Some J-Rock for ya. RADWIMPS.

My brother-in-law introduced me to this band, so I guess it’s the kind of music that 20-something Japanese guys are into these days!

RADWIMPS are a four-member rock band with record label EMI Music Japan. Japanese who are in the know shorten their name to RADdo (ラッド). I’m getting this from RADWIMPS Japanese Wikipedia entry, check it out for more details.

In case you’re wondering, RADWIMPS really did mean for their name to be like, “rad. wimps.” The wikipedia entry gives some meanings of their band name in Japanese, and they used words like…

「かっこいい弱虫」kakkoii jyakumushi cool weak bug.
「見事な意気地なし」migotona ikujinashi spineless wonder.
「非常に怖がり」hijyouni kowagari extremely chicken.
「マジスゲーびびり野郎」Freakin’ amazingly chicken sh*t.

That was fun to translate…

Here’s another one of their songs.

Lyrics for the same song here:


You like?

– Harvey

Listen to Shitakiri Suzume over and over again

Shitakiri-Suzume, an Amazon MP3 Download

When you listen to a story that you know in your target language over and over again, you learn. It’s a proven fact!* So, put said story on your iPhone or iPod and listen to it on your commute, or while grocery shopping. Guaranteed results. Listening to Shitakiri Suzume (The Cut-tongue Sparrow) will improve your Japanese, and will also introduce you to some Japanese folklore that every Japanese person knows, increasing your cultural knowledge! This is a new audio-only product from TheJapanShop.com team, I checked it out, and can vouch for its awesomeness.

For $8.99 you’ll get 11 mp3s that present the Japanese knowledge locked inside Shitakiri Suzume in a variety of formats. You can also purchase each mp3 individually for just 0.99 cents. If your Japanese is beginner-intermediate and you only have $1.99 to spend, I would recommend getting the “Shitakiri Suzume in Japanese Normal Speed” MP3, and the “Line by Line Japanese and English Part 1” MP3. This way you can hear the entire store start to finish all in native-speed Japanese, and also hear it broken down and translated line by line. Good stuff. If you’ve got a little more cash I would take a look at the audio Vocab lists.

For $8.99 cents you get…

  • The story read in Japanese by a native speaker at normal speed.
  • The story read alternating sentences in Japanese and English, both by native speakers.
  • The story read in Japanese by a native speaker at slow speed.
  • A audio vocab list in which the word or phrase is read in Japanese, and then followed by the English meaning.
  • All of these are separate mp3 files so you can easily select your study method. You can also purchase them individually for $0.99 each.

All the audio is recorded by the folks at TheJapanShop.com, so if you have used their ridiculously popular Japanese Phrases App (free version) you’re going to be hearing some familiar voices!

Even if you don’t want to spend 8 bucks on the entire package, just getting the normal speed story mp3 at $0.99 is a ton of value for the price in my humble opinion! Check it out.

– Harvey

*Probably. I dunno. It worked for me anyway!

Drill Japanese Listening Comprehension on your iPhone

Hey everyone!

I’ve been slacking on my Read More or Die #tadoku partly because I had another project distracting me… Well, it’s finally done and has been released in all its version 1.0 glory, I bring you, Japanese Listening for iPhone!

猫が箱の中にいます! And stuff.

Despite the boring name, it’s actually pretty cool, if I do say so myself.

The basic idea is simple, so there’s not much to explain. Basically it simulates those listening comprehension tests you’ve probably had if you study Japanese with any sort of structure at all. I think this usually shows up on the JLPT as well. You see some images, hear some Japanese, and have to pick out which image the Japanese is talking about. We’ve also provided the full text of everything being said in the study mode, so you can sentence mine it for your SRS if you like! Also, there is no romaji to be found. I know people will appreciate that.

Check it out. After I add more content I may raise the price a bit, so if you’re interested get it while it’s cheapish. I need to try to break even on the cost of getting the illustrations done – otherwise my wife will kill me. (That’s her in the recordings by the way!) Japanese Listening will never cost more than our popular Particles App though, so if you’re still on the fence, rest assured it will never exceed $5.99. It’s about the price of a lunch. And, this is brain food, so hey, it’s like lunch for your brain – but you can eat this one over and over again!

Anyway, let me know what you think, and enjoy!

Oh, and if you don’t already, sign up for TheJapanShop.com newsletter, I may be giving away some promo codes through their newsletter sometime this month!

– Harvey