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Education

The Tofugu Podcast: Japan and Japanese Language

Updated 5 days ago

Education
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For people who want to visit Japan, live in Japan, and learn Japanese. Please excuse the tangents.

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For people who want to visit Japan, live in Japan, and learn Japanese. Please excuse the tangents.

iTunes Ratings

302 Ratings
Average Ratings
250
27
12
4
9

Haiku review

By bigtoe416 - Oct 27 2019
Read more
Koichi haters Never smile or laugh or love His jokes are godly

Needs moar people just living their lives

By John Hackworth - Sep 10 2019
Read more
Four and a half stars, rounded up.

iTunes Ratings

302 Ratings
Average Ratings
250
27
12
4
9

Haiku review

By bigtoe416 - Oct 27 2019
Read more
Koichi haters Never smile or laugh or love His jokes are godly

Needs moar people just living their lives

By John Hackworth - Sep 10 2019
Read more
Four and a half stars, rounded up.
Cover image of The Tofugu Podcast: Japan and Japanese Language

The Tofugu Podcast: Japan and Japanese Language

Latest release on Jan 06, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 5 days ago

Rank #1: Transitive and Intransitive Verbs in Japanese feat. Kristen

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We talk to Tofugu translator Kristen about the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs. This concept trips up a lot of Japanese learners. Even people who think they know how transitivity pairs work in Japanese, they don't really. Kristen helps you understand transitive/intransitive verbs once and for all.

iTunes:https://tfg.li/tofugu-podcast
Google Play: https://tfg.li/tofugu-gplay

Jan 20 2017

29mins

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Rank #2: How to Count Living Things (and Monsters, and Robots) in Japanese

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We talk about the counters that count living things (頭, 匹, 人, and 羽) and how they overlap with each other.

We also answer the hard Japanese counter questions like: can you count a robot with 人? What about a cyborg? How big can a 匹 animal be? What counter is worthy of the King of the Monsters?

After you're done listening to this, learn way, way more about counters in our list of 350+ Japanese counters worth knowing: https://www.tofugu.com/japanese/japanese-counters-list/

Jan 08 2019

52mins

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Rank #3: How to Memorize Japanese Words Faster with Keyword Mnemonics

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Read the article: https://tfg.li/2fRsA52

Memorizing Japanese vocabulary takes a lot of time and energy, and there's so much to memorize! This alone makes people give up before they even get started.

But what if there was a way to alleviate this burden by making memories of Japanese words stick in your head almost instantly? You might not have to quit learning Japanese. In fact, you might just become fluent.

In this episode, Koichi, Kristen, and Michael teach you how to use the keyword mnemonics method to memorize Japanese faster and keep it in your head longer. After they walk you through the steps, you'll be able to create mnemonics and memorize Japanese vocabulary like a pro.

Best of all, you'll learn Japanese faster than everyone else. Listen to the podcast and thank us later.

Oct 07 2017

1hr 19mins

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Rank #4: Why You Should Go To Japan Instead of Taking a Japanese Class

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Find us at: www.tofugu.com/

This week Koichi and Michael discuss the advantages of going to Japan to learn Japanese rather than spend time and money in a classroom. They offer practical advice for making your trip to Japan an impactful learning experience and a fun, long-lasting memory.

Topics include:
- One (basically) free trick to get a ton of random Japanese people to talk to you, in Japanese, so you can have non-stop conversation practice while in Japan.
- When to get the really cheap airplane tickets to Japan.
- Getting over your fear of talking to strangers (that speak Japanese).
- How being in Japan is like a "natural SRS," and how it guides you to what you need to learn next (something very difficult for teachers to do).
- How to make convenience stores, police officers, and people trying to get you into their restaurant into language practice partners.
- How flying to Japan, renting a hotel room, and eating three meals a day can be cheaper than taking a class.
- What to do to prepare yourself for your learning vacation, so you can get the most out of your time there.

Show Notes:

Learning kanji and vocabulary resource (preparing for your trip to get the most out of it): https://www.wanikani.com

Apr 07 2017

53mins

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Rank #5: Do Japanese People Stereotype Foreigners?

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Get more from us at: https://tfg.li/2fEcRty

This week the whole gang comes together to discuss their personal experiences with discrimination in Japan. Join us as we try to navigate this complex issue without painting Japanese people with a “broad brush.”

In this episode, we discuss:
- What it means to be “accepted” by Japan
- Passive & active curiosity
- Why Michael stared down a foreigner
- Why old Japanese ladies hate Koichi

May 05 2017

43mins

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Rank #6: ちょっと, a Little Word That Means a Lot

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Read more about ちょっと in our article:

http://www.tofugu.com/japanese/chotto/

We talk about ちょっと. At first it seems like a simple, little word. But, it actually has many meanings and ways to use it. We cover most of them, I think.

Jun 13 2018

1hr 1min

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Rank #7: Is Japanese Class the Best Way to Learn Japanese?

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Get more from us at: https://tfg.li/2fEcRty

The whole gang gets together this week to discuss learning Japanese in a classroom. Everyone on the show has had different experiences learning Japanese, so it's an especially interesting look into the process. If you're currently in or considering taking a Japanese class, this is an essential listen.

You'll hear a range of perspectives from:
- Kristen's traditional route
- Koichi's mixed educational experiences
- Michael's self-taught journey
- Kanae's native Japanese classes

May 19 2017

59mins

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Rank #8: The Absolute BEST Japanese Learning Resources from 2017

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Read the series: https://tfg.li/2oM5rYr
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After a year of collecting the best Japanese learning resources every month and delivering them straight to your eyeballs, Tofugu sits down to discuss which study tools are the best of the best.

We divided all the resources into six categories. Then each host (Koichi, Michael, and Kristen) picked their favs before battling it out on the podcast field! Actually, they discussed it pretty civilly, but the result is the same: you now have a definitive list of THE BEST Japanese learning resources from 2017. If you’re having trouble sticking to your New Year’s resolution to study more Japanese, let this list be your shot in the arm.

Jan 29 2018

1hr 47mins

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Rank #9: Ways to Improve Your Japanese Pronunciation

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In this episode we get into Japanese pronunciation.

Whether you are a beginner, advanced, or fluent, you'll find something in this episode that will help you to improve your pronunciation.

To read more, check out our (really in-depth) guide:

https://www.tofugu.com/japanese/japanese-pronunciation/

May 23 2018

1hr 10mins

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Rank #10: Tofugu Answers Your Weird Japan Questions: Volume One

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Get more from us at: https://tfg.li/2fEcRty

For the first time ever, members of the Tofugu staff sit around and answer your Japanese language, living, and visiting questions. We answer questions like:

- Are the Yakuza dangerous?
- How old do you have to be to be an ALT through JET?
- Should you go to a nomikai even if you don't drink alcohol?
- Have we ever eaten Crayons?
- Should someone live in Japan for six months or twelve?
- And more? Probably? We didn't check carefully, so there are probably more questions that I didn't add to the description.

iTunes:https://tfg.li/tofugu-podcast
Google Play: https://tfg.li/tofugu-gplay

Jun 23 2017

57mins

Play

Rank #11: What to Do with One Day in Tokyo

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Get your ideal day itinerary here: https://tfg.li/2fbRsb4

Oh no! The Tofugu Team has been kidnapped by Elon Musk and flown in his spaceship to Japan. He doesn't know how to have fun as a human, so he's forcing Koichi, Kanae, and Michael to show him what they would do with one day in Tokyo.

If you're in Tokyo for a short visit, you can get some sweet travel tips from the team as they move from place to place, Elon Musk trailing slowly behind. Exciting destinations like:

- A restaurant that serves shaved ice made with water from a World Heritage site
- An indigo clothing store
- A ramen restaurant that makes its own noodles right in front of your very own peepers
- A multi-level toy store
- A bath house with fancy wall murals
- A bar where you can taste your favorite movies
- And many more (like a lot more)

And if you want to read about Kanae's ideal day in particular, check out the article she wrote: https://tfg.li/2fbRsb4

iTunes:https://tfg.li/tofugu-podcast
Google Play: https://tfg.li/tofugu-gplay

Sep 15 2017

1hr 15mins

Play

Rank #12: O Genki Desu Ka?

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Read more about Genki:
http://www.tofugu.com/japanese/genki-meaning/

Everyone learns "o genki desu ka" when they begin their Japanese language education. But the truth is real people don't say it that much. So, how do you ACTUALLY use genki? We cover genki's use cases, its history, etymology, and more.

Jul 10 2018

1hr 8mins

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Rank #13: The 5 Best Japanese Learning Resources of 2017 (So Far)

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In January 2017, Tofugu started collecting the best, newest Japanese learning resources each month and reviewing them in a series (which you can read here: https://tfg.li/jlr2017).

It's been six months since we started, and we've collected 32 new resources. Now it's time to reveal the best of the best! In this episode, Kristen tells you her 5 absolute favorite resources. As Tofugu's translator, she knows what it takes to study faster, better, and stronger.

So if your progress is stuttering, listen to this podcast to discover new Japanese study tools that will get you back on your feet and running toward the finish line.
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For the full list of all 32 resources, check out our series "JAPANESE LEARNING RESOURCES"
https://tfg.li/jlr2017

iTunes:https://tfg.li/tofugu-podcast
Google Play: https://tfg.li/tofugu-gplay

Jul 28 2017

1hr 8mins

Play

Rank #14: What's the Difference Between On'yomi and Kun'yomi Kanji?

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Read the article: https://tfg.li/2wMOjkR

This is maybe the most frustrating aspect of studying kanji. You start learning 山 as やま. Cool, one kanji memorized. Wait... it can also be read as さん.

Wait. All your other kanji have 2 or 4 extra readings too! Some are on'yomi. Some are kun'yomi.

Why does this have to be so complicated?!

It may seem confusing at first, but if you learn the difference between on'yomi/kun'yomi readings, where they came from, and how they work, we promise it will make learning kanji a lot easier.

Listen to this kanji-tastic episode where Kristen explains all this and more. When you're breezing through kanji like a pro, you'll be glad you did.

iTunes:https://tfg.li/tofugu-podcast
Google Play: https://tfg.li/tofugu-gplay

Sep 22 2017

1hr 36mins

Play

Rank #15: A Food Itinerary for Your Japanese Vacation

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Get more from us at: https://tfg.li/2fEcRty

Visiting Japan and don't know what to eat? Sushi and ramen are great, but you don't want to spend your vacation eating the same things every day. That's why Michael and Kanae discuss their favorite Japanese foods (and where to find them), so you can step off the plane ready to eat.

Whether you're a picky eater to the steel-stomached vacuum, this podcast has something for everyone.

Oh, and if you think you've tried everything Japan has to offer, Kanae has a special list of "adventurous" foods you've definitely (probably) not tried.

You'll learn:
- Where to eat Japan's batter-fried goodness
- What Japanese fishermen eat on the regular
- Places to eat chicken buttholes
- The main types of Japanese restaurants

iTunes:https://tfg.li/tofugu-podcast
Google Play: https://tfg.li/tofugu-gplay

Jun 02 2017

56mins

Play

Rank #16: First-Person Pronouns: 私 (わたし/わたくし/あたし)

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In this, the first episode in our "First-Person Pronouns" series, we talk about わたし, わたくし and あたし. Despite all coming from the kanji 私, each of these three pronouns carries a different level of formality and gives a different impression.

We’ve included some exercises to practice things like which specific situations call for わたし and which call for わたくし.

After you’ve listened to this episode, check out our article on Japanese first-person pronouns:
https://www.tofugu.com/japanese/japanese-first-person-pronouns/

Aug 19 2019

34mins

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Rank #17: How To Get a Job in Japan feat. Peter Lackner

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Get more from us at: https://tfg.li/2fEcRty

We talk to Peter Lackner--who runs jobsinjapan.com--about how to find a job in Japan. Turns out, Peter knows how to make it happen, no matter who you are (and how much education you have).

Get a job in Japan: https://jobsinjapan.com

DISCLAIMER: About a year after this podcast posted, Peter wrote back to us to let us know JESP, J-Wave, and WaveUSA aren't great programs and actually have been up to some shady business he didn't know about at the time of this recording. So he rescinds his endorsement of these programs and recommends you avoid them.

iTunes:https://tfg.li/tofugu-podcast
Google Play: https://tfg.li/tofugu-gplay

Jan 27 2017

39mins

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Rank #18: The 5 "Hidden Gem" Prefectures You Should Visit in Japan feat. Kay from JNTO

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Get more from us at: https://tfg.li/2fEcRty

Koichi and Michael talk with Kay from the Japan National Tourism Organization (that's the Japanese government's official travel promotion arm, btw) about 5 prefectures worth visiting. Of course, this doesn't include Tokyo, Kyoto, or Osaka. No, these are hidden gems, prefectures that you may not have known about.

If you're looking for a unique and memorable Japan travel experience, you're gonna wanna listen to this one all the way through. The prefectures Kay talks about have a lot to offer, and you could spend weeks in any one of them.

So before you plan your Tokyo vacation, listen to this podcast and see if you don't change your plans.

Get in touch with JNTO:
Facebook: www.Facebook.com/visitjapan
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Visit_Japan
Website: us.jnto.go.jp

Mar 17 2017

1hr 8mins

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Rank #19: How to Make Friends in Japan

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It's tough making friends in a new place. Different people have different ways of going about it. Throw in a culture and language barrier and it can be downright frustrating.

For these reasons and more, visitors and new residents to Japan often worry about making friends. That's why the Tofugu Team got together with returning co-host Kanae (she's back!) to discuss the best ways to meet people and start friendships in Japan.

Feb 27 2018

57mins

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Rank #20: Robot Restaurant, the Second Greatest Show on Earth

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Get more from us at: https://tfg.li/2fEcRty

Beep boop. We are transmitting from the future, where all restaurants have become Robot Restaurant. Sure, Japan's Robot Restaurant is a fantastic show filled with music, lights, dancing, and robots, but the food is terrible. And since it's become every restaurant on earth, we are living a food nightmare (albeit an incredibly entertaining food nightmare).

Come with us on a journey, as young Koichi and Michael recount their first experiences with the famous Robot Restaurant.

iTunes:https://tfg.li/tofugu-podcast
Google Play: https://tfg.li/tofugu-gplay

Dec 22 2016

17mins

Play