Self-learn Japanese?

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nek
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Self-learn Japanese?

Post by nek » May 12th, '08, 04:00

hey i'm wondering if anyone know any books or something similar that i can buy or download(only legally) or maybe some sites that could even work? i dont got access to any japanese learning lessons near me so...

ps: if this is in the wrong forum please move to the correct one, mods =).

sandy+clef
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self learn Japanese?

Post by sandy+clef » May 12th, '08, 04:24

http://www.timwerx.net/home/index.htm . This is a really good site that has a lot of grammar rules. If you are looking for books, I think the Genki I and II are good books. You can check Amazon.com for that.

emerica1123
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Post by emerica1123 » May 12th, '08, 04:53

I would recommend studying hiragana and katakana like crazy then buying a level 4 JLPT study guide/book

nek
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Post by nek » May 14th, '08, 06:21

emerica1123 wrote:I would recommend studying hiragana and katakana like crazy then buying a level 4 JLPT study guide/book
okey, may I ask why hira and kata? what is JLPT?
sandy+clef wrote:http://www.timwerx.net/home/index.htm . This is a really good site that has a lot of grammar rules. If you are looking for books, I think the Genki I and II are good books. You can check Amazon.com for that.
wow. thank you. will have to check out the books, hopefully not too expensive =)

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Post by lunargen » May 14th, '08, 06:37

nek wrote:
okey, may I ask why hira and kata? what is JLPT?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_L ... iency_Test :D

lincorp.com
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Post by lincorp.com » May 16th, '08, 05:33

Theres also the Erin Ga Chosen series. Its basically a book with a DVD about a girl named Erin whos an exchange student from England. Shes really half Japanese and an idol but thats besides the point. Anyways the DVD is setup like a japanese drama and goes through her daily life at her new school while covering important key points. Currently there are three volumes available with more to come. Its good for self learners and beginners because you get to hear it which i think is most important. If theres a Japanese bookstore near you, then they should have it. If not you might be able to order it through Kinokuniya....

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rairai
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Post by rairai » May 16th, '08, 06:28

does anyone know any software/chip for nintendo ds wher i can learn japanese (in romaji).. i only found JE EJ dictionary but its in kanji.. :( thanks!

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Post by lincorp.com » May 17th, '08, 05:49

rairai wrote:does anyone know any software/chip for nintendo ds wher i can learn japanese (in romaji).. i only found JE EJ dictionary but its in kanji.. :( thanks!

Goto www.alc.co.jp and use their online translator (free), you can type in english words to find the japanese katakana equivalent. If theres kanji, it will show the reading...

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indyana
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Post by indyana » May 17th, '08, 13:04

I've been using audio CDs to learn (the Pimsleur Japanese series). My first goal is comprehension of spoken Japanese, so I favor things like CDs and DVDs rather than books alone. Next year, I will probably pick up some grammar books. I don't plan to attempt learning written Japanese until later on in my studies. From what I hear, that's a-whole-nother can of worms. XD The one drawback to audio CDs is that they can get pretty expensive. You could always try picking up second-hand materials on Amazon or eBay. Good luck!
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teeheeman
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Post by teeheeman » May 17th, '08, 20:27

I am learning japanese, here are some good sites I have found:
The dirty guide to japanese http://nihonbunka.uaa.alaska.edu/langua ... guide.html
Tae-Kims guide to japanese grammar http://www.guidetojapanese.org/

You should learn hiragana and katakana first then basic grammar.
You can then learn new words with the hiragana and katakana you have learned priviously and putting them to use
in whatever grammatic sense you wish.

Learn by listening to japanese all the time: dramas, j-tv, podcast, radio, mp3s, site like http://www.jpopasia.com/
It's a fun way of learning :) It's as close as some will ever get to japan (myself included)

The Genki books, I have heard, are very good. If possible, get them.

I would rather be learning japanese right now, but I have all these **** exams...

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Cloudx7
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Post by Cloudx7 » May 18th, '08, 01:14

i guess i can say im learning japanese,
i understand a lot now and i can sometimes watch shows without the subtitles.
i guess its cuz i watched so many japanese shows that i got used to the language. i got those japan my love mp3s and the pdf just so i would learn more.

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Ar_Yue
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Post by Ar_Yue » May 20th, '08, 20:07

Japanesepod101.com <---- This is a free podcast, just subscribe. It's informative on alot of stuff and uses different dialects, so that you can get use or know what dialect they are speaking.

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Mr_Kyoling
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Post by Mr_Kyoling » May 20th, '08, 20:44

okey, may I ask why hira and kata?
You'll need kana, both hiragana and katakana (and when you have them down, easy kanji) if you want to become somewhat literate in Japanese.
indyana said she learns solely by audio sources, which also is a way, but IMO learning Japanese script from the beginning has a number of advantages - like the time you have to study it, being able to learn through any kind of written media, being able to understand the way words are linked.

It sounds like you are a beginner, and of course, there aren't that many different ways to get started. One has to learn core vocabulary, easy grammar and maybe the basics of the script, preferrably in an enjoyable way. (I did that by watching dorama ;) )


http://ideogramme.ca/japan/ hasn't been updated for almost two years, but there are some interesting articles
http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/e/index.html are a good resource for many languages
I also use Tae Kim's guide a lot, too.
And it would be useful to google for keywords like "free kana learning game/site" or similar. I know I once had a free PC game to learn kana ... (I didn't learn them through it, though. I just drilled myself with writing exercises. Writing makes it a lot easier to memorize kanji, too)
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sz1266
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Post by sz1266 » May 24th, '08, 07:36

teeheeman wrote:I am learning japanese, here are some good sites I have found:
The dirty guide to japanese http://nihonbunka.uaa.alaska.edu/langua ... guide.html
Tae-Kims guide to japanese grammar http://www.guidetojapanese.org/

You should learn hiragana and katakana first then basic grammar.
You can then learn new words with the hiragana and katakana you have learned priviously and putting them to use
in whatever grammatic sense you wish.

Learn by listening to japanese all the time: dramas, j-tv, podcast, radio, mp3s, site like http://www.jpopasia.com/
It's a fun way of learning :) It's as close as some will ever get to japan (myself included)

The Genki books, I have heard, are very good. If possible, get them.

I would rather be learning japanese right now, but I have all these **** exams...
Thank you :)

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Chen Yisi
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Post by Chen Yisi » May 24th, '08, 08:13

In my case, I use the books called Minna no Nihongo.

They are translated in a looooot of languages and pretty easy to find also.
Each lesson is divided in 4 parts:
- Vocabulary
- Grammar
- Exercices
- And something "useful", they call that part "informations"

I think it's well done.
The only reproach I could do is that there are no corrections for the exercices, so you need to be very careful.

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KurosakiKaien
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Post by KurosakiKaien » May 27th, '08, 13:47

My university uses "Nakama" 1 and 2 books which I'm sure you can find on Amazon/Ebay (For levels 100-200).. The 300 level book however is a different one.. which is garbage...

Everyone's suggestions above are very good ones. You're on the right page though coming here to ask, in that the best way to learn a language is to first familiarize yourself with the sounds of the language (hence why dorama is such a good tool ^^).

You can definitely learn patterns of speech from dorama (not so much anime with their erratic speech styles), however; as already pointed out, you will NEED kana. Kanji in itself has very many ways to be read and is very difficult to learn (even for native speakers). And although there are many phrases and patterns you can learn from music/tv, you won't be able to get the inner workings of different grammar points (such as honorifics).

Hope this helps, feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions ^_^

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Post by Mr_Kyoling » Jun 14th, '08, 05:56

I forgot to add another fun way to learn reading: Karaoke subbed PVs or performances. And I mean karaoke subbed in Japanese, the way TV performances usually are.
At least for me this is the fastest way to learn kanji, and it probably helped a lot with being able te read kana fast, and it helps with the listening comprehension. :-)
ジャニーズJr. 全員フルチン ☆

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Post by ferno » Jun 14th, '08, 17:52

Our university uses the Genki series which I find is of the best books to learn Japanese. As a supplement to that reading Japanese news and watching it helps with reading and pronunciation respectively. Untranslated manga helps greatly with kanji reading as most of the popular ones(Naruto, Bleach, etc) have furigana on the side so you can read and kanji and look it up. This site has a good chart of hiragana and steps to draw them http://shodan.co.za/images/hiragana_chart.jpg And finally dont be afraid to try and to ask questions. It may seem difficult but find a unique way that you can understand it. がんばろう!

konrad
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Post by konrad » Jun 14th, '08, 19:11

I have been self learning Japanese for some time. Longer than I would have liked it to take, but that is partially because of some of the tools I chose to use, and partially because when frustrated I have given up on it. Having a 50+ our work week on top of an hour drive each way did not help either.

From all my trials and troubles, I have found a few things out about the learning process, especially where it concerns Japanese.

The first thing to learn is the Kana. This is the Katakana and the Hiragana sylabries (alphabets). The reason why is two simple things. First, if you learn Japanese, they are part of Japanese. Second, the best learning tools I have found all use Japanese to teach Japanese. More specifically, the Kana represent the sounds of Japanese, and they use these sounds to teach you the language, conjugation, and so on.

While learning the Kana, use sources of proper Japanese audio to work on your pronunciation. It is great to learn dialects, slang, and all those fun things, but first, at least learn how proper Japanese sounds. Then you will know why those other things are different.

After that, it depends on why you are learning Japanese. If it is just for fun, then use fun sources. Dramas, etc. If it is more serious, then pick more serious sources.

Here are some sources of proper audio with companion text:

NHK World Radio has had several Japanese learning programs, with companion text. Some of them are available as torrents through d-addicts, but here is the direct download source.
http://www.nhk.or.jp/lesson/english/

The Meguro Language Center is a Japanese Language School in the Meguro district of Tokyo Japan. They give away for free many of their learning materials, including audio, JLPT prep exams, and so on.
http://www.mlcjapanese.co.jp/

Iwate University in Japan also gives away a chunk of their materials for free.
http://sp.cis.iwate-u.ac.jp/sp/lesson/

And this site has a chunk of audio with proper scripts to lead you through what is being said. It too specializes in learning the language.
http://www.japanese-nihongo.com/

A few other interesting sites are these:

Here I found a great PDF file for learning the Katakana. The companion book on Hiragana is still under construction.
http://www.kanjicafe.com/

Another way to have fun learning is to use a game to help. This site has Sudoku puzzles using Kanji, which forces you to think and write. If you also sound things out after learning the Kana, it can really help you remember several of the basic Kanji.
http://www.kanji-sudoku.com/

Now one thing that slowed me down was I used the exceptionally well renowned books by James W. Heisig and Kenneth G. Henshall. These would supposedly cause my kana and kanji retention levels to skyrocket.

So if these books are so great, how did they slow me down?

I already knew that many, if not most, Kanji are formed by taking a base part that has meaning and sound, and then adding a radical that changes the meaning, but not the sound. Add to this the fact that the Kana are derivatives of Kanji, and that their history is well documented, some of which I learned.

Now take those facts, that the Japanese developed their written and audible language in a specific way, and completely ignore that. Why ignore it? Because James W. Heisig and Kenneth G. Henshall did, and they think that is the proper way to learn Japanese.

If the James W. Heisig and Kenneth G. Henshall mnemonic books worked for you, great. But their contradicting every other source of Japanese instruction I previously had, really grated on me, and made it very hard for me to get any further. In fact, my longest break in learning Japanese was after the mental confusion and frustration those books caused.

To be fair, I must state that mnemonic systems have repeatedly failed for me, even in grade school. So this is just how I don't fit those books, not how good those books are.

So where am I learning Kanji from? The flashcards for kana and kanji by White Rabbit Press with the companion audio, the "Chinese-Japanese Character Cards" by Naoe Naganuma which were given to me for free by a man who used them a long time ago, and the "250 Essential Kanji for Everyday Use" volumes 1 and 2 developed by the Kanji Text Research Group, University of Tokyo, published by Tuttle.

I know those books are not the best texts for university learning, or the JLPT. They are good books, and will help you pass te JLPT, but they are not really structured towards the goal of a formal education. The White Rabbit cards are very JLPT structured, and one of the best ways to get proper stroke order, readings, etc. that are focused on passing those tests.

My goal is not to get a grade, and while I would love to take the JLPT, it is not something I am aiming to do this year. So for me, these books, and their focus on 500 of the most common Kanji used in every day life, are good for me. When accented with the cards that are JLPT focused, I am moving towards that goal, just slowly.

Now, I do want to learn the grammar, and proper use of the language. There are many commercial learning texts that are good for this. If you look at the course books of most Japanese classes you can find those books.

What about a free book that is based off a university student's trek through learning Japanese. One that has been refined over years, and added to through discussions with other students as well. And lets toss in the fact that this student had learned more than one other language before learning Japanese, so his linguistic experience is a little more than your basic student's. Add to this revisions over time, corrections, and so on, and you get a decent text on the grammar of the language that happens to be free.

http://www.nihongoresources.com/

Well, I think I have said more than enough about my own trek through learning Japanese. I hope it helps, and I wish you luck.

Konrad

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techie
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Post by techie » Aug 27th, '08, 23:36

Here is a tip or all people in London, United Kingdom or thereabouts who wish to learn Japanese.

I stumbled in on this place once, at Oxford Street number 25-27 on the third floor.
Its an all out Japanese lead learning centre and for UK standards its dirt cheap.

When I was there a couple of months ago they told me it about 14 GBP per hour single student courses or if you team up with a freind or a couple of more people you can get it down to about 9 GBP an hour.

Books and stuff not included, but if you're in to dorama they will have alot to talk to you about (^^).
:blink $zipCode = strtoupper($zipCode); // it is not the case of being sensitive... XD

noobee
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Post by noobee » Aug 28th, '08, 18:04

I am currently making a site to learn japanese,

it is still in progress of entering the lessons and questions to the database

check out my signature
any comments will be greatly appreciated
This user's account has been suspended. Because the user has ignore the mod's warnings to not reply with short useless messages, just so a spam link will show up on all his reply messages.

konrad
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Post by konrad » Aug 28th, '08, 22:44

Recently I have been using http://www.japanesepod101.com as a source of native speaker audio of standard Japanese. There is a ton there for free, and they also have more if you deside to pay a small fee.

If you just want some instruction to help let you understand your favorite dorama better, their free lessons will really help.

hanami
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Post by hanami » Mar 27th, '10, 09:56

Hi,

is there a torrent for Erin ga chosen? (Almost any dub language will do:D).
If you have it, would you please seed? Also links to other learning programs torrents (dvd/tv) are welcome. Onegai shimasu! ^.^

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Post by koyama22 » Mar 29th, '10, 21:00

Seems like an old topic was brought back from the dead.

If your goal is fluency, and you plan to study on your own, input (i.e. listening, reading), should take central focus. Listen to Japanese, all the time. In fact, go to All Japanese All The Time and read up. This guy knows what he's talking about, and it works.

So do what you love, watch dramas (without subtitles...), films, listen to music, all in Japanese. You'll find yourself picking up words, phrases, and sentences. Use an SRS (Spaced Repetition System, ex. Anki) to enter sentences into that you come across and to retain Kanji. Use Heisig's books, Remembering the Kanji. All it really takes is dedication and passion. If you like what you're doing, you will do it more efficiently and more often. So make it fun.

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Post by #1dramalover » Mar 29th, '10, 21:33

You can self-learn japanese online at yesjapan.com! i did it^^ :] :thumright:

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Post by Ethlenn » Mar 29th, '10, 22:05

Honestly, you can't learn any language on the professional level by yourself. Don't be offended, don't throw rocks at me. I know what I'm saying.
But you can start with self-learning. Up to new 3-kyuu in Nouryoku^^
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Post by pn0yb0i » Mar 29th, '10, 22:29

I used to study using Meiko Shimizu Han's Japanese language books.

However times have changed, and the GENKI 1 and GENKI 2 books are far much better in quality.

Trust me - the Genki series are realllly good. After 1 & 2 I'd bet you could pass the JLPT 3 with ease.

My instructor also had some pretty nifty instructional DVD's. I dont remember the production company, but it featured a Girl in Sailor Uniform and this yellow blob which almost likes a lemon and some UFO hovering around.

Also - the number one hardest thing about Japanese language is Kanji Literacy. You can pick up almost 200 fairly easily, then about 1000 before you know it (as long as you keep up with your studies).
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Post by Ethlenn » Mar 29th, '10, 22:59

pn0yb0i wrote:
Trust me - the Genki series are realllly good. After 1 & 2 I'd bet you could pass the JLPT 3 with ease.
Not the new one which is a combination of the old 3 and 2.
Genki is a nice series, but I don't like it cause everything there is in English.
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Post by pn0yb0i » Mar 29th, '10, 23:33

The Meiko Han "Intermediate Japanese" book does include translations for the first few chapters, then after that there are no more translations. The first book however does include translations and furigana for most of the book.

If it were up to me I'd get both Meiko Han and Genki. Once you get the basics - Id switch immediately to the intermediate book. Both books have their ups and downs - but I can see the appeal of the Genki series.
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Post by YukawaManabu » Jul 7th, '13, 04:26

This is a very old thread and I apologize for digging it up but I hope this will help in some way :)

I have been studying Japanese for a long time now and also teach basic Japanese on weekends and through the course of my study, here are my most used and most recommended materials:

My recommended books for beginners:
1. Minna no Nihongo - but make sure to get the one with Kana instead of Romaji, and also the one with the audio CD included because there will be listening exercises. It will also help with your pronunciation because you can actually hear the dialogues.
2. Genki series
3. Japanese for busy people
4. A Dictionary of Basic/Intermediate/Advanced Japanese Grammar - this is actually a set of 3 individual books. No problem if you want to get each one individually. But i got mine as a set, so I always have a reference for whatever level I was studying for. Really, really helpful

Apps for iPhone and Android:
1. imiwa - a free and awesome Japanese-English dictionary. I love this so much and is one of my most used apps on my phone
2. ScribeOrigins - free (with option to purchase upgrade). Helps to memorize a lot of words and actually retain them
3. Tae-Kim's guide to learning Japanese - a free and awesome app for learning Japanese grammar

Nintendo DS
1. Kanji sono mama rakubiki jiten - this was my go-to dictionary when I didn't have my iPhone yet :D
2. Bimoji - a DS game that helps you write Kanji beautifully
3. Kanken DS 2 - a Kanji learning software

Audio programs
1. Assimil - I have not used the one for Japanese but I am using Assimil French with Ease and Assimil German with Ease. This is a wonderful audio program! it gets me speaking right away. The audio starts off as really slow until the learner is familiar with the general pronunciation.
2. Living Language - My friend has the one for Japanese and I have the one for Italian. I love the Platinum edition because it gives me access to an online tutor who is a native speaker. Very cool :)

I have tried My Japanese Coach but I did not find it particularly useful. I have also read a lot of reviews about it from other Japanese learners and I have to agree with them.
i hope this helps. If anyone has questions about these or my personal methods, please ask and I will do my best to help you :)

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Post by SummeryDreams » Aug 18th, '13, 04:58

I only learn Japanese by communicating to Japanese people in social media sites, forum, and playing games in my iOS. Though I've had a formal study course in a school for two months, sort of a foundation.

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rootabega
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Post by rootabega » Aug 20th, '13, 00:57

I know it's been said before, but learn the kana first (hiragana, then katakana). Take advantage of the fact you're not being rushed in a classroom, and really learn how to read and really learn how to write them. Kana will be essential to every stage of Japanese language learning. Use flashcards with the stroke order/direction indicated. A worthwhile investment is Shin Nihongo no Kiso Kana Renshucho (Kana Workbook) published by 3A. I went through two of these, and it's good value at around $10 a copy.

I must share the same brain as konrad, because I agree 100% with his earlier comment. 8)

My "original" contribution: try karaoke on the computer. Enter something like カラオケバージョン or 歌詞付 in the Yew Tube search box. Start with something slow, like enka, and don't worry about missing most of the words. Just make yourself keep going - it will get better, I promise. One day, your desire will extend to wanting to sing the kanji parts, too.... :-)

Ganbare ne!

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Post by rootabega » Aug 20th, '13, 01:06

(Rootabega checks date of original post, hmm..May 2008)
I guess I was lecturing to no-one in particular in my previous post. :doh: :sorry:

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Post by SummeryDreams » Sep 15th, '13, 07:25

I find it really awesome to communicate directly with natives through social media, and perhaps play language games in my mobile phone. xD

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Post by Thierry23 » Jan 17th, '14, 23:34

Some of those links have been quite helpful, although it was not my intention to learn japanese, and until a year ago, my knowledge of japanese (words) was limited to "hai", "ije", "arigato" "-san / -sama"...

About a year ago, I discovered the Jdrama's/series (some time later also the Kdrama) and they were really entertaining. But in the meantime I couldn't shake off the feeling, that a little bit of japanese has been rubbing off, while watching those doramas :P
(as in: some words I can recognize when they're spoken out loud, like "yume", "yuki", "keisatsu" "keiji" etc )

About a month ago, that has lead to a funny situation:

I'm also playing online games, and some of those games are more fun, when playing with some people you know, like in a clan/guild. While ingame chatting with an other guild member, he said something. I wanted to comment on that with: "Really?" but for fun sake, I typed: "Hontto?"

Great was my astonishement when he suddenly answered with a question: "Nihonjin desuka?"
Me: "Iyaa! Nihonjin jenai. Orandajin desu."

I'm not sure whether that was correct, but guild had great fun, when they discovered that we two were "speaking" japanese :p. and wanted to know, where we had learned it.
Me: "watching japanese tv-series."
He: "my wife is japanese."

Just as a fun anecdote :)

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Ace.12
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Post by Ace.12 » Feb 19th, '14, 12:14

i learn katakana & hiragana first
it will help you when you read some blog or article in japanese , and then learn conversation sentence. just enjoy it from dorama. :)

when in high school, there is a japanese subject that make me learn japanese easier hehe

kanji is difficult but just try to remember some frequent kanji like watashi, ai, kawa, yama etc.

IMO :D

be_tha_drama
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Joined: Mar 22nd, '14, 07:56

Post by be_tha_drama » Mar 22nd, '14, 08:02

ME TOO ME TOO!

Also...can anyone recommend a good drama for simple Japanese? Maybe a High School drama or even something with emphasis on work?

Right now I'm watching Boku no Ita Jikan just finished episode 08. I really want to be fluent in Japanese.

doodoofan
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Joined: Nov 15th, '06, 18:57

Post by doodoofan » Sep 1st, '14, 09:10

Self-studying Japanese is totally possible. I studied Japanese all by myself for 2 years and passed JLPT level N2.

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Ginto-gin
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Post by Ginto-gin » Oct 24th, '14, 23:45

I'm just starting to learn Japanese myself. A good friend of mine created these Apps called Real Kana and Real Kanji. I've started with the kana, was slow at first but I'm getting the hang of it. The interface is intuitive, easy to use and portable on my phone! Worth the price.

Real Kana
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/real-ka ... 07473?mt=8

Real Kanji
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/real-ka ... 23917?mt=8

Hope that helps.

JackBauer2424
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Re: Self-learn Japanese?

Post by JackBauer2424 » Nov 5th, '15, 03:05

iTunes iBooks has a good Martin's Concise Dictionary. I think my college instructor recommended this one.

Jamie Mac
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Re: Self-learn Japanese?

Post by Jamie Mac » May 17th, '16, 07:26

One piece of advice I have is to transition to learning Japanese IN Japanese as soon as possible. It might be a little way ahead of you yet, but if you do it at the right time you will learn better and faster. Do it too early and you may struggle too much and lose confidence, do it too late and you will find yourself translating everything before you understand it or reproduce it.

I say this from experience - I failed the JLPT N1 partly because I haven't changed my vocab lists to Japanese definitions instead of English ones. It gets in the way of comprehension, reproduction, and is also inaccurate. I would say by time you are somewhere between N3-N2 level, pretty much all of your vocab learning could be done in Japanese rather than English.

ReefGod
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Re: Self-learn Japanese?

Post by ReefGod » Aug 7th, '16, 16:42

Does anyone know a good Japanese Kanji study guide?

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Keiko1981
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Re: Self-learn Japanese?

Post by Keiko1981 » Aug 7th, '16, 16:53

ReefGod wrote:Does anyone know a good Japanese Kanji study guide?
Anki first that comes to mind.

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bitrate
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Re: Self-learn Japanese?

Post by bitrate » Dec 2nd, '16, 05:45

any android or ios app can learn japanese in faster way?

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dhisashi
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Re: Self-learn Japanese?

Post by dhisashi » Dec 2nd, '16, 16:04

bitrate wrote:any android or ios app can learn japanese in faster way?
Check these out: http://www.fluentu.com/japanese/blog/be ... -japanese/

:-)

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