Nihongo Noryoku Shiken

The Japanese Language Proficiency Test is fast approaching, and once again, I've wimped out on taking it. I passed level three a long time ago, but level two seems much more difficult--there's a huge jump between them. I've even studied for level two and have books and other study materials to help me study for it, but I'm so afraid of not passing it.

Or maybe I'm just lazy. Right now I'm enjoying reading and speaking Japanese twice a week in my classes, and I walk away satisfied and very happy. So I accept that as progress. It's too late to start intensively training for the December test date, but I should set a goal, finally, to take the test next year. I think I'll do that, and make this blog part of my accountability plan.

If you're one of those folks who's taking the test, check out The Kanji Site to keep you from going crazy from all those characters.

Updates: There's a helpful study guide for the test.

Popjisyo and Rikai help with online reading, kanji, and vocabulary.

Also see info about bilingual books about Japan to assist with your reading skills.

The ALC site has an online Japanese dictionary and publishes helpful books, including 500 Essential Japanese Expressions.

Yookoso has grammar and kanji lists that can be emailed to you every day.

See lists of Words from Japanese Newspapers in kanji, hiragana, and katakana.

Also check out the vocabulary lists for the test.

Read manga, listen to audio files, and read examples at an excellent Giongo and Gitaigo site.

Get online Kanji flashcards.

Other sites: Katango and JLPT Kanji Project (thanks to Kikoubun).


Claudia Casu said...


I'm really scared but I decided to take the test on December.
Thanks for your link!


Margaret Larkin said...

Good luck--make sure you take the test as quickly as possible--there's a lot of information and not much time. Levels 3 and 4 are quite easy, but levels 2 and 1 are very difficult.

Anonymous said...

(Ill make this anonymous cause i dont have an account XP)
wowies!! Thx SO much for this collection of useful sites!!
U got me going all crazy and wanting to study even more!
I have only started japanese so Im going for level 4 but its quite hard for someone who cant practice with anyone!!!
ESpecially for vocab... cause im good with kanji...
anyways... thx so much!! and good luck to everyone!!

Margaret Larkin said...

You're welcome--if you think there were all those sites when I did this post back then (like four years ago), imagine how many there are now--thanks for visiting and good luck!

Anonymous said...

That is inspiring, i am not quite sure how to start learning japanese, but i would love some constructive recommendations as to where to start. I been watching a lot of japanese drama, and of its sort, and i am planning on attending japanese classes in my college.. I am wondeing, does knowing english and spanish fluently gonna affect my way of learning?.. oh thanks for reading..

Margaret Larkin said...

English and Spanish are not like Japanese, so they won't conflict with what you're learning--unless your brain will get overloaded with language learning and everything will blend together :D The way they can affect your learning is *how* you learn, ie, you already know how to learn a language, so it won't be hard.

About Japanese: what are your goals? You won't learn how to speak incredibly well unless you go there (which is true about any language). Taking a course in college will help get you started. Then you can read online sources using Popjisyo to decipher the words and kanji you don't know.

If you have more specific questions, feel free to ask :D

Anonymous said...

Hey I'm Mara ^^!..ummm... i live in south america right now...(i have been for the last 4 years..) I started learning Japanese at a local trilingual school called Nichia Gakuin...anyway My "mother tongue" is English. I also am very fluent in Spanish ^^. Japanese is my third language.
I find that knowing spanish is very helpful ^^!!! You'll see, the phonetics are much more similar to spanish than english...then again..there are a couple of blocks as well such as the "Ars" (r)...They're much softer in Japanese than in spanish any way...just thought i'd add that ^^!

oh yeah! Thanks for the collection of websites...they're really helpful
I'll be taking Level 4 this December...i'm not a good test taker so i hope i do well ^^'...

Adios! GoodBye! Sayonara =3!

Margaret Larkin said...

I've never seen a trilingual school--cool. I agree that Spanish phonetics are more similar to Japanese than English--I remember listening to Japanese people in Japan speak Spanish, and they sounded great.

72 said...

Yep, knowing spanish helps a lot with phonetics. And knowing english helps with katakana words, that almost a 70% of it refer to the english language :P

My first language is spanish. Second is english, and I'm learning Japanese having classes 100% in english. Its a mess, but knowing spanish and english is a HUGE help.

Margaret Larkin said...

Yes--katakana is mostly English so I'm sure it's easier for you to learn. Why are you taking Japanese via English? Are you in an English-speaking country?