RyouBakura

My Path for Studying Japanese

Recommended Posts

Okay, so I thought it would be useful to talk about the most efficient (for me) way I've found to learn Japanese.

So like any other language learner, I've had a very hard time trying to find a method that not only suits my interests, but also gives me the feeling of constant advancement. I personally learned to read the Kanas without much effort. It all started when I was watching a children's anime on TV on my Spring break, it was Les Miserables. When the break was over and I had to back to school, I looked up the show on Kissanime and continued it there in Japanese. The opening was really slow and the lyrics seemed simple. Little by little and after 30 episodes, I got 4 Hiragana syllables and the concept of the Handakuten memorized.

Please login or register to see this spoiler.

As time went on, I kept learning Hiragana little by little and writing them when I had nothing better to do. But I didn't feel like I was interested in learning Japanese, or maybe I just wasn't subconscious of it. But about 2 years ago, I decided to take the leap.

For 6 months, I tried audiobook, looking up words on specific subjects, checking NHK's Easy Japanese... But nothing sticks. Then I came across a certain topic on Kanji Koohi forums made by a guy who quit Japanese a long time ago and decided to start again from zero, and helping other people using his method. The guide is referred to as Please login or register to see this link. , and starts off with utilizing Memrise, a flashcard site similar to Anki, but with easier interaction with the userbase, and more open.

I skipped the first 2 courses, since they covered the Kanas, which I've already taken care of, and jumped to Kanji, which was utilized using the RTK method established by Heisig. RTK is the most efficient way to learn kanji, which makes the learner divide the Kanji into radicals, giving each radical a specific meaning (which might differ from its actual meaning) and make up a story in his mind combining the radicals and the Kanji's meaning.

Before, I was reluctant on learning Kanji and thought it was unneeded. Oh holy Garfield's lasagna was I wrong. Kanji opened up a whole new world, and made Tae Kim's guide a whole lot easier. Which is IMO the best basic grammar guide for Japanese.

Also, while on Memrise, I found A LOT of high-quality courses focusing on Vocab. So I started doing the ones based off of Genki, and some that are specific to a certain anime (like Fairy Tail and Dagashi Kashi)

As of late, my current study pattern contains the following:

  • About 2 hours on the courses I've mentioned on Memrise.
  • Reading 2-3 children's story using this Please login or register to see this link. (I'm only allowed a maximum of 3 books per day as a free user)
  • I also try to fit -when I have the chance- watching an anime that I've watched before, but without the subs. I pick an anime with a modern-feel, that doesn't have obscure words or unused dialects like the popular Shounen anime. The one I'm currently re-watching is AnoHana.

Things I do irregularly:

  • Watch videos posted by Please login or register to see this link.
  • Using Please login or register to see this link. to translate songs that I like. If there exists an English translation on the net, I compare it to the one I made.

And that's pretty much it. Thought I'd share my experience for the small chance of it being beneficial to someone else.

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice! You are much further in than I am! Still getting the katakana done with. In fact, I haven't even started learning Katakana very much, I just know a few. As my learning type says, I have trouble sitting down and reading and listening for more than few minutes. I have to literally force myself to not get distracted by other app windows, music, video games...etc. so I usually create ways (like minigames) to find ways to keep my ever waning attention span under control.

I tried learning to write kana and had the first few sets down fairly well, but I don't think I ever want to learn how to actually write in Japanese. I barely even write in English at all anymore, so I feel like writing would be a bad usage of my time (that and I have low patience in writing).

I think the Children learning style is a good idea. I tried, but those little voices can get really cringey..hahaha. I should try again with that one you mentioned.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know what you mean about distraction, the hardest part about learning anything is to remain focused. What's most ironic is that I didn't get this productive at learning Japanese until it itself became a distraction for something else. Like sometimes I'm writing a report for school, but I'd suddenly open a different tab and waste my time on trying to learn new words.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's nice, i've trying to get into japanese but to be honest  my interest is in other's languages, however will keep those apps/links/info you provide because I remember doing something similar when I was teaching myself hiragana, and is always nice to have diferent kind of resourses. :P

I pick these books somewhere a while ago ( I can't provide the website since I don't remember it). They are short 6-10 pageschildren books in hiragana, I hope they can be useful for you or anyone that may be interest in them.

いっすんぼうし

Please login or register to see this link.

Screenshot_20171216_150244.png

 

Cheers and carry on,  wish you the best on your learning.

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I only used this YouTube channel for learning the kana, but Evan's Easy Japanese was quite helpful in that regard: Please login or register to see this link.

He also has a website where you can find exercises to solidify your understanding of the kana: Please login or register to see this link.

Outside of that, I've been getting ready to get into the Genki textbooks and workbooks. My university uses these, but they are also widely recommended as one of if not the best ways to learn Japanese. I think in terms of JLPT, you hit about N4-level comprehension by the end, which isn't amazing, but for two books that isn't so bad.

Links:

  • Genki I Text - Please login or register to see this link.
  • Genki I Work - Please login or register to see this link.
  • Genki II Text - Please login or register to see this link.
  • Genki II Work - Please login or register to see this link.

I also snagged the Kodansha Kanji Learner's Course and accompanying workbook for when I get into kanji more.

Links:

  • KKLC Text - Please login or register to see this link.
  • KKLC Work - Please login or register to see this link.

That's pretty much my plan for now. I actually just recently switched majors from Asian Studies to English Literature, but that is because the scheduling for my previous major would absolutely devastate me. I'd be stuck in university for many more years. Current goal is to get my bachelors and study Japanese so I can teach English abroad and hopefully get a decent university position over there. A weeb can dream, right? :KannaWave:

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those are some nice sources @Okonomiyaki-Chan.  I've been trying out this app lately - Please login or register to see this link.

Yeah it's good to dream! I always dreamt of being of Japanese game translator, but I know it's tough because the critics can get very tough on translators if they make a mistake or attempt to have it make more sense for American culture. So, I just want to be a fan translator to avoid all that.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Okonomiyaki-Chan That's quite the splendid goal. My purpose seems kind of cynical, it's just to be good at something that other people aren't. I take pride in knowing more Kanji than anybody in a 200 mile radius.

9 minutes ago, Ravenstorm said:

but I know it's tough because the critics can get very tough on translators if they make a mistake or attempt to have it make more sense for American culture. So, I just want to be a fan translator to avoid all that.

No need to worry, you should learn to care less about these things. But I agree, fan-translation would be more forgiving. You wouldn't care about any mistypes or about how to deal with honorifics and dialects.

 

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Ravenstorm said:

I always dreamt of being of Japanese game translator, but I know it's tough because the critics can get very tough on translators if they make a mistake or attempt to have it make more sense for American culture. So, I just want to be a fan translator to avoid all that.

There is nothing wrong with being a fan translator. I plan on doing that on the side for two reasons: it helps keep my Japanese sharp, and I can make more and more games accessible to the community who are unable to read or speak Japanese. I agree that critics are tough on translators, and I've seen criticisms for Atlus games and older SquareSoft games (Ted Woolsey you magnificent bastard). These issues people have with translation tend to fall under some kind of censorship or, as you said, the extreme localization since lots of Japanese puns and jokes would be lost on non-Japanese speakers. It is rough without a doubt, but I think we are getting to a point where there is less and less meddling in translation and localization, so hopefully we can start seeing a bit more praise for the hard work translators do! :KannaWave:

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have  learned kana and some kanji some time ago, but then life got into way and I had to stop my language pursuits. I have started learning again a couple months ago when I got Minna no Nihongo as a gift. I have been using that and Tae kim's guide for learning grammar, anki decks for vocab and kanji.  I am currently trying to play metroid zero mission and reading yotsubato in japanese and it is going slow... but it is going, so I am excited!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, aranni said:

Minna no Nihongo as a gift. I have been using that and Tae kim's guide for learning grammar, anki decks for vocab and kanji.  I am currently trying to play metroid zero mission and reading yotsubato in japanese and it is going slow... but it is going, so I am excited!

Those are some great resources. Yotsubato seems to always be the top recommended manga for learners. Anki is great, but I still prefer Memrise because of the interface and easy access to other people's courses.

Also an advice: If you ever get discouraged, or feel like you're not making any progress, try to remember at what level you were about half a year ago. As in how was your reading speed and comprehension were. I feel like this mentality helped me a lot in picturing how much I've advanced, and served as means to stay motivated.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By MobCat
      B.L.U.E. Legend of Water
      BLUE Legend of Water
      ブルー レジェンドオブウォーター
      Tested and working: SCPH-9002 phat PS1 with a MM3 modchip
      Cover Scans:
      Please login or register to see this spoiler.  
    • By minizx
      [hide]Taitsujin Portable.cso (304.6 MB)
      Please login or register to see this link.
    • By Luziano
      All fonts from the Japanese font company Fontworks, used from your favorite Japanese games on various consoles.
       
      Download:
      Please login or register to see this spoiler.  
      MediaFire link is taken down due to DMCA.
    • By MobCat
      Ace Combat 3
      Electrosphere
      エースコンバット3 エレクトロスフィア
      Ēsu Konbatto Surī Erekutorosufia
      Tested and Working: ePSXe 2.0.5, pSX v1.13, PCSX-Reloaded 1.9.92-win32
      Had some sound issues with PCSX-Reloaded but I think that was just down to my settings / not using the right sound plugin.
      The first disk was the only one that was tested properly as I didn't play enough of the first disk to need the second disk. The second disk dose boot and get to the bit where it asks you to stick the first disk back in though.
      Cover Scans:
      Please login or register to see this spoiler.  
    • By Luziano
      beatmania IIDX 16 EMPRESS CS + Premium Best

       
      Title: beatmania IIDX 16 EMPRESS CS + Premium Best
      Developer: Konami
      Publisher: Konami
      Genre: Rhythm, DJ
      Release: 2009/10/15
      CERO Rating: A
       
      Download:

      Hidden Content
      Give reaction or reply to this topic to see the hidden content.  
      First and only PS2 beatmania IIDX game that contains two discs and the final beatmania IIDX game to be on PS2.