How to Sign Up for the Niconico Japanese Video Sharing Website
...and why do I want to?
Niconico Douga - or literally Smile Videos - is a very popular Japanese video sharing website. To be able to watch videos you need to sign up. For some people this leads to some interesting issues - for instance, signing up with a foreign website when you don't understand the language can be scary and/or not seem with the trouble.
However, in my opinion life would be extremely boring without diversity. In that frame of mind, I find it extremely important to explore the world (even if it is just through the internet). So, here I will explain how simple it is to sign up with this website and explore its many features - along with how to do the same with other foreign websites and properly translate them even if you do not understand the language.
What is Nico Nico Douga?
So, if you wanted to put it in very plain terms you could say that it is like a Japanese YouTube so to speak. You can sometimes find some of the videos posted on YouTube but there are a lot of features that YouTube doesn't have which are all related to Japanese culture. Furthermore users can share videos from Youtube or other video sites onto this website, making it have the possibility of more content than said websites.
Nico Nico Douga Assorted Features
Just looking at the Nico Nico Douga Website, you can see there is a large amount of features and videos. There is everything that usual video websites have like video categories, but there is so much more on top of it. Videos can have streaming comments on them over the video if you want, you can watch live aired things, play games, or do other fun exploration that might take up a few weeks of your time.
One of my favorite resources in this website is the constant ranking information that is given. I have a wide range of tastes and can't completely focus on looking through one genre of music completely, so the ranking system lets me look at what the community feels are the best videos and music (and derivatives of said videos and music) so I don't have to spend my time doing it myself.
This is a huge topic of conversation really, and could be a small book. However, its just something that I felt needed to be pointed out when talking about this website. Vocaloid is a process of "singing" by electronics. Meaning, no one is actually singing. If you listen below, no one is actually singing and it is a computer generated voice. However it sounds like it is just a highly modified human voice.
With vocaloid technologies we are able to do things that the human voice can't do, or would struggle with a lot. For instance in the video below, tell such a long story so fast without getting tired. It's a wonderful thing to explore.
Nico Nico is the primary place for vocaloid producers to put out music.
Signing up with Nico Nico Douga
This is actually a lot easier than it used to be. It has been streamlined, and depending on your region you can have the whole process in English. In fact, most of this website is in English except for a lot of the video titles - there you might need to use a translator. So, just enter an email address, a little bit of information, and you have it!
The Translation Question
For years people have been working on ways to translate from other languages via computer. Honestly, for a long time it was complete garbage. Sometimes it still is - however Google Translate is probably one of the best resources you can use. It can either translate whole web pages, which allows you to see the whole page in English (or whichever language you want), or you can enter in specific things like video names and titles.
With my knowledge of languages I usually prefer to use the translator for one or two words, but I realize that would not work for most people. The number one key to the best translation possible is to use as small portions as possible. Only one sentence at a time, or pieces of sentences.
Some more professional programs are actually better at translating longer blocks of text as they work off context, but unless you have bought one of those, try sticking to shorter phrases for the best results.
Good luck exploring!