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Want to start learning Japanese?
Here's some useful links to help you out.

-https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pKgBm8Aa58mjB1hYhbK-VOPZsRBTXBuPBzw8Xikm2ss/pub?embedded=true (A basic walkthrough of what to do first and what to expect)
-http://realkana.com/ (tool to learn the kana)
-http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar (grammar guide)
-http://pastebin.com/kXqhRbWi (setting up Anki)
-http://jisho.org/ (Japanese-English dictionary)
-http://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/ - (Actual Japanese dictionary for rare words and alternate definitions)
-https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/rikaichan/ (Popup dictionary definitions when you hover over a word, Chrome version is called Rikaikun)
http://rikaisama.sourceforge.net/ (alternative to rikaichan)

Last thread: >>25255

251 posts and 41 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.


I'm not even an english speaker..


But you likely have a native language closer to english than japanese.


Yeah I guess


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Chant this everyday when you wake up.


I've finally started, myself. Doing the usual. About two weeks in. I'll try to remember to check in once I've gotten somewhere. Merry Christmas.


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>When you're euro, but can just port your own grammar to Japanese and it works the exact same way.


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I am going to start learning Japanese seriously from this summer onward after having been wanting to learn the language for the past 5 years or so. Consuming media all day isn't doing it for me anymore and I have fixed my motivation issues that were holding me back.
I already pretty much know the hiragana from heart, both in terms of reading and writing, the katakana not so much yet. I'll write an update on my progress in a year.


I've been studying about an hour a day for nearly a year, mostly by doing anki on the ride to/from work, along with a bit of grammar/reading whenever I have time. I've not studied kanji alone, I prefer to study them as I learn vocab, but I have the most common radicals down. Overall I've certainly made progress but at a snails pace. In comparison I studied French for a year in college and could do way way more with it than I now can with Japanese. But here is what I've figured out from the little experience I have.

Kanji for me is sometimes hard sometimes easy. When it has a small number of basic radicals, and is easy to make a mnemonic out of, I can remember it the first time seeing it. For example the kanji in 晴れる (hareru) which means to clear up/become sunny, is easy because the radicals are literally the sun next to blue, like a sunny sky. But many kanji it seems like someone just closed their eyes and randomly threw together some radicals, even worse when there are so many it turns into a clusterfuck. For these I've had to just memorize through brute force, I'm sure they're easier if one is very creative with mnemonics.

But aside from that, to remember readings/meanings I find it best to form a reference of some kind, any kind. A common one is to associate a word with either an opposite-like (対, tai) or same-like (同じ, onaji) word. For example to remember 閉じる (tojiru, to close), I associate it with 開ける (akeru, to open). And for same-like words, it is also useful as long as you remember what sets the words apart. So to remember 貰う (morau, to receive) I remember that it's the same meaning as kureru, except kureru is only ever used by the person receiving.

Also since there are many homophones and similar-sounding words, I can easily remember a word by knowing that it's the homophone of another word or close enough that I often confuse it. Like if I forget the reading of 紙 (kami, paper), I remember it's the same as 神 (kami, god) and 髪 (kami, hair). Or I would always mix up 起きる (okiru, to get up) with 置く (oku, to place) and especially 起こる and 起くる (to happen, to send) as all three share a kanji and sound very similar. But now I easily remember all of them by remembering the words I used to confuse them with. So effectively you can remember a word by forming a mental map of words they have similar sound/kanji/meanings to.


Recently started learning japanese again the past month, I started a couple years ago but I gave up after a few months, still hiragana and katakana stuck with me, also remember a few kanji.

thank you, I know it's been 2 years(wow) but I'm finally gonna get on this

I have been trying to study radicals but they aren't sticking with me at all, I see the symbol and I know what it means in english but I have a lot of trouble remembering how to read them, I've been having a lot more luck in just learning words by seeing them used in sentences, I've been doing a few words every week, constant reviewing for a minimum of an hour a day, but usually 2-3
>In comparison I studied French for a year in college and could do way way more with it than I now can with Japanese
Yes, same thing with german for me, japanese is like an alien language



one month in, anyone wanna join in? I feel this is a good use of neet time


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OK I'll join in. I started again a bit a couple week ago. I studied the radicals and now I see them in characters. It doesn't look so random now.


I've almost finished my first novel in Japanese with about one hundred more pages to go. One thing that I think helped me a lot with reading was binge watching a lot of media like movies, series, and obviously anime. Once I reached the point where I could pick out Japanese words being said more often then that is when reading became easier. I've also noticed that kanji is becoming easier for me to recognize and digest compared to a few months ago when I had trouble noticing the intricacies of the strokes and differentiating between similar looking ones. Another thing that may help is to not read older literature before you are comfortable with modern works because I've noticed in older books, especially Soseki for example, authors tend to use kanji where it is no longer written or very outdated kanji. This is a major divide between other languages like French or even English where many of the same words from the last century are still used normally.


I was just studying words/grammar, studying radicals now because starting to get kanji confused for other kanji

how long did you binge watch japanese media for? I find it hard to pick out words unless they are words I've studied already


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remember seeing a movie entitled that


I'd wager that it took about one hundred hours worth of media to get to a point that I could hear an unknown word, transcribe it to Jisho, and learn the corresponding kanji. I would also like to point out that I didn't just watch this media for pure fun, but I was actively trying to decipher the speech each time.


are there any effective programs that will teach me how to read japanese and also understand speaking? i am kind of retarded.


Ive been using lingodeer, I am also retarded, it is a good phone app ive been using for months and I've learned a lot, you have to pay about 60 dollars for it though, but it isnt too bad, the website portion of it kinda sucks so I just run it in a android emulator, I use blustacks

Ive been watching grammar video on youtube along with it too though to learn the grammar deeper, after two months now I can make out sentences and read a number of words, it just takes a lot of time to get anywhere


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will give a picture to show the type of exercises it has, I think its really helpful


thanks. just on the fence for now. being jewish and dont wanna drop $60 on a phone app but i might change my tune.


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how long did it take you to get to that level? I can hardly read any of that


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I'm not sure how long it would take one for self-study. Before I went NEET I took five semesters worth of Japanese in college, and for each semester there was class five days a week with basically zero English being used in the classroom. It was a heavily speaking-based course.

一人で勉強してみたけど、残念ながら大学で日本語を勉強する前に上手くなれなかった。That might just be how I learn though. 諦めるな!


any opinion on this?

you need to subscribe to download the anki deck i did it with a temp mail but you don't even need to do that there's no confirmation link just make up a random valid address




Why don't you guys learn with input only method? Just consume shitton of input and eventually this clicks. Apparently that is how babies learn a language and how this guy learned perfect Japanese https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJG9kpqTRmU


because it takes a lot of frustration tolerance to be able to watch a tv show and not know what the heck is going on or what they're talking about. it's not as fun of a method as it sounds.


> because it takes a lot of frustration tolerance to be able to watch a tv show and not know what the heck is going on or what they're talking about. it's not as fun of a method as it sounds.

How soon can you start doing it though?
It must suck at first, so what would be the first steps to do before you can start consuming? What is the minimum you should learn so you can jump start on tv series and dramas and just consume input and learn from that?


ideally, you learn best when you can recognize 80-90% of the words and guess the meaning of the rest based on how its used with known words and the context, so-called n+1. the problem is finding media that hits your n+1 spot consistently, otherwise its not very optimal way to learn.

the larger your vocab, the bigger the chance of hitting familiar words used in combination with unknown words. this is why initially it's really frustrating, but then once your vocab is a certain size, you hit n+1 consistently and you pick up stuff very fast. if you only know 10 words in japanese, you will be confused for a long, long time, and the only way to really learn is by guessing things through context, like "oh they tend to say this a lot in the morning or before eating" or just looking everything up in the dictionary which is really slow and interrupts immersion.

i remember learning english as a kid purely by just watching a lot of cartoons. i guess as a kid you're a lot less frustrated by not knowing what's going on, you don't really care about connecting it into a coherent storyline. as an adult, you have to have trust in the process and somehow justify the time investment to yourself. watching a show you don't understand just doesn't feel very satisfying or worthwhile.

to answer your question, i don't really know when its a good time to start immersing, but as long as it feels frustrating, you probably need to find easier media and/or increase your vocab.


> to answer your question, i don't really know when its a good time to start immersing, but as long as it feels frustrating, you probably need to find easier media and/or increase your vocab.

And what is best way to do this? ANKI?


check out the official refold method guide that's made by the guy in the video. he explains how to build a foundation with anki and what habits you should cultivate.



It would take a lot longer to improve, that's why. The reason you seriously study grammar and basic vocabulary early on is so that you can get the most out of native material as early as possible.
This baby argument is rather ridiculous. 3 years in I could read most manga out there, most native kids on the other hand can't read their own name at 3, most likely. You don't have a whole childhood to learn this stuff, you'll need to put an extra effort to it.
You'll have to consume a lot media regardless, learning the building blocks of the language early on just helps you reach the point you actually enjoy the process faster.

>What is the minimum you should learn so you can jump start on tv series and dramas and just consume input and learn from that?

As soon as you memorize the kana you can probably start reading stuff and watching things with Jp subtitles. If you're studying on top of that you'll improve a lot faster.
I stopped putting "active studying" effort 4 years in and now I just read stuff. Had I continued studying hard I would probably be able to read academic papers by now but I got disenchanted with Japanese media pretty hard at that point and stopped caring. Fortunately I pushed hard enough that I can read most things I want, which is not much these days. Still, it was better than putting 7k to 8k hours on video games I suppose.

Also don't believe any of those morons on Youtube. I didn't bother watching the video linked, but if he's telling you that you can just sit in front of your monitor and leave anime on loop without studying anything, then yeah, ignore that shit, it's gonna take forever for you to get anywhere. Those people went through the hoops to learn the language and now pretend there's some easy method to do it for the clicks. There isn't. It's going to take a lot of sweat, tears and efford and the soon you realize that the faster you'll get over that fact and get on with actually improving.

I did with Anki for the first several months. Grammar and sentences with the basic 6k words of the Japanese language. From then on I just went with tons of manga and some anime and then novels. I tried games for a while but you just waste too much time playing, not enough time reading/listening and I don't care for VNs at all so that was that. I know one guy who got pretty decent just reading VNs but boy visual novels are shit (personal taste of course). If you like that stuff then you're set there's apparently infinite supply of them available.


>didn't even watch the video

i get what you're saying, but dismissing shit before you understand the reasoning behind it is really close minded. the refold stuff is actually based on a lot of solid research on language acquisition so its not like he's talking out of his ass. there's probably some exaggeration for the sake of marketing like "gaijin learns PERFECT japanese through anime" but in reality he also did a lot of traditional study but with a lot of focus on immersion. also, certain stuff like pitch accent are completely ignored by traditional study and that's why you can immediately spot a gaijin by his shitty intonation.

in the end, there's no perfect method, just a collection of tools that can be used in combination or at specific times in your learning path. as discussed, immersion isn't that effective without a good vocab foundation and fastest way to get there is probably grinding anki and following a traditional textbook, at least in the beginning.


I didn't watch it because the person who linked the video implied it was some sort of "input only method" which I know by experience to be not as effective as actually putting effort into studying along with immersion.
Also the sentence "Just consume shitton of input and eventually this clicks" sounded silly since yeah, eventually it does, but it will click a lot sooner if you do the work. I'm talking about years sooner, so it's worth mentioning. I guess it was more a fault on the post itself than anything else.

I did mention though that IF he's telling you to just sit in front of your monitor and "just consume bro" then you could go ahead and ignore it because it's garbage. Believe me, there are people out there who actually think there's a shortcut into not putting effort, which is hilarious but there you go. I have to mention this because over the years of keeping this thread I've seen people trying to reinventing the wheel of learning Japanese many times and that lead a lot of people astray.

Everyone wanting to learn Japanese should realize upfront that there are no shortcuts to this and you'll have to put a lot of effort into it if you want to get good at it. Sounds obvious but doesn't hurt to mention it once in a while.


Anki can be very useful but only if you use it right. When you mine words from anime/LN/manga/games or anywhere, only mine the words you truly understand in context. If you don't understand the whole sentence you shouldn't try to memorize a particular word either. Otherwise it ruins the purpose of context and is the same as reading a random vocabulary list.

Also remember that you don't have to mine every single new word, simply pick things that are interesting or fits your current skill level.

When you get past the beginner language barrier you should move on to using mostly Japanese explanations only. There are good guides on using hover over dictionaries like Yomichan that allow you to easily check random vocab in websites.

Yomichan has both English and Japanese dictionaries available for free. Other than that, you should just search for a Japanese explanation on the specific word/expression/grammar point. By using the actual language you truly understand what it means instead of getting a half-assed English translation.


Also if you find an interesting Light Novel, I think it's good to mostly stick to that while studying. Every author has their personal writing style so you'll naturally hit into the same words and patterns again which give you good repetition on what you have already learned.


anyone else read this?


Yeah I used to read easy news a lot but man reality is fucking shit in any language. I remember I managed to read it everyday for a couple of months before switching to other things.


I've literally never read any sort of news before so it is pretty new to me, I can't really scan the pages yet so I just go by picture and then attempt to read through the article with a dictionary open, the one I was looking at today was about sea turtles


Yes but it is very, very simple Japanese.


Here's to half a year. I did core2.3k, and after that I've just been reading (and doing the reviews). So far I've read Unred Night, White Album, and Muv Luv Alternative and Extra. I haven't been reading every day, but I got crazy into Alternative so I think I've still averaged like 4 hours a day. Can't say I've really gotten very far, but it's Christmas, and I'm still here. I'll check in for midsummer and let you know how, and if, it's going. Anime might be a bit of a hurdle, since it's real-time and all, but hopefully I'll get off my ass and start gorging on some raw manga. That's more where my interest lies anyway, I've never actually read a VN before this. They're nice, but sometimes, I'm just not too hot about the pacing.

Merry Christmas, everybody, and good luck with your studies.


Did you just study vocabulary? I’ve been studying for 4 months and I’ve learned about 350 words and a bunch of grammar, feel like I’m going slow but I am a slow learner in general. I can listen to anime and understand things I learned though so it shouldn’t be too hard for you, my brain has started to catch japanese talking passively now


I burned through core2.3k in six or seven weeks (average 3h/day IIRC), and also skimmed half of Tae Kim during that time. So pretty much pure vocab, yeah. I'm not a fast learner either. I've spent 200 hours on that deck so far, and had to fiddle with the settings. Since then I've just been reading without adding anything new to Anki. I just kind of blank out if there are too many words I don't know while listening. I find VNs, which go line by line, to be pretty convenient. The pacing doesn't suffer as much when you need to look things up either. And besides, they speak faster than I read, so it's not too shabby in terms of listening practice either.


that's crazy, I'd get burnt out doing that


I've been listening to a podcast called Let's learn Japanese from small talk where two succubi discuss everyday topics. I'm able to catch the gist of each episode and what they are talking about but not always every detail. I would assume this would amount to about a N3 listening level. On the other hand, light novels are becoming easier to read especially if the author uses the same words and kanji a lot. Manga is hit or miss. Sometimes I'll see a word that I remember looking up multiple times and forget and other times I can at least guess the reading then look it up on Jisho.


Yeah. It was. And maybe I did. It's not like I don't know how to make new cards, but I haven't. Peaked at 5 or 6 hours before I turned down the new cards/day. There were circumstances, though, where having some dumb route task I could just drop was quite welcome. I don't think I could do that now.
You shouldn't diminish yourself. I had to turn down the interval modifier to 75%, and add more repetitions for new/missed cards, so that took me a lot more time than I've heard it take for anyone else. My memory is actually really poor, always has been, so I got a little excited about Anki. I'm going about this in just about the least sophisticated way possible, and I really haven't gotten very far yet, so I'm not really feeling any self-deprecating comparisons. I just picked up Anki on a whim to occupy myself without any real goal or motivation, so it's a pleasant surprise it's turned into this. It's like I'm really trying to learn Japanese. I'm actually reading stuff. It's probably stupid and inefficient, both grinding like that, and neglecting Anki like I am now, but hey, I'm still here. Still making progress.


for me I study like the same 15 or so words with sentence examples of grammar for at least a week, I dont feel confident moving on because when I attempted learning a couple years ago I was just going through everything like it was school work that I had to get done and over with, it didnt stick in my mind too well but it did feel familiar still when I started learning again



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