Japancast Update

This weekend, Hitomi became an official Zuumba instructor, so we weren’t able to record a new episode.  However, I thought I’d take a moment to give everyone a heads-up on what we’re working on and where we’re headed.

In order to try to grow Japancast from a hobby to something bigger, we’ve been working on many new things.  As you may have noticed, here at the main site we’ve added several new authors who are sharing their experiences from Japan.

At Japancast University, we’ve been working hard to add lots of unique lessons and other things to help you learn Japanese.  For example, our sentence pattern lessons, where you listen to the conversation and then it’s broken down and you learn to replace words and re-use the sentence patterns:

We also have come out with a “basics” lesson that is useful if you’re traveling to Japan soon and need to quickly pick up phrases:

And if you’re looking for more traditional Japanese, we’ve started recording Japanese children’s stories. (make sure to scroll down – there’s more than one!)

Very soon we’ll be adding additional children’s stories as well as several more conversation lessons, such as:  martial arts conversations, web design conversations and car club conversations.

And then finally, if you are a fan of J-Pop and anime, Hitomi created multi-part lessons for Naruto and Evangelion.  These lessons arrive each day over the course of 7 days.

Our goal is to put out lessons you can’t find at your local book store.  So if there’s something you’ve always wished for, please send us an email and we just might turn it into a lesson!


Polyglot – a free plug-in to help you learn Japanese

Attention Chrome users!  I recently found a very cool extension that can help in learning a language.  It has lots of different languages, but of course the one we’re all interested in is Japanese.

How it works is this – you configure it to randomly replace words on websites you visit with the Japanese version of that word.  So you see the word in context, but it’s written in Japanese.  Unfortunately, it cannot give you the pronunciation of the word, so it’s usefulness is somewhat limited.  However, part of learning Japanese is associating meaning with kanji.  Japanese people don’t necessarily need to know how to pronounce a specific kanji to understand the meaning behind it.  So as you see the kanji (and get the meaning by rolling your mouse over the kanji) you will slowly start associating a concept with that kanji.

The extension is called Polyglot and it’s 100% free.  You can add it to Chrome by visiting this link:



EDIT:  Eric Topor on Facebook just sent this:  If you use the rikaikun add on, it will help with translations pronunciation… がんばって下さい!!

Here’s a link to Rikaikun:




Happy studying!


Japancast Hiragana / Katakana

Sorry for double posting, but the last post had a broken link. For those of you who are new to the show, here is a Friday freebie! Here’s a link to totally free lessons in writing hiragana and katakana. Hitomi posted her “Hiragana / Katakana Master Plan” a few years ago so if you’re good at self-studying, feel free to put them to good use!


Join our Facebook fan page here: Japancast on Facebook