I will be making use of the JETS program as soon as I get my degree here in the states.
get a textbook, take classes, study abroad
The study abroad part is the best way.
From anime and manga I've learned only separate words. For grammar and stuff I use the info in this site: http://www.freejapaneselessons.com/
You just gotta keep pushing. Every day is another chance to live your life, and since our common goal is mastering the language we are learning, a step in the direction of success in life means having a strong hold on what our passion is.
Sometimes I feel as if I am wasting time, but don't let this get you down. You'll truly be wasting time if you don't push forward and live the life you want to live. There will be times when money isn't coming in, and you still have your language study.
There will also be a time when your language study will pay off, and people will come to you for help. Money will come. The time you are putting in right now will be paid for.
Keep pushing forward.
If you are a complete beginner, learn hiragana and katakana before you do anything else, and learn them well. That should really be your first step.
If you can't get a class in RL, I'd recommend the website Textfugu. Sadly it has a price, but I tell you, it's absolutely not a scam (like Rosetta Stone, what a waste!) and totally worth it. It is a site specifically made for self teachers. And some lessons are free, so you can browse a bit and see if it's for you.
Up until a few weeks, I would've recommended smart.fm to practice vocabulary, but they lost my trust after they shut down the free site and took all my vocab lists I took hours to write to a new webspace that has a fee. So I'd say use the programme Anki for vocab and kanji training (it's free).
Once you know your way around a bit and can write a few sentences, open an account on Lang-8 (also free). You'd be writing a blog there, in the language you'd like to learn. Then, the people who speak the language as their native tongue read your entries and correct them.
All of this of course is no good when you wanna learn how to talk to people. Watching Japanese shows definitely helps, a lot, and there's lots woth English subtitles around nowadays. Without a real person to talk to, though, it'll be hard. So if you really can't find a real life teacher, try EduFire. It's a website chuck full of online tutors, who'll work with you one on one at the level you're at. There's even reviews from students so you know which tutor is good. But of course, them tutors wants to get payed.
Last edited by Tanne; May 01, 2011 at 11:27 AM.
I took classroom lessons, helped me alot...yet at the same time it was hard to pay attention, maybe it was my ADD but really just reading manga and anime along with self taught sites, but you need to practice daily and want to learn, with that you should be fine.
I learnt it by simply watching anime. this process took me a year of watching subs before I finally started to be able to point out mistakes in the subs. I dunno whether this helps, but try go to Japan for a holiday
The hiragana and katagana is pure memorization unfortunately. However, I somehow started with romanji. I recommend not to do that because it makes everything pretty difficult.
As for learning kanji, it wasn't really that difficult, i may not know exactly how to read it, but I can understand it since I also know chinese. If you know chinese i really helps memorizing the kanji since a lot of the words are the same.
Basically if you know chinese you are pretty much prepared to learn Japanese. Chinese and English were my first languages, and then I learnt Japanese as a hobby. I can currently translate stuff that people say, im not so good with the reading though so i like to read Japanese blog posts of voice actors from an anime I like (they say really interesting things) But if you want formal you can just buy a japense book. If your willing to pay, then you can get a tutor, but since i am a cheapskate, I had to self learn.
Last edited by TunaSFX; May 23, 2011 at 05:45 AM.
Like many have said watching anime/jdrama and listening to japanese music has helped me with learning the language. I've also used a site called japanesepod101.com, there are primium versions where they give you transcriptions on the podcasts but i just download the free ones to get used to hearing the language being spoken. Also some books that i've used while i was taking college courses were the Genki series which is pretty good, details a lot of the grammar points, and the Japanese for Dummies book. They can't teach you everything but they provided a good basis for me when i was trying to learn it on my own. hope this helps!