December completely skipped us by and the New Year’s celebrations have come and gone. We were all busy relaxing over the holidays, but the updates continued as normal. So what’s been going on recently and what’s to come in 2011?
First up then, a brief rundown of some key posts that were released throughout the Christmas period. We had a couple of posts about bathing – the taboos of tattoos and bathhouse etiquette (the latter of which is a free update!)
The Christmas period also saw some interesting product posts about curiosities like Melty Kiss and Body Warming Cream. There was also the crunchy slang snack Gachigori which you can view for free and a post about the Japanese habit of gargling to prevent Influenza.
The year ahead
But what of 2011? We’ve been focused thus far on keeping the content rolling out, tweaking the site and generally getting a feel for what is working and what isn’t. For the coming year, we are going to start rolling out more posts with cultural ties to the language as well as beef up the grammar section with more examples of obscure expressions and slang. The audio section is also lacking, so we’ll be recording some new content for that section too. It can be difficult to get hold of native, spoken Japanese that isn’t in a forced context however, but we’ll see how that goes.
We also want to hear more from our users about what they would like to see on the site and improvements for things that are still lacking. The aim has always been to provide you with learning material that supplements your classroom/textbook experience in a way that breaks you in to real Japanese as it is used in everyday life. That said, your core learning is still extremely important and without the basics you won’t stand a fighting chance of grasping the odd complexities of the language, so if there are areas of your learning you are finding difficult, let us know! We can easily add special updates that focus on those irritating little language problems :).
I’m sure a competition or two is also in the works for our full members; fun gifts all the way from Japan and aids for your language learning. Perhaps you’d like to see a magazine of the current Japanese mobile phones, or perhaps a general selection of leaflets on display around train stations? Japanese fashion magazines or cooking books? Stuff that can generally be pretty tricky to get hold of but awesome for language learning. This is especially true if you have a particular interest in an area – you can enjoy your hobby while learning Japanese!
Let us know!
It’s about time we moved out of the discount period. Our time-limited launch discount of 50% has been up now for some time while the site finds its feet, but it wouldn’t do to be half price forever! It’s gotta be for special occasions only. So with that, we’ll be finishing the launch discount at the end of January. That gives you two more weeks of 50% off the full membership!
So then, here’s to a great year and some awesome Japanese learning.