Have you been so busy working, studying, or downing eggnog lattes that you forgot to get a gift for that special someone in your life?
Here are some great last-minute gift ideas for those you know (including yourself!) learning Japanese.
All of them are digital products that can be emailed to the recipient, so there’s no need to worry about shipping times.
I’ve also made sure to select gifts that focus on action and application, not theory and academic study.
Have a wonderful holiday season and a fruitful New Year!
iTalki Gift Card
If you’ve read this blog for long, you know how much importance I place on practicing with native speakers. There is no substitute for the messy, organic process of communicating with Japanese speakers in Japanese. While input (reading and listening) is an essential part of the language leanring journey, no amount of passive input will ever get you ready for output (speaking and writing). So how does one go about finding opportunities to practice? If you live in Japan, just leave the house! But don’t despair if you still live in your home country; using online tutoring sites like iTalki provides you an easy, affordable, and highly targeted way to practice with native Japanese speakers. In fact, the tutoring context can be even more ideal for language learners than random conversations since your tutor will be more likely to point out mistakes in pronunciation, grammar, word choice, etc. than Japanese friends, colleagues, etc.
To purchase an iTalki gift card:
- Click the button below.
- Scroll down to the bottom and click “Buy a Gift Card” under “More”.
- Select an amount and enter the name and email for the recipient.
- You can send the card now or choose a date (e.g. Christmas day).
- Enter a personalized message (optional).
Gift Cards can then be redeemed for italki credits which can be used to schedule time with a Japanese tutor or professional teacher, get one’s writing corrected, and more.
Glossika is an innovative science-based, audio-focused language learning tool developed by Mike Campbell, an accomplished linguist and polyglot. He designed Glossika to overcome many of the common problems with traditional language learning tools. Instead of focusing on reading and isolated vocabulary, Glossika uses a more natural, sentence-based approach that focuses on training your ears and mouth and helping you reach spoken fluency as quickly as possible.
JapanesePod101 produces some of the highest quality Japanese learner podcasts and tools available. Each episode includes show notes with a complete transcription in kanji, kana, and roumaji, and an English translation. While you can get some episodes for free via iTunes, a membership gives you unlimited access to all previous seasons (1,700+ audio and video episodes). Use their lesson checklist to keep track of which episodes you’ve already listened to, and create a custom feed with content for only your level. They also have spaced repetition flashcards, kanji tools, pronunciation and accent review tools, a grammar bank, and more.
Skritter is one of the most powerful kanji and vocabulary learning tools for Japanese and Mandarin Chinese learners. According to their site, Skritter users remember an average of 90.2% of characters learned after three semesters, while non-Skritter users only remember 39% after the same period of study! Instead of the potentially problematic self-ratings used by most spaced repetition systems, Skritter employs what they call “active recall,” a method that requires you to actually write Chinese characters on the screen of your smartphone or using your mouse/trackpad on your computer.
Use the code LANGUAGEMASTERY to get 10% off.
Master Japanese is my step-by-step how-to manual and resource guide for learning Japanese the fun way. The guide shows you:
- How to create a Japanese immersion environment no matter where you live.
- How to choose resources that fit your unique interests, learning style, and needs.
- How to use brain-friendly, adult-friendly methods and techniques.
- How to learn all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
- How to save time, save money, and learn on your own terms.
- How to have a damn good time along the way!