Pink Starhime
i bleed pink.


So yesterday I wrote about my Japanese resource books, gave each one a little review, and then my rating on how useful I thought it was. So today I thought I would write about which websites I use online to help me with my Japanese, and pretty much do the same thing I did with the books. There are so many though, I will only do the really important ones that I use a whole lot. Alrighty then, let’s get started!


1.) Read The Kanji

This is a website that I am totally in love with. I  joined this site a couple of years ago, when I joined it was free. Now though you have to pay a small fee to use it. If you’re really serious about learning Japanese though, and dedicated to it, it’s worth the cost. You choose your list to study from, JLPT lists, or even Kana lists. If you don’t know what JLPT is I suggest you google it, it’s the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, and is given to judge your level of knowledge in the language. From what I’ve heard it seems very difficult though, even the “easy” levels. So you pick what you want to study, and it puts it up on the screen, it has components you can change like you can have JUST the kanji (or kana) and no English at all below it, or you can have an English and Japanese example using said kanji/kana below it, or just Japanese, or nothing at all. It’s pretty customizable really. This is how I learned my kana so quickly. Another thing is it doesn’t require your computer to be able to type in Japanese. When you type it in the box it comes out as Japanese automatically. You can turn that feature off, but I don’t see why you would want to. My rating: ★★★★★


2.) Learn Hiragana and Katakana

I used this site more when I was learning kana, so it’s been a while. I thought it was really neat though on the righthand side it has a column of links. Many of which are to kana-learning games. Making a game out of learning sometimes takes the stress and anxiety away I’ve found. Some of them are a little quirky, but overall decent. It has kanji on the site too, not just kana.  Not a totally outstanding source, but pretty fun nonetheless! My rating: ★★☆☆☆


3.) All Japanese All The Time : AJATT

This blog is AWESOME. The whole premise behind this blogger’s theory is that if you want to learn a language, you have to immerse yourself in it as MUCH as possible. So instead of just learning Japanese, for example, make your shopping lists in Japanese, instead of watching movies in English, watch them in Japanese, try to put your thoughts into Japanese. “You don’t learn a language, you get used to it.” I think this is awesome advice, I’ve tried to do this myself and it does help. Although with a family of my own complete with children it makes it a bit more difficult to do this. It can still be done though if you have enough passion. There are just a ton of useful and interesting articles on this site, I suggest you pop over and take a look! :) My rating: ★★★★★


4.) Tofugu blog

This blog is a lot like the AJATT blog. Different writers, a bit of a different feel. But like AJATT it has a ton of awesome, interesting, and sometimes silly, articles the authors have written. I spent two whole days poring over their articles last week, I was just completely in the zone. They don’t just talk about the language either, they talk about culture in Japan, and sometimes misused phrases (the bukkake post is HILARIOUS… to those of you who don’t know what it is, DO NOT google that. Ever.) Just go over and look for it, it will save you a whole lot of greif, embarrassment, and possibly the gross out factor. Just trust me on this one. This blog is where I got the inspiration to change mine up a bit, so to all of you over at Tofugu, THANKS! You guys rock. My rating: ★★★★★


5.) JLPT

This is a JLPT website. I find this site highly useful. It tells you what the test is all about, and there’s options to compare old tests and new tests since they changed the level system in 2010. (It used to be 4 levels, N1 being the highest, N4 being the lowest, but now there’s N5 which is the lowest. They added extra level in the middle that would have been the equivalent of somewhere between N2 and N3 ). It even has a section for registration processes for taking the JLPT test. There is also a section for sample questions. This is probably my favorite part of that entire site. It gives me an idea (very general idea, mind you) if I would be even close to ready to take the test. The JLPT test isn’t just written, there are other parts too like listening, reading, grammar. Not just “what does this kanji mean?”. Since it is a proficiency test this doesn’t surprise me, but I thought I’d throw it out there anyway. They have a page too that you can purchase study books and CD’s and stuff, pretty neat I’d say! My rating: ★★★★☆


6.) EJOD

This is an acronym for English Japanese Online Dictionary. Although this is a members site, where members get more access than the rest of us, it’s still a decent resource. The link I put up there is to the readings page. It has a couple of readings in Japanese and then some little questions about the passage you just read. It’s not my favorite site, but I would say it’s at least worth taking a look at. I haven’t fully explored this site, there are quite a few things that are for “members only”. It’s cheap to be a member, only $12 for a whole year, but I have found better resources. But the free part of the site can help some too. :) My rating: ★★☆☆☆


7.)  Another JLPT Resource Site

This is a site based in the UK that has links for resources for the JLPT  test. It has little charts that kind of give a very basic idea on how much you need to know to pass a level of the test. When you click on a link for resources it gives you some options, and some links for free downloads. It has kana charts (if you clicked on N5) and some sample listening clips, some videos, resources the poster things is awesome, some downloadable lists for vocab and kanji, and even a level checker to see where you might fall. Although I’m not entirely sure how accurate that might be. All in all, I think this site is pretty spiffy. It has a lot of free downloads to expand your library with things to study. My rating: ★★★★☆


8.) Handwritten Kanji Search

This site is awesome. This is the best site for kanji look up, when you find a kanji, can’t copy and paste it, having problems looking it up, or don’t know how to look it up you just draw it in the box and as you draw it comes up with possible matches. The only drawback to this is it can be hard to write with the mouse, it takes a bit of practice. But still a good resource! My rating: ★★★★☆


9.) Online Verb List 

This is an online verb conjugator. Anyone who has studied Japanese long enough knows the stress of learning how to conjugate ONE verb 20 different ways. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating… a little. It’s so much harder, at least for me personally, to think about how to conjugate a verb. When I do it automatically in English. English is my native language I know, but I always have to stop and think about how the heck am I going to conjugate this verb ? Oh jeeze… and then stress over whether I’m going to fsck it up or not. This site is great. It has the list of verbs, probably not all inclusive, but a pretty decent sized list regardless. If you click on one of the links to a verb, it then lists all the possible conjugations. I’m still not sure if that list is entirely inclusive either, but it’s still nice to have. So if you’re stressing about how to conjugate a verb, go here and look it up! My rating: ★★★★★


10.) Verb Conjugation Groups

Here’s yet another resource for verbs in Japanese. This site has the groups for verbs, and then lists the conjugations to the right. So if you need a volitional form, you click on the volitional link. Extremely useful. It may provide the same information as the last link I write about, but in a different style. And since everyone is different, sees things differently, and learns differently, maybe someone will like this layout more than the previous. :) My rating: ★★★★★


11.) Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese

This website is REALLY useful. I have an app for this in my phone and ipad (more about those in another post!) There are several different categories you can select from for certain things you want to learn, touch up on, look over, whatever. The links on the right side take you to the section you want to view. It’s easy to follow layout, and the way it’s written make it pretty easy to understand. Although I would say knowing some key basics is a good idea, it’s not totally necessary as this person has covered that as well with the syllabary and pronunciation link provided. And… it’s FREE! Can’t get much better than that right? My rating: ★★★★★


12.) Kanji Radicals

When you are learning Kanji there are of course many ways to go about doing it. One of the ways is to learn the radicals, that is, basic parts of kanji that you can learn and then look up to find a certain kanji in a list, or if you don’t know the meaning of a kanji sometimes you can look to see what radicals are in it, and get a basic idea. This doesn’t always work out, but I would still recommend learning them anyways. This site just lists the “meanings” behind the radicals, these lists don’t always match up. Sometimes you can make  your own meanings if the ones they list don’t work out for you. Most of these (not all of them) are NOT kanji by themselves, just parts of kanji. Just to be clear. This list is pretty decent, although it doesn’t match some of the other ones out there, like I said. My rating: ★★★☆☆


13.) Multi-radical Search

This is my favorite page for searching through radicals. You click on one, and it shows you all the kanji that has that radical in it, if it has another radical that you know you can click an additional one and it shows then all the matches for those two. Over all, really handy. Gives a lot of information on the kanji too when you see the matches that come up. Over all a really nice radical search page really. :) My rating: ★★★★★


14.) Another Radical Search

This is another page much like the one listed above, just a tad different with the presentation of results. Some may prefr one over the other so I went ahead and listed both. I like the other one though, compared to this one. My rating: ★★★★☆


Those are the top sites that I use. There are SEVERAL others I have in my bookmarks but not really worth sharing. They aren’t as nice, the layout is often poor, the quality is poor, and really these are just overall better. In every aspect. I’m sure there are some websites out there that I haven’t listed that are excellent, but I haven’t found them yet. :)

I hope these help you in your journey to better your Japanese skills! I know they have certainly helped me. Like I’ve said before, I’m by no means fluent, but that doesn’t mean I’ve done a bit of exploring on some decent learning methods. :) 頑張ってください!Thanks for reading! ありがとうございました!

Upcoming: my list of iPad/iPod/iPhone apps and some reviews! Stay tuned! :twirl:


Leave a reply