Heads up for more study tools to fill your Japanese needs!
The Japan Shop now offers mp3 files you can use with your iPod or other mp3 player for studying the JLPT vocabulary sections.
PlaySay JLPT 1, 2, 3 and 4 Core Vocabulary Audio Download Bundle at The Japan Shop
You can also purchase them per JLPT level, but you get a discount if you buy them in a bundle.
I imagine the JLPT 2 vocabulary will be the most popular file!
PlaySay JLPT 2 Core Vocabulary Audio Download
I have never tried these, but I think it would be a great way to study for the vocabulary section of the JLPT. Some of the vocab, especially in JLPT 1, is so rare that you’re likely not to learn them even if you read Japanese magazines everyday. This is a sure way to hammer the words you need for the test into your head.
A great feature of these files is that the word in Japanese and English is displayed on your iPod as you listen to the file. Thus if you’re really hardcore, you could listen to the English or Japanese, and then see if you can write the Kanji yourself.
You could also simply play the file, without using the headphones, and watch the Japanese and English go by, allowing you to sneak in some studying even in places where you aren’t free to take out your headphones. Stealth studying. Gotta love it.
Also, the file uses stereo to play the English in one ear, and the Japanese in the other. So you could take out just the left headphone and only listen to the Japanese, and see if you can recall the English without the prompt. Or, I guess you could just pause it after the Japanese is spoken… But anyway.
One downside to these files though is that the vocabulary list doesn’t give you any context at all. Just the word and it’s English equivalent. I would have liked them to include at least one sample sentence using the word in the audio… So to make up for that you might want to use Google or your dictionary to look up how the word is actually used.
Try playing it while you sleep to subliminally learn Japanese vocabulary… Tell me if it works.