Katakana Japanese writing system.

Practice Japanese While Staying at Home

The threat of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has the world coming to grips with a virus with unproportional outcomes. Countries all across the globe are urging and even mandating their citizens to stay at home to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. Many businesses, public transportation, and non-essential activities and gatherings are put on hold as the world grapples with this unprecedented time.

Chart of common Kanji characters.

Chart of common Kanji characters. | Beheim

Staying at home may be the new normal, as we do our share to stop the spread of the coronavirus. There are several ways to take advantage of the time at home and put it to good use by improving your Japanese skills.

Learn Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji

One way to start learning the Japanese language is getting to know the Japanese writing system, Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji. KCP’s Kana Page gives an introduction to the various Japanese writing systems to help familiarize any beginner in the first steps towards learning Japanese. There are also very easy to use hiragana and katakana tables, kana quizzes, and downloadable worksheets on the KCP site to help in the reviewing process as well as gauge what has been learned.

Katakana Japanese writing system.

Brush-up and even learn Japanese online

There are several online sites that enables self-learning the Japanese language from home.

Textfugu – is popular online Japanese textbook. Its simple design makes Japanese language lessons easy for self learning. Though you can purchase the full version, a linked free site offers the first few chapters of the full version, the katakana chart, practice sheets, an introduction to kanji, and more.

Katakana Japanese writing system. | YW Lim

Learn Hiragana-Katakana – this site has a Flash application that shows how to make katakana and hiragana strokes. It also uses educational games to make learning Japanese fun and more exciting.

Duolingo – is a language-learning website and mobile app that includes a digital language-proficiency assessment exam. The app and the website are accessible without charge, although Duolingo also offers a premium service for a fee.

Watch Japanese movies, anime and manga

Japanese cinema has a history that spans over a hundred years being one of the oldest and largest film industries in the world.  Japanese films have influenced many American movies and some of the scariest horror flicks. Enjoying anime and manga classics from television series and short films to full-length feature films will also do wonders in learning Japanese.

The creator of Star Wars, George Lucas, credits one of Japan’s and the world’s most renowned and influential filmmakers, Akira Kurosawa (1910–1998) for enhancing his creative juices while working on Star Wars. Kurosawa directed 30 films in his career that spanned 57 years, including the film that influenced Star Wars, The Hidden Fortress. Techniques from this film were used in Star Wars, such as narrating the story from the perspective of minor characters like R2-D2 and C-3PO.