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 . Collapsible descriptions are provided to allow everyone to judge how useful they might be. Here is the list:
Physical textbook : (from Genki’s publisher, the Japan Times) EDIT:
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.
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
- The sunken cost fallacy – I feel like I should finish what I paid for
- The fact that my advanced textbook is 10000km away from me right now. I’m overseas.
Physical textbooks :
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.
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.
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.
- – for advanced learners
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.
- – 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.
- – this 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.