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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!


Better than Anki for Learning Japanese!

While browsing the Kanji Koohi forum, I read a post by user Deign who claimed to have created a new app for learning Japanese. Skeptical, I gave his app a shot and was very impressed. It’s better than Anki!

His app is called Mainingu. It is still in the early stages of development, but you quickly start to understand the brilliance of it.

Looking to learn Japanese through comics?

Each lesson (or deck) is broken down by difficulty and title of an anime or Japanese drama. Now, this is important. The reason why it’s broken down by drama is because the cards you will see all have a short clip where one of the characters says a sentence or a word. You are presented with partial text and a blank to fill in.

After hearing your favorite character or actor say their line, you have to use your ears to figure out what word they said. Then you can show the answer and choose “again”, “got it”, or “easy”. Like Anki or other modern flash card programs, you will be shown more often clips/words that you found to be more difficult.

There are so many resources for reading and writing Japanese, but the oral comprehension space is sorely lacking. Thankfully, there are developers out their who are thinking of new ways to incorporate video and audio into educational apps. If you feel like you need to work on your listening skills in Japanese, I highly recommend that you give this app a try.

If you don’t understand the sentences in the Mainingu app, check out my list of beginner Japanese resources and intermediate Japanese resources.