Site News

* July 29, 2020

We’ve just posted a new version of the free Mnemonic Dictionary. It now includes over 5,600 Japanese terms, with definitions, mnemonics and comparisons to other terms. You may download it from the Lesson Download page. Click on the blue bar that says “Download the Japanese Lessons, Transcript and Guides.” The Mnemonic Dictionary is item 1,F.

*June 2, 2020

Guilherme Nery has revised five more review lessons by removing all of the English speech from them. Review Lessons 1-20 are now available for download after you pass through the Lesson Download portal. These Japanese-only lessons are an excellent way to improve your 聞き取り kikitori (listening comprehension), but you may want to keep a copy of the Transcript nearby as you listen to them. Thank you, Guilherme!

*May 15, 2020

We’ve just added an Excel version of the Transcript which is available for download after you pass through the Lesson Download portal. Many thanks to Paul Moss for converting the file to this format. The reason for adding this version is to allow students to place the material into a flashcard app such as Anki. 


*May 9, 2020

We’ve just updated the lessons listed below. Please consider replacing your affected files if they are dated before 5-9-20. You should also replace your copy of the Transcript of the lessons, since we’ve made many changes to it as well.

Lessons 18, 19, 22 part 1, 22 part 2, 23, 25, 26 part 1, 27, 30, 32, and 35.


* April 28, 2020

Guilherme Nery has revised six more review lessons by removing all of the English speech from them. Review Lessons 1-15 are now available for download after you pass through the Lesson Download portal. Thank you, Guilherme!


*January 28, 2020


I recently made a new video that demonstrates how to use our second book, Learn to Read in Japanese, Volume II.

Among other things, this video shows how to use the new Copy and Paste technique that I mentioned in my previous message. You can use this technique for looking up kanji quickly while you read the digital versions of both of our Learn to Read in Japanese books.

This new technique is not suitable for everyone, since it only works well with computers on which one is able to copy and paste kanji characters precisely between open windows. If you don’t think that you would be able to do a lot of reading practice on such a computer, let me assure you that there is nothing wrong with the physical books. You can continue to use them just as they are, and you will learn to read in Japanese by doing so.

However, if you are a book owner with access to a laptop or desktop computer and if you find yourself constantly turning to the Kanji Pronunciation Index in order to look up kanji, this new technique will allow you to bypass the Index entirely and make more rapid progress. It will be particularly helpful when you start reading the 117 supplemental online reading lessons that we suggest for readers of Volume II.

If you adopt this new technique, you will still find the physical book to be useful in a number of situations, and not just when you are away from your computer. For example, if you are reading on a computer desktop and notice that a kanji in the Kanji Catalogue is being compared to other similar kanji, it is very convenient to use your physical book to look up those similar kanji, without losing your place in the Kanji Catalogue on your desktop.


*January 18, 2020

1. New Review Lessons

I’m happy to inform you that Review Lessons for Japanese Audio Flashcards are now available for download at https://www.japaneseaudiolessons.com/how-to-speak-japanese/. Guilherme Nery, who lives in Brazil, is removing all of the English dialogue from the lessons, leaving only Japanese sentences and phrases.

I’ve listened to the 9 lessons that he has completed, and I think that students who have studied the original lessons will find these revised versions very useful for review. Thank you, Guilherme, for your excellent idea and for the hard work that you are doing to implement it!

2. A New Technique for Looking Up Kanji

In the past, I always expressed the view that the physical book versions of our two publications Learn to Read in Japanese, Volumes I and II, were more convenient to use than the PDF versions, and I effectively discouraged readers from buying the PDF versions for that reason. At the same time, I understood that the process of looking up kanji in the physical books was time-consuming, and I was searching for a way to enable kanji search in the PDF versions.

Last month, a solution to this problem suddenly occurred to me, and to my surprise, it turned out to be quite simple. You can read about this solution in the section titled “How to Use the Books in the PDF Format” at https://www.japaneseaudiolessons.com/how-to-read-japanese-and-learn-kanji/.

The solution allows readers with the PDF version of a book to copy an individual kanji from the “Japanese Reader” and then paste it in a Search box in the “Kanji Catalogue,” completely bypassing the “Kanji Pronunciation Index.” Unfortunately, this copy and paste technique is best done on a computer, not on a hand-held device like a phone or a tablet.

I believe that, if you use this solution, you will be able to read Japanese sentences more quickly, and you will experience less stress as you study. As a bonus, as a PDF owner you will always have rapid access to the most recent version of the Kanji Catalogue, with free updates as they become available.

We’ve made more than a dozen comprehensive revisions to the Catalogue over the past few years, each one entailing scores of significant improvements, with the goal of making it easier for students to remember all of the kanji descriptions and pronunciations, and I hope that everyone can benefit from those improvements.

3. Revised Equipment Suggestions

In case you aren’t satisfied with the equipment that you’re using to listen to the Japanese Audio Lessons, I’ve recently updated my equipment suggestions and added more photos. Please check out my advice on this page: https://www.japaneseaudiolessons.com/learn-the-japanese-language/.

4. Japanese Grammar Quiz

If you’d like to test your knowledge of Japanese grammar with 40 multiple-choice questions, I’ve recently updated the Japanese Grammar Quiz and brought it back to the web site. Please check it out at: https://www.japaneseaudiolessons.com/japanese-grammar-quiz/.


*December 12, 2019

We’ve just updated the lessons listed below. Please consider replacing your affected files if they are dated before 12-12-19. You should also replace your copy of the Transcript of the lessons, since we’ve made many changes to it as well.

Lessons 6, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 23, 25, 26 part 1, 26 part 2, 28, 30, 32, 33, and 34.

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