Learning Japanese I think I'm learning Japanese I really think so

  • Page

    of 51 First / Last

    Previous
  • ProfessorLesser 20 Jul 2008 13:39:30 19,352 posts
    Seen 2 months ago
    Registered 10 years ago
    Along with money, this was my chief obstacle to reaching Japan this summer, so instead I'm going to spend the summer, or what's left of it, learning as much as I can to better my chances for next year. Great.

    So, any tips on where to begin? I'm starting with reading and writing the hiragana and katakana, then planning to move onto vocabulary and basic grammar. Any good websites or books to help me do this? I have a couple of books already, but they seem to concentrate on speaking and listening.

    I've already written out the kana on flashcards, but I've never used flashcards before, so I don't really know what to do with them now except sit and stare at them. I haven't included the dakuten or handakuten because I thought that would muddle things, although they don't seem as complicated as I first thought.

    I need to get cracking, so any help much appreciated :-)
  • THFourteen 20 Jul 2008 13:41:18 32,905 posts
    Seen 3 hours ago
    Registered 9 years ago
    take an evening class?
  • siro 20 Jul 2008 13:45:54 1,826 posts
    Seen 2 hours ago
    Registered 10 years ago
    I'm quite able in Japanese, but don't know what's dakuten. I think you should leave them away (of course I checked in a dictionary, now). Seems like a sound plan, you've got there.

    Speaking and Listening would be the best / motivating way to get a basic grasp of the language, that's prolly why most (modern) books start off with that.
  • Dirtbox 20 Jul 2008 13:52:30 77,484 posts
    Seen 5 minutes ago
    Registered 12 years ago
    Helps immensly if you have Japanese friends. I'm learning to speak it but it's pretty tough going. The grammar is, for want of a better word, fucko. Theres also two types of Japanese from what I can gather, the formal one that's mostly spoken by older people and a more slangy one. I think I'm learning the slangtastic one.

    Writing it is where it gets far too complex for me as not all words can be written in Japanese so loads of kanji slips in.

    +1 / Like / Tweet this post

  • Errol 20 Jul 2008 13:52:42 12,457 posts
    Seen 2 days ago
    Registered 13 years ago
    Tried looking on Amazon?

    I went there for Russian language books and found loads.
  • Razz 20 Jul 2008 13:52:55 60,802 posts
    Seen 1 hour ago
    Registered 12 years ago
    Arrrr! I found the Pimsleur courses to be rather good me hearties. Having a few Japanese friends will help loads, a language partner would help even more.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Steam/PSN/XBOX: Razztafarai | 3DS: 1246-9674-8856
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

  • Timmy 20 Jul 2008 13:59:12 9,031 posts
    Seen 1 year ago
    Registered 10 years ago
    Japanese always struck me as a nice language to learn. Not sure if I could get my head round their alphabet though.
  • Dirtbox 20 Jul 2008 14:00:32 77,484 posts
    Seen 5 minutes ago
    Registered 12 years ago
    Alphabet... If only it was that simple.

    +1 / Like / Tweet this post

  • Razz 20 Jul 2008 14:00:54 60,802 posts
    Seen 1 hour ago
    Registered 12 years ago
    Huh? Romaji? The rest are syllabary, i.e. the Chinese Kanji and all the different kani's

    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Steam/PSN/XBOX: Razztafarai | 3DS: 1246-9674-8856
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

  • Telepathic.Geometry 20 Jul 2008 14:08:51 11,278 posts
    Seen 10 seconds ago
    Registered 8 years ago
    My advice is this:

    A. Learn your hiragana and your katakana.
    B. Get yourself a decent book on Japanese. I have a few here, so I'll just recommend my personal arsenal:
    1) Japanese for College Students: Basic (three books in the series),
    2) Genki. An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese (two books in the series),
    3) A Guide to Reading and Writing Japanese (this is nothing more than a kanji book).

    C. Find yourself a Japanese native speaker and arrange an intercambio with them.

    On point A, I would say, the best way to learn hiragana and katakana is not with flashcards. There's a danger of becoming good at recognising them, but not being able to produce them off the top of your head. Simply try writing words you know are Japanese in Hiragana or Katakana, and keep checking them off a sheet. I have the kana in my bathroom, and in front of my desk, along with the first few hundred kanji.

    On point B, the first series of books I mentioned is especially good for grammar I think, and also drills you regularly on the kanji. The second tests you on your vocabulary, and everyday speech patterns. It's pretty decent I think. Finally, the kanji book. I believe that you should start learning kanji early on, so the kanji book is very very useful. It shows you the stroke order, and gives different readings and combinations, and is generally an important kanji reference. Actually, now that I think of it, another small and relatively inexpensive book I got was: "Write Now! Kanji for Beginners". It's like a test book. It presents about a dozen kanji per chapter, in a very controlled way (i.e. the order was pretty well thought out) and then tests you on them in extremely creative ways. If you can't find the book there, I could send it on to you. I really can't recommend it enough.

    As far as C goes, in my honest opinion, A and B are completely and utterly without value if you cannot find a native speaker. Everything you learn has no real meaning for you. you need to start talking to a native speaker asap. Seriously!

    Best of luck with it Prof. If you need any help, don't hesitate to ask. :) T.G.

    || PSN Barrysama || NNID Barrysama ||

  • siro 20 Jul 2008 14:11:51 1,826 posts
    Seen 2 hours ago
    Registered 10 years ago
    lol Dirtbox. Love your user pic. :)

    Having Japanese friends will help of course, that's obvious. But not really something you can force. If you see it like that, going over there for some time will boost your language immensely, if you can afford to waste some months having the time of your life.
  • Razz 20 Jul 2008 14:13:49 60,802 posts
    Seen 1 hour ago
    Registered 12 years ago
    Just go to yoiur local language centre and put an advert up for a Language exchange. It's really easy, the last time I put one up in SOAS I got quite a few replies the same day.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Steam/PSN/XBOX: Razztafarai | 3DS: 1246-9674-8856
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

  • Angel_Treats 20 Jul 2008 14:15:37 11,072 posts
    Seen 1 year ago
    Registered 10 years ago
    I don't know about Japanese but I know there are language exchange groups for lots of languages in London, I've been to a few, and you get native speakers of both English and the other language and spend half the time speaking one language and half speaking the other. I went to a Spanish one a few times when I was applying to university, as my spoken Spanish was a bit rusty, and it helped me no end. Thing is, everyone's there for the same reason so if you make mistakes and stumble a bit it really doesn't matter. Might be worth looking into.
  • ProfessorLesser 20 Jul 2008 14:18:25 19,352 posts
    Seen 2 months ago
    Registered 10 years ago
    Unfortunately I don't have any Japanese friends, and I've no way of getting out there until next summer at the very earliest. Some useful tips here already though. I might pester the Anglo-Japanese society at uni to see if they can help me. I always thought there were loads of Japanese students in Cambridge... turns out they're all just tourists. No end of Chinese students though! Damn, chose the wrong obsession ;-)
  • ProfessorLesser 20 Jul 2008 14:19:52 19,352 posts
    Seen 2 months ago
    Registered 10 years ago
    I don't think a language course is really an option - I hardly have any money, and I live in a remote area. And while I'm at uni, my studies obviously take precedent.
  • semprini 20 Jul 2008 14:30:56 3,144 posts
    Seen 8 months ago
    Registered 11 years ago
    I'd recommend getting the Pimsleur Japanese lessons on mp3. I've found them very useful, and gives you a quick grasp of some conversational skills. They do get quite advanced, but I haven't got very far through them yet.
  • Angel_Treats 20 Jul 2008 14:32:54 11,072 posts
    Seen 1 year ago
    Registered 10 years ago
    I had Pimsleur Brazilian Portuguese, I thought they were very good. Michel Thomas is also great, I know there is a Mandarin Chinese one but don't know about Japanese.
  • semprini 20 Jul 2008 14:34:54 3,144 posts
    Seen 8 months ago
    Registered 11 years ago
    Michel Thomas is amazing, I have his French, German and Spanish - have only tried the French but it's very well done. I thought he only did European languages - didn't realise he did Mandarin. If he does do a Japanese one I would get that immediately.
  • Dirtbox 20 Jul 2008 14:39:31 77,484 posts
    Seen 5 minutes ago
    Registered 12 years ago
    Michel Thomas has a Japanese foundation coming out this month, if not already, I was looking into it about a month ago. There will be an advanced one in Jan.

    +1 / Like / Tweet this post

  • semprini 20 Jul 2008 14:45:36 3,144 posts
    Seen 8 months ago
    Registered 11 years ago
    Nice, thanks DB
  • DaisyD 20 Jul 2008 14:49:12 11,818 posts
    Seen 6 months ago
    Registered 9 years ago
    I've found the teach yourself range rather good.
  • espy 20 Jul 2008 15:54:03 840 posts
    Seen 3 years ago
    Registered 8 years ago
    Have ou got a DS? There's apparently some nice apps for writing practice and, I think, vocabulary.
  • DaisyD 21 Jul 2008 13:57:48 11,818 posts
    Seen 6 months ago
    Registered 9 years ago
    Ohhhh . . . I'd be interested in a DS writing app. Someone post a link!

    I picked up the Berlitz Mandarin Chinese and Japanese Premier kit today in WHSmiths for 19.99. I saw it last week and checked it's price elsewhere first, but as it's cheaper than Amzon it's a good bargin! Maybe a good starting point.


    Edit: Added the link
  • Razz 21 Jul 2008 14:04:14 60,802 posts
    Seen 1 hour ago
    Registered 12 years ago
    If you need any pointers in Mandarin let me know Fi.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Steam/PSN/XBOX: Razztafarai | 3DS: 1246-9674-8856
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

  • poxymoron 21 Jul 2008 14:08:55 67 posts
    Seen 17 hours ago
    Registered 8 years ago
    espy wrote:
    Have ou got a DS? There's apparently some nice apps for writing practice and, I think, vocabulary.

    http://www.joystiq.com/2007/03/31/learn-japanese-with-homebrew-ds-app/
  • DaisyD 21 Jul 2008 14:10:16 11,818 posts
    Seen 6 months ago
    Registered 9 years ago
    Thanks! I bought it mainly for the Japanese, but with the idea of learning Chinese in the future. I'd quite like to learn Korean too at some point.
  • Razz 21 Jul 2008 14:14:45 60,802 posts
    Seen 1 hour ago
    Registered 12 years ago
    :(

    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Steam/PSN/XBOX: Razztafarai | 3DS: 1246-9674-8856
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

  • DaisyD 21 Jul 2008 14:18:48 11,818 posts
    Seen 6 months ago
    Registered 9 years ago
    Razz wrote:
    :(
    Why the long face?
  • ilmaestro 21 Jul 2008 14:46:43 32,406 posts
    Seen 4 days ago
    Registered 11 years ago
    Just bekause.

    edit: that looks silly not being beneath Daisy's post.

    4235

  • Page

    of 51 First / Last

    Previous
Log in or register to reply