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Help/Support ► Learning Japanese?



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Zero

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Im trying to learn some Japanese even if its just simple things and im pretty sure a good amount of people on here have tried to or learned some Japanese but idk how to start, are there any certain English to Japanese Dictionaries that help or an iPhone App or any other Phone app that could help or anything.

Thanks.
 

Ehres

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Enroll on a course at your school or look for evening classes elsewhere.

Learning a language isn't just about vocabulary, it's about the understanding and application of grammar, syntax, translation methods, ideas and culture.
 

Zero

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My school only has Chinese and im not trying to fully understand Japanese as another language, I just wanna know some of it.
 

CaptainMarvelQ8

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i think i was sometime going for this,and stumbled upon internet "programs" that teach many languages including japanese,the ones that tell you a word and makes you repeat it,try searching google for torrents
 

Crimson Crashing

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I recommend learning Hiragana before you learn anything else.
Knowing that will really help learning everything else.
 

Raiton Kensei

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I'm learning Japanese at my school. Kanji, Hiragana, Katakana classes teach you all that. There's books you can buy from books stores that teaches the same and there's an Iphone App called Basic Japanese for Dummies that's only 99 cents but I dont think it teaches Kanji, Hiragana, or Katakana, it just teaches you how to speak it.

But Japanese is easy to learn to speak but a bit more difficult to learn to write. At the end of last semester I had an A in speaking Japanese but I had a C in writing it lol. But like Malfoy said it's about more than vocabulary cause they have rules that would seem as incorrect english if it was translated so it doesnt make sense and then there's mannerism or whatever where certain words can only be used for like family members, or elders, or friends which basically mean the same thing but the word changes depending on who your talking to and then words you say depending on the time of day.....it's no easy task but I say go for it cause knowing multiple languages will help you in the future with jobs and everything.
 

Zero

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I'm learning Japanese at my school. Kanji, Hiragana, Katakana classes teach you all that. There's books you can buy from books stores that teaches the same and there's an Iphone App called Basic Japanese for Dummies that's only 99 cents but I dont think it teaches Kanji, Hiragana, or Katakana, it just teaches you how to speak it.

But Japanese is easy to learn to speak but a bit more difficult to learn to write. At the end of last semester I had an A in speaking Japanese but I had a C in writing it lol. But like Malfoy said it's about more than vocabulary cause they have rules that would seem as incorrect english if it was translated so it doesnt make sense and then there's mannerism or whatever where certain words can only be used for like family members, or elders, or friends which basically mean the same thing but the word changes depending on who your talking to and then words you say depending on the time of day.....it's no easy task but I say go for it cause knowing multiple languages will help you in the future with jobs and everything.

Yeah, its gonna take a while and ill probably really get into it by summer but ill just look for books that teach Kanji, Hiragana, and Katakana. Im just trying to speak it cause like most people on here im trying to go to Japan one day so it would really help. Also, I know English and Spanish, and I kinda learned French in 8th and 9th grade but I mostly forgot it so I dont really count that but thanks everyone.
 

Ehres

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If you're looking to live in Japan one day, I have one piece of advice: don't even bother trying if you can't speak the language to a high level. The job market and economy in Japan are rock-bottom and you won't really get far in the current climate.
 

Zero

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If you're looking to live in Japan one day, I have one piece of advice: don't even bother trying if you can't speak the language to a high level. The job market and economy in Japan are rock-bottom and you won't really get far in the current climate.

Im not trying to live there, I just wanna go there someday.
 

Raiton Kensei

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Yeah, I'm trying to go back to Japan too. I mean it'll be ok to just learn to speak it but it'll be good also to learn their writing so when you go you can read where you going.

I'm also trying to live there after college.
 

Oracle Spockanort

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Well, since there aren't any classes being offered, you should try programs that teach you online or buy books.

Half.com: Japanese for Busy People I: Kana Version, Revised edition(9784770030092): Kokusai Nihongo Fukyu Kyokai (Japan): Books

This is the book we used for my class.

Half.com: Japanese for Busy People: Kana Workbook(9784770030375): Association for Japanese Language Teaching: Books

This as well.

If you are trying to learn the basics of Japanese to get you places, it is helpful. Though it isn't because it is geared for business men so there is a lot of things made for work.

Don't use rosetta stone, ever. It doesn't really work.
 

Annoyance

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Things that I've done:
Get a phrase book to help yourself with pronouncing the shit and basic phrases and vocab. Get Dirty Japanese as well because it helps with slang and whatnot and it's just fun to read. Get a grammar book and a kanji dictionary (bonus points if it has the way to freaking write them.)

If you get a dictionary, make sure you can freaking SEE the kanji lines. Not just a block of ink. I personally regret not following this with mine... It's tiny and weird. I need a new one.

Programs... I've used everything from a RPG Slime game (forgot the name...) that teaches you symbols which is kinda fun, Rosetta Stone which I actually hated, and a DS game (My Japanese Coach) which I loved using until I got to grammar and I had to start actually writing things down... Ehehehe.

The Genki Japanese books I hear are amazing for studying. A lot of colleges use them and I've looked at them myself. They really are good books.

Other than that, STAY. FOCUSED.

Japanese is just as hard of a language as any but don't let the kanji and different alphabet scare you. It's just like English with our damned letters.


Oh, and if you can find them, Japanese childrens books help a lot. I have three personally. Two are just vocab words and labeling things around the house or world, etc. It's nice. And then I have a story book (Miro to Mahou no Ishi - Miro and the magic pebble.)

They're helping a lot more than you'd think.
 

impart

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rosettastone.but that shits like $500

also its helping me to learn Spanish to watch dubbed movies in Spanish with English subtitles. Not that it does much, but it helps.
 

Annoyance

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Rosetta Stone only helps so much. It helped me with some vocab which was nice but for learning the whole language I honestly didn't know what I was doing...
 

Nyangoro

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Alright, here's some tips:

1) Enroll in a class as soon as you can. Trust me, regardless of what you learn beforehand, your comprehension will skyrocket once you've gotten lessons from someone who knows the language (especially if it is said person's native language).

2) Learn the Kana (Hiragana & Katakana) first, before you learn ANYTHING else. Trust me on this, you want to get rid of romanji right away. Only use romanji when studying the Kana. After that, it's best to use it as seldom as possible (ideally you'll never use it again, but that's not always the case).

3) Be aware that Kanji is very challenging if you've never had any experience in that kind of thing before. Sure, it won't be so bad when you first start, but after a while, you'll start to see what I mean. I'm not trying to scare you away from learning, it's just something you need to realize before you jump in.

4) I wouldn't waste my money on Rosetta Stone if I were you. To be frank, it's just not good for anything other than some European languages.

5) Learn how Kanji works before you start learning the actual characters. Understand what kunyomi (訓読み) and onyomi (音読み) are, as well as how radicals work. I'd suggest investing money in a Kanji dictionary as well, but for simply looking them up, online dictionaries work wonders (just be sure it has a good radical filter). Flashcards will help once you start learning the characters, but don't rely on them too much, as kanji have multiple pronunciations; and kanji compounds can make trying to break down kanji from the individual flashcards rather pointless.

Here are a few decent sites that you can use to start learning:

The Japanese Page | TheJapanesePage.com (good for kanji and kana)

Nihongo o Narau - Learn Japanese (good for kana and vocabulary lists)

Japanese Grammar Guide | Tae Kim's Guide to Learning Japanese (good for grammar)

Japanese Kanji Dictionary (good dictionary)

Another thing that you might want to note is that most online sites (and textbooks that I've seen, for that matter), use "printed" style. Now, this won't effect you too much, but there are a few differences between that and "handwritten" style. Unfortunately, I'm having difficulty finding a particularly good image to show this with, but I'll get back to you when I do.

EDIT: One last thing I should mention, textbooks such as the Genki series and Nakama series aren't very good choices for self-learning. They should only be used if/when you take college courses in the language. Even then, the textbook that I use for my class (Nakama) is only used as a supplement to the professor's lectures.
 
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impart

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Rosetta Stone only helps so much. It helped me with some vocab which was nice but for learning the whole language I honestly didn't know what I was doing...

I think you have to buy like three for each language. right? D:
 

krexia

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Some important points:

- Learning a language takes A LONG TIME and A LOT OF EFFORT. Most people who say they want to learn Japanese pick up a textbook or two, memorise some hiragana, then decide it's too much effort. If you want to learn enough Japanese for it to actually be useful, you're looking at at years of solid part-time investment.

- Enrol in classes if at all humanly possible. Classes will always, ALWAYS be better than self-directed study when it comes to language. You need people to practice with and correct your mistakes.

- If you can't find a class, you definitely need to at least find a native speaker to help you. Textbooks etc can teach you the basics, but again, you need to practice with someone who will correct your mistakes, before they become habits. Even if it's just an hour a week of conversation practice, try as hard as you possibly can* to find a native speaker to help you.

That said, in terms of grammar Japanese is a much simpler language than most European ones. So as long as you're taught right, you should be able to pick it up relatively easily. The worst part of Japanese is memorising kanji, but that's literally just a matter of time and dedicated rote learning.


* Many places have Japanese societies for people either with Japanese backgrounds or who are interested in Japanese culture, that you can join for an annual fee. (Example: http://australiajapansocietyofvictoria1.camp7.org/) If you don't know where to meet native speakers, those would be a good place to start; you might be able to find someone willing to do a language exchange with you (i.e. you help them with English, they help you with Japanese).
 

A Nintendork

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Japanese is difficult, trust me.
Rosetta Stone helps a little, but half the time you don't know what they person's saying.
I google "japanese phrases", that help with common phrases and commonly-used words.
Not much help, but it could help.
 
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