Learn Japanese! (Part Two)

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I recently interviewed Peter Galante, the founder of JapanesePod101.com, to find out more about this online phenomenon. For the introduction to Peter and JapanesePod101.com please see last week’s blog, “Learning Japanese!”.

Peter Galante
Peter Galante

In what ways do you try to introduce learners to Japanese culture?

“Including culture and cultural insight in each lesson is a core part of our philosophy, and one of our unique selling points. In each lesson the hosts provide cultural insight on the conversation and related situations. We also have a Japanese culture class series of lessons discussing topics ranging from superstition to Japanese dialects. In addition, we have rich written blog. For each audio lesson a tremendous amount of research is done, and incorporated in the conversation. And in each lesson cultural insight provided by the hosts.”

“Recently we started to move toward video, and include footage from Japan to enhance the experience. A video on how to visit a shrine can be seen here on our YouTube channel.”

How do you feel that Japanesepod101.com compares to other Japanese language programs?

“There are so many great Japanese study websites, programs and books available now. We recommend you try as many as you can. After using many of them ourselves, we tried to improve upon them to create the easiest and most fun learning system out there.”

“We have audio lessons, video lessons, community, forum, and we’re lucky enough to be supported by our great community, so we can continue to innovate.”

“Recently we worked with the legendary Jim Breen to record his entire JDICT Japanese dictionary, 140,000 words. This is currently available on our site JapanesePod101.com and Mr. Breen’s site.”

“You can test out the audio dictionary by visiting JapanesePod101.com and registering for you FREE Lifetime account in less than 10 seconds.”

“This tool is absolutely incredible, and FREE to the Japanese language learning community.”

How many users/subscribers does Japanesepod101 currently have?

“Tens-of-thousands of users in 140 countries and territories, and several thousand subscribers.”

Would you recommend any other Japanese language learning programs to supplement the content of Japanesepod101.com?

“There are lots of well-made programs out there to help you study Japanese there are many of the books published by The Japan Times. An indispensable book for someone new to Japanese is A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar.”

“As for supplemental programs, I would say getting a speaking partner to practice is critical. Practicing what you learn is the biggest reward, and will enhance your passion for learning. We offer an online course, but we’re not currently accepting new students. So I would recommend trying to find someone to practice your Japanese with, an tutor, teacher, exchange partner, pen pal, either online or offline.”

In what ways do you try to keep Japanesepod101.com fresh and interesting for long time users?

“We use several strategies.”

“New members – were always adding new hosts and voice actors to give students and users exposure to different styles and methods.”

“New media – Not only do we have a large library of iPhone applications, do mini lessons and games on Twitter and have recently started a Facebook Fan Page to close the communication gap with our users.”

“Video – Recently we started to move toward video, and include footage from Japan to enhance the experience. Subscribe to our YouTube channel.”

“Feedback – we continually incorporate feedback from our listeners.”

“New tools and toys – new features like the audio voice recorder, iphone application like Pocket Japanese, Word Power Japanese and MyWords Japanese. You can try Free versions in iTunes right now.”

“Collaboration – working with others to create new more powerful tools. The project with Jim Breen to provide the Japanese language learning community with a Free audio dictionary was a great project to be a part of. And we’re hoping to work with many more people to provide bigger and better tools.”

“Visit JapanesePod101.com and get your Free Lifetime Account in less than 10 seconds.”

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