Reviews

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An Updated Version of an Oldie But Goodie

4-5 Japanese, Books

Published just today, this McGraw-Hill book is a slightly updated version of Easy Kana Workbook, also published by McGraw-Hill all the way back in 1991. I liked that one, so I like this one, too.  One observation: McGraw-Hill…

Digital Dialects: Some Cute and Actually Useful Games, in Many Languages

4 Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Multimedia, Tests, Vocabulary, Websites, Kids

The Digital Dialects website is an unexpected online pleasure full of free language games for 60 languages, from popular ones such as French and German to less widely studied ones such as Zazaki (spoken primarily in eastern Turkey) and Oromo (which…

Free Quizzes on the Transparent Language Website

Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Yiddish, Tests, Websites

I like free online quizzes and tests, but they aren’t really worth anything unless they’re good.  At least some of these from language-learning company Transparent Language seem pretty good! And plentiful: they are available for more languages…

Transparent Language Online: Try It for Free!

3-5 Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Yiddish, Multimedia, Websites

Nashua, N.H.-based Transparent Language offers a free seven-day trial of its Transparent Language Online products.  When I say “products,” I really mean plural: during the trial you can try out any and all languages they have, and…

Schoenhof's Website Is a Window to the World

5 Arabic, Dutch, English, French, General, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Yiddish, Websites, Bookstores/Libraries, Kids

Founded in 1856, Schoenhof’s claims to have the “largest collection of foreign books in North America.” As a student at Harvard, I used to shop at their main store in Harvard Square for my language and literature course materials. I…

I Like This Book

4-5 Japanese, Books, Kids

This book is a lot of fun. It teaches you to write all the characters in the two Japanese syllabaries, hiragana and katakana, which are collectively referred to as kana. The kana, 92 of them in total, are basic elements…

Me Working Hard on Pimsleur Japanese

5 Japanese, Audio Lessons

A Pimsleur lesson is a highly interactive audio experience, roughly 30 minutes long, in which you are repeatedly prompted to say things in your target language. It is challenging but effective—more effective than any other self-help language-learning product I have…

Kinokuniya Storefront

5 Japanese, Bookstores/Libraries, Shopping, Kids

This enormous three-level Japanese bookstore is centrally located in the middle of Manhattan. Kinokuniya’s wares are not confined to books. The store also sells magazines. It sells comics (lots). It sells stationery. It sells gift items.  A café…

View from the Street

5 Japanese, Food and Drink

For a relaxing cup of tea, you might consider this attractive East Village tea house. It is owned by T.I.C. Group, which also owns an insane number of other Japanese restaurants in the immediate area. For…