Friday, January 13, 2006

Your Japanese Podcast Connection

A little about the Japanese Podcast 101:

Our goal is to make Japanese, easy and fun, while incorporating culture and current issues into our lessons. We believe the more you speak the quicker you learn, so we have designed our program to get you speaking right away. Situational Japanese is heavily stressed, and our 4-member team role play various situations to demonstrate what form of Japanese to use when speaking with friends, customers, executives, etc. Knowing which form to use, separates good speakers from great speakers.

I admit, the dialogues are a little slow, but it's great listening practice and they break down vocabulary wonderfully. Also, you can' t beat having a native speaker.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Catagory Four Language - Japanese

According to the U.S. Department of State's Foreign Service Institute, Japanese is one of the most difficult languages to learn. The Institute, which oversees the training of U.S. diplomats, catagorizes languages into four groups, from Category 1 (easiest to learn) to Category 4 (most difficult). Japanese is a Category 4 language—one of four—the others being Arabic, Chinese, and Korean. Here is the complete breakdown for the major languages:

Category 1

To attain "professional" proficiency: 24 weeks of full-time study

  • Danish

  • Dutch

  • French

  • Italian

  • Norwegian

  • Portuguese

  • Romanian

  • Spanish

  • Swahili

  • Swedish

Category 2

To attain "professional" proficiency: 32 weeks of full-time study

  • Bulgarian

  • Dari

  • German

  • Greek

  • Hindi

  • Hausa

  • Indonesian

  • Malay

  • Urdu

Category 3

To attain "professional" proficiency: 44 weeks of full-time study

  • Amharic

  • Armenian

  • Azeri

  • Bengali

  • Burmese

  • Czech

  • Finnish

  • Georgian

  • Hebrew

  • Hungarian

  • Kazakh

  • Kyrgyz

  • Khmer

  • Lao

  • Nepali

  • Filipino (Tagalog)

  • Polish

  • Russian

  • Serbo-Croatian

  • Sinhala

  • Thai

  • Tamil

  • Turkish

  • Uzbek

  • Vietnamese

Category 4

To attain "professional" proficiency: 88 weeks of full-time study

  • Arabic

  • Chinese

  • Japanese

  • Korean
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