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Christmas gift ideas for someone learning Japanese

Christmas is just around the corner, and if you have someone in your life who is learning Japanese, you might be wondering what to get them. Never fear! We’ve put together a list of Christmas gift ideas that are perfect for anyone studying Japanese. From books and dictionaries to language learning software and apps, there’s something on this list for everyone. And best of all, these gifts will help your loved one continue their Japanese studies long after Christmas is over. So if you’re looking for some inspiration, read on!

Japanese textbooks

Christmas is the perfect time to show your loved ones how much you care by giving them a gift that will help them in their pursuits. If you know someone who is learning Japanese, then consider getting them one of the following Japanese textbooks:

1. “Genki: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese” by The Japan Times

This popular textbook is used by many Japanese language learners around the world. It features clear and concise explanations of grammar points, as well as plenty of practice exercises.

2. “Japanese for Busy People” by Kodansha International

This comprehensive textbook covers all the basics of learning Japanese, from grammar and vocabulary to Kanji characters. It also includes a helpful dictionary section.

3. “Nihongo Challenge N5-N4 Grammar” by Ask Publishing Co., Ltd.

This book is aimed at learners who are preparing for the JLPT exams. It contains detailed explanations of tricky grammar points, as well as practice questions for each level.

4. “Remembering the Kanji” by James W Heisig

This classic textbook helps learners to remember Kanji characters using mnemonic techniques. It is essential reading for anyone hoping to master written Japanese.

Audio courses for learning Japanese

There are plenty of audio Japanese courses available as Christmas gifts for someone learning the language. Some popular courses include Pimsleur and Rosetta Stone.

Pimsleur is a great gift for someone who wants to learn conversational Japanese. The course starts with basic phrases and gradually builds up to more complex grammar and vocabulary.

Rosetta Stone is another excellent option for those looking to improve their Japanese skills. It uses a unique approach that focuses on teaching through immersion, which makes it ideal for anyone who wants to learn in a way that mimics how they learned their first language.

Japanese dictionaries

When it comes to studying Japanese, dictionaries are an essential tool. They can help you look up words you don’t know, check your understanding of grammar points, and even provide example sentences.

There are many different types of Japanese dictionaries available, so it can be tricky to choose the right one. Here are a few things to keep in mind when making your selection:

-Do you want a printed dictionary or an electronic one? Printed dictionaries are typically larger and more comprehensive, but electronic dictionaries can be more convenient to use.

-Do you need a bilingual dictionary (with definitions in both English and Japanese)? Or would a monolingual Japanese dictionary be sufficient?

-What level of language learner are you? Beginner dictionaries tend to have simpler definitions and example sentences, while advanced dictionaries include more specialized vocabulary.

Here are some recommended Japanese dictionaries for different types of learners:

For beginners: Oxford Beginner’s Japanese Dictionary

For intermediate learners: English-Japanese Learner’s Dictionary

For advanced learners: The Daijisen (all in Japanese)


If you’re looking for a Christmas gift for someone who is learning Japanese, we hope this list has given you some ideas. From dictionaries to textbooks, there are plenty of options available to help your loved one on their journey to fluency. Whatever you choose, make sure it comes from the heart and good luck with your shopping!

Books Dictionary

A Japanese Dictionary that Explains All Particles

We all have a Japanese dictionary either in paper or on some smartphone app. But do you have a Japanese particle dictionary? That’s right! There is a dictionary that is just for all the Japanese particles! It’s called “A Kodansha Dictionary: A Dictionary of Japanese Particles” (ISBN: 4-7700-2352-9) by Sue A. Kawashima, a Japanese language lecturer at Hunter College in New York City.

I am sure you have tangled with the seemingly endless mess that is Japanese particles. Particles (or 助詞 pronounced じょし in Japanese) are a key part of Japanese grammar. They are the small words like と, だけ, は, まで, に, へ, が, etc… that are used to distinguish the parts of speech of words in Japanese sentences. They tell us who does an action, on what object they do that action, motion towards a place, a limit of time, and in some cases even convey emotion. This Japanese particle dictionary explains over 100 particles! Each particle meaning is followed by numerous example sentences and their translations.

Who knew something like this existed? I’m glad it does though! This dictionary can really get you out of a jam when you are trying to translate a sentence where you understand the words but an obscure particle usage is getting in the way of your full comprehension.

I really like how this book is designed for all levels of Japanese learners. The example sentences are easy enough that you can focus on understanding the meaning of the particle being discussed without having to worry about the surrounding words. However, the more advanced learners will enjoy the fact that this book is very inclusive, covering just about every particle you might encounter in modern Japanese, and explains different shades of meaning that a particle may have in various different situations.

The publisher, Kodansha, is also the publisher of the “Power Japanese” series such as the interesting “Communicating with Ki” by Jeff Garrison and Kayoko Kimiya which explores over 200 Japanese idioms which all utilize the word “ki” (気 meaning “spirit”). Combine your mastery of Japanese particles and Japanese “ki” idioms, and there’s no stopping you!

If you have any gems such as this book about oddly specific Japanese grammar points, please let me know in the comments.