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Learning Japanese |OT2| Love in the Time of コロナちゃん

Hal.

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Jan 22, 2020
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Wow. I live here, I am having huge difficulty getting into learning the language. I've lived here for about 18 months at this point but still struggle to piece together conversations. For the first year or so I was teaching English, but I've had a bunch of free time since the end of the last school year and I've largely just been procrastinating or drowning myself in English language interests to resist having to dive into learning the lingo~

In my life I've learnt German, French, Spanish and Mandarin at different times to different levels - I know my initial perceived problem with learning Japanese when I came here was the idea that I was lacking the structured help that I enjoyed with all of those languages. I get a lot of joy out of Duolingo these days but I lack anyone to really practice with (funny, considering I live with a local... she's verrry busy with her own stuff) and the lack of tangible progress can be pretty disconcerting.

I dunno how you guys might be able to help me out, but I'm really stoked to see that you're here! I really hope this community can help me make a difference in my Japanese efforts to date~

I gotchu fam, get ready for a no BS approach. What's your level at the moment?

*Edit

Also lay off the ~ aint no time for bitch ass weeboo shit here, only cold hard videogames and study lol
 
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Tschumi

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Jul 4, 2020
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I gotchu fam, get ready for a no BS approach. What's your level at the moment?

*Edit

Also lay off the ~ aint no time for bitch ass weeboo shit here, only cold hard videogames and study lol
Hey mate, that's awesome let's do this! Haha I'm no weeb, i came here to be with my girl and stuff, I've had this ~ habit for years and years.. think it's my way of trying to uhh, come across as chatty? Anyway...

私の名前はツュ−ミ…私は岐阜県に積んでいます。私は今日本語を話したい!それでも、それは凄く難しいです… i can write more about a lot of things but i have to make breakfast :p maybe later I'll try to give you a more definitive level using my Duolingo progress..
 
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Hal.

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Damn. Who's this expert? lol

Nah, but I do remember his ridiculous spiel about locking himself in a room with a whiteboard or whatever the fuck it was.

Tsuchan, bear with me, I'm still at work but I'll get back to you with a battleplan later today.
 
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Hal.

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Hey mate, that's awesome let's do this! Haha I'm no weeb, i came here to be with my girl and stuff, I've had this ~ habit for years and years.. think it's my way of trying to uhh, come across as chatty? Anyway...

私の名前はツュ−ミ…私は岐阜県に積んでいます。私は今日本語を話したい!それでも、それは凄く難しいです… i can write more about a lot of things but i have to make breakfast :p maybe later I'll try to give you a more definitive level using my Duolingo progress..

Tsuchan (I appreciate that is not your username, but that's what you go by now in a purely endearing sense - my Japanese language class took the first syllable and added chan as a term of endearment/encouragement, so I'm Halchan (or Haruchan) and Porcile is "twatchan")

THE ABSOLUTE BASICS
  • Fuck the Anki core 5k or whatever it is
  • Fuck any sort or 'games' that help you to learn kanji
  • Fuck duolingo, delete that absolute shit right now
  • The only way to learn Japanese is by doing the fucking textbooks. No exceptions.

FIRST THING TO NOTE:
HOLY MOTHERFUCKING SHIT, JAPANESE IS FUCKING HARD. IF YOU AIN'T GONNA GO 110% BALLS TO THE WALLS THEN FUCK YOU, JUST GIVE UP NOW. THIS ESPECIALLY APPLIES IF YOU'RE NOT A JAPANESE MAJOR AT UNI AND ARE TRYING TO STUDY ON YOUR OWN.

I DID NOTHING TO N1 IN 2.5 YEARS. IF YOU CAN'T DO IT FASTER THAN THIS YOU ARE FUCKING AROUND AND SHOULD GIVE UP.

(This is for emphasis, obviously you work at your own pace but bear in mind that if you take significantly longer you haven't been studying properly)

Right, my friend, here we go with the basic outline of the no BS approach to studying Japanese.

I'm fluent-ish, i.e. enough to bash my way through daily life and work at a Japanese company (and most importantly to play obscure Japanese eroge) but, genuinely, this will be the most hours efficient way of learning Japanese.

Step Ground Zero:
Sweet jesus, get a Japanese teacher as soon as possible. A native is essential. You already live in Japan so do whatever is necessary. Best situation is signing up to a language school. If you don't have a teacher, the below will be more difficult because you won't have anyone to correct your mistakes. If you don't have a teacher, you'll continue to make basic errors which may set back your progress upwards of a year.

Step 0:
Subscribe to WankiKani (https://www.wanikani.com/) and do the reviews as soon as fucking possible. If you do everything as quickly as possible, you will know more Japanese than 99% of the dirty plebs on the internet and will be fluent. Realistically, you'll get lazy and fuck up the review queue and end up reviewing shit you already know. See below for the answer.

Step 0.1:
If you're a cheap ass mofo or think you're smarter than wanikani (you're not) you can sign up for an account and just make your own flashcards and review at your own pace. I 100% guarantee you'll fuck it up, so you're best off just subbing and doing the reviews as planned. (I gave up on wankikani at like level 40 or something)

Step 1:
ABSOLUTELY FUCK LEARNING TO WRITE KANJI BECAUSE IT'S FUCKING USELESS
It's a fucking waste of time and as long as you can read kanji vaguely you can type it. if you studied Japanese at unit then, yeah, fine, writing is useful but if you want to study efficiently then absolutely FUCK THAT NOISE

Step 2: level 1 textbooks
  1. Genki 1
  2. Genki 2
Do these fucking books and learn everything in them. Genki is a great start to Japanese and gives you enough vocab and grammar to bash your way through 'basic' japanese. If you habu dishiprin, this should take you 3-6 months. If it takes you longer than 6 months to get through both, you have fucked up and are wasting time. There's literally no shortcut. Learn the content, understand the texbooks.

Step 3: the studying actually starts
By this point, you should have the basics. Once you're at this stage, the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) studying starts in earnest.

Step 3.1:
Buy this book:

Buy this book:

Do both of these. You will learn the basics of lower intermediate Japanese and, on top of Genki, have enough to bash your way through a vague conversation. Crucial is to learn the vocab and grammar.

Step 4: you 'speak' Japanese
This is the point where you can understand the convenience store workers and people say 'nihongo o jyouzu desu ne'. This is patronising. Nihongo is not o jyouzu. You're still fucking shit at Nihongo. That's why it's time to hit the JLPT studying.

Step 5: buy the following books:
  • Soumatome Nihongo N3
    • Grammar
    • Vocab
  • Shin Kanzen Master N3
    • Grammar
My god learn shit fucking shit inside out. Until you can repeat it all, you've failed. I haven't included the kanji books because they're a waste of time and you should know all N3 kanji by now. If you've kept up with wanikani to like level 25 or so and learnt the majority of the kaniji and vocab you should be okay.

LEVEL 1
Let's assume you passed N3 once you've finished the above books. Congrats. You can 'speak' Japanese. Ish.

(I'll check in later with the next level and possibly expanded instructions for this.

I swear to god, Tsuchan, if you tell me you're working hard at duolingo I will take you outside and shoot you like a rabid old yeller because you're doing the wrong fucking thing)
 

Tschumi

Gold Member
Jul 4, 2020
6,369
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Tsuchan (I appreciate that is not your username, but that's what you go by now in a purely endearing sense - my Japanese language class took the first syllable and added chan as a term of endearment/encouragement, so I'm Halchan (or Haruchan) and Porcile is "twatchan")

THE ABSOLUTE BASICS
  • Fuck the Anki core 5k or whatever it is
  • Fuck any sort or 'games' that help you to learn kanji
  • Fuck duolingo, delete that absolute shit right now
  • The only way to learn Japanese is by doing the fucking textbooks. No exceptions.

FIRST THING TO NOTE:
HOLY MOTHERFUCKING SHIT, JAPANESE IS FUCKING HARD. IF YOU AIN'T GONNA GO 110% BALLS TO THE WALLS THEN FUCK YOU, JUST GIVE UP NOW. THIS ESPECIALLY APPLIES IF YOU'RE NOT A JAPANESE MAJOR AT UNI AND ARE TRYING TO STUDY ON YOUR OWN.

I DID NOTHING TO N1 IN 2.5 YEARS. IF YOU CAN'T DO IT FASTER THAN THIS YOU ARE FUCKING AROUND AND SHOULD GIVE UP.

(This is for emphasis, obviously you work at your own pace but bear in mind that if you take significantly longer you haven't been studying properly)

Right, my friend, here we go with the basic outline of the no BS approach to studying Japanese.

I'm fluent-ish, i.e. enough to bash my way through daily life and work at a Japanese company (and most importantly to play obscure Japanese eroge) but, genuinely, this will be the most hours efficient way of learning Japanese.

Step Ground Zero:
Sweet jesus, get a Japanese teacher as soon as possible. A native is essential. You already live in Japan so do whatever is necessary. Best situation is signing up to a language school. If you don't have a teacher, the below will be more difficult because you won't have anyone to correct your mistakes. If you don't have a teacher, you'll continue to make basic errors which may set back your progress upwards of a year.

Step 0:
Subscribe to WankiKani (https://www.wanikani.com/) and do the reviews as soon as fucking possible. If you do everything as quickly as possible, you will know more Japanese than 99% of the dirty plebs on the internet and will be fluent. Realistically, you'll get lazy and fuck up the review queue and end up reviewing shit you already know. See below for the answer.

Step 0.1:
If you're a cheap ass mofo or think you're smarter than wanikani (you're not) you can sign up for an account and just make your own flashcards and review at your own pace. I 100% guarantee you'll fuck it up, so you're best off just subbing and doing the reviews as planned. (I gave up on wankikani at like level 40 or something)

Step 1:
ABSOLUTELY FUCK LEARNING TO WRITE KANJI BECAUSE IT'S FUCKING USELESS
It's a fucking waste of time and as long as you can read kanji vaguely you can type it. if you studied Japanese at unit then, yeah, fine, writing is useful but if you want to study efficiently then absolutely FUCK THAT NOISE

Step 2: level 1 textbooks
  1. Genki 1
  2. Genki 2
Do these fucking books and learn everything in them. Genki is a great start to Japanese and gives you enough vocab and grammar to bash your way through 'basic' japanese. If you habu dishiprin, this should take you 3-6 months. If it takes you longer than 6 months to get through both, you have fucked up and are wasting time. There's literally no shortcut. Learn the content, understand the texbooks.

Step 3: the studying actually starts
By this point, you should have the basics. Once you're at this stage, the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) studying starts in earnest.

Step 3.1:
Buy this book:

Buy this book:

Do both of these. You will learn the basics of lower intermediate Japanese and, on top of Genki, have enough to bash your way through a vague conversation. Crucial is to learn the vocab and grammar.

Step 4: you 'speak' Japanese
This is the point where you can understand the convenience store workers and people say 'nihongo o jyouzu desu ne'. This is patronising. Nihongo is not o jyouzu. You're still fucking shit at Nihongo. That's why it's time to hit the JLPT studying.

Step 5: buy the following books:
  • Soumatome Nihongo N3
    • Grammar
    • Vocab
  • Shin Kanzen Master N3
    • Grammar
My god learn shit fucking shit inside out. Until you can repeat it all, you've failed. I haven't included the kanji books because they're a waste of time and you should know all N3 kanji by now. If you've kept up with wanikani to like level 25 or so and learnt the majority of the kaniji and vocab you should be okay.

LEVEL 1
Let's assume you passed N3 once you've finished the above books. Congrats. You can 'speak' Japanese. Ish.

(I'll check in later with the next level and possibly expanded instructions for this.

I swear to god, Tsuchan, if you tell me you're working hard at duolingo I will take you outside and shoot you like a rabid old yeller because you're doing the wrong fucking thing)


If this doesn't fucking break this shit open for me i dunno what will. Shall copy paste this and constantly refer!

I get what you say about kanji, i can use a dozen or so of them with predictive text because i know the hiragana and vaguely know the appearance/context, but I'm not gonna bust too many nuts memorising that stuff yet..
 

Hal.

Member
Jan 22, 2020
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If this doesn't fucking break this shit open for me i dunno what will. Shall copy paste this and constantly refer!

I get what you say about kanji, i can use a dozen or so of them with predictive text because i know the hiragana and vaguely know the appearance/context, but I'm not gonna bust too many nuts memorising that stuff yet..

Mate, keep posting here, keep asking questions, do whatever you need to do.

My method is absolutely not definitive, I'm just trying to stop you making the same mistakes I did when I (majority) self studied.

Best of luck my dude, 御武運を

(I learnt that from breath of the wild - after I'd passed n1. The key with Japanese is just to keep learning as much as possible. You're essentially creating an expanding pond of language knowledge, and hoping to christ/zeus/mohammed/amaterasu/deity of choice that any new word falls into that pond)

If it doesn't fall into the pond, the pond isn't wide enough so it's time to keep learning.

I remember learning the word 雲海 (unkai) which means sea of clouds, thinking what the fuck is the use of this but eh, I'll remember it. It came up in conversation 6 months later, so my pond was wide enough in that instance.
 

Tschumi

Gold Member
Jul 4, 2020
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Mate, keep posting here, keep asking questions, do whatever you need to do.

My method is absolutely not definitive, I'm just trying to stop you making the same mistakes I did when I (majority) self studied.

Best of luck my dude, 御武運を

(I learnt that from breath of the wild - after I'd passed n1. The key with Japanese is just to keep learning as much as possible. You're essentially creating an expanding pond of language knowledge, and hoping to christ/zeus/mohammed/amaterasu/deity of choice that any new word falls into that pond)

If it doesn't fall into the pond, the pond isn't wide enough so it's time to keep learning.

I remember learning the word 雲海 (unkai) which means sea of clouds, thinking what the fuck is the use of this but eh, I'll remember it. It came up in conversation 6 months later, so my pond was wide enough in that instance.
you've buffed up my affection for NeoGAF pretty considerably here mate i reckon someone should give u a little gold ribbon thingy for that post... i'll try live up to it. gambaremasuh!

edit: i reckon i could get n4 if i really solidified all i know, so i guess that can be my 'level', so yes a ways to go... i think i mentioned i live with a local... they're currently studying (and have been studying for about 6 months) for a huge professional exam thing this weekend, but after that they've promised to help me more so we'll get on it
 
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Hal.

Member
Jan 22, 2020
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you've buffed up my affection for NeoGAF pretty considerably here mate i reckon someone should give u a little gold ribbon thingy for that post... i'll try live up to it. gambaremasuh!

*Ganbarimasu

頑張ります

がんばります

Odd as in "I'll do my best" doesn't directly translate to ganbarimasu! A lot of the challenge is re-wiring your brain to think in japanese phrasing which, unfortunately, is a ridiculously foreign concept to non japanese...

Seriously, keep posting any questions here or drop me a DM or whatever and I'll do my best to answer. I'm sure there are others online who could help too!
 
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matt360

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Step 1:
ABSOLUTELY FUCK LEARNING TO WRITE KANJI BECAUSE IT'S FUCKING USELESS
It's a fucking waste of time and as long as you can read kanji vaguely you can type it. if you studied Japanese at unit then, yeah, fine, writing is useful but if you want to study efficiently then absolutely FUCK THAT NOISE

This has been pretty much true in my case. I've been here for 15 years now and can't write kanji by hand for shit. But give me a PC or a phone and I can type a letter to the emperor. As long as you can read them and recognize them, being able to write each one by hand seems mostly unnecessary. This is becoming more and more true for Japanese people as well.
 

Hal.

Member
Jan 22, 2020
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Afternoon all:

Just to get a sense of the scale of the financial investment (or so you know which books to, ahem, 'source'), see below a list of what I would consider to be the bare minimum materials required to go from nothing to N3 (more posts for N2 and N1 to follow):

Crucial at all levels
  • Anki
  • Iphone/Android japanese dictionary that can export to Anki
    • essentially, when seeing a new word, look it up and then export to your anki deck. You can then review whenever you want and you'll have a self cultivated vocab list!

BASICS
There's no need to study for N5 or N4. Both are so easy you'll waste time prepping for an exam that you shouldn't bother to take. Just do Genki 1 and 2 and you'll be fine.
  • Genki 1 and 2
  • Wanikani subscription
    • If you are confident that you can learn faster than the SRS setup, just make the account and work your way through the levels at your own pace. If you apply yourself you should be able to do the entire site in 6-9 months. (FYI, I didn't apply myself and only used it to learn the kanji, I got vocab elsewhere)
  • どんなときどう使う日本語表現文型辞典 (英語)
    • This will be your grammar bible overall and is useful for review regardless of your level.
  • Minna No Nihongo basic is a very good series too, but is better in the classroom setting rather than for self study. If you can get your hands on a copy that will help, and the vocab is useful too.
LOWER INTERMEDIATE - PREP FOR N3
This is where the studying actually gets real. Once you've done Genki 1 and 2, your next textbook will be:
  • J.BRIDGE to Intermediate Japanese 新装第2版
This is an absolutely fantastic book that covers a lot of useful vocab and really breaks away from Genki's 'Mr Tanaka goes to the post office' kind of thing.

N3
This is where it starts heating up and you have to bash out the JLPT prep

Vocab
  • みんなの日本語 中級〈1〉翻訳・文法解説 英語版 (日本語)
  • みんなの日本語 中級〈2〉翻訳・文法解説 英語版 (日本語)
These are the 2 Minna no Nihongo intermediate level vocab books. The second, in particular, is useful all the way to N1 and beyond! Try to learn at least the first one before N3. The more you can learn of the 2nd, the better, as it will make your N2 prep much much easier.

General N3 exam prep
Get ALL of the N3 Sou Matome books (the ones with the animals on the front):
  • Listening
  • Kanji
  • Reading
  • Vocab
  • Grammar
  • 500 questions (drills)
Also get the Shin Kanzen Master N3 grammar, as this has better explanations than Sou Matome.

Buy the 2 N3 practice tests:
  • 日本語能力試験 公式問題集 N3

With the above, you should be able to get a decent mark on N3 and you will now be at the stage where you can 'speak' Japanese.
 
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matt360

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One of the best parts about Japanese learning is that, as long as you can correctly hear the word, you can probably look it up. Not the case with complicated spelling in English and lots of other languages.

This is off topic, but did you use to post on the GameFAQs Japan board back in the day? Names like daveinjapan and donutbringer familiar to you? Your name is familiar to me but I can't remember from where.
 

ReyBrujo

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Step 3.1:
Buy this book:

Buy this book:

Do both of these. You will learn the basics of lower intermediate Japanese and, on top of Genki, have enough to bash your way through a vague conversation. Crucial is to learn the vocab and grammar.

Don't tell me those Amazon links got referrals :messenger_unamused: That'd be cheap.

Anki works, however you shouldn't pick a deck but instead build your own with words or kanji you find difficult to use. Spaced repetition works if you customize your deck.
 
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Hal.

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Don't tell me those Amazon links got referrals :messenger_unamused: That'd be cheap.

Anki works, however you shouldn't pick a deck but instead build your own with words or kanji you find difficult to use. Spaced repetition works if you customize your deck.

They shouldn't do fam, I just copy and pasted the Amazon links.

Agree with your sentiment re anki, I initially tried the core whatever decks and found it to be a waste of time.
 

Porcile

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Oct 23, 2012
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I've used HouHou. and added my own words from Kanzen Master and another vocab book. It's a Wanikani-lite so none of the user scripts that make Wanikani actually useable but it's better than that god-awful designed by Satan pos Anki.
 

VidKid369

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Jul 3, 2020
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Ya.

Hi. I've got two Japanese dictionaries that I bought when I was younger that I try to at least read once each night but I've been slacking lol. I've always wanted to be able to read Japanese since I love video games. I've always wanted to visit Japan too.

I'm trying to just read each night and memorize my two Japanese books they're actually super helpful and instruct you into pronouncing the words out loud to yourself. So I try to do that. One is a Japanese-to-English Dictionary and the other is a Book On Kanji.

I figure I can just try to memorize these each night.
 
D

Deleted member 17706

Unconfirmed Member
This is off topic, but did you use to post on the GameFAQs Japan board back in the day? Names like daveinjapan and donutbringer familiar to you? Your name is familiar to me but I can't remember from where.

I don't think I ever posted much on the GameFAQs forums, but the name "daveinjapan" does vaguely ring a bell...
 

Hal.

Member
Jan 22, 2020
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Ya.

Hi. I've got two Japanese dictionaries that I bought when I was younger that I try to at least read once each night but I've been slacking lol. I've always wanted to be able to read Japanese since I love video games. I've always wanted to visit Japan too.

I'm trying to just read each night and memorize my two Japanese books they're actually super helpful and instruct you into pronouncing the words out loud to yourself. So I try to do that. One is a Japanese-to-English Dictionary and the other is a Book On Kanji.

I figure I can just try to memorize these each night.

Holy fucking shit fam, this is a terrible approach!

See above if you want to (relatively quickly) learn how to speak shitty Japanese like me.
 

VidKid369

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Jul 3, 2020
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Holy fucking shit fam, this is a terrible approach!

See above if you want to (relatively quickly) learn how to speak shitty Japanese like me.
Really? I'd rather read a book on how to learn Japanese than watch any video on it though? When someone's teaching you a language verbally and you don't understand the words I can't take notes.

I just don't really like watching videos on the subject it eats up a lot of my time.

I just like reading books on it because it's more personal and you can learn at your own pace than a class on it. Plus I paid for the book. Free instructional videos seem a little cheap.
 
D

Deleted member 17706

Unconfirmed Member
Really? I'd rather read a book on how to learn Japanese than watch any video on it though? When someone's teaching you a language verbally and you don't understand the words I can't take notes.

I just don't really like watching videos on the subject it eats up a lot of my time.

I just like reading books on it because it's more personal and you can learn at your own pace than a class on it. Plus I paid for the book. Free instructional videos seem a little cheap.

You're welcome to give it a go, but you're really not going to learn much of anything reading through a dictionary. You need to learn how the language works in context and a dictionary will not provide that. Dictionaries are reference material, not really teaching tools.
 
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VidKid369

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You're welcome to give it a go, but you're really not going to learn much of anything reading through a dictionary. You need to learn how the language works in context and a dictionary will not provide that. Dictionaries are reference material, not really teaching tools.
Whoops. My bad. You're right it's not really a dictionary per sé it organizes the words by category not alphabetically. It's more of a pronounciation guide.

Ok I'll give it a go. Also and I'm not knocking videos or in-person classes it just eats up a lot of my time for just a hobby of mine.
 
D

Deleted member 17706

Unconfirmed Member
Whoops. My bad. You're right it's not really a dictionary per sé it organizes the words by category not alphabetically. It's more of a pronounciation guide.

Ok I'll give it a go. Also and I'm not knocking videos or in-person classes it just eats up a lot of my time for just a hobby of mine.

Yeah, no problem. I think it's just a good idea to set expectations and be realistic. Hal. Hal. was 100% on point when he said:

HOLY MOTHERFUCKING SHIT, JAPANESE IS FUCKING HARD. IF YOU AIN'T GONNA GO 110% BALLS TO THE WALLS THEN FUCK YOU, JUST GIVE UP NOW. THIS ESPECIALLY APPLIES IF YOU'RE NOT A JAPANESE MAJOR AT UNI AND ARE TRYING TO STUDY ON YOUR OWN.

Studying it casually as hobby is fine of course, but don't expect to ever actually "learn" it in any meaningful way, beyond maybe getting some enjoyment out of recognizing a word or two here and there.
 
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VidKid369

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Jul 3, 2020
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That's fine for me I don't expect to get anything out of studying to learn Japanese other than that: getting excited about recognizing a word or two. Video games have never affected me in that way lol.

I'm still learning words in English and other languages that Japanese is at the bottom of list for me, and I'm just realistic about it that if I don't grow up learning a language then it's pretty much too late to even try it all boils down to time for me not really expectations.

Video games is just my hobby it's not my job/work and it's not my life, and Japanese comes along with that. Thank God. If video games/Japanese ever became my job/life I'd vote myself off the island. Video games and everything under that umbrella has always stayed as a hobby for me.

I'm just studying it now because I bought these books when I was young and I was all like, "I guess I was into this" and I paid for the books so I don't want to waste money. I'm just doing it for fun and for myself because I want to.
 

Hal.

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Jan 22, 2020
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Really? I'd rather read a book on how to learn Japanese than watch any video on it though? When someone's teaching you a language verbally and you don't understand the words I can't take notes.

I just don't really like watching videos on the subject it eats up a lot of my time.

I just like reading books on it because it's more personal and you can learn at your own pace than a class on it. Plus I paid for the book. Free instructional videos seem a little cheap.

Yo, I literally have not mentioned videos at all lol. Are you high?

Fuck videos, use textbooks.

Just follow that zero to N3 plan I set out above.

Reading the dictionary will be absolutely useless in isolation.

You'd probably learn more Japanese by shoving it directly into your urethra than reading it.
 

VidKid369

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Jul 3, 2020
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I thought you were talking about a video sorry I should've actually scrolled up to see what you were talking about.

No I don't do drugs sorry again.

(You probably wouldn't care about IRL but I speak Japanese to someone I know in-person and it's just conversation. So stupid.)

How would shoving it into my urethra help ever? I see what you did there lol. :p
 

Mr Nash

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Quick flyby post to check on some slang. I came across the word "waguma" in a song title recently and want to double check on its definition. I'm guessing it's a variant on wagamama but figured I'd check here if anyone knows for sure.
 

Porcile

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Quick flyby post to check on some slang. I came across the word "waguma" in a song title recently and want to double check on its definition. I'm guessing it's a variant on wagamama but figured I'd check here if anyone knows for sure.

Got a link or some other context?
 

Mr Nash

square pies = communism
Jun 8, 2004
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Holy Terra

What was the full title of the song?

Full title was Ai Waguma which made me wonder if it was slang given young people's predilection toward condensing words in Japan (this trend really throws me off, as I'd probably be fine with the full words being used, but have to guess a lot when slang-y word squish happens). Quick online searches were only showing wagamama, but no mention of waguma, so I wasn't sure if it was a helpful lead or not.
 

Hal.

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I dunno. I think it's just a made up word unless someone says otherwise.

I asked the boss. She said she'd never heard it before and it's probably made up or just some weird phrasing for the song title.

Gut feeling would be, as you initially said, something to do with selfish love or whatever.
 

ReyBrujo

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Quick flyby post to check on some slang. I came across the word "waguma" in a song title recently and want to double check on its definition. I'm guessing it's a variant on wagamama but figured I'd check here if anyone knows for sure.
Seems like someone had asked that question at Hi Native and got a "who knows" answer. I kind of find curious that the chorus got どこで まぐわるんだ? which is わぐま waguma backwards. By the way まぐわう maguwau can mean sexual encounter so there might be a double meaning there.
 

Tschumi

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Tsuchan (I appreciate that is not your username, but that's what you go by now in a purely endearing sense - my Japanese language class took the first syllable and added chan as a term of endearment/encouragement, so I'm Halchan (or Haruchan) and Porcile is "twatchan")

THE ABSOLUTE BASICS
  • Fuck the Anki core 5k or whatever it is
  • Fuck any sort or 'games' that help you to learn kanji
  • Fuck duolingo, delete that absolute shit right now
  • The only way to learn Japanese is by doing the fucking textbooks. No exceptions.

FIRST THING TO NOTE:
HOLY MOTHERFUCKING SHIT, JAPANESE IS FUCKING HARD. IF YOU AIN'T GONNA GO 110% BALLS TO THE WALLS THEN FUCK YOU, JUST GIVE UP NOW. THIS ESPECIALLY APPLIES IF YOU'RE NOT A JAPANESE MAJOR AT UNI AND ARE TRYING TO STUDY ON YOUR OWN.

I DID NOTHING TO N1 IN 2.5 YEARS. IF YOU CAN'T DO IT FASTER THAN THIS YOU ARE FUCKING AROUND AND SHOULD GIVE UP.

(This is for emphasis, obviously you work at your own pace but bear in mind that if you take significantly longer you haven't been studying properly)

Right, my friend, here we go with the basic outline of the no BS approach to studying Japanese.

I'm fluent-ish, i.e. enough to bash my way through daily life and work at a Japanese company (and most importantly to play obscure Japanese eroge) but, genuinely, this will be the most hours efficient way of learning Japanese.

Step Ground Zero:
Sweet jesus, get a Japanese teacher as soon as possible. A native is essential. You already live in Japan so do whatever is necessary. Best situation is signing up to a language school. If you don't have a teacher, the below will be more difficult because you won't have anyone to correct your mistakes. If you don't have a teacher, you'll continue to make basic errors which may set back your progress upwards of a year.

Step 0:
Subscribe to WankiKani (https://www.wanikani.com/) and do the reviews as soon as fucking possible. If you do everything as quickly as possible, you will know more Japanese than 99% of the dirty plebs on the internet and will be fluent. Realistically, you'll get lazy and fuck up the review queue and end up reviewing shit you already know. See below for the answer.

Step 0.1:
If you're a cheap ass mofo or think you're smarter than wanikani (you're not) you can sign up for an account and just make your own flashcards and review at your own pace. I 100% guarantee you'll fuck it up, so you're best off just subbing and doing the reviews as planned. (I gave up on wankikani at like level 40 or something)

Step 1:
ABSOLUTELY FUCK LEARNING TO WRITE KANJI BECAUSE IT'S FUCKING USELESS
It's a fucking waste of time and as long as you can read kanji vaguely you can type it. if you studied Japanese at unit then, yeah, fine, writing is useful but if you want to study efficiently then absolutely FUCK THAT NOISE

Step 2: level 1 textbooks
  1. Genki 1
  2. Genki 2
Do these fucking books and learn everything in them. Genki is a great start to Japanese and gives you enough vocab and grammar to bash your way through 'basic' japanese. If you habu dishiprin, this should take you 3-6 months. If it takes you longer than 6 months to get through both, you have fucked up and are wasting time. There's literally no shortcut. Learn the content, understand the texbooks.

Step 3: the studying actually starts
By this point, you should have the basics. Once you're at this stage, the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) studying starts in earnest.

Step 3.1:
Buy this book:

Buy this book:

Do both of these. You will learn the basics of lower intermediate Japanese and, on top of Genki, have enough to bash your way through a vague conversation. Crucial is to learn the vocab and grammar.

Step 4: you 'speak' Japanese
This is the point where you can understand the convenience store workers and people say 'nihongo o jyouzu desu ne'. This is patronising. Nihongo is not o jyouzu. You're still fucking shit at Nihongo. That's why it's time to hit the JLPT studying.

Step 5: buy the following books:
  • Soumatome Nihongo N3
    • Grammar
    • Vocab
  • Shin Kanzen Master N3
    • Grammar
My god learn shit fucking shit inside out. Until you can repeat it all, you've failed. I haven't included the kanji books because they're a waste of time and you should know all N3 kanji by now. If you've kept up with wanikani to like level 25 or so and learnt the majority of the kaniji and vocab you should be okay.

LEVEL 1
Let's assume you passed N3 once you've finished the above books. Congrats. You can 'speak' Japanese. Ish.

(I'll check in later with the next level and possibly expanded instructions for this.

I swear to god, Tsuchan, if you tell me you're working hard at duolingo I will take you outside and shoot you like a rabid old yeller because you're doing the wrong fucking thing)
hey mate, sorry i've been a bit slow doing this, but i'm ready to get into it you know, like a like a sex machine, and anyway i go into wanikani and it's just teaching me kanji with weird logic... didn't u say forget about learning kanji?

Or do u think i should learn the kanji, but as u say fuck writing it, okay.... i'll give it another go

i'll get these books next up
 

Porcile

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hey mate, sorry i've been a bit slow doing this, but i'm ready to get into it you know, like a like a sex machine, and anyway i go into wanikani and it's just teaching me kanji with weird logic... didn't u say forget about learning kanji?

Or do u think i should learn the kanji, but as u say fuck writing it, okay.... i'll give it another go

i'll get these books next up

You don't have to learn how to write BUT it helps to memorise them easier and will help you to visualise words and draw from an internal dictionary when speaking or listening. Also useful for reading similar kanji because you will be able to recognise differences much more easily,

Wanikani is a good course for learning a decent amount of kanji and vocab, but its mnemonics method is completely beyond stupid. Just memorise the meanings and readings without mnemonics. Also use stuff like the lightning script and re-ordering scripts to make it usable in the long term.
 

Lethal01

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Jun 15, 2019
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Her voice, the 3d avatar and how clickbaity some of her titles can be almost made me totally ignore this right off the bat.
But it is an absolutely superb set of videos explaining the fundamentals of Japanese grammar and lines up closely to how I've been teaching it myself.

She avoids many big pitfalls I constantly see in the material students use to study Japanese.
her tendency to talk about how flawed a lot of popular textbooks and methods are is a bit too much for me, but I usually can't say she's wrong.

I would feel like i'm sabotaging people if I recommended they start anywhere else.
 
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ReyBrujo

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She constantly saying how flawed the popular textbooks and teachers are but I can't say she's wrong..
Any textbook requires dedication. Japanese (as any other language) is learned by studying and practicing. Just like with some forms of alternative medicine, religion or lifestyle people are easily attracted by using sweet words ("The problem is the textbook, not you", "I'll teach you things no textbook teaches you", "Here's what they don't want you to know", etc). Or they teach you "real Japanese" that might be completely trivial (the other day this girl at the novice Japanese group told me that her examples were wrong because they started with anata (you) and in "real life" Japanese nobody used anata. Well, yeah, in "real Japanese" you would probably be speaking in sonkeigo or honorific Japanese when addressing your professor).

My advice, pick a textbook and follow it. Every year dozens of thousands of people pass N5-N2 thanks to those "popular textbooks", why would you choose a different route? However, if you are into alternatives feel free to try AJATT or learning while sleeping (y)
 

Lethal01

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Any textbook requires dedication. Japanese (as any other language) is learned by studying and practicing.

Yeah, but would you tell someone to use duolingo over a good textbook? No, and I can't bring myself to recommend the textbooks I've seen over this series as a starting point. If you are dedicated then I think you'd agree it's a shame to waste that dedication on things like Rosetta stone and bad text books.

That all said I very much understand not wanting to look at things that say "the secret to Japanese". All I'm saying is that the actual substance of the videos are better than what's In the textbooks I've spotted students going through. This is most in line with how I teach it and addresses a lot of the issues I have when I hear others teach it.

Some books are simply better than others, This is the one I personally recommend and since there are some aspects I don't like about it I just wanted to advise people to not be dissuaded by them since it's the best I've come across so far.
 
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Porcile

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It's not that things like Duolingo, or Genki, or whatever are bad resources for learning Japanese. They aren't teaching incorrect Japanese either, it's just that they don't cover enough content for them to be useful in the long term. On the other hand, series like Kanzen Master cover everything up to N1 so are much more useful than any textbook written in English, or made for beginners since they aren't trying to fit square pegs in round holes.
 

ReyBrujo

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Mind you, I'm not really dissing those videos, just saying one should use them as complement. Minna no Nihongo Shokyu is a really good book (two actually), easy to understand, with good ordering, clear examples and good explanations. Minna no Nihongo Chukyu is just awful. I mean, absolutely awful. You get the grammar after you have the dialog and the exercises. Plus it's extremely fast-paced, what you did in 50 lessons before you now have to do it in 25 (with the difference in level between N5-N4 and N2). But I still think they have good ordering, you don't see things you haven't learned before, and in every lesson you get introduced to a certain number of things, with none being left out of explanations.

My advice is to pick at least the Shokyu books, read a lesson, do the exercises, learn the vocabulary, if you don't understand something Minna got two books, one book with explanations for the student and one with explanations for the teacher so you have two different point of views. And if you still don't understand then google for some video or site explaining that topic and only that topic. After you finish the first two books you should be mature enough to decide whether Chukyu works for you or if you need to start studying for yourself.
 
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iorek21

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Hey there! I’ve been studying japanese in private classes since the beginning of last year (had zero knowledge and contact with the language back then).

Initially, we began our classes with a brazilian book and then after finishing it we switched to Minna no Nihongo 1, but here’s when the problems began:

I’ve seen a lot of praise for Minna no Nohongo, but I think the book is a mess. There’s almost nothing in english, the layout is not really appealing, exercises are sometimes ambiguous and the examples can make you even more confused.

Each unity feels rushed, and I can barely comprehend the current subject and the book already shifts it to something completely different just to come back to it 4 unities later...

I’m beginning to feel unmotivated and I see little progress in my learning.

I get it that people like this book, but ir seems that it wants to pass through as many subjects as it can, giving little thought to the actual comprehension.

Any tips for my situation?
 

Sakura

Member
Feb 13, 2012
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Hey there! I’ve been studying japanese in private classes since the beginning of last year (had zero knowledge and contact with the language back then).

Initially, we began our classes with a brazilian book and then after finishing it we switched to Minna no Nihongo 1, but here’s when the problems began:

I’ve seen a lot of praise for Minna no Nohongo, but I think the book is a mess. There’s almost nothing in english, the layout is not really appealing, exercises are sometimes ambiguous and the examples can make you even more confused.

Each unity feels rushed, and I can barely comprehend the current subject and the book already shifts it to something completely different just to come back to it 4 unities later...

I’m beginning to feel unmotivated and I see little progress in my learning.

I get it that people like this book, but ir seems that it wants to pass through as many subjects as it can, giving little thought to the actual comprehension.

Any tips for my situation?
I've never used the book myself, but isn't there a translation book that goes along with the main book? This book I think https://www.amazon.com/dp/4883196046/
I imagine you are probably supposed to spend a lot of time self studying the chapters. If there is anything you have a hard time understanding you can always ask here.
Someone more familiar with the book might be able to help you out more.
 
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Kamina

Golden Boy
Jun 2, 2013
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I‘d love to learn Japanese, however those many many partially extremely complex Symbols with multiple meanings scare me.
 
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Porcile

Member
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Mathematical equations can be extremely complex. Some lines of ink that 120 million people can write and read are not.
 

ReyBrujo

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Humble Bundle got a language bundle which includes a subscription for a year to learn several languages including Japanese via Transparent Language Online. I've no idea whether the site is good or not, but USD 25 for the full year sub of Japanese plus other languages (Chinese, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, Korean, Portuguese, German, Swahili, Arabic and Hebrew) sounds fine.