The Tsugaru Dialect

Learn Japanese

While this site is specifically for the Tsugaru dialect, since it is targeted towards non-Japanese speakers, I suspect some readers are also interested in learning Japanese. If you are interested in getting a start learning Japanese, this section might be useful for you. I'll provide some tips and resources that can help you build a strong foundation.


Use Proven Resources and Build the Habit
There are some resources that stand out as some of the best for learning Japanese. I will list some resources in the section below. Search forums for methods that have worked for others as well. But don't dwell too much on developing a plan, because you need to start executing immediately in order to get results. Just building and maintaing the habit at the beginning is the single most important step. Once learning the language becomes a part of your identity, you're on the path to fluency in that language.

Study or Travel to Japan
Immersion is the most important thing in learning a language. Your brain is an amazing thing that is constantly processing information around you, including language. Being exposed to Japanese on a daily basis is incredibly helpful. You'll get the chance to practice what you know every day and get instant feedback. Additionally, the Japanese language is strongly tied to the country's culture. Except for a few small exceptions, the language is spoken exclusively on the Japanese archipelago. Getting a better understanding of the culture will certainly support your language learning process.

Watch Japanese Media
If travelling to Japan is difficult, or you cannot spend enough time there, try to immerse yourself in other ways. Japanese drama is available on streaming platforms, and I personally think they are quite tasteful and enjoyable. Find radio programs (I enjoy FMはつかいち76.1MHz) or something you can put on while you do other things. Anime is great as well despite some people advising against it; if you find a slice-of-life anime, you'll be exposed to every day Japanese.

Keep an Open Mind
There is an old argument that you cannot learn language the same way after a certain age in childhood. This has largely been debunked. Our brains simply begin to tune out non-essential information after essential language has been learned so it can focus its energy elsewhere. I can't give you advice on how to "hack" your brain to prevent this, but it is important to reject the old myth that you cannot learn language effectively in adulthood, because you absolutely can, and native-level understanding and even pronuncation is possible.


Human Japanese
Basic and Intermediate versions are available in app stores. It is incredibly well structured and written. It will provide a solid foundation of Japanese grammar with introductions to basic words and phrases seemlessly integrated. I recommend it to anyone starting to learn Japanese.

Satori Reader
This is an online tool that provides Japanese text with varying levels of difficulty, readings, hover-over glosses with detailed information about words and grammar.

Midori (iOS app)
Dictionary for iOS. A solid compilation of the open-source dictionaries and tools like Kanji recognition, NLPT classifications, compiled into one pretty neat app. It does cost money however. Other alternatives are available for Android devices.

Genki I & II
The famous books most English-speaking Japanese learners use. I worked through these after Human Japanese and filled in some gaps. They are more detailed and provide plenty practice to hammer in concepts and vocabulary.

Rikaichamp (Firefox) or Rikakun (Chrome)
These plugins are a must have. You can simply hover over kanji you do not know while browsing Japanese language websites for the reading and English gloss.

Youtube Channels
あかね的日本語教室 - Akane provides YouTube video for her students learning Japanese and are of high quality and center around Japanese you'd need to know to succeed in Japan. The cultural information is invaluable.
Onomappu - A friendly and informal teacher of Japanese. The host speaks slow and clear Japanese with various subtitling available.
日本語の森 - This company provides a lot of grammar lessons for intermediate to advanced learners.