Thursday, May 27, 2010

Let's enjoy Japanese: Getting a read

My inspiration for this post came from reading Daniel's entry about his self-study reading list. This isn't the first time I've written about reading and how important an element of study it is, but I just can't emphasize it enough. While I'm not (yet?) able to read as much or as well as Daniel, and I have been slacking with the second volume of Harry Potter, I do continue to read in Japanese, be it even just a little, just about every day.

If you can find the good ones, blogs are an excellent way to study a language. Depending on the theme of the blog and the author, they can provide opportunities to learn a wide variety of vocabulary and expressions, many of which you probably would never see in a textbook. The casual voice and format that have become the norm for blogs make them valuable resources for study.

The only caveat is that the freedom of the blog format can be a double-edged sword. You may experience words and phrases that are difficult to understand or may not be able to find in a dictionary. You also may come across a fair amount of blatantly incorrect words or grammar patterns. If you regularly read blogs in English, you know that even the best online writers make mistakes from time to time. Blogs in Japanese (or any other language) are no different. So while you don't have to be skeptical of everything you read, it may behoove you to proceed with caution.

Every now and then I'll do a search and find some interesting J-blogs, but here are three that I read either regularly or at least every now and then:

いちごいちえ - Yoshie's blog, from which I've learned (or at least been exposed to) a wide variety of words that I had never seen or heard before. I think this is partly due to the fact that her tone fluctuates between casual and polite, so there's a good bit of keigo in the mix.

なぞなぞKING - NazoNazo King. I occasionally borrow riddles from this website, as it has quite a bit. Sometimes I'll come across a joke I don't understand, but most of them are simple enough and at least a little amusing.

アメリカの猫ママ一家のブログ - 猫ママ's blog. This one belongs to a Japanese woman who is currently living in America and raising a family. Interesting to see the flip side - a Japanese expat living in America.

As you read and begin to comprehend more and more over time (without the use of Rikaichan), you'll become more and more comfortable with Japanese, and navigating Japanese websites will also become easier. I find this a quite rewarding and tangible way of getting a basic feel for one's progress.

Do you know of or follow any Japanese blogs? If so, please share them in the comments!





  1. NYからの長旅、お疲れ様。。。昔は大阪国際空港は伊丹だったのにね。。残念。。。(でも、実は伊丹は兵庫県)私が定期的に読んでいる日本語のブログを紹介しますね。一つは、私がむか~し神戸で一緒に働いていた同僚のブログ。(神戸在住。関西弁でブログ。毎日更新をしている。)一つは私の親戚の人のブログ。(奈良在住。彼女も関西弁ブログ。メチャ短いブログ。更新はサボり気味)三つ目は、私が数年前SanJose/CAで一緒に働いていた人の奥さんのブログ。(現在二人は、日本に永久帰国している。)Linkは直接Blue Shoesさんに送りますね。

  2. 何度もすみません。BlueShoeさんに直接Linkを送ろうと思っています。

  3. Taeko,

    Ah, I'd like to read those blogs! You can post the links here in the comments if you like, but I can also be contacted at



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