Your Top Two?

So you’re chillin’ in your favorite 喫茶店 (きっさてん), minding your own business, immersed in Japanese, when a gentleman approaches your table.  He points to your textbook…

“Hello! Sorry to bother you, but I’m taking a Japanese class and we’re using the same book as you are.  Are you taking a class around here?”

“Oh, no, I’m actually self-studying.” you say.

After a somewhat rushed conversation, you find out he’s  interested in self-study and wants to know about all the awesome websites you’ve told him you’re using to learn.  His wife, however, does not want to know about them and wants to leave, very soon.  She is not afraid to make this known. 

You figure you have about 30 seconds to recommend websites to this guy. (You can write them down, so don’t take ease of remembering into account.)  Quick…

This really happened to me a couple weeks ago.  I scribbled down two websites on Post-It tabs for the guy.  (I’ll tell you which ones and why in the next post.)  Afterwards, I got really curious as to what sites others would have recommended.

Thanks to my fellow Japanese-learning Tweeps for making suggestions!  I used them to help compile the poll list.  Of course, I’m sure I’ve left out many awesome sites, so please feel free to add more in the “Other” section!

I’ll leave the poll up for a week or so, then we’ll have a post with the results!  I’ll also provide links to all the sites in the poll, because they are all valuable tools to language learners! 🙂


7 Responses to Your Top Two?

  1. Delphine says:

    This is a good idea! I’m curious to see what the final results are. And I’m looking forward to the links, too, I’m not sure I know what a couple of them are… O.o

  2. Momo says:

    Wow, I didn’t even know some of these on the list! I will check them out for sure! Thanks for posting this!

  3. Kendra says:

    Haha I actually use most of these sites… 🙂 I’d definitely recommend AJATT to anyone learning any language. comes in second since it helps me keep my vocab studies in check.

  4. kanjiwarrior says:

    Now that Tae Kim has been revamped (not sure how long ago it was done) I can’t recommend it enough. The articles are broken down into small sections and easy to read and very concise (although sometimes lacking enough examples). A very good site though, definitely worth checking out.

  5. Cumbersome interface overhaul aside, gets one of my votes for the sheer amount of learning material it has. I tend to opt toward importing items and sentences into my SRS (which is relatively easy to do, thanks to their robust API and handy Anki plugins) rather than use’s built in flash card system, but I’d say it’s more than sufficient for the beginning learner.

    Tae Kim’s grammar guide gets my other vote, because it’s so accessible and explains things in a way that’s actually pretty easy to understand (not an easy task for Japanese grammar!).

    AJATT gets honorable mention, the merits of which I’m pretty sure most of us are already well familiar with. I think it’s incredibly important to read the site with a critical mind and be prepared to adapt a lot of Khatz’s ideology with your own – that, and be absolutely dead set on learning the language, as AJATT leaves little room for “two hours a week” studying. For that reason, I don’t think I could recommend AJATT to a beginner whom I’ve just met, unless I’m somewhat confident they’d be a good match.

    Now, if this person was a step or two above the beginner level? Well, that’s an entirely different story! In that case, it’d be something more like AJATT and Reviewing the Kanji.

  6. Philip Seyfi says:

    For obvious reasons, I would recommend one to check out my game NihongoUp –

    Of course in a combination with a good textbook (Genki?), lots of literature, music & movies, and all the other great online tools & communities like Lang-8, Tae Kim’s, eduFire, etc.

  7. Brett says:

    Thanks for the mention Liz! Looks like I need to get in earlier next time.

    I would have put my vote in for Smart.FM first, despite the recent interface changes, for utility.

    I am also a big fan of Tofugu, because Koichi is all about teaching people how to learn. His approach takes in to account a variety of learning styles.

    Nihongoup is also good fun! Hi Philip!

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