Wasabi - Learn Japanese Online-


They provide recited materials in collaboration with the radio station, FM Shimabara.
Use radio podcasts designed as teaching materials to learn practical Japanese.

  • The podcasts can be played at slow speed to suit the recitation or with pauses as necessary.
  • There are four types of audio files, which can all be downloaded for free.
  • The Japanese scripts all come with furigana [phonetics].
  • The scripts have English translations as well as English explanations in areas such as difficult expressions and onomatopoeia.
  • Specific oral reading methods for self-learning are also offered.

How to...

Go to the Wasabi Homepage and choose "Self-Learning" from the "Curriculum" menu.

Click "Read-Aloud Method" from the List of Japanese learning resources under "Self-Learning Japanese Materials". To find how to practice reading aloud, look under "Material Information" and find "How to Use: Read-Aloud Method" at the bottom, where you can check specific ways to read as well as how to proceed.

This gives you detailed explanations of each of the six steps in the Read-Aloud Method.

If you want to save the podcast, you can download it for free from the "Download Link" at the bottom of the "Self-Learning" page. There are four types of audio files to choose from, to suit your practice method and level: A. Slow speed, B. Slow speed with pauses, C. Natural speed, and D. Natural speed with pauses.

You can find the lesson under the "Program Table of Japanese Lessons" in the center of the page. A variety of topics are covered, ranging from weather to cultural activities, foreign news and Japanese economics.

Unlike a textbook, a radio personality speaks colloquial Japanese, which is more common and offers you practice in practical listening and conversation.

Let's take a look at foreign news, for example.
First, we choose the four types of audio files (A. Slow speed, B. Slow speed with pauses, C. Natural speed, and D. Natural speed with pauses) that match the podcast to download. If you are repeating for the first time, it might be best to choose B. Slow speed with pauses.

Under each lesson, you will find the sections, Japanese Script, English Translation, and Notes: Japanese Grammar and Vocabulary.

The Japanese script will show the readings for all characters other than hiragana and katakana, in furigana.

Once you have taken a look through the Japanese script, you can check the English translation to make sure that you have understood the content.

Basically, difficult expressions and vocabulary footnoted in the Japanese script and English translation are explained in English.

Also, there are worksheets regularly used during online lessons for which there are charges, but the worksheets themselves can be downloaded and printed for free.
Go to "Curriculum" and choose "List of Worksheets".

There are worksheets for Scene Practice, Sentence Pattern Practice, and Discussion Practice. Like the podcast scripts, the sentences in the worksheet all have furigana.
The beginner worksheets have English sentences too, to make it easy.

Scene Practice

Sentence Pattern Practice

Discussion Practice begins at the intermediate level, where you can practice with NHK Easy News. High intermediate uses Lifehacker and GIZMODO, and at the Advanced level you can practice with TED Talks. Audio files are available for most media, making it an ideal material for self-learners, and those who already have native Japanese speakers for instructors.

Discussion Practice (Intermediate)

Articles regarding Japanese instruction are regularly posted for anyone to read. The posts can be found at the bottom of the Homepage or on the right-hand side of each "Self-Learning" page.

Articles are divided into categories such as How to Speak Japanese, Japanese Lessons, Learn Japanese from Manga, Interview Article, and so on.

There is a great variety of materials to learn from. For example, in How to Speak Japanese, you will find a detailed explanation of when a typical Japanese phrase such as "おつかれさまです" is used. In Japanese Lessons, cartoon scenes are used to explain expressions, vocabulary, and grammar. YouTube videos are used for pronunciation practice. You'll never get tired of it.

This site was introduced on our eな Information Station.

Last update 2016.01.29