Here is a list of useful language resources and websites that I have found to be helpful for learning Japanese (and now German). Some are useful for all languages whilst others are limited to Japanese or German. This page is updated frequently (Last Updated 16/07/2017).
Useful Resources for Learning How to Learn Languages
- Ajatt – All Japanese All The Time “This site is about how you can learn Japanese without taking classes, by having fun and doing things you enjoy—watching movies, playing video games, reading comic books—you know: fun stuff! Stuff that you feel guilty about doing because you should be doing “serious things”.” – Khatzumoto
- Antimoon “Antimoon provides advice and inspiration to learners of English as a second/foreign language (ESL/EFL). Most importantly, we present a philosophy of learning English (called the Antimoon Method) which is based on our successful experiences as English learners.” – Tomasz P. Szynalski and Michal Ryszard Wojcik
- The Language Dojo “Learn how to learn foreign languages to fluency, without boring classes or textbooks. Become an awesome language learner with ease!” – Matt and Ramses
- MATTvsJapan Matt has successfully learnt Japanese via the AJATT method and has some very useful videos for actually implementing both immersion and Anki flashcards. Definitely check his videos out!
- My own email newsletter. Feel free to subscribe for free either at the top of the page or via the side bar on the right.
Useful Resources for All Languages in General
- Anki “Anki is a program which makes remembering things easy. Because it’s a lot more efficient than traditional study methods, you can either greatly decrease your time spent studying, or greatly increase the amount you learn.” – Anki
- Hiragana Megane – ひらがなめがね “This system adds hiragana on the kanji.” – Hiragana Megane
- VLC Media Player VLC Media Player is a great free video player that supports all kinds of subtitle files. Simply drag and drop your video and subtitles and you’ve got yourself instant entertainment!
- Freemake Video Converter A really simple and easy to use video converter, simply drag your videos into the program and click convert to MP3 so that you can listen to your favourite shows as you go about your daily life! Also allows downloading of videos from youtube which is really useful as well!
- subs2srs “subs2srs allows you to create import files for Anki or other Spaced Repetition Systems (SRS) based on your favorite foreign language movies and TV shows to aid in the language learning process.” – subs2srs
- kissasian A brilliant free streaming website for lots of asian content, countries include, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand all in a variety of asian languages. Unfortunately all videos do have english subtitles so you will want to hide these with a new tab from your browser to get the full effect of learning!
- Viki Another free streaming site! This site has fewer TV shows but does contain shows from all over the world, the majority from Asian countries. This site runs a community subtitle program and allows natives to add subtitles and transcripts. Therefore a lot of shows here will have subtitles not only in English but other languages and even the language that the show is actually being aired in. This means you can get reading practice while you listen at the same time!
- Easy Daily Reading in Foreign Languages A list of reading resources for various langauges. Unfortuantely not quite complete yet so if you know some resources then add them to the list!
- Audible Membership – Lots of audio books in loads of languages, including Japanese audio books! You can get a 30 day free trial as well which is great! Give it a try with the link below.
- ARTV – Watch live TV for free in English, French and Japanese.
Useful Resources for Japanese
- BookLive is a a brilliant resource for books, manga and magazines. There is a lot of free stuff and you can pay for stuff outside of Japan, which is rare and makes this site a really great source for reading material. If you want points, which will save you some money off when buying items, then you can use my invitation code 23575895 when signing up. *This gives me points as well, so please use it xD
- Jisho “Jisho is a powerful Japanese-English dictionary. It lets you find words, kanji, example sentences and more quickly and easily. Our goal is to build a new kind of dictionary that doesn’t just let you look up single words or kanji, but rather helps you understand any Japanese text.” – Jisho
- Hiragana Megane – ひらがなめがね “This system adds hiragana on the kanji.” – Hiragana Megane
- kitsunekko A brilliant website that provides a variety of subtitles for lots of popular anime. Use CTRL+F to search for an anime with its english or romaji name and simply download and place them in your favourite video player!
- D-Addicts A community run website based on asian drama. It takes a bit more searching on here and I am pretty sure the forums are dead now but the site still has a lot of useful subtitle files on it. Give it a search for your favourite drama and enjoy!
- kissanime Free anime! Very similar to kissasian but focuses entirely on anime. I assume the only language is Japanese but there maybe other languages too, again all shows have subtitles so make sure you hide them!
- My Japanese Music Playlist Literally the playlist I listen to everyday. Give it a look and see if there’s anything you like then research that artist or look for other similar artists, it contains quite a range of genres so have dig through!
Useful Resources for German
Me and a friend have gathered resources and posted them in this spreadsheet. If you can ignore the terrible memes my friend keeps putting on there then I think you will find the content very useful. It’s all organised into sections and should provide you with enough material for now.
- My German Music Playlist Give it a look and see if there’s anything you like then research that artist or look for other similar artists, it contains quite a range of genres so have dig through!
Useful Anki Decks and Plugins
Here you can download user made decks for a variety of topics. This isn’t necessarily recommended but I have it here to give you a start. If you are doing the 10,000 sentences method then make sure you Sentence Mine! Don’t use other people’s decks!
This deck includes all the kanji for Heisig’s Remembering the Kanji 1-3 series of books. You do not need the books to use this deck, just a bit of common sense and some research into how Heisig’s method works. I used this deck to learn 2000 kanji in 2-3 months, I highly recommended it.
This provides a variety of features that makes learning Japanese via Anki a lot easier, the main feature being adding readings to kanji in sentences. There are also over support plugins for other languages as well.
This plugin makes Anki‘s reschedule algorithms a bit more manageable. Very useful, especially in the beginning stage as some days you get loads of cards and others you get barely any. This spreads the load, making it less intensive on certain days.
This pretty much does what it says on the tin. All you have to do is highlight a word, right-click and you can search it straight into google images. Combine this with a fast screenshot program such as Gyazo and add images to flashcards super efficiently to produce high quality flashcards.
These plugins add more graphs to the desktop versions of Anki, allowing you to get a bit more data on your progress. Very nice to have but not essential.
This plugin forces a default font which you can change in the settings file. Again, nice to have but not essential.
There are also a variety of mobile apps out there that are very useful as they allow you to study while out and about. Personally I highly recommended anything that has a SRS (Space Repetition System) built-in, however it really does depend on the individual and what study methods they enjoy. I know people who struggle to get into Anki due to its steep learning curve, but love the simplicity that something like duolingo gives you. As long as you are surrounded by native content on a daily basis, I don’t think it matters too much as to which app you use but I do feel that Anki and the 10,000 sentences method does have a huge advantage and efficiency boost over other apps. Anyway, here is a list of the best 15 free language apps. I haven’t used them all myself but give them a try and see what you like.
I hope you found this page helpful. If you know of any other resources that you have found useful that you think I should add to this page then please comment below or send me an email. I will be sure to add them to this page. Also, if you want information about more resources in the future and other advice on learning languages then be sure to subscribe to my newsletter! 🙂 By Matthew Hawkins