Like me, you may occasionally find yourself atop a toilet.
You’re here for perhaps a few minutes. Sometimes it’s nice to sit quietly. Other times you may enjoy some memes. Or perhaps you’re a toilet go-getter, and see this as a time to continue your dedicated study to learn Japanese. But you’re presented with a problem. What type of content do you choose?
I need your help to answer this question. I’d like some material that I can quickly flip to so the majority of my few minute ride to be filled with Japanese.
If you’re out of WK reviews, maybe you read a news article? But those take time to cull through. Perhaps a blog? Any content types or specific recommendations would be much appreciated!
Sent from my toilet
First flush, wash your hands, and then go hunting online…
I’m sure at your level you can find some native content to absorb
get a japanese reading app like NHK or TangoRisto on ur phone to flick thru the news and articles while sitting upon the ceramic throne. just choose a random one even
If you cant get the app to work right, get sync for NHK and it should work. Todai is another news app; it pulls stories from different sources and puts it in Japanese. You have to pay for unlimited though.
Honestly, sometimes, my ‘few minutes of Japanese’ is literally answering a question on the WK forums while referring to dictionary entries to see if I’m right or ought to add some information.
Whether or not I’m in the toilet though, some of the other things I usually do in order to get some Japanese done during downtime (e.g. while I’m in a queue or waiting for a train):
- Scroll through tweets or Instagram posts in Japanese. You can subscribe to Japanese teachers like Maggie Sensei or Risa (I think) for this, but other options include calligraphy teachers (Kayo-sensei is one of them) or well-known/popular Japanese accounts. For example, I follow the official Twitter news account of the author of Konosuba, and I also follow the illustator Mishima Kurone because she draws both Konosuba and Akashic Records (which is another series I like). I also follow the official Twitter accounts of a few anime I like, which include the adaptations of the two series above and The Rising of the Shield Hero. You can also follow news sites like NHK or Yomiuri Shimbun. (I’m not vouching for the political neutrality of these news sources, but they’re well-known in Japan.) In any case, the result of doing so has been that I frequently get Twitter recommendations in Japanese, which gives me more stuff to read. Plus, since I use an iPhone, I can highlight the words I don’t understand and look them up in the dictionary straightaway. Since the tweets often come from sources that interest me, it doesn’t feel like I’m studying. (Random bonus fact: I’ve also had Japanese accounts follow me, possibly because I occasionally tweet in Japanese.)
- Watch random videos or bits of anime in Japanese. Obviously it’s not always appropriate to do so in public, if only for the sake of avoiding judgement (‘Look! A crazy otaku!’), so you’ll have to choose the content you view based on the situation, but it’s a good way to use your time in an enjoyable fashion. I often watch random snippets from NHK programmes on Facebook, which are frequently in Japanese but subtitled in English. (In other words, another tip is… follow NHK on Facebook.)
- To add on to @theMusicalninja’s suggestion, since TangoRisto is now dead (RIP), I suggest you try ManabiReader if you’re on an iPhone. IDK if it works on Android too though.
- There’s probably a stroke order app somewhere out there, so you can do writing practice for a few random kanji if learning to write interests you.
I often throw in a few Anki reviews in that time period I always do them on my phone, so those moments, and while brushing my teeth, are perfect for that!
Talk to your poop in Japanese.
It won’t judge you.
It might just answer back.
I know you asked for reading stuff, but if you want talking practice, talking to inanimate beings while doing mundane things is pretty good practice.
I know exactly what you mean. I usually prefer to keep my phone on with something in the background since I will eventually need to have my hands free for obvious reasons.
This is what I do per visit in no particular order:
- Japanese song playlist on my phone (this is also my commute playlist)
- Sufficiently long video in Japanese that I’ve already watched so I can practice listening comprehension. This one by SamBonJuku is 16 minutes long and should cover most visit lengths: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOEOV_yWkCQ.
- Search YouTube for “Japanese TV” and pick whatever looks interesting.
- Play a podcast, usually NHK News.
A bit of a strange idea, so I’d recommend NOT practicing this out-loud in public toilets. Results may vary, but many of your toilet neighbors may consider this a bit キモイ. Other than that, it’s definitely a good point on learning how to speak and improvise and explain situations.
You can listen to a Japanese audiobook.