The Ultimate Additional Japanese Resources List!

The Internet Archive seems fine to share since it looks like you have to purchase to view it, unless you’re trying to share something that was only for you to see after payment.

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It seems that Nihongo no Mori has just (I’m not exactly sure when) started a paid service on their website!

So far there are materials for N1 kanji, vocabulary, and grammar. I’m not sure what will be added next, but there are additional sections for listening, reading, and testing practice, and I assume they will add materials in reverse order (N2, N3, N4, N5). I’ve only just started using it, but the functionality seems to be like their Youtube videos but more concise and professional. There are also interactive practice questions (very similar to the actual JLPT) that you can answer before the element being studied is explained in depth.

All in all, it seems like a very professional service for ¥980 a month, and I’m personally really grateful that they’ve started with N1 since that seems to be the most neglected level by online resources (…also because it’s the test I’ll be taking next July). ^^

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This looks like it will be an amazing thing once they have all their videos from previous levels. I loved watching the N3 videos on Youtube. Does it say anywhere when or if they will add more.

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I’ve added Nihongo no Mori to the Textbooks and Grammar > Paid online section. Since you’ve used it a bit, do you think it compares to the other resources in that section?

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Yes, it does! They’re homepage says 準備中 over the N2 and N3 sections, so I’m not sure what will be added first. Either the rest of N1, or the first sections of N2 and N3. I think the latter is more likely, since it’ll be useful to more people (and there’s already plenty of N1 material to start).

I was wondering this too actually, which is why I didn’t add it to the list initially. Technically it’s equal parts vocabulary and grammar so far (there are also kanji explanations, but I think those are pretty similar to learning vocabulary). If there was a JLPT section, it’d obviously fit right in there, but I think it might make the most sense under General Practice? Or Software? :grimacing::grimacing:

EDIT: Actually the more I think about it, the more it makes sense under Textbooks and Grammar!

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List of changes in the last month

Added

  • 日本語の森 to Textbooks and Grammar section per @andrewkaz’s recommendation
  • @adeli added Japanese Ammo with Misa’s Grammar Lessons for Absolute Beginners to Textbook and Grammar > Online section
  • @distantflower added Second Life with a Use Guide to Speaking > Online resources section
  • Digital and Physical subsections to Writing section and moved kanji.sh the the Physical subsection
  • VRChat to Speaking section per @doutatsu’s suggestion
  • Mochi per @ewoodrp’s recommendation to Software section
  • NHK News Web Easier and TechCrunch Japan to Reading > News section
  • OJAD to Online dictionaries > Alternate dictionaries section
  • Japanese for Everyone, Japanese: the Spoken Language, Yookoso! An Invitation to Contemporary Japanese, and Adventures in Japanese to Textbooks and Grammar > Physical textbooks section
  • Tsuginoji with Use Guide to Online dictionaries > Alternate dictionaries
  • WaniKani Community resources subsection to the Reading section
    • Added the popular threads Resources for Starting to Read Japanese Content,
    • Master List of Book Clubs, and
    • Buying Digital Japanese Books there.
  • Use Guide for NINJAL’s Japanese Grammar Point Bank in the Online dictionaries > Alternate dictionaries section
  • Internet Archive links to borrow or rent the A Dictionary of Japanese Grammar series.

Updated

  • Updated description to include information on the Internet Archive borrow and rent system
  • Moved Notes to the bottom of the post
  • Updated the Table of Contents
  • Updated the title of the Reading > Manga and other publishers section to Manga, books, and other publications and moved the Reading > WaniKani Community resources section to be part of this section
  • Updated section descriptions in the Textbooks and Grammar section and the Physical textbooks section
  • Organised the resources in the Kanji > WaniKani Community resources section
  • Moved Learning Kanji YouTube channel to the main Kanji section
  • Removed TangoRisto from the Software > Android and iOS apps section as it is defunct
  • Software > Browser extensions section
    • Removed Kitsune, Rikaigu, and Rikaisama as they are defunct
    • Added Rikaichan and updated the links for Rikaikun and Rikaichamp
  • Removed Reading > Publishers section and moved tree to the Online subsection

Notes

Potential new resources to be added but they’re very new and/or there aren’t many reviews of the service they offer, or they’re incomplete:

Also Flash is being deprecated so Flash resources may no longer work soon. The Internet Archive have a project to try to save some of the resources, but I’m not sure how to go about adding resources to their project. Maybe @rfindley understands this more than I do, but it might just be on the developers to add their own swf files to the project.

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I came up with this list of resources for someone on another thread, but I figured it would be a waste if I didn’t leave some suggestions here. I’m not sure if I can/should edit the list directly, particularly since I might put certain things in the wrong places, and because I’ve seen many suggestion posts, along with a change log by @Kraits. Please tell me if you’d like me to add the resources myself. I’ve done my best to remove stuff that’s already in the wiki post.

Most resources on this list are for intermediate or advanced learners of Japanese. In particular, some of these resources are written >90% in Japanese. This list also highlights an error in the wiki-fied original post concerning Weblio, which actually puts two dictionaries (JP-EN-JP and JP-JP) at our disposal.

Resource names are highlighted in green. Collapsible descriptions are provided to allow everyone to judge how useful they might be. Here is the list:

Intermediate

Physical textbook : An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese (from Genki’s publisher, the Japan Times) EDIT: Less advanced – it apparently covers less than Tobira overall, even if one can start either textbook at about the same level

Comparison with Tobira

Tobira’s lexicon is probably slightly more advanced in the initial chapters, but AIAtIJ seems to catch up afterwards. Its lessons seem generally more practical, and what’s covered seems useful in everyday life, even as someone studying Japanese outside Japan with limited contact with Japanese people and culture. (For example, what you learn might be useful while reading the news or when expressing certain ideas for writing practice.) It even covers certain aspects of social interaction. Tobira, on the other hand, has a heavy ‘tangible culture and traditions’ focus. AIAtJ seems to have very detailed explanations in English, covering both grammar and facts about culture. It therefore seems much more helpful for self-learners (those who want to study in Japanese only aside), especially since it teaches students elements of how to behave in Japanese society, which is something Tobira doesn’t cover. EDIT: It also indicates the correct pitch accent for new vocabulary words! Few textbooks do this.

EDIT:

About Tobira and AIAtIJ's likely target audiences, and some personal experience

Though both are university textbooks, Tobira is probably more interesting for a general audience looking to learn about Japan in general, particularly about Japanese culture and traditions. AIAtIJ is probably more interesting for university students who might experience a homestay and who thus need more knowledge about everyday interaction and university/academic culture.

As a student desiring knowledge about social interaction conventions in Japanese, pitch accent knowledge and deep grammar knowledge, AIAtIJ appeals to me more, based on the sample pages I’ve seen. At the time of writing, I’m at Chapter 12/13 of 15 chapters in Tobira, and I’m rather sick of it even though I usually can push through one chapter a day without much difficulty. (I skip the exercises in favour of more dictionary searching.) I feel Tobira doesn’t teach me enough for the time I invest, and I’ve picked up too many words I can’t use outside of Japan while interacting with the Japanese internet, because they’re just too culturally specific. The only things holding me back from jumping to a more advanced textbook are

  1. The sunken cost fallacy – I feel like I should finish what I paid for
  2. The fact that my advanced textbook is 10000km away from me right now. I’m overseas.

Advanced

Physical textbooks : 中・上級日本語教科書 日本への招待 テキスト
上級日本語教科書 文化へのまなざし―テキスト

Brief comparison and remarks

I believe these two textbooks are at almost the same level, with the second one (上級日本語 etc) being slightly more difficult, probably with a bit of technical vocabulary in it since it has a chapter on ‘Clones and Life’. The first contains translations in English, Chinese and Korean for vocabulary words, and I feel it is very vocabulary-rich. The above is probably true of the second textbook as well, because the authors are the same people, and both books are published by the University of Tokyo.

Miscellaneous Resources (Various Levels)

YouTube

  • Attain Online Japanese Course
Description of YouTube channel and full course pricing

Here’s their YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/TalkInJapan. Everything except I think the N1 and N2 courses are subtitled in English. Only sample videos are available on YouTube, but you can use them for immersion and revision. It costs $14/month to have unlimited access to the full versions of their courses on their website.

YouTube channel – Free; Full course on their site – $$Paid$$

Websites

  • Maggie Sensei
Description and reasons for recommendation

Some people find her website’s colour scheme jarring and don’t like the fact that she uses romaji for transcriptions, but I wholeheartedly recommend her site for its excellent examples and explanations. She also has a Twitter account on which she posts various things like vocabulary lists and examples of kanji usage.

Description

Everything’s in Japanese except for a few explanations in Chinese. (This teacher teaches in China.) Grammar points are covered for all JLPT levels, but since everything is in Japanese, most beginners won’t be able to use the site unless they’re Chinese speakers. There’s also an entire section called the ‘N0’ section, which covers words and structures whose JLPT levels are not known, or which are more difficult than the N1 level.

DictionariesWIKI POST ERROR HIGHLIGHTED BELOW

  • https://ejje.weblio.jp – this is Weblio’s Japanese-English-Japanese dictionary. It has data from at least three different dictionaries, including the one that Jisho runs on, and lots more example sentences than Jisho. You can search entire phrases in the searchbox, and example sentences containing them will come up.
  • https://www.weblio.jpthis is Weblio’s monolingual dictionary site (not the one listed above). The link in the wiki post above sends people to the EJJE version. The two probably got mixed up because both sites have interfaces entirely in Japanese.

That’s all.

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I am also looking to take the N1 come July, so I was wondering: How do you feel about the Nihongo no Mori paid service now, after using it for a couple of weeks?

So I personally feel very positively about it! ¥980 per month isn’t a huge change to my budget (it’s basically a Spotify premium subscription), and the material available for the N1 is very comprehensive.

Since everything is in video format, the pace is slower than a textbook/website like Tae Kim. But I also feel like there’s a lot more information about the context in which words or grammar points are used, which is a lot more important for the concepts tested on the N1 than previous exams.

Perhaps it could replace a book series like 日本語総まとめ which is meant to be completed gradually, but I don’t find those series of books to be comprehensive enough on their own to pass the exams anyway. Instead, I think it will be much more useful as a daily resource you work through little-by-little in addition to whatever else you’re doing to prepare for the exam! :relaxed:

Hope that explanation makes sense and answers your question!

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Question: Are those Dictionary of Basic/Intermediate Grammar links to Internet Archive legit? Isn’t that a case where someone took a digital copy of the books and uploaded them to Internet Archive so people can download them without paying for them?

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I don’t know anything about this myself, but it was addressed earlier

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Thanks, I had missed that, as I’d only done a thread search for mention of the dictionaries.

That said, it looks like anyone can view the whole of both the basic and intermediate dictionaries on there. No proof of ownership required.

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Maybe @Mods should have another look at it

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I think you’re right. I just clicked both links and could look through both of them without anything asking me to pay.

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Although I can’t be certain, they do feel more like scans than official releases. The “PDF with text” option seems to result in something that looks more like some automatic English word detector went through images to place text on the images. Highlighting any japanese text seems to result in gibberish, which leads me to believe it’s not official. I can’t be certain though.

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The intermediate, you can tell at a glance someone scanned the whole book in (not official scan).

The beginner one, I’m not certain, as I didn’t look over it to look for badly scanned pages. I know there is an official digital release of the series, and I’ve seen complaints from people who’ve bought the official digital release that they can’t select text or do a text search (=flat images, like a manga).

But that doesn’t impact the legality.

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I highly doubt they’d have an official up for free if they have a non-free official digital version of the same book. Unless it’s an old release and it changed significantly, that simply wouldn’t make sense. And the version on the archive seems relatively new, so I’m inclined to think it’s a scan.

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You got me curious, so I downloaded the preview from Kobo (goes up to page 25) to compare.

As it turns out, Internet Archive has the 1994 release (18th printing). The digital release is the May 2018 release (77th printing).

I don’t know anything about Japanese copyright law to know where that puts distributing copies of a 1994 release of a 1986 book in the year 2020.

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I doubt Japanese copyright would expire while the authors are still alive, so I don’t think it would be in public domain yet. I can’t be certain though, maybe there’s some weird quirck that makes it legal?

Which links are you referring to? I haven’t tried creating an account so if anyone has proof that this site is not legitimate, we can just hide the posts mentioning it.

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