Best way to learn Japanese?

Topics not covered in other forums. NO POLITICS OR RELIGION.

Moderators: ShadowCell, mcred23, EZero8

Post Reply
User avatar
HellCat
OMG Doomsday Laser
Posts: 1491
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 10:24 am

Best way to learn Japanese?

Post by HellCat » Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:57 pm

It's been an aspiration for over a decade now but I'd like to learn written and oral Japanese. It didn't become an available option in UK schools until after I graduated, which leaves independent further education my only option. Given a fair few people here are fluent for various reasons, I wondered what they considered the best means to learn it? I've seen some people suggest Rosetta Stone and recently I stumbled across this- https://www.erin.ne.jp/en/

Generally my interest is to learn for the sake of hobby/entertainment stuff but the more fluent the better. I've heard the horror stories of people who pick up the language wrong from too many cartoons and comics.
Gundam AGEs Forum- Three destinies will form discussion.
Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

User avatar
ShadowCell
Traitor Villain
Posts: 5821
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:59 pm
Location: California
Contact:

Re: Best way to learn Japanese?

Post by ShadowCell » Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:41 pm

moved to General. carry on.

User avatar
harotype
Lackey GM Pilot
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 11:04 pm
Location: The Lido Deck of Minerva

Re: Best way to learn Japanese?

Post by harotype » Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:42 pm

You didn't say whether you were bound and determined to learn self-directed, so...

I'm not even remotely fluent, but what I do know, I picked up at "intensive summer university course", where they covered a year of instruction in ten weeks by way of 40 hours in the classroom every week. :twisted:

It melts your brain and hurts your head, but you DO learn. And you do learn correctly.
(And this was about a decade ago, and yes, I decided to learn in hopes of understanding anime better. And what I do remember, I remember thanks to anime, manga, and reading Japanese websites.)

So if the finances and facilities are at all an option for you to do something like that, I'll give it my props.

There really is no substitute for classroom exercises, other people to converse with, and teachers kicking your posterior.
"Idealists stay away from war and politics!!"

User avatar
Quiddity
Creepy Bishonen
Posts: 193
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 12:13 am
Location: The Ephemeris

Re: Best way to learn Japanese?

Post by Quiddity » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:56 pm

From a written Japanese standpoint, I tried self teaching myself Japanese back when I was in college and had a lot more free time and I found that James Heisig's books were a very helpful way to learn the english meaning of kanji. Not as helpful from a reading and pronouncing standpoint unfortunately, but it did make understanding what the characters mean a lot easier.
MAHQ Staff - Dunbine, L-Gaim, Escaflowne, Ideon, Gasaraki, The Big O, Overman King Gainer, Zambot 3 and FLCL
In my search for justice, I created war. In my search for war, I created death. In my search for death... I have lost my soul.

Antares
Retconned MSV Ace
Posts: 1546
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:44 am
Location: Finland
Contact:

Re: Best way to learn Japanese?

Post by Antares » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:36 pm

I strongly recommend getting into a study group. Some people can pull this stuff of alone, but a second opinion can help you navigate the delightfully murky depths of Japanese grammar, especially if you don't have a teacher or a native speaker at hand. Within the group of self-learning savants, I've also encountered people who've made a really unfortunate compromise; they are utter wizards with written Japanese, but can't speak the language worth crap (because they haven't had anyone to talk to).

Watching anime is a good idea to get a bearing on the inflection (sometimes), but when it comes to vocab, the language can be overtly contrived on the polite side, or incredibly rude. For anime-minded people, subjected to anime-Japanese quite often, it can unfortunately stick (for a looooong time). Nothing to be overtly worried about, but just so you know, the stories ain't all lies. :twisted:

The books the teachers use over here include at least Japanese For Busy People (I-II) and Japanese For Everyone. As I recall those books were readily available, affordable and easy to navigate (with English notes).

Also speaking from extensive (but personal) experience, I recommend, once you get the basic words down, to write a journal. Like a single entry worth 4-5 lines per week as a continued exercise. You get to repeat certain (=most common) words, their writing style, and general kanji recognition. This works best for people who memorize things by doing it (writing it down) themselves. You'll shortly notice you'll be using the dictionary only for hard/new words.
-We will not be caught by surprise!
*Almost everyone I've killed uttered similar last words.
-Then I am glad once again that you are on my side.
*They've often said that too.

User avatar
Shinigam_Newtype
Lackey GM Pilot
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:52 pm
Location: Scirroco's Bathtub

Re: Best way to learn Japanese?

Post by Shinigam_Newtype » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:51 am

I've been learning a few languages over the past few years, I would say of them all, I'm most proficient in Japanese.

By far the best method for learning Japanese IMO is the incorporating the AJATT method.
AJATT stands for All Japanese All The Time. Essentially, this involves surrounding yourself in Japanese media almost all day every day for a long period of time.

An example of this would be to listen to Japanese media whether it be internet radio or podcasts, play Japanese video games, read untranslated Japanese media, watch Japanese media, not so much anime but perhaps news reports or live action dramas etc.
Using this method, you'll find that you won't understand much - if anything at first, but overtime you'll become familiar with Japanese sentence structure, the different tones and inflections used in everyday speech and perhaps even different styles in writing. If you use this method regularly whilst also using textbooks( I would Recommend the Japanese For Busy People series of books), I'm certain that you'll feel satisfied with what you've learnt in a matter of months.

What I've found is that the best motivator for learning a language is the actual reason you want to learn the language. The more profound an effect learning the language will have on your life, the more dedicated you will be to actually learning the language.
"I'm not as impatient as you, I can wait for humanity to learn and grow" - Amuro Ray.

PSN ID: Shinigam_Newtype
3DS Friend Code: 4468 0954 9080

Post Reply