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Thread: Starting out Learning Japanese.

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    genki 1 is so easy that if you got your head down and studied rather than watching anime all the time you could blast through it in a few weeks and move onto book 2 and then onto more advanced books.
    I do think textbooks are useful and I'll be going through Japanese for Busy People for a second time, along with looking at Genki some more before my departure, but there are times I've been able to understand what someone is saying only because I've seen that particular word/grammar used in an anime/game/movie and never came across it in a textbook.

    I often feel like a lot of the textbook vocabulary is useless to my situation, since I don't buy postcards and I'm not attending business meetings. That said, if anyone knows a textbook aimed at getting someone to a high conversational level for everyday speech quickly, let me know. Or even an Anki deck with a lot of the grammar for everyday speech.
    Last edited by Kewne; April 23rd, 2012 at 17:34.

  2. #62
    Senior Member Eudox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kewne View Post
    I often feel like a lot of the textbook vocabulary is useless to my situation, since I don't buy postcards and I'm not attending business meetings. That said, if anyone knows a textbook aimed at getting someone to a high conversational level for everyday speech quickly, let me know. Or even an Anki deck with a lot of the grammar for everyday speech.
    You'd be surprised how much of that vocab you will actually need in everyday life - once you get past "can I buy you a drink?", "what are your hobbies?" and "want to go somewhere?".

    The problem is that any "everyday speech" for actually talking to people is going to need a base of vocabulary from every possible subject, which is where the textbook comes in. You may not plan on buying a postcard, but what happens when you ask someone what they did during the weekend and they say they sent a postcard to their friend? (I'm stretching the postcard thing a little, but this does happen quite often).

    I also realise you've already said you don't plan on ditching all textbook blah blah.... just some food for thought.

  3. #63
    Sociopathic Scroogemcduck MJN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Starting out Learning Japanese.

    I've used 4 things to study to get to where I am:


    1. Anki with the Smart.fm Core 2000/6000 decks

    Incredibly good at vocab building, very lightweight in how much effort you actually put in compared to other study methods, and pays off incredibly well, considering the effort (or lack there of) seemingly needed to actually study. 20-30 cards a day, more if you want (I actually have a backlog just now). Stick with it, and you might find you'll bolster your vocab a surprising amount. I first started using it when I was starting out, it goes through incredibly simple words to begin with, so you may find yourself doing a lot more than just 20 to start depending on your ability.

    I thought Anki was so good I spent £15 getting the iphone app, well worth it in my eyes.

    2. Remembering the Kanji, Heisig.

    I'll get hate for this, but I liked his books.

    He does an obscure visual memory thing which truthfully I'm not a massive fan of, but I do like the way he breaks apart Kanji and explains them well. I only partially use his storytelling method, combining in part with just brute force memorisation of kanji meanings. (and writing!)

    I've found I can read sentences very detatched-ly in Japanese, if I come across compounds etc. I can read them, but only in meaning rather than reading. Annoying, sure, but covering the kanji meanings is a hurdle in itself.

    I wouldn't reccomend his method alone, however, use something else to reinforce - in my case, I used Anki for vocab (with a deck that showed kanji) combined with RtK.

    3. Tae Kim's grammar guide

    This website. No bullshit, covers simple, vital Japanese gammar in amazing detail with examples friendly to all japanese levels.

    4. JLPT N3/N2 grammar books

    Covering more than what Kim's guide can, I've noticed my grammar is far weaker than my reading ability. Teaches by example rather than trying to give a direct translation, so forces you to 'discover' meanings in your head rather than reading a fact.

  4. #64

    Default Re: Starting out Learning Japanese.

    I don't know if this fits here but I found a useful site for very beginner Japanese learners.

    istudyjapanese
    Quote Originally Posted by Gezora View Post
    Japan is one of the few places where an old lay will clutch her purse in terror at the sight of a white person.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    The thing is, from what I know, you're pretty hot and maybe asian.

  5. #65

    Default Re: Starting out Learning Japanese.

    i have been using smart.fm website, the vocab is nice but they keep you on the damn decks for a long time. 10 hours for a 100 words.

  6. #66

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    I bought this book - good design and easy to lookup words. Unfortunately half the words I want to find are not in there. I'm not even intermediate level. This massive book now just collects dust on my bookshelf and I carry my ipod touch around instead. It's smaller, faster and has a far larger vocabulary with "Kotoba!" and "Japanese" installed. Also being able to draw in kanji is incredibly useful.

    I also use Anki and regret not starting to use it sooner. It's improved my vocab uptake so much it feels a bit like cheating...

    Quote Originally Posted by RomulusLupin View Post

    My favorite reference to keep on the shelf are the grammar dictionaries. You can start out with the Basic one, and it'll tide you over for a quite a while. Dictionary Of Basic Japanese Grammar, A - Japan Language Centre (Europe) by JP-BOOKS
    I also have to second this - when my textbooks confuse me or I come across something I don't understand these books are my first stop.

  7. #67

    Default Re: Starting out Learning Japanese.

    I found another interesting website Learn Japanese language online | LinguaLift

    If anyone tries it, do let me know.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gezora View Post
    Japan is one of the few places where an old lay will clutch her purse in terror at the sight of a white person.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    The thing is, from what I know, you're pretty hot and maybe asian.

  8. #68
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Starting out Learning Japanese.

    Can I just say that this thread was amazingly entertaining. Carry on!

    Ps genki one and two were both boring as shit and I forgot evening from them before I came to Japan. That being said they definitely covered all the forms you would need grammatically, just not practically.
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    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

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