Aurelijus Zykas
Vytautas Magnus University. Centre for Asian Studies. Head

Digital Japanese language learning resources in Lithuanian : cases of online dictionary and self-learning manual

The 21st century shows the tendencies of shrinking traditional library funds, fast expanding digital space and especially increasing popularity of online resources. These tendencies are caused by several important reasons enforcing the creators and users to prefer online resources than printed ones. Among them are: they are cheaper (for both sides), they can be accessed from any part of the word, and thus they reach wider audiences, they are green, etc.

As Japanese studies in Eastern Europe usually face very limited funding, online resources must be considered as one of the possible solutions. The case of Centre for Asian Studies of Vytautas Magnus University (Kaunas, Lithuania) shows an example of how online resources almost replaced the printed publications during last decade. Since 2012, four major online projects were launched and they are successfully continued till now. They were targeted at Lithuanian (in some cases international as well) audience and they aim to develop the knowledge and skills related to language and cross-cultural competence.

During the presentation two of the projects related to Japanese language learning are emphasized. Online Japanese-Lithuanian (and vice versa) dictionary of 70 000 words became the first comprehensive dictionary connecting these two languages (the author of the dictionary is the presenter himself). While the manual of Japanese language for the self-dependent learning becomes the first text book of Japanese language in Lithuanian. Using these cases, presenter discusses the major advantages and shortcomings and raising challenges of online resources.