Japanese Language Resources
The resources found below (and in some cases free downloads of materials) are from a variety of sources – some are materials produced by OMF, others by other missions or Christian organizations and some are by secular publishers. On these pages you will also find tips of various kinds related to learning Japanese.
When there is only an introduction to a resource or some sample materials, you will find information on how to get the full text. If you would like further information please contact the OMF Language Advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Religious Language Supplement (beginner)
- Christian Life Supplement (intermediate)
- Bible course (explanation and sample-intermediate)
- Sunday School resources
- Sermon course described
- Sermon Illustrations 1-25 with furigana
- Sermon Illustrations 1-25 without furigana
- Sermon illustrations 26-40 with furigana
- Sermon illustrations 26-40 without furigana
- Simplified Bible stories
- Quotes from Famous Christians
- Bible study materials
- Anderson ‘Steps to Freedom’ (Kaiho e no Steppu)
- Kiso no Manabi Vocabulary list
- Aids for praying in Japanese
- Christian DVDs in language study
- Hymn Japanese
- The Language of the Seika
- Pastors need prayer too (with furigana)
- Pastors need prayer too (without furigana)
- 6 famous Japanese Christians
- Manga Japanese Church History
- Prayer Power: Japanese Language Handbook
OMF has developed more than one option for intermediate kanji courses to go alongside the published texts ‘Shin Nihongo no Chukyu’ and Mina no Nihongo Chukyu 1′. Please contact the OMF Japan Language Advisor at email@example.com if you would like more information about these intermediate courses.
- Learner strategies for better listening
- Podcasts in Japanese language learning
- Japanese Literature made easy and audible
NB. Resources introduced in other sections may also provide ways to improve listening skills. Examples are the general textbooks, news, proficiency tests and video sections.
Proficiency – what is it & evaluation
Assessing your proficiency levels
Books of the Bible Vocabulary lists
With the exception of the gospels of Matthew and John, the following vocabulary lists were compiled by an advanced learner of Japanese so users at a lower level may find that the lists are not as extensive as they would like. Nevertheless, they should be of great help to learners wishing to read the Bible more in Japanese.
The materials in Preparing for Ministry-a Cultural Curriculum comprise part of the Language and Orientation Program at the OMF Japanese Language & Culture Center in Sapporo, Japan but have been adapted for general use by other mission personnel in Japan. There are 60 tasks ranging from general cultural activities (going to a noodle shop or onsen) to finding out about how people become Christians or how you could use Christian literature in evangelism. Tasks may be tackled in any order as you have opportunity. It may be helpful to keep notes on each task as you complete it. If you can be accountable to someone for these assignments you will gain much more from them. If you have recommendations for new assignments please let the OMF Language Advisor know at firstname.lastname@example.org
General texts/Short term
General Course Books
Materials for short termers
This is A B5 sized 24 page booklet in both kana and romaji produced by experienced teacher, Ms Kaoru Shimada It is attractively produced with colour illustrations and is good for short termers with only a few hours for study.
2. Survival Japanese (40 hour course)
An introductory course produced at the OMF Japanese Language & Culture Center and geared in its topics and vocabulary towards short termers in church planting situations. Topics covered include introducing oneself, shopping (how much?), what’s this?, the days of the week, basic verb forms, requests etc. The Hiragana version assumes that the short termer has learnt or is learning hiragana and katakana alongside the 40 hour course. The romanized version is for those not planning to learn hiragana and katakana. Samples from the course can be downloaded. Contact the OMF Language Advisor at email@example.com to order the full course by e mail.
- Survival Japanese Hiragana (OMF course) Sample Unit 1
- Survival Japanese Romanized (OMF course) Sample Unit 1
- Survival Japanese Hiragana (OMF course) Sample Unit 6
Some suggestions for continuing study after the 40 hour or other short course are as follows:
- ‘Hajime no ippo’ （はじめのいっぽ）’First Steps in Japanese’ by Surieenettowaaku スリーエーネットワーク 2,233 yen plus tape. For those with a very keen desire to continue studying.
- ‘Japanese in 45 hours’ by Senmon Kyoiku Shuppan （専門教育出版） – main text 1,300 yen, workbook 1,200 yen, Notes and translation 1,800 yen. (There is no accompanying tape.) This is a slighter easier option than a.
- Free Japanese language classes taught by volunteers. We recommend that short termers make use of volunteer classes wherever possible. In the major cities there are many volunteer groups offering classes at different times of the day and sometimes several days a week. Please contact the OMF Language Advisor for further information.
NB. Japanese learners with a background in Korean or Chinese or those with some knowledge of Japanese already may prefer the option of beginning straight away with the beginner texts being used with longer term missionaries such as ‘Minna no Nihongo’（みんなの日本語）. You can find the introduction to this under ‘General Course Books – Beginners’ on this website.
The following are articles written by Miriam Davis which form Part 2 of the OMF Japanese Language & Culture Center Language Orientation Handbook. They are designed to help language learners think consciously about how they learn and find ways to improve the effectiveness of their learning.
- Beliefs about language
- Role of personal factors in language learning
- The characteristics of a good language learner
- Learner Types and styles
- Learner Strategies with strategies for improving memory recall
- Strategies for vocabulary learning-Introduction
- Strategies for vocabulary learning – Associations, Images, Mnemonics
- Strategies for vocabulary learning – Some More Techniques
- Learner Strategies – Listening
from Japan Harvest Magazine
The following are some of the Language Lab articles by Miriam Davis.
- Chushingura – the story of the 47 ronin
- Devils and Demons in Japanese thought and life
- Donna te, naniya san?
- The tiger in the painted screen
- Kanji Idioms 1
- Kanji Idioms 2
- Japanese expressions – Manyoshuu, vermilion, coffin lids
- Japanese expressions – Musuko, shibugaki and awaremi
- Miura Ayako – Christmas with the neighbourhood children
- No de and Kara
- Haruarara – the sunshine horse
- Hidden implications
- Till the battery dies
- Dancho-the heartrending grief of a mother monkey
- Sayings of famous people
- The Canary that forgot its Song
- Light on the Cross – Seika 397
- Developing Cultural Awareness
- Introducing Watanabe Kazuko
Recommended reading & viewing
Below is an introduction to just a small selection of books and DVDs which are recommended reading and viewing for missionary residents in Japan. There are 3 sections:
- Part 1: General books on Japanese life and culture
- Part 2: Christian resources on Japan and Japanese culture
- Part 3: Culture shock, adjusting to life in Japan as a missionary