Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 45

Thread: My Japanese learning tools

  1. #1
    Beer & Loathing
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    R'lyeh
    Posts
    133

    Default My Japanese learning tools

    I'm going to post what tools (books and such) I have to help me learn Japanese language and culture, you tell me they all suck and I should drop a pile of money on the Rosetta Stone programs, a private tutor, and who knows what else, okay?

    Books:

    A pile of Haruki Murakami novels in English (one of my Japanese pen pals recommended him, and he's awesome).
    Japanese for Dummies.
    Japanese Phrases for Dummies.
    Wildcat and The Acorns by Kenji Miyazawa
    Lonely Planet Japan 2003
    Customs & Etiquette Of Japan
    Random House Japanese - English Dictionary
    The Hagakure
    Tao Te Ching

    I also have some English grammar books that I plan to take with me if I get selected.

    Software:

    A bunch of anime
    My Japanese Coach for the Nintendo DS (I love this game, I feel I've learned more with it than most of the other tools I've listed)

    I'm thinking of getting this soon:
    Instant Immersion Japanese Levels 1, 2 & 3 - Mac/Windows

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    250

    Default

    Murakami is pretty fun to read, and I would never recommend Rosetta Stone.

  3. #3
    VIP UPGRAYEDD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Tokyo
    Posts
    4,158

    Default Re: My Japanese learning tools

    You should just get genki.
    You see, gentlemen, a pimp's love is very different from a square's...
    (郷に入っては郷に従え.)

  4. #4
    Beer & Loathing
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    R'lyeh
    Posts
    133

    Default Re: My Japanese learning tools

    What's genki?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Shankerbelle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Ibaraki dust bowl
    Posts
    2,591

    Default Re: My Japanese learning tools

    Yeh Haruhi Murakami kicks ass! Rosetta truly isnt that great either but their pen pal facility (Rosetta stone Shared talk) is pretty good Language Exchange Community - Practice Foreign Languages

    this is Genki

    Its basically a series of books and online bits n bobs to help with independant japanese study. its quite good i was using the elementary set text book
    and workbook and some CD's n stuff

    Ive heard Pimsleur for japanese speaking and listening was good too - if ur a [censored] fan id reccoment [censored] that as its pretty pricey.
    Last edited by word; December 16th, 2010 at 11:39. Reason: Please do not discuss acquisition of software through P2P networks on ITIL.


  6. #6
    Member bizarrojosh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    hotlanta
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: My Japanese learning tools

    Isn't the Dao De Jing Chinese? I guess its influenced Japanese culture but if we are being picky then I'd take that off the list.

    Use Anki as a study tool to help you retain the stuff you study. It makes remembering stuff much much easier than the traditional flashcard method. Search "anki SRS" in google and you should find it. Its great because it can be installed on your computer, it can be used in an internet browser, on iphone and ipods, and normal japanese phones with 3g capabilities (pretty much all new Japanese phones). Its great.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Spore13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Middle of the sea
    Posts
    701

    Default Re: My Japanese learning tools

    The new version of Rossetta is actually pretty good, but I wouldn't pay a bunch of money for it (there are other ways after all)

    I second the Genki idea and I would then use Anki to make your own flashcards. It helps to have one course of study that you focus on so you don't et overwhelmed, and then study the others casually. Use anime only as a supplement- and don't use things from it without lookin git up on your own. Subtitlers (if you use them) are great, but a lot depends on context. Sounds obvious I know, but I heard stories about people from my JTE's.
    I firmly believe that goofy and awkward are the signs of awesome.


  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    467

    Default Re: My Japanese learning tools

    I haven't seen the new version of Rosetta Stone but I have the older one and someone wouldn't pay me to do it. It is good for pronunciation especially if you aren't in Japan.

  9. #9
    Smashes through the wa Miss_igirisu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Mie
    Posts
    7,017

    Default Re: My Japanese learning tools

    You got it all wrong. Drop that DS game, it's the biggest pile of crap ever.

    1. www.smart.fm go get yourself some vocab.
    2. Genki, Japanese for busy people, minna na nihongo... anything.
    3. Japanese langauge partner. Try www.japan-guide.com (classifieds, friends, select your city) or www.sharedtalk.com
    4. Once you can make sentences, get Japanese on your computer (Global IME) and the get your arse over to www.lang-8.com and write you some diaries.
    5. Tofugu.com is also a good resource. You can try his online lessons, but I've not tried them personally so can't comment, but he's a good guy and his Japanese is ace.
    Quote Originally Posted by tenderRondo View Post
    they said your uk blood has extremely high levels of tea and crumpets in it.
    http://osharejunks.blogspot.com/

  10. #10
    Senior Member stufflikethat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Land of the mikan
    Posts
    382

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by UPGRAYEDD View Post
    You should just get genki.
    I second this. It's a really great Japanese textbook. It explains grammar really well. It's often used in college level Japanese classes, so you can probably find lots of used copies online.

    I think the DS game is fine if you're a beginner. It gives you a good introduction to the language, and the games are fun for practice. As long as it's not the only thing you're using to learn the language, you should be fine.

    Make sure your dictionary has Japanese in it (hiragana and katakana). If it's only in romaji, it will be useless to you later on. You'll also want to pick up a good kanji dictionary.

    I also recommend picking up these flashcards: WhiteRabbitPress::...
    WhiteRabbitPress::...
    I currently use the ones for kanji, and they're extremely helpful!

    I have the Instant Immersion programs. I didn't find them very helpful. It's good to hear some of the pronunciation, but you can get that from watching anime. I wouldn't waste your money
    Last edited by stufflikethat; October 22nd, 2009 at 10:26.
    Homophobia is so gay.

  11. #11
    Beer & Loathing
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    R'lyeh
    Posts
    133

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stufflikethat View Post
    I think the DS game is fine if you're a beginner. It gives you a good introduction to the language, and the games are fun for practice. As long as it's not the only thing you're using to learn the language, you should be fine.
    It's not the only thing I use. I do like it for learning words and finding out how to spell them and such.

    Also, I recently found a book from the 1980s called "A Guide to Teaching English in Japan."

  12. #12
    NEKO FEVER! ChuChuRocket!'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    2,648

    Default Re: My Japanese learning tools

    Jonathan Fisher wrote up a nice review of Smart.fm a while back. If you're interested in learning vocab, you might want to check it out.

    Wide Island View Blog Archive Language Learning Tool Reviews: Smart.fm

  13. #13
    Smashes through the wa Miss_igirisu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Mie
    Posts
    7,017

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Variable Rush View Post
    It's not the only thing I use. I do like it for learning words and finding out how to spell them and such.

    Also, I recently found a book from the 1980s called "A Guide to Teaching English in Japan."
    I don't think I need to say it but teaching English in the 1980's and teaching English now is completely different. Back then it was all about grammar translation method. To a certain extent it's still the same now but the reason why we are here is to change that.
    Quote Originally Posted by tenderRondo View Post
    they said your uk blood has extremely high levels of tea and crumpets in it.
    http://osharejunks.blogspot.com/

  14. #14
    VIP UPGRAYEDD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Tokyo
    Posts
    4,158

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Miss_igirisu View Post
    (stuff)..... but the reason why we are here is to change that.

    Haha

    No we're not.
    You see, gentlemen, a pimp's love is very different from a square's...
    (郷に入っては郷に従え.)

  15. #15
    Smashes through the wa Miss_igirisu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Mie
    Posts
    7,017

    Default Re: My Japanese learning tools

    We're not here to put more communication in the classroom? Then why don't they only hire JETs with Japanese good enough to explain everything in Japanese and teach English just like a JTE?
    Quote Originally Posted by tenderRondo View Post
    they said your uk blood has extremely high levels of tea and crumpets in it.
    http://osharejunks.blogspot.com/

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    467

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Miss_igirisu View Post
    We're not here to put more communication in the classroom? Then why don't they only hire JETs with Japanese good enough to explain everything in Japanese and teach English just like a JTE?
    They hire JETs with good Japanese and bad Japanese. I haven't exactly figured out why they hire JETs with no Japanese. I originally came with almost none and my conversations were very short with students. Now that I've learned enough Japanese I can keep conversations going. I can switch to English and Japanese when needed which keeps the students engaged longer.

    As to why they don't hire JETs with Japanese? My take which is biased and probably wrong is that Japan doesn't really care to match people's ability up with their job.
    Last edited by enigmaneo; October 22nd, 2009 at 15:22. Reason: Didn't proof read.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    467

    Default Re: My Japanese learning tools

    Oh, my other theory is they really don't want to learn English, but want to say they put X amount of people, and dollars into learning English. There was another discussion on the board to foster relationships between other countries and Japan for business reasons. I'm inclined to believe their goal is not to get students to communicate in English.

  18. #18
    Smashes through the wa Miss_igirisu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Mie
    Posts
    7,017

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by enigmaneo View Post
    They hire JETs with good Japanese and bad Japanese. I haven't exactly figured out why they hire JETs with no Japanese. I originally came with almost none and my conversations were very short with students. Now that I've learned enough Japanese I can keep conversations going. I can switch to English and Japanese when needed which keeps the students engaged longer.

    As to why they don't hire JETs with Japanese? My take which is biased and probably wrong is that Japan doesn't really care to match people's ability up with their job.
    Or, because as they said at Tokyo Orientation, "you're not paid to speak Japanese". We're paid so we can speak English with the kids and giving them a break from coping off the board and listening to the JTE witter on in Japanese whilst butchering the English language, preventing yet another generation from being able to speak English.
    Quote Originally Posted by tenderRondo View Post
    they said your uk blood has extremely high levels of tea and crumpets in it.
    http://osharejunks.blogspot.com/

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    467

    Default

    Yes, but why continue a conversation if neither of you understand each other. What's better a 2 minute conversation saying I like music. Do you like music. When, if the student can't keep speaking in English, they use Japanese I respond in English if I think they will know it if I not I respond in Japanese. What I've found is that whenever possible they use English, and I use a lot more English.

    If you keep speaking to them in English and they don't understand, they'll just say hey I'm going to play. This is stupid. Well, that's for middle school and low level high school.

    I've also run into some of my former students who go to a good high school and studied hard, and I was able to speak all English to them.

  20. #20
    Smashes through the wa Miss_igirisu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Mie
    Posts
    7,017

    Default

    I feel guilty we've taken over this thread and I'm sorry to the guy who started it but I'm so bored right now.

    I break my own rules and talk to the kids in Japanese outside classrooms. They take the piss out of me when I make mistakes and I think that it's really good for them to see me trying hard and making mistakes but just carrying on anyway. When the kids come to the staffroom to clean, they teach me words I didn't know, like the words for broom and stuff, and I talk to them in English, ask them stuff like "what time do clubs start today? I forgot" and they like that we can help each other.

    In the classroom, I use Japanese occasionally, like I've said before, my English gets translated so why don't I just translate for myself. But I'm asking the JTEs to stop this and let me ask the kids "if you understood, can you explain in Japanese?" So English is being used more and more in the classroom now, because the kids are trying to understand me.

    As for convos, my kids know I like MatsuJun, so it's not hard for them to have the "You like MatsuJun, do you like Yamapi too?" kind of convo with me. I can have quite good convos with my (JHS) kids.
    Quote Originally Posted by tenderRondo View Post
    they said your uk blood has extremely high levels of tea and crumpets in it.
    http://osharejunks.blogspot.com/

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •