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Lots of study, and lots of immersion. I study whenever I have the chance, I try to make sure I study for at LEAST 30 minutes every day, though often try to go for more.
I try to immerse myself in Japanese as much as I can in my life (which is hard, argh), I watch Japanese TV online, even if I can't understand it, and sometimes will just leave it on in the background when I'm doing other stuff on the computer. If not TV, Japanese music.
I'll play games in Japanese, sometimes games I've already played previously in English. (currently I'm playing through FFXII in Japanese) I also own a DS that I have "hacked", 95% of my games on it are Japanese games. A lot of them are study games for students over in Japan to practice Kanji and etc. Also various other games in Japanese like Pokemon Platinum, etc.
Also I own a lot of manga (raw obviously) IRL, most of it I keep next to my side of the bed and some on my computer desk. Before I go to sleep I'll always read some manga.
I haven't quite made the switch to using all Japanese websites (like, only using Wikipedia in Japanese) because it's still tough, but at times I try to. I also visit Japanese community websites a lot to try to understand people (lots of slang!), like 2ch, niconico, kotonoha, etc.
Obviously I'm not one of the pro translators yet, but I believe this way works very well, as I've learned a lot of stuff and quickly since I've started trying to immerse myself more.
I don't know if music is the best method. They extend a lot of syllables and alter the pronounciation of a lot of words to match the beat of the song. Anime will teach you a lot of stuff that won't be useful in a practical conversation but it's good as a recognition tool. Also, anime usually won't help much if you don't have some basic knowledge. If you're perceptive and keep your ears open, you can pick up certain patterns. That's how I learned a couple verb conjugation methods before I was taught in any classroom.
If I can make one recomendation that I found true for me: don't bother with romanji. It's best to just learn Hiragana/Katakana and use those and eventually kanji to write anything, even if you are just practicing with flash cards. I've seen a lot of people struggle to unlearn romanji.
I'd say a 19yr old sexy girl as a personal tutor.
more practise ,more listening,and more speaking
Last edited by igotthegoods; July 21, 2009 at 04:14 PM.
From what I've experienced, learning Japanese is best by taking formal classes. Now, the problem with that is 90-95% of the class will not be serious about actually learning the language and that is extremely frustrating. But when you try to teach yourself and then go into formal classes, it'll be difficult because you won't know the logistics of conjugation and things like that. I saw that a lot too when people came into the formal class and had already taught themselves some Japanese. I didn't know a lick of Japanese when I started taking classes.
I had that same problem when I went into formal German classes though. German was my first language so I just learned it from hearing everyone around me speak. Then when I went into the formal class, I didn't know any of the reasoning behind why certain things conjugated certain ways, or even what any of the verb forms were called, or anything like that.
That's just been my experience though.
I agree with illusionsfoool, "it'll be difficult because you won't know the logistics of conjugation and things like that" Thats the point. In order to explain those doubts is needed contact with japanese speakers in forums or other side.
Im looking forward finding a site like that.
I'd say it's best to just go to the country--or a place where it's used regularly, and just live there, that way, you'll very much have to learn it.
When I moved here, I learned the language in 3 or so months, because I was surrounded by it, and had to speak it to get anywhere.
although I don't speak any Japanese, I find that other then immersion, the best method for acquiring any language, is a proper uni-grade academic course.
I'm not talking about some fake Language-Academy, I'm talking about a full linguistics\eastern studies department of a university; theirs is the finest, most comprehensive and least inefficient programs.
most universities allow non-enrolled students to listen-in during lectures and classes, but if you're not able to stick to lectures, I suggest you at least check out the course material, university programmes are build by experienced professors and are approved by a board, so the books that are recommended by them should be the best for learning the subject...
try to understand that uni courses unlike self-teach books, or Learn Japanese in a Week courses, are build so that by the second or third year students will be able to read, write and possibly talk the language for academic purposes, this means fluidly reading through real material and when writing or talking, being able to keep to proper diction and grammar...
Japanese especially has a very complicated writing system that you'd better learn from the best sources... hell, even the spoken language is so diverse with different dialects and pronunciations that having a sound, well build programme is essential to really learning the language...
reading Japanese books/comics/dramas/animes…… all sorts
If you're a beginner, I would suggest for you to take a class. Honestly, it is rather enjoyable and if you are keen at learning languages, it's an easy A (if you are in college.) Take the class for about a year to formally learn all the grammar, crucial vocabulary, etc...
Then, try to immerse yourself in the language by listening to music, watching dramas, reading manga (another enjoyable activity), conversing with Japanese friends, etc... When immersing yourself through these activities, be sure to study the vocabulary, slang, sentence structures and others. You will learn quickly!
After all this, the BEST thing you can do is study abroad in JAPAN~!
I learned more in the 5 months I was there than the one year I spent studying it at school. If you get the chance, DO IT! I basically 'wasted' time there since I didn't earn much credits towards my degree, but I will never regret it. Also, if you really want to learn Japanese, I suggest studying somewhere other than Tokyo. I know... it is exciting, but you can get by speaking English. Now, if you were in Shikoku, I HAVE to speak the language.
Hopefully, that helps ~
I think its best to learn from a language school, if you intend to go to live in Japan. My friend is studying advance now, cause he will be living in Japan next year. He is mixed half filipino and half japanese. He is always in and out of Japan, and he knows how to speak since he converse with his relatives. But he said its best to learn it in school and review afterwards.
But really, a personal tutor or classes would probably be the best way to learn any language.
The key is to be able to put whatever you learn to use, by either listening/speaking/reading/writing it.
Try and get a Japanese friend, and get him/her to exchange emails with you about what you learned last lesson, or anything you want to write/read about.
And also talk/listen to him/her in Japanese ^^
Good luck learning Japanese
Yes, i think a personal tutor is the only way available to learn sach an hard language...
i started learning it 2 months ago and when i tried memorizing the alphabet i thought it was going to be impossible and then i found 2 websites that helped me out allot.http://www.japaneseclass.jp
one helps me memorize kanji/vocabulary, and the other helps me with the grammar.
things started making sense all of sudden and before i knew it i was reading raws. im not there yet but i at least under stand some of whats going on.
the only downside was my exams suffered. i failed one of 'em. but hey who can say they know 5 and a half languages:P.
so once you finish your exams start working on your Japanese. and in 6 months you should be a semi-translator translating and reading your favorite manga.
For my part, i've bought a book for grammar, and started with grammar in romanji.
As grammar is kinda easy toward french grammar, soon after I started learning writing system and words. I asked my dad for ajapanese / french dictionnary but, doesn't work it's really poor.
I found a wonderfull online dictionnary online, I'm learning a lot of things with it, even some expressions.
So, I read, I watch and I have this dictionnary open all the day long.
I do think the best way to learn a langage is first to be passionate with the culture. Not only manga or animes. Yes I watch, I read, and I even tl, but, through animes and manga I'Ve discovered a lot of japanese culture, like a part of shintou, ancient stories and else. Now, my next step is trying to put a hand on book for kids with japanese fairy tales and get even more culture. It's I think, the best way.