Education About Asia: Online Archives

Web Gleanings: Japanese Language

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Title: MIT Japanese Language Program


Although there are some broken links and restricted entry to certain pages, the first and second year online materials for this language program may be useful to beginners. The “Quiz Review Materials” cover many grammatical points and include exercises relevant to these points.

Title: A Logical Japanese Grammar


While these pages are still “under construction,” there still is enough material for the new learner, especially about verbs, nouns and adjectives. There are many charts and tables, some easier to comprehend than others.

Title: Teach Yourself Japanese


This site provides the very basic concepts of Japanese, giving clear preliminary explanations to each section. There is good use of Java programming for many subjects such as numbers (and counters) and for verbs, interactively showing the present, the negative, the past, and other forms.

Title: The Quick and Dirty Guide to Japanese U


This is a classic Internet document, first having been published more than ten years ago. There are admitted omissions, but for one who’d like information on particles and verb conjugations, this document can help. For a kana version of this guide:

Title: Collin’s Guide to Japanese Self-Study U

RL:  methodology.html

This is an essay of one man’s quest to learn Japanese on his own. His insights, experiences, and description of the materials and techniques he has used may assist other learners of Japanese.


Title: Outline of the Japanese Writing System

URL: writing/outline.htm

Jack Halpern, editor of Japanese-English dictionaries, has written an article that includes information on the origin of Chinese characters and their introduction into Japanese. He also discusses the function and meaning of kanji.

Title: Learn Hiragana


In addition to the basic forty-six hiragana symbols, this site presents the compounds, the extended hiragana characters, and the pronunciation of the symbols. On the flashcard page, the stroke order, hiragana in words with translation, mnemonics, and pronunciation files are given.

Title: Katakana Lesson

URL: language/katakana.htm

On one page all basic katakana plus the combination symbols appear in convenient table form. The sounds of katakana are provided in small groups by a native speaker. There is also a link to the hiragana page where the same format and features are offered.

Title: Japanese Writing


This site covers hiragana, katakana, and a limited number of kanji. The highlight of these pages is the animated brush that stroke by stroke draws the symbols; readings and translations for the kanji as well as usage in compounds can be found.

Title: Java Kanji Flashcards


500 flashcards which can be browsed or searched or used for drills are presented in a user-friendly format. On the front of each card are the readings (on-yomi and kun-yomi), the number of strokes with an animated rendition of the character, and some common compounds; on the backs of the cards are translations of the individual kanji and the compounds. The cards can be printed when desired.

Title: Kanji Site

URL: The kanji contained on this site consist of 1,000 of those required for the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test.) The test has four levels of difficulty; to date this site has compiled the kanji for three of the four levels. The kanji for each of the three levels appear in a frame, and after clicking on a kanji, the detailed view appears in an adjoining frame. Details include the readings, translations, compounds, and other kanji similar in form.