As a language learner myself with a long history of learning English and now a recently started journey with Spanish, I was really helped with all the sea of content on the web, LingQ included for sure.
Spanish is a relatively easy language to find resources on the internet, not only those intended for Spanish learners but also for native speakers.
I always wonder what it looks like for Japanese. My native language is Japanese, and because I’m not actively looking for Japanese learning content I’m not sure what kind of content is available for Japanese learners. I know many people learn Japanese through anime or manga, but I’m not sure if the language in manga and anime could be very helpful for Japanese learners in terms of formality and naturalness. Sometimes the language used in manga or anime is not quite what we actually talk, and some of the words can be very rude if you use it in daily conversation.
Since I was able to learn so much from YouTube, podcast, reading materials from books to personal blogs to learn languages, I started thinking if I can make myself useful for Japanese learners as well. In this case, by creating reading/listening content in Japanese.
I personally don’t like the kind of content where people are talking to you if you are a baby, even when I have only the beginner level of language proficiency. To be able to read more natural, down-to-earth content is a great motivation for me to learn languages. And I would like to contribute in such a way.
In a nutshell, what kind of content do you wish to have in Japanese? And what kind of content are you currently using as a source of reading or listening.
I’m looking forward to hearing from many people who are interested in learning Japanese!
I’m probably not representative of the folks studying Japanese here, but it seems like there is room for podcast or youtube content using more accessible language, perhaps targeting intermediate level learners.
In Spanish it seems that there are many interesting and accessible podcasts/YouTube Channels that I can enjoy even with my level (B2). There are the language learning focused ones like How to Spanish, No Hay Tos, Españolistos, Español con Juan, Aprende Mexico, Dreaming Spanish, etc. There is also much native oriented content that is accessible to intermediate learners like El hilo, Bully Magnets, Hemisphero Derecho, Alan X el mundo, Lethal Crysis, Jorge De León, etc.
I’m not sure how much comparable content there is in Japanese.
Of the Japanese podcasts I listen to, I think the Bilingual News podcast could be a great listen to those studying Japanese. Others I listen to seem like they’d be really challenging (あんまり役に立たない日本史, 格闘キャスト, 今朝の三枚おろし, 歴史を面白く学ぶコテンラジオ) unless you already Japanese very well.
It seems like there would be room for a broad range of content like the Spanish ones in Japanese.
Usually I like to jump into topics that I already know a lot of so I can kind of make it comprehensible for me - when I was in the more beginner stages of Serbian I listened to Podcasts about Design since, due to working as a Designer, I already knew most of the “terminology” and through that it became comprehensible. But that’s very specific about me But if you have a topic that many learners know about (history, biographies, cities, countries, …) you can make the content comprehensible without “dumbing it down” too much.
I haven’t listened to such Podcasts in Japanese yet because Japanese, compared to Serbian, is so much better when it comes to resources for language learners. The best resource I found was Satori Reader and I had it for a year until I jumped into “real” content with the help of LingQ. Before starting with Satori Reader, I was going through the Tadoku Graded Readers and was listening along with the Audio that they provided. Now I just go through books and listen to audiobooks next to it because there’s so much content in Japanese. I would say Japanese has one of the best resources from all the languages I know from a learners perspective. (I learnt Russian, Swedish, English, Serbian and Japanese and know the perspective of learning German through my partner who is not a native speaker like I am - btw I am nowhere fluent in neither russian nor swedish, I just learnt it at some point in my life )
夜カフェ was the first book I read in Japanese. But the content was very dull, but it was easily comprehensible. I then jumped into the ふしぎ古書店 series which is very comprehensible but a bit more entertaining. I am also reading through ビブリア古書堂の事件手帖 which takes me way longer than ふしぎ古書店 since it’s more complex, but it’s also another step up in entertainment and has an audio book to listen along with. I hope I’ll soon be able to read 村田 沙耶香 since I really enjoyed her books in english.
So, all in all, I think creating content for Japanese Learners is the most difficult because there is already a lot of stuff. I personally would love more stuff like Satori Reader, since the stories there weren’t really my cup of tea. I only found one really entertaining and that was Kiki-Mimi Radio. The others I read but didn’t really enjoy as much.