Ho-ho-ho, for many people around the world, the Holiday is approaching very quickly. It is a season where we exchange gifts and this can bring some of us real headaches. What should we give to our loved ones? Well, this post gives you a little bit inspiration of what to give to a language-enthusiast. If you don’t celebrate X-mas, don’t worry. These gifts can be useful also as a birthday presents. And, not to “come barehanded”, there are buried gifts in this post. Get them and enjoy.
- Labels with vocab. They are little stickers with vocabulary. It is possible to buy them, but it won’t take much effort to create them by yourself. All you have to do, is buy some colorful post-it notes and write the vocab on them. The gifted person can then stick them on objects in the house and practice every time he/she looks at the items. It is an awesome helper for people who have problems remembering the vocabulary since it brings natural practice to day-to-day life.
- Hiragana mug helps you practice each time you drink from it. Super-great for complete beginners. Here is another version of the mug. Let’s sip some green tea and kick off some practice.
- Picture hiragana book – there are many other similar books out there. Just search and find what you like. If you have plenty of time and a crafty heart, it will be a good challenge to make one such book by yourself.
- Wall clock to learn time. This is just a simple tool to help students learn telling time. Every time the person looks at the clock, he/she practices. But, I recommend this only as a gift for complete beginners.
- Study gift box. Alright, you cannot probably buy a ready-to-use one. But, visit a stationery and buy some pieces, pack it nicely and you are done. And what you can add to the special study gift box you ask? Well, how about some colorful sticky notes, genkoyoushi papers, brush pen for writing practice, some flashy notebook, and a bunch of flashcards?
- Word-a-day calendar to help learn vocabulary. If you don’t want to buy one, with a little effort, you can make it by yourself. But, it takes a few hours (or days) to finish it.
For advanced learners
Do you have a friend or family member who is already confident in Japanese? Consider these splendid gifts to start the practice.
- Kanji poster – each time you look at the poster, you will practice your memory. This poster contains kanji characters for all JLPT levels. Do you remember them all? If you are short on money, it will be easy to make it by yourself. Just search and download the list of JLPT kanji, and make your own poster in a graphic program.
- Gift certificate for an advanced Japanese course. Do you have a language school nearby? Ask them for a voucher. Or, consider a subscription for an online course.
- Calligraphy set for shodō (書道) lovers. With enough ink and brushes, everyone can decorate the room with our own writings. Or, if your beloved is an experience hunter, consider a voucher for a calligraphy course to polish the person’s writing.
- Multilingual books – tell me more Japanese. This is a quite expensive gift. I am still considering this idea, because it is a lot of money. On the other hand, it looks like a great partner for self-study and practice. With speech recognition technology, it checks your pronunciation and corrects your mistakes. What caught my attention is the interactive practice with your computer. Sounds interesting, right?
- Mystery food box – there are various websites out there where you can order boxes with Japanese snacks and such. For example, japancrate, or tokyotreat. Both with a free shipping worldwide. A great gift for all foodies with passion for Japanese food.
- Time. Yes, time. We live in a busy and hectic days. So, how about giving someone some free time? Now you probably ask, how can we give that? Well, what about babysitting a kid, so that your wife or friend can focus on language studies? Or, how about doing some time-consuming chores instead of your wife/husband? For example, you can take care of the cooking duties for about a week, or hire a cleaning service for a month.
DIY gift ideas
Do it yourself and you will save some money. And on top of that, handmade gifts contain also special feelings from the person who made them. Right? They are more personal, because everyone can go to shop and buy something. But, taking the hardship of creating a gift by yourself? That is another league. So, fire up your crafting skills and let’s get started. Here are some easy, yet very useful gifts that come handy.
Flashcards are quite easy to make. Just take some phrases, vocabulary, or kanji characters and write them on small cards. You can use also any Text Editor like MS Word to make it look more professional. Then, just print the cards and laminate them. It’s fun, I guarantee. If you are a busy-bee with no time, try our ready-to-print flashcards. Just download, print and cut out using scissors. Fold in half, glue the sides together (or laminate) and use.
Download our free flashcards with handy Japanese phrases (in romaji).
Or, try the flashcards with furniture (and more) vocabulary with pictures.
Bookmarks with handy phrases
This is a very thoughtful gift for people who like to read and it is not much work to do it in almost any graphic program. Just think of some neat design, add a catchy phrase, or a small chunk of vocabulary, print it on a thick paper (or laminate) and voila! Your handmade bookmark is done.
Download our set of three bookmarks or just get inspired by them. They are a necessity for all bookworms who like Japanese.
So, what are your great gift ideas? I would like to hear them.