flonnebonne: (Default)
 Here's something I posted at http://japanese.livejournal.com/2381436.html, reproduced here for posterity: 

I've been using a (mostly) free iOS app called Webu to practice my reading skills, and I've found it immensely helpful. It's basically a web browser, but when you click on a word it quickly brings up a the Japanese-English dictionary entry and plays the audio out loud. You can also quickly make a flash card for the word for later study. The flash card contains the example sentence you initially saw the word in, and it also lets you go back to the website where you originally saw the word. There are other features too, but I'd say the web browsing and the flash cards are the main ones. 

It's a new app, so it's still got some bugs here and there, but when I emailed the developer he was super nice and implemented some of my suggestions. For example, I asked him to make new types of flash cards and he did! I'm pretty amazed at how kind and responsive he's been. The developer is looking for more users, of course, so I'm promoting the app here now :) Not being paid, I promise! Just want to spread the word. 

Note: the free version of Webu has some limitations on how many words you can look up per hour and how many flash cards you can save (100). The limitations aren't too bad though--if I weren't studying for the JLPT this year, I would have probably just kept using the free version. In a way the limitations are sometimes good: it's helpful sometimes to force yourself to not look up too many words (so you learn to figure things out more from context). But when you're cramming for the JLPT you do things a little differently :D Anyway, the paid features are only a couple dollars each, at least in the Canadian app store, so if you want them they don't break the bank. 

Link to Webu on the App Store

User Guide for Webu

One more thing: the developer also has another app called Sabu, which is similar to Webu except that it's for videos. Mind you, I haven't tried out Sabu yet because there's no free trial version and I have no room for video files on my phone. But it sounds very useful. You can play a video on your iPhone with two sets of subtitltes, and when you encounter a word you want to learn you can click on it to look it up, hear it, and add it to flash cards. The rewinding and forwarding and such also seem to be really tailored for language learning. 

Link to Sabu on the App Store

Sabu website

Sabu feature description

Hope some of this is helpful!

flonnebonne: (Default)
So there's a Kickstarter for a BL manga/textbook that teaches you Japanese. With professional voice acting and everything. It's the second volume, so I guess the first volume is already out there.

If my Japanese were lower level I would so be getting this.

flonnebonne: (Default)
For the past month or so I've been reading fanfics in Japanese for 30 minutes or so before bedtime. This makes me sound all kinds of studious, but I actually only do it because reading in Japanese helps put me to sleep, ha. (Whereas reading in English keeps me awake.) Instead of counting sheep, I review vocab in my head. Zzzzz.

Read more )

TLDR version:
-The Kindle has decent Japanese dictionary support.
-The Kindle is good for highlighting, bookmarking, and writing notes - all useful for studying.
-It's easy to email documents to the Kindle, which makes it easier to put Japanese content on there.
-Reading Japanese fanfiction instead of, say, newspaper articles, means you learn useless vocabulary and have to deal with pixiv, which is a horribly designed site.
flonnebonne: (Pierrot)
You need 55% to pass N1.

...I got 56%.


Language Knowledge (Vocab/Grammar): 45/60
Reading: 19/60
Listening: 37/60
Total: 101/80

Wow, I really guessed well on the first section. I had no idea what the right answer was most of the time.

...Obviously I need to do more reading practice. Of real books and articles, not just manga.

I thought I'd done a bit better on listening, but by that point I was really tired and cold and unable to concentrate, so I guess that's about right.

They sent me a bent certificate, but I guess that's what you get when you only pass by 1%. I lost my 2-kyu certificate, so having anything is better than nothing.

As Chun Li would say, やった!
flonnebonne: (AlienSlippers)
Stupid misleadingly easy sample exam.

Stupid science article.

Stupid cold exam room.

Stupid lack of sleep.

(That said, I only need 55% to pass. I've still got a chance in hell. Will find in in March.)
flonnebonne: (Default)

Made this comic in Comipo, using the English trial version. Really easy to use. Windows only. Could possibly be used in an educational context.
flonnebonne: (PinkShirtIsPink)
Math-like riddle time!

Three women go into a hotel and ask for a room to share. The receptionist tells them it will cost 30,000 yen, so the women pay 10,000 yen each.

After the women have gone to their room, the receptionist suddenly remembers that the hotel has a winter special on right now, so the room should cost only 25,000 yen. He calls a bell-hop, gives him 5000 yen, and tells him to bring it to the customers.

However, on the way upstairs the bell-hop sneakily decides to pocket 2000 yen for himself. When he gets to the customers' room he gives them only 3000 yen. So each woman ends up getting 1000 yen back.

Let's think about this. Each customer originally paid 10,000 yen and got 1000 back, so they each paid 9000 yen. Additionally, the bell-hop took 2000 yen for himself.

9000 x 3 = 27,000.

27,000 + 2000 = 29,000.

But the three women originally paid 30,000 yen! Where did the extra 1000 yen go?

(This was a riddle from my Japanese class, which had nothing to do with Japanese and everything to do with our teacher wanting us to figure out the answer for her.)
flonnebonne: (SoraSilly)
I passed 2-kyuu!! With a solid 79.5%!!! Definitely higher than most of my practice tests! I have got some MAD GUESSING SKILLZ yo.

Writing & Vocab: 90/100
Listening: 74/100
Reading & Grammar: 154/200 (I repeat, MAD GUESSING SKILLZ)
Total: 318/400

Woot woot.
flonnebonne: (Default)
So I took the JLPT 2-kyuu test on Sunday, and it was a bit harder than the practice tests, but that's how it always is with me. I get nerves! It makes it hard for me to do the listening portion, especially.

Anyway, it might be presumptive of me to give advice on writing the JLPT, considering that I might not have even PASSED the damn thing (I was getting 70-75 on my practice tests, so there's a chance I messed up and failed), but I figure I should write down my study tips while I still have them fresh in my mind. It's partly for my own benefit--the next time I take the JLPT, I want to study better instead of harder.

JLPT study tips )

p.s. This Chinese site already has scans of this year's tests (except for 4-kyuu). 0_o

[Edit] This is NOT an ideal way to study Japanese. It is, however, not a bad way to cram for the JLPT.

flonnebonne: (Rhino)

I previously found some websites containing old JLPT tests...but alas, the mp3s don't seem to work! Also, jlpt.info seems to be down, which is the site I downloaded old tests from when I was studying for JLPT3. Booo! 

Does anyone happen to have audio files for the old JLPT 2 tests? Heck, if you have pdfs of the old tests too (the ones on the Chinese site are pretty blurry) I'd love to have those as well.

I bought a textbook with old tests in it but it turned out that there were only 2 tests. Thing cost me nearly 50 bucks too. At the bookstore there wasn't a pricetag on it so I naively thought it was selling for the list price (about 2000 yen, or $20) until it got rung up at the cash register for double what I thought it was. GAH! I paid, since the staff had held the book for me and all, and figured that I could return it later, only to find a big NO RETURNS sign on the receipt. WELL THANKS FOR NOT SAYING SO OR POSTING ANY SIGNS IN YOUR STORE BASTARDS. I'm never giving my business to Iwase Books again. Well, not to that particular Iwase Books anyway.

Okay, I'm done being a cheap whiner now. (Just kidding, I'll never be done with that)
flonnebonne: (Default)
PAST TESTS: http://community.livejournal.com/japanese/1434629.html

"The reading/grammar section is worth 50% of the points on the test. So, it's important you do well on this part. Many people run out of time because the section is so long. I found it helpful to do it this way:
Skip the reading questions and go directly to the grammar questions. Answer them as quickly as possible. If you don't know, just guess and move on. These questions are worth one point each. Finish all the grammar questions within 20 minutes. If you can't, just guess and move on.
Now return to the reading section. I found it helpful to do the reading section in reverse order. The reason is that the questions are arranged from longest reading to shortest reading, so if you go backwards, you can work your way up to the harder, longer passages. Each question here is worth 5 points-- 5x as much as the grammar questions-- so this is where you want to spend most of your time."

If anyone has other resources/advice, I'd be very happy to hear it. :)
flonnebonne: (Rhino)

See I had this stupidly long LJ post filled with clever turns of phrase about my trip to the Bay Area and seeing my boyfriend and his family and my cousins and aunts and the gorgeousness of Monterey and Napa Valley and meeting [livejournal.com profile] tarigwaemir in hippie-filled Berkeley and how we had tea and crumpets and smiled sweetly at each other with gnash'ed teeth (actually we had West African food) which would segue nicely into a vapid discussion of the hikago anon-meme and my thoughts on concrit (in short: I suck at giving it and I'm too lazy to give it) (oh god that line could sound really bad in other contexts) (context is for the weak) but then LJ ate it and I'm going to bed because I have to get up early for my easy Japanese class tomorrow which isn't even for credit and I'm not even paying for.

p.s. Signed up for JLPT 2, only have to learn 4000 vocab words between now and December 7 plus a zillion grammar points and how to properly use them, oh god I am so not retyping that LJ entry.

p.p.s. Nintendo DSi?

[Edit] I started playing FFXII today! Such an awesome game! Although I hate the endless running around through Rabanastre. Can't wait to have an endless supply of teleport stones (will that ever happen?)

Am also playing the DS version of FFIV in Japanese. Gawrsh, comprehension of a game in a foreign language sure is easier when you've already played it at least five times in your own language. Am inputting some of the Japanese sentences from the game into Anki for studying purposes, per this guy's instructions. So I can kind of pretend I'm not goofing off. OH MY GOD JLPT 2 IN DECEMBER 4000 VOCAB WORDS.

[Edit part deux] We didn't actually smile sweetly at each other with gnash'ed teeth, that would just be creepy and I really have to go to bed now.

flonnebonne: (Default)
So, spring break is fast approaching. I'm hoping to take a Japanese course in Tokyo from March 24-28, but I need a place to stay. Would any of my Tokyo/Saitama flist be willing to house me for about a week?? :D I would probably want to hang around for the 29th and 30th as well.

I can choose the morning classes (9:00am-1:00pm) or afternoon classes (1:30-5:30pm) for the course. I'll pick the time that's most convenient for my gracious host, of course. But if no one wants to put up with me, the matter I shall not force. There shall be no remorse from any source!


Dec. 9th, 2007 11:13 pm
flonnebonne: (Default)
Rikaichan is an absolutely fantastic Firefox add-on for reading Japanese websites. Once it's installed, you can just hover your mouse over Japanese text and it'll pop up a translation/explanation.

To install: you need to download at least two files, the main extension and a Japanese-English dictionary (or French, German, or Russian). You should probably also download the names dictionary too.

To turn Rikaichan on: go to the Tools menu in your Firefox browser and select Rikaichan. This actually took me a while to figure out because the website doesn't tell you this very clearly and I'm also kind of daft.


[Edit] There's also a website that does the same thing. You just paste the URL into a field and click a button to Rikai-ize the target website. Thank you, [personal profile] lucathia_rykatu!
flonnebonne: (Rhino)
I should have been studying Japanese tonight, but who am I kidding, I only study Japanese when I'm incredibly bored. So instead, I stared at this list of Hikaru no Go character names, kanji included. And I noticed that Hikaru, Sai, and Akari's family names contain the character 藤, which apparently means "wisteria," and apparently wisteria is a lovely hanging purple flower, which I never knew until I came to Japan because I am an ignorant lout.

(I've also learned that there's such a thing as a "rape blossom," which I think is actually just a horrible way of saying "canola flower." The Japanese word is much nicer: "nanohana.")

Anyway, back to Hikago...the character 藤 is the "dou" in Shindou and the "fuji" in Fujiwara and Fujisaki. Cool, huh? Not so cool is the fact that 藤 also appears in a mostly unimportant Kaioh kid's name (Itou, if you care to know. He doesn't even have a given name). So yeah, probably not such an uncommon kanji.

Another interesting thing: Hikaru and Akira are written in katakana (whut?), which makes me wonder what kind of crack their parents were smoking when they named their kids back in the crazy 'eighties. But maybe it's common in manga? Or maybe I'm just sheltered because I live in the countryside and in Tokyo there are actually zillions of young plebes with katakana-ized names who are all striving for the Hand of God together in perfect synchrony (not like that) without me knowing about it. Or maybe Hikaru is named after Utada Hikaru, the poor slob, so his name is written in katakana like hers is.

(Btw, that wasn't a slur against Utada Hikaru, I actually like her.)

One more thing: Kaneko, the volleyball girl from the Haze go club...Kaneko is apparently her family name. Her full name is Kaneko Masako. What a girly family name...usually the "ko" ending is only on girls' given names. Her kanji looks kind of silly too: 金子正子. It means something like "gold child righteous child."

日本語分かねえええええ。 ("I dunno Japanese") <--------------I dunno if I even wrote that correctly.

[Edit] The character
藤 seems to be really, really common in names, now that I'm paying attention. It's often used in the name Satou (佐藤), for example, which is the most common family name in Japan.
flonnebonne: (Rhino)
My new favorite verb is eraburu, which means "to act as if one's shit doesn't stink."

偉ぶる 【えらぶる】 (v5r) to act as if one's shit doesn't stink (source: the ever-respectable WWWJDIC)

Lame example:
偉ぶりましてください! (Please act as if your shit doesn't stink!)

I just wish it were a type 2 verb so it would be easier to conjugate.

Japanese is so weird.

(P.S. This post was designed to make it look like I know way more Japanese than I do.)

(P.P.S. This post was also designed to use a lot of parentheses.)

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