Here's a journal entry I'll update with useful information to help in all your Japanese endeavors.
1. Denshi Jisho
Denshi Jisho is a dictionary website that has a kanji / hiragana / translation layout. You can also view sentences for each word to see how it is used. You can search for the word in Japanese or English.
It's great for everyone of all levels, as beginners tend to learn formal speech for the first couple of terms before learning plain form. Denshi Jisho will often provide the plain form of a search you put in.
Also has a mobile phone version AND an iPhone/Touch version! Sweet deal.
Many dictionary websites draw their information from WWWJDIC, so it's a great resource to have on one's side. I personally don't find the layout too user-friendly, but it still has an abundance of other uses. The Multi-Radical Kanji look up is great to use for those just getting familiar with more complex kanji. (Thanks, imbrifer)
3. Space ALC (Japanese)
A J-E/E-J dictionary which pulls up words in phrases and sentences, not just definitions. Also can be good for slang. Can't always be relied as a primary dictionary, but useful as a start and quick reference. Site's in Japanese but for the dictionary you just have to type in the main search box at the top. --imbrifer
4. YahooJP Dictionary
Another Jp dict, good allround and more traditional dictionary style. Also good for longer kanji terms/sayings/phrases, and for classical/obsolete terms. You can search by Jp/Jp dict, Jp/Eng, or Eng/Jp, among other things. Being able to read the definition in Japanese is great for learning too. --imbrifer
5. Nihongo Resources
A ton of different ... resources for... nihongo... but in particular I'm deeply in love with their sound/state dictionary, for giongo/gitaigo and so on. --imbrifer
5. Etymology dictionary
A great etymology dictionary for the more advanced of us. (Not me.) Courtesy of evil_senpai
For Firefox users. An extension that allows you to hover your cursor over a word to have it provide further information on the kanji, meaning, etc.
Charts w/ Stroke Orders
Hiragana Chart Katakana Chart
The Hiragana/Katakana charts are pivotal in learning the characters you'll need.
Beginners: Learning the charts in order from right to left, top to bottom is a great way to start. When you browse a dictionary, it goes in order by this chart, so it's actually important to learn it all in order.
I found the easiest way for me to remember the order is by remembering these words:
(A) KASA TANA HAMA YARA (WA - N)
(A)n Umbrella(kasa) is on the shelf(tana) for the beach(hama), it seems(yara).
Or I just chant KASATANAHAMAYARA and I shove WA-N in there somewhere.
Stroke orders keep the characters in form, as some are very similar to others and a simple matter of stroke orders will help a person differentiate the two. If you practice the stroke orders, it'll also help you remember the characters! It'll be good practice now for when you escalate to kanji, which can have more than 20 strokes!
If you have a resource you'd like to share, please comment and I'll add it to the list if it looks good.
Contributors (Thank you!)
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