I'm coming to the end of my 4th month in Japan now and what Rachel says about using English is completely true. Though my reading and vocabulary recognition have improved drastically my speaking and writing are seriously lagging behind. I live on a remote Okinawan island so you'd think it'd be easy to get completely immersed in the language but working as an English teacher rotating between three islands has me working long hours pretty much completely in English not Japanese. When I do get time to myself I'm generally pretty warn out or have other things that I've neglected to do keeping me busy. So I generally don't have the energy to work on speaking and communicating in general because of which most of the friends I've made and got close to speak, at the very least, broken English. On top of all this there aren't any Japanese classes here either so I'm flying solo on that front. For anyone whose learning Kanji and is willing to part with a little money after the first month or so I would recommend wanikani. It's been a godsend for me these past few months. Even when I'm exhausted it takes little effort to review vocab and kanji and the results are definitely worth the price. I can read so much of the everyday stuff I come across just because I recognise the kanji. You don't even have to be able to read them or understand any of the grammar to understand the meaning of a lot of everyday written Japanese.
Duolingo is free, and has been improving their site a lot, they have many languages besides Japanese as well. They now also have tiny cards, and language stories with the general lessons. As far as I can tell they teach to intermediate and beginner more than advanced, but I could be wrong. But it is an awesome site, I like it far better than Rosetta Stone. Fluent forever is also a good site, you can get free things, but certain features you pay for. My father is in school for teaching English as a second language, and he loves fluent forever.
Rachel thank you bvery much for your advice . I know Japanese from a language lesson once a year I had in the past two, but I understand it take more than one year to master a language. Why Japanese for me is from my childhood on anime shows for starters. Hearing Japanese from that since then is a way I started understanding the language on my own since then why I finally went to a lesson more recently two years ago. Unfortunately, you can only visit to lesson so many times due to cost and certain times of year when a Japanese teacher is available for a lesson, such as one I had last spring and the spring before that. Fortunately I bought books with proper language from in first year I had a private lesson to continue my study independently. So reading and writing Japanese for me now is no different from hearing it for me now it in order speak when in Japanese company that's more challenging for most who don't know the language on my end where I'm little different with basic understand of the three language types in Japanese, but I'm still not N5 style level yet. Thank you very much for advice how can I improve my current language level off work.
In high school, we used a video program called Irasshai. It's on georgia public broadcasting online. If you google Irasshai, the first link should read something like gpb. org
It was so much fun! We would do one day of video and two days of group practice and book work. Depending on how well we spoke and learned, we would move on and recap every few chapters. After two years of it, my friends and I were able to have small conversations. I made a friend because of this. My friend got me a book called Kanji and Kana. It's an accumulative learning book that teaches you of the writing styles from easiest to most difficult. All of this was a good starting point :)
I love the drinking advice. I'm learning Spanish because my family speaks it. I once got drunk enough that I spoke so much Spanish to my sister out of the blue. I hardly remember, but she said I spoke it well with just a few errors. Now to practice while sober.... xD
Happy studies! 頑張ってください.
An app that my family and I use to learn new languages is Duolingo. The trick is to do it EVERY DAY before bed. Do your language learning before you go to bed and your brain will go over those activities during NREM sleep.
I do much better in languages by listening and repeating, with grammar explained, start with recording, then, to internet talk. To read it just isn't the same. Can anyone make recommendations? Reading Japanese is not a good start for me. Audio is better, then, read. Thank you!
I have a few Japanese friends who knows very little English but can somewhat talk and understand English. So am very shy talking to Japanese people in Japanese using google translate so getting drunk really helps me to be more comfortable speaking Japanese using google translate haha it legit helps haha
I'm sure you have some updated resources, by now. But so many of the study tools on your list are really solid. Thanks for sharing!
I came here knowing absolutely nothing and I remember Genki being the textbook that got me started. I kind feel like I've been in this messy middle plateau for years, because acquiring more of the language wasn't really a priority, but I have the chance to change that now.
Great stuff, Rachel!
I use the book “Minna no nihongo” second edition in Japanese and what I do is writing everything in a separate notebook, answering the questions and then translate it in my mother language which is French. It helps me learning so much! Writing everything down in my notebook helps me remember much more than just reading.
hey ,if anyone else wants to uncover learn to speak japanese try Sovallo Amazing Japanese Fixer (do a search on google ) ? Ive heard some interesting things about it and my buddy got cool results with it.
WOW!! this is great information. Thanks
I will be using these tools to learn my Japanese.
This would really help a lot in build a youtube channel in Japanese.
Anyways thanks again for the info Rachel :)
I've been using the Memrise app for daily 5 minute lessons for about a month now, as well as watching a channel called Learn Japanese Free. They have real Japanese people teaching you some common phrases, kanji, etc.. As well as a live video streaming almost 24/7 going over past videos if you want to view some things quicker. They also have a website called JapaanesePod101 for even more lessons.
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