Twitter and tweets have revolutionized social media, and you can harness this power to improve your Japanese. In some ways, Japanese language tweets are perfect language learning tools – you can choose to read about topics you like at the Japanese level you like, and each tweet is limited to a mere 140 characters. Here’s a helpful video offering hints and strategies to use Twitter to learn Japanese.
You can also use Twitter to get mini Japanese lessons sent directly to you. Maggie-Sensei, for example, tweets often and even answers questions from her Twitter followers. Bonus. Learnjapanesepod also has a nice Twitter feed that offers vocab tweets and advertises new lessons on their website (they also have Japanese learning podcasts…more about that in a later post). Finally, Tofugu also has interesting tweets, including Japanese language learning ones.
A good tip if reading on your cellphone is to take a screen shot of any tweet that you can’t quite read, have the Google Translate App (Android or Apple) scan the photo/page, and then use the App to read the words you couldn’t make out.
Japanese tweets can be a real confidence builder. For example, for those of us who are a little intimidated by newspapers, I’ve found that a few focused weeks of serious reading efforts will reveal that (as with English) a number of tough kanji keep cropping up time and time again. It’s rather satisfying to realize that we can tame even the most difficult issues (politics, economics…AKB48….) with a little time and tweet-reading software.
All this to say, the sky is the limit when you explore the world of tweets. Got a great Twitter feed you like? Let us know in the comments section below!