in whatever you find out while using Japanese subtitles.

D-Addicts - This is a great site to find Dorama with subtitles. (Other Asian dramas are also here, fyi)

Fengyunzhibo - This site is a good, easy place to watch some TV. It’s a Chinese streaming site, but it has Japanese channels, which are of good quality for streams. Lately it does not seem to be working, though occasionally in the past this would happen and then it would later become accessible again. Regardless a proxy/VPN could be used if necessary. If you know of any similar sites, please make a comment about them.

Wjj Media Box - Another site for watching Japanese TV

Mov3 - A Chinese site like Fengyunzhibo specializing in Japanese TV.

Moko Reloaded - A site with 30 Japanese TV channels to stream.

Listening & Production

Lang-8 - Here, you can write journal entries which are corrected by Japanese natives, and in return, you correct theirs. This is a great way to increase your writing/production ability and also meet people to talk to.

Jpopsuki - Great place to get and find any Japanese/Asian music, not just jpop. Requires that you get an account by either applying for one, or by having someone invite you. Sometimes you will be unable might ask for a referral either in the threads or on /mu/. If you do have someone refer you, make sure to keep a good ratio, because failing to do so could cause that person to apply for one, so if you want access, youn to lose their account (as well as yours), since all those you refer are considered to be under your responsibility.

Skypech - Here’s a site for finding some natives on Skype to talk to. This a Japanese site for Japanese people, so do not misunderstand and think that everyone here has an interest in learning English.

Niconico - A site with lots of Japanese videos and also a section for streamers if you want to see what a native sounds like. Ideal if you don’t want to actually commit to interacting with another person.

Radio shows - Radio shows provide a variety of themes and people speaking. But people also speak at a natural or even fast pace. Recommended for advanced listeners or people simply interested in listening to radio.

Other

Nyaa - If you type in the Japanese name, you can find the raw version of whatever media you are looking for most of the time. If what you’re looking for is ero, use this. Note that most VNs will contain ero, and sometimes even non-ero VNs are uploaded to Sukebei instead of the main site.

Videos

Namasensei's Japanese lessons (YouTube) - Covers fairly little material but is a fun and very motivating introduction to the language for people who are just starting out. You bitch.

Steve Kaufmann (YouTube) - Channel maintained by a Canadian polyglot who knows about a dozen languages and lived in Japan for close to 10 years. Contains lots of useful tips for language learning in general. Some recommended videos: 1, 2, 3

nihongonomori (YouTube) - Channel apparently run by a group of Koreans with a bunch of video lessons on Japanese. Quite a lot of them seem to be related to studying for the JLPT exams. According to the anon who suggested the channel "[the] Learn Japanese Grammar 1 playlist is ok. It has a better explanation of particles than [Tae Kim's guide], but the stuff on verbs & adjectives are not given enough time."

LearningJapanese (YouTube) - Most of the videos are break-downs of sentences taken from Chinese Cartoons where the guy explains how all the grammar and vocabulary in the sentence fits together to produce its meaning. There seem to be other videos on the channel where the guy just talks about certain aspects of the language too.

Let's Learn Japanese Basic I / Basic II - A video series produced by The Japan Foundation, the first season in the mid-1980s, and the second season 10 years later. Apparently covers similar material to what can be found in Genki and Tae Kim's guide.







Useful Learning Tools

Typing Japanese

Input Method Editor (IME) - It will allow you to type in Japanese using your keyboard. Required.

(Note: Both Mac and Windows have IME’s already pre-installed but it’s not as featureful as Google IME.)

Google IME (Windows, Mac OS) - Google IME generally includes a larger collection of words, inclusive of internet slang. The downside, however, is that its handwriting recognition is rather lacking (see ”sljfaq” below). To switch between romaji and kana press alt+` (just above tab key). Ctrl + Caps Lock for hiragana, hold shift while in hiragana mode to type in katakana. Alt + Caps is katakana. Shift + Caps reverts back to hiragana. This does not affect Caps Lock. You can also press F7 after typing something in hiragana to switch it to katakana without changing mode. Protip: Type in kaomoji and hit space. Alternatively: read this article.

Mozc (Chromium OS, Android, Windows, Mac OS, GNU/Linux) - This is a project that stems from Google IME, except that it is available on a greater number of operating systems.

If you have any trouble with Mozc for GNU/Linux read this.

Packages also exist in Fedora, Debian, GNU/Linux Mint, and. For Arch, it‘s available in the AtwUR.

iBus - (GNU/Linux) - If you use (K/X/L)Ubuntu, you probably already have it. You just need to install the Japanese IME packages using the language support in the settings and select iBus as your keyboard input method system. You can select the keys to press to change the keyboard layout or do it manually using the icon on the panel. For the rest of us that don’t use Ubuntu or its variants, you can probably find iBus in the official repositories of your distribution. You can make iBus autostart when you boot by adding ibus-daemon to your ~/.xinitrc. And you will probably want to add & to the end, ala: ibus-daemon & (also your windows manager might have it’s own autostart file, use that instead) that you can find in your Home folder.

Anki

Flashcard software. Also available for mobile.

Anki - Anki is a flashcard program which uses a method called spaced repetition to drill information into your head. You can download premade decks. It shows you a set amount of new cards each day (default 20) and will show you the same cards again when you are most likely to forget them, which is predicted through algorithms. This program has a lot of features that can’t be covered here, so Read The Fucking Manual if you wish to totally utilize Anki. You can also get this on your mobile device and sync your deck between both versions. The official App Store version costs money (to support the devs) so you might just want to use Safari in that case instead.

There are programs and add-ons that further increase its usefulness, see: Morph Man, subs2srs, and many more. A popular add-on worth mentioning is Kanji Grid, which allows you to visualise your progress through the kanji and may help to keep you motivated in your struggle with them.

If you use GNU/Linux and you want to change the size of the Japanese characters, you need to install the appropriate Japanese fonts, if you don’t have them. Two high-quality fonts which should be available in the repositories of most distros are the IPA Gothic & Mincho fonts developed by Japan’s Information-technology Promotion Agency (the package in your distro’s repo should come with proportional variants, IPAPGothic and IPAPMincho respectively, which have kerning and thus should be more visually-pleasing), and the Noto CJK fonts developed by Google (note that the latin glyphs in the Noto CJK font are different from those in the ordinary Noto font). Even Windows users should consider switching to these fonts as Microsoft’s own Gothic and Mincho fonts are quite poor. For more fonts, see this and this.

Anki is highly customizable, and you may change whatever you see fit to match your learning style, but for a quick start into learning vocabulary with Anki, the procedure in DJT’s Anki start-up guide is recommended.

Core6K/10K/5K index - This site lets you browse the contents of various popular Anki decks online.

Dictionaries

Use these to look up words. Jisho and Tangorin also have kanji lookup.

Rikaisama - (Firefox) - This is a tool that shows you equivalent or close meanings (in English) of Japanese words in plaintext format, by hovering over them. Has many useful features such as audio playback and the ability to save words to a file or import it straight into Anki.

Rikaikun - (Chrome) - Essentially an unfortunately inferior clone of Rikaichan, but still serviceable enough if you just can’t let go of the botnet.

Jisho - Online J>E/E>J dictionary. It also contains information on kanji including a order, readings, etc. You can also search a kanji by handwriting or its radicals if you don’t know the correct stroke order.

Weblio - Principally a Japanese to English lookup resource, and consequently a decent source for Japanese > English phrases.

Tangorin - Another online dictionary with information on kanji and vocabulary. Features over 161,000 example sentences for words and grammar points while giving you a little more information than other dictionaries, such as whether a word is considered more formal than another one with the same meaning. Easily lets you look up words inside examples just by clicking on them. When looking up word definitions, includes example sentences exemplifying most definitions of a word.

JEdict - An offline dictionary application. Contains various dictionaries (you can download and add more) and handwritten Kanji lookup. It seems that it’s only available for Mac.

Tagaini Jisho - another offline dictionary program. Contains lots of functionality, including kanjivg stroke orders, much like Jisho.org

ichi.moe - Like a dictionary but with the ablity to split entire sentences into words.

Kanji Lookup

Use these to look up kanji.

Google Translate - Handwritten kanji lookup. Select Japanese and push the pencil button. No matter what kind of abomination you draw, google will recognize it. Amount of strokes and the order in which they are placed is irrelevant, just vaguely sketch what you want to look up and google will recognize it. Unparalleled when it comes to handwriting recognition.

Google translate is a piece of shit when it comes to translating Japanese syntax. Don’t use it for that.

Kanji Stroke Order Font A font that shows the stroke order for kanji. Here is a guide on how to set-up Rikaichan to use it. Not always correct, so be careful. Kakijun is a great website for checking the proper stroke order.

sljfaq - Handwritten kanji search. Just draw the kanji using the correct stroke order and a list of possible kanji will appear. The results will link you to the WWWJDIC project by default, which is where the data for Jisho and most other online Japanese dictionaries comes from. You can go through the options page to redirect to your preferred service. What’s nice about this is that it saves your writing so it will still be there even if you close the page.

Multiradical kanji search - Search kanji by radicals. Multiple radical. Sounds radical, right?

Ebook Tools

Guide to Convert Aozora Bunko Text Files into Mobi Ebooks and Guide to Convert Mobi Ebooks into Searchable AZW3 Ebooks - two guides very useful for anybody who wants to read Japanese books on their Kindle or other e-reader that accepts books in azw3 format. Using them you can convert txt /mobi file into a searchable e-reader format (Kindle has a free Japanese dictionary available, you can also find some other dictionaries on the Internet and add them to your e-reader).

JNovel Formatter- Breaks down a .txt into bite-size (your choice of length) chunks and converts it to html. Makes the task of reading LN's less daunting. a utility that will convert Japanese novels (in .txt) to nicely formatted HTML files. It enables you to use text hookers (Rikaisama, Rikaichan) while reading LNs/novels. A massive collection of .txt books can be found in the Cornucopia of Resources ('400+MB assorted LN txt file format'). The collection is also available in azw3 and html.

NHK Easy News for Kindle - A script that downloads the day’s news from NHK Easy News and converts it to MOBI or PDF format for your e-reader. Download automatically generated files here.

Manga OCR

KanjiTomo - This is an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. Scans for words on your screen and tells you what they are and what they mean. Success rate varies widely based on image / character quality. Suggested for manga.

Here is a simple shortcut script designed to make KanjiTomo easier to use. Alternative link. Download AutoHotkey to use. It allows for easy toggling automatic OCR, quick copy paste words to text file, etc. very useful for streamlining the word lookup process when reading manga on a computer, etc. A short write up explaining the shortcut keys can be found here.

Capture2Text - Another OCR program.

Visual Novels

VN installation guide - Explains how to set-up your system locale to work with VNs. Ignore the parts about English patches.

Interactive Text Hooker - This allows you to extract text from Japanese games as it’s being displayed. The extracted text is put in your clipboard for an application like Translation Aggregator to make use of it. Designed for reading VNs, so it will not work for most non-VN type games and unsupported engines.

ITHVNR - This is ITH with the Visual Novel Reader (VNR) engine, allowing it to work with a wider selection of stuff (including non-VN stuff like 32bit media players for watching Japanese subbed anime). It also doesn't require hook codes for most things. Back-up link for ITHVNR if Hongfire is down.

Firefox Auto-scrolling Rikai VN Texthooking with ITHVNR Setup Guide - A guide on setting up ITHVNR so you can send VN text to Firefox and read it with Rikaisama (and use the convenient word mining function). The recommended method.

Translation Aggregator - Usually used for machine translation, but in your case, you’ll be using JParser (preferably with Mecab hinting) to help you parse Japanese sentences and enable you to easily look up words in the same fashion as with Rikaichan and the like.

[Chiitrans Lite - idiotproof texthooking for people that can’t get ITH or TA working, cost is lack of flexibility and dependency on IE8 and .net 4]

Mobile Devices

Google Japanese Input - Input Japanese on Android.

Tae Kim app - Tae Kim’s grammar guide for Android. Includes bookmarks, day/night modes, easy navigation and clickable translations.

Rikaichan for Android - A version of Rikaichan for Android, allowing you to easily look-up words.

JED - Japanese Dictionary - An offline dictionary for Android.

WWWJDIC for Android - An offline dictionary for Android.

Jade Reader - Free open source text reader. Provides instant offline EDICT lookup. Also allows you to conveniently save words from the text you're reading into a list so can add them to Anki later.

OCR Manga Reader for Android - Free and open source Android app that allows you to quickly OCR and lookup Japanese words in real-time. It does not have ads and does not require network permissions. Supports both EDICT and EPWING dictionaries.

Akebi - Japanese dictionary for Android with handwriting kanji search option. Useful for studying jouyou kanji too.

Misc Tools

Useful things that don’t fit into any of the other categories.

Wikibooks - A small collection of resources for learning Japanese. Does not seem to go into too much depth. Good supplement.

LingQ - Good language learning site with many translated texts + audio. Although you can use it for free for a little while at the beginning, continued usage of the site costs money.

An anon has kindly ripped and posted many of the podcasts and so forth which you download here.

Learning With Text (LWT) - An extensive application that seems somewhat similar to LingQ.

The Pastebin - An outdated list of various resources.

Japanese Text Analysis Tool - Takes a .txt, you’d probably use a 青空文庫 (term for .txt books, frequently LN), and creates a frequency list based on that.

cb's Kanji Word Association Tool - Will generate a list of words based on kanji already studied up to that point and kana. In addition, words are sorted by frequency, and no duplicates are associated with each kanji.

Hiragana Megane - This site adds furigana to kanji on websites.