Are you studying a second language?

You’re probably using textbooks or audibles. Maybe even have language classes. Or best of all, physically submerged in an environment where the language is used.

But whatever you are doing, maybe you can submerge yourself in other ways (no matter your location or wealth) to maximize your language learning. Because we can’t always travel or live in a country where the language your trying to learn is used.

Maybe you can:

  • (free) Change the langue on your phone, laptop and/or other electronic devices
    • if you stay the course even when you are tempted to switch back then you’ll learn
    • just remember how to change the language back if you’re in an emergency 
  • (free) add the keyboard of the second language to your electronic devices. Then use it. (to learn the Japanese keyboard use an app called “FlickPower”)
  • (free) Follow people on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter that write in the second language you’re learning
    • Tip: follow a proportional amount of native speakers to foreign speakers 
    • Tip: Use your laptop and get a google translate widget on your browser so when you’re reading a post you can simply highlight the text and the translated version will automatically pop up (without manually copying and pasting into google translate)
    • (free) Follow brands and organizations on SNS (like NikeTokyo, IFBB Japan, Prime Minister’s Office)
    • (free) Follow hashtags
  • (free) Go to children news/educational sites (like kids.yahoo.co.jp)
  • (free) Play social videogames or mobile games with teammates who know the second language (like join a Japanese clan in the game COC)
  • (free) Watch movies in the second language with subtitles

Also, for those who are learning Japanese I’ve attached a few tried-and-true resources that are mostly FREE:

  • google translate
  • Jisho.org
    • (versatile Japanese dictionary)
  • tofugu.com
    • (creators of Wanikani the kanji learning program and provides a free hiragana and katakana learning program)
  • supernative.tv/ja/
    • (trains you to hear, read, and speak Japanese using over 10,000 bite-sized clips from TV and movies)
  • wkdonc.github.io/conjugation/drill
    • (customizable conjugation flashcards)
  • genki.japantimes.co.jp/self/kanji-reading-practice
    • (kanji practice based on the Genki textbooks)
  • guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar/verbs
    • (free fundamentals textbook)
  • watanoc.com/
    • (real articles that are designed to help you read Japanese and can be categorized by N5-N3 with reading aids)
  • nlt.tsukuba.lagoinst.info/search
    • (customizable generator ranking the popularity of Japanese words)
  • gou.ninja
    • (Drill your listening ability of Japanese numbers)
  • Japanese news sites:
    • www.nhk.or.jp
    • news.yahoo.co.jp
    • www3.nhk.or.jp/news/easy/

By Adam W. Keen

Hey, my name is Adam. I’m a small guy surrounded by big people and a quiet observer in a complicated world, and I am trying to figure things out. I have limited time, resources, health, and capabilities, like us all, but I’m trying to do my best to maximize what I have. Born into a loving middle-class Christian family in Derby, Kansas, USA, I’ve had what people across the world can only dream about, loving and financially well-off parents and over 18 years of exceptional education. I do not earn these things based on my own merits (i.e. birth-parents, birthplace, nationality, race, etc.) and for that I am lucky. Now, it is my responsibility to make something of myself, to take all that I’ve been given and excel.