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Thread: Critique of predeparture study

  1. #1

    Default Critique of predeparture study

    Ok i have never studied Japanese before. My goal is to be able to read hiragana and katakana, get basic understand of the language, and a decent beginner conversational ability.

    Pimsluer comrpehensive 1-2-3

    No link for 1

    Amazon.com: Japanese II, Comprehensive: Learn to Speak and Understand Japanese with Pimsleur Language Programs (9780743528832): Pimsleur: Books

    Amazon.com: Japanese III, Comprehensive: Learn to Speak and Understand Japanese with Pimsleur Language Programs (9780743528856): Pimsleur: Books

    Human Japanese computer program (24 bucks 10 times better then rosetta stone)
    Amazon.com: Human Japanese: Brian Rak: Software

    About 2 weeks prior to leaving I am going to be hitting up michel Thomas

    Amazon.com: Michel Thomas Method™ Japanese For Beginners, 8-CD Program (Michel Thomas Series) (9780071614368): Helen Gilhooly, Niamh Kelly: Books

    Amazon.com: Japanese Advanced Course CD (Michel Thomas Method) (9780340974599): Niamh Kelly: Books


    Supplement material

    Lonely planet phrase book

    Learn verbs and adjectives using memory mnemonic: This basically just a list of hundreds and verbs and adjectives in romanji with trigger sentences you help you remember.


    Hiragana the basic of japanese: Book i bought randomly, not likely to use.

    Speak japanese today: Not likely to use a lot.
    Amazon.com: Speak Japanese today: A Self-Study Program for Learning Everyday Japanese (Tuttle Language Library) (9780804815635): Taeko Kamiya: Books

    method:
    *every day I will do 1 pimsluer lesson 2 times (1 hour). (I have finished the first 30 lessons)

    *over the next week or 2 I am going to be teaching myself hiragana using the Human Japanese and other books when I do not have access to a computer.

    *Once I have hiragana down I hope to hit the human japanese hard, hopefully finishing it before the departure.

    *The few weeks before departure I am going to use michel thomas and Memory mnomics.

    Ok so, any critiques or advice?

    I will also be watching a lot of japanese movies. Very casually though and mostly just to get my ear use to the language.
    Last edited by jwkelley; May 15th, 2011 at 20:54.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tyr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Critique of predeparture study

    Learn the kana at all costs. Don't give in to the temptation to study using romanji. Learn the damn kana!
    Studying using the kana makes learning the kana easier. Just have a reference chart on hand in case you're not sure on some and eventually it'll fall into place.

    My study routine at the moment is largely just trying to drill words into my head. I know the basic grammar, but more important I think is just getting out what I want to say rather than it being entirely correct, i.e. 'Make pie hot please' would do though 'Could you please warm up the pie' would be better. Or at least that's my theory and the way things work in other languages....
    Last edited by Tyr; May 16th, 2011 at 00:50.

  3. #3

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    Supps. I've never taken a Japanese class either, but have been (slowly) teaching myself as best I can off and on for years now. For what it's worth, I can recommend some things that I've found useful.

    Definitely learn the kana. I used Teach Yourself Beginner's Japanese Script. If you've never studied the writing system before, this book is dirt cheap , small, and is written for people teaching themselves. It was pretty helpful to me to get started. Now, I just try to write all the basic kana down whenever I am doodling or whatever. It makes remembering them much easier. Once you learn 'em, write 'em down.

    I like Japanesepod101. If you can sit through the chit chat, you can learn as much Japanese as you want from that site / podcast. I recommend signing up for a free account, and try waiting until there's a sale. After I signed up for a year I got an offer for a discount code the next month and they seem to come pretty often. The more you pay, the more supplemental material you get. I don't usually bother with all the worksheets, but if I did, I'm sure I'd retain a lot more. Plus there are a lot of episodes on culture, and other idiomatic topics. I've probably learned more from Jpod101 than pretty much anything else.

    Just use as many sources as you can! The stuff that works for you will rise to the top. Good luck.

  4. #4
    Smashes through the wa Miss_igirisu's Avatar
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    Dudes and dudettes you are wasting your money!!

    If you haven't bought all that stuff already then please please DO NOT buy it!

    For your goals everything you need can be found on the net. Find a hiragana chart and take a row like a I u e o and memorise them and write them over and over. Then do the next row. You do not need a book to do this.

    Like the person before said, japanesepop101 is excellent and I advise listening to those over and over. When you get your placements There will be jet language packs for you to get some daily vocab down so just learn hiragana and listen to the podcasts until those come and you're done!
    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/

  5. #5
    Because Japan... Cytrix's Avatar
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    Default Re: Critique of predeparture study

    To help with the learning of your kana go to Real Kana. I've been using it for the last week or so to really test myself on the hiragana, and it's been great.
    tabemoto...: Cooking in southern Japan

  6. #6

    Default Re: Critique of predeparture study

    I am borrowing the pimsluer from a friend, michel thomas is pretty cheap (comparatively).
    Plus the human japanese was like 18 bucks for download version
    The lonely planet phrasebook was also left behind from a friend

    As for the books.

    Well its retardedly easy to buy books on a kindle, so yes I am wasting my money but its not all being wasted on Japanese books.

    Plus stay away from rocket japanese, those guys are scam aritst.
    Last edited by jwkelley; May 16th, 2011 at 19:48.

  7. #7
    Smashes through the wa Miss_igirisu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Critique of predeparture study

    Everything Michael Thomas does for you can be done on Japanesepod101. 18 bucks is a lot for something you can get for free.

    You are wasting your money.
    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/

  8. #8

    Default Re: Critique of predeparture study

    isn't japanese 101 a pay site with only a few free samples?

  9. #9
    Smashes through the wa Miss_igirisu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Critique of predeparture study

    Nope, all podcasts are free. You pay for the PDFs that go with it. If you have to spend money on this, that is probably the best place to spend it.
    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 kyaillya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    To help with the learning of your kana go to Real Kana. I've been using it for the last week or so to really test myself on the hiragana, and it's been great.
    I second this. I have it open at work and discreetly use it when I get bored. It's been really helpful - you can choose which Hiragana or Katakana you will be tested on as well as the font type.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Critique of predeparture study

    I will give it another go. But first time I went asked me to pay a dollar, second time I went just gave me a list of plans, and third time I went said I have a 7 day free trial but cannot download anything.

    The prices they should though are insanely impressive, 28 bucks a month and you can get some 1 one 1 time with a private tutor.

  12. #12
    Senior Member kawaiijutsu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Critique of predeparture study

    I learned the kana by using a giant white board on campus, wrote out the giant grid, and just kept filling it in, erasing it, and repeating that till it was there. We also had to make flip cards and go a "flip test" in front of the teacher - identify 60 kana correctly in 60 seconds to make a 90. Having to do that will get you pretty confident with the kana. To make sure you've got em, just grab a random Japanese webpage, and go through trying to just read aloud all the kana for recognition.
    Go with Igirisu, you do NOT need to spend money for this level of Japanese study. Also remember JET will be sending you a book called "Japanese for JETs" that'll get you a lot of basics too. It may not be amazing on the overall, but if you're super worried about learning some basic phrases, it's your friend.
    If you wanna spend money, head over to JapanesePod101, find a coupon code floating around the internet for 50% off a month (not hard to find, try retailmenot or a google search), and pay for a month of basic. Then download all mp3s for the episodes you want, especially the "Crash course" series or whatever it was called.
    Last edited by kawaiijutsu; May 17th, 2011 at 05:56.

  13. #13

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    If spending a bit of money is not an issue then I think you should forget about using the JET books. As they're free it's work getting them and having a look over them but I don't think it's a good idea to use them as your main study books.

    The 'Genki' series of textbooks are pretty good. Look for something that launches straight into using kana and not romaji.
    I think it's worth trying to learn the kana first and maybe some simple words using them like animals, food, numbers etc. before launching hard into the textbooks and grammar. That way you can get used to the basic sounds of the language first.

    A lot of people who study Japanese use computer programmes to help them remember the vocab/characters like Anki.

    Japanesepod101 is pretty useful, you can always join for a month or two, download all the audio and PDFs you need and then quit.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Critique of predeparture study

    Dude, chill out. Learn the hiragana, katakana, and some basics. Enjoy your time at home. When you get here this summer, you'll have a lot of time to study in the office.
    Quote Originally Posted by wry bread View Post
    Oh God, I wouldn't want a dude on an internet forum to think I'm fat.

  15. #15
    Senior Member kawaiijutsu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Critique of predeparture study

    I just checked into iknow per the reccommendation of some over on Official, and it looks pretty solid if you wanna learn the basics. Their placement test seems to be a bit of garbage though...I need to look around to see if they just teach vocab, or if they also do grammar in the like. It's subscription based, but with a free trial so you can see if it's your thing.

  16. #16
    Smashes through the wa Miss_igirisu's Avatar
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    You should shun iknow. For years it's been free and we've been using it making vocab lists. Now it charges and also continues to make money off of the lists that we had made when it was free.

    Anki is just as good, I hear
    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/

  17. #17
    Senior Member kawaiijutsu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miss_igirisu View Post
    You should shun iknow. For years it's been free and we've been using it making vocab lists. Now it charges and also continues to make money off of the lists that we had made when it was free.

    Anki is just as good, I hear
    Agreed. Anki is a huge godsend, so much that I didn't mind paying 25 bucks or whatever it was for the iPod app. So iKnow really is just vocab lists and nothing else?

  18. #18
    Smashes through the wa Miss_igirisu's Avatar
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    And a flashcard style program
    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
    VIP UPGRAYEDD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Critique of predeparture study

    Just cough up $50 and buy the genki textbooks, plus the workbooks, and you'll be good to go.
    You see, gentlemen, a pimp's love is very different from a square's...
    (郷に入っては郷に従え.)

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by elleohelle View Post
    Dude, chill out. Learn the hiragana, katakana, and some basics. Enjoy your time at home. When you get here this summer, you'll have a lot of time to study in the office.
    Not at home, traveling around Korean Rural islands teaching. I have lots of free time.

    Besides it's really relaxing to stroll around the different islands listening to japanese casts. Well at least it was till my friend decided to educate me about Korean snakes. ignorance is bliss sometimes.

    I am gonna finish up the pimsluer then probably start looking into Japanese 101.

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