Ep 8: Watch more Japanese Variety Shows!

In this podcast I talk about how Japanese “variety shows” (バラエティ番組 – “baraeti bangumi”) are a great way to help refine your Japanese language and cultural knowledge, especially if you are not living in Japan.

I recommended the show “ホンマでっか” (honma dekka) which you can see an episode of here. Also I mentioned “Youは何しに日本へ” which you can see of an episode here.

This is another show I have seen a few times that is pretty interesting.

Variety show rankings over time which show 270 different shows:

The shows are ranked from highest (“1位” = “1st place”) to lowest. Try cutting and pasting any variety show names into Youtube, and you should be able to find some of them to watch. For example, 3rd place ranking is “世界の果てまでイッテQ!”, for which you can see an episode here. I have heard this is a good show but haven’t seen it myself.

Ep 7: A detailed look at the Japanese verb “shiru” [知る] (to know)

In this podcast I give a detailed explanation of the verb 知る (“shiru”) which means “To know” in Japanese.

I talk about some of the main verb conjugations, and then give some examples which can be used in daily conversation (ex: 知るわけない, “shiru wake nai”)


Dictionary form: 知る (shiru)

Negative form: 知らない (shiranai)

Masu form: 知ります (shirimasu)

Te-form: 知って (shitte)

Past (ta) form: 知った (shitta)

Potential form: 知れる (shireru)

Volitional form: 知ろう (shirou)

“maybe ~”:   〜かもしれない(~ka mo shirenai)  [also written as かも知れない]


Ep 6: A review on an awesome language-learning app

In Episode 6 of the Self Taught Japanese podcast I review a great language learning app for the iPhone: Memrise

It works for Japanese as well as many other foreign languages, and a great deal of the content is completely free.

I also tell a brief anecdote about a recent experience regarding the expression 終了しました.


Ep 5: The easy and hard of learning Japanese

In this episode I’ll talk about a few things that I feel make learning Japanese especially difficult, and a few that make it hard.

Also I give an explanation of some of the Japanese phrases I have been using in the beginning and ending of the podcasts.

You can now see this podcast listed on Apple iTunes here:

Ep 4: Pros/cons of using Anime to study Japanese (and 3 recommendations)

In this episode I talk about some of the pros and cons of using Anime to learn Japanese, and also some suggestions to use it efficiently as a learning resource.

I also talk about three anime series that I recommend (technically the last is not a series, however).

  • Kimi ni todoke
  • Time of Eve(full review here)
  • Shelter (See on Youtube here)




Ep 3: My favorite way to learn Japanese: (Japanese) Podcasts (and a tribute to Chin san)

In this episode I talk about using Japanese podcasts as a tool for Japanese learning. I talk about their many advantages (and a few disadvantages), and also two of my favorite podcasts involving “Chin san” from back around 10 years ago when I first got into podcasts.

Also I give some suggestions for beginners who want to start listening to podcasts even though they may lack the necessary vocabulary.

See this page which shows all the articles from my blog about podcasts and contains reviews to several more recent podcasts that I recommend.


Ep 2: How I learned Japanese and what to focus on in your studies

In this episode I will briefly talk about a few ways I studied Japanese and important things to prioritize in your own studies (keeping motivated, fundamentals like grammar, etc.)



Self Taught Japanese Podcast: Episode 1: Celebrating the traditional event shichi-go-san (七五三) in a Buddhist temple

This is the first episode of a new podcast whose content will roughly mirror my blog: discussions about learning Japanese self-taught, Japanese culture, and other linguistic stuff.

In this first episode, I talk about how I went to a Buddhist Temple in Portland and celebrated Shichi-go-san (七五三) with my son.

The picture is of the bag which contained 千歳飴 (chitose ame candy) that I received there.

You can access a new RSS feed that just tracks the podcast here:

(Note: This is a re-post of the first episode since I have gotten a new plugin to manage a independent Podcast RSS feed)