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.
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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.