Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

View topic - "How to Learn Japanese"

"How to Learn Japanese"

Have a textbook or grammar book that you find particularly helpful? What about a learning tip to share with others?

"How to Learn Japanese"

Postby somenube » Mon 03.17.2008 5:36 pm

I have read over 15 threads about "how to learn the kanji" and how "other people only think they are learning kanji". I am a young kid (just started high-school)) and I have been trying to teach myself Japanese for about 4 months. I learned vocabulary separately from grammar and kanji but then started to combine them. I now try to learn kanji by general on reading and kun reading as well as a "basic" idea of the meaning with some compounds (all JLPT4). I still have problems looking for compounds with just JLPT 4 kanji. I am sort of using Genki 1 without the answer key (couldn't afford one).The book has vocabulary that I don't even use often like anthropology and economics. So I used it for mainly grammar. Now here is the problem: I am scared that all my time learning has been a waste. I am serious about learning the language if it takes a lifetime. I am not an otaku trying to learn the language in a year just to read a "favorite" manga. I am passionate about learning the language and I love to learn Japanese. My goal was to be "fluent", as a gaijin can possibly be, in Japanese. I thought that studying by JLPT would be a good motivator and because many books are based on it. If this isn't the "good" way of learning Japanese, what is? I would be very happy if someone, preferably experienced, would point me into the right direction. How is someone, not in college, supposed to teach oneself? If you would like to know, I have a vocabulary around 200-250 words and supposedly wasted my time with all the JLPT 4 kanji. (I can maybe name 1 word or two for each kanji). I am in a Japanese class in my school but all four years only covers 1/3 of JLPT4. (not even well) Please help me and thank you for reading this.
somenube
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Thu 02.28.2008 6:15 pm

Re: "How to Learn Japanese"

Postby Wakannai » Mon 03.17.2008 6:36 pm

The best way is whatever method you enjoy and are able to stick with.

Even if you have the crappiest textbook that went out of print in the 40s, you will achieve fluency eventually provided you stick with it. No time spent studying constructively is time wasted. JLPT4 isn't a waste, but it is the foundation of everything else. You don't need Jlpt 4, but it is a nice milestone to give beginners a sense of accomplishment and therefore help them stay motivated.
Wakannai
 
Posts: 658
Joined: Thu 10.18.2007 6:38 am

Re: "How to Learn Japanese"

Postby Sairana » Tue 03.18.2008 2:51 pm

somenube wrote:I am in a Japanese class in my school but all four years only covers 1/3 of JLPT4. (not even well)


Surely this is an exaggeration? 1/3 of the JLPT 4 would only be about 30 kanji or so.

somenube wrote:I am sort of using Genki 1 without the answer key (couldn't afford one).The book has vocabulary that I don't even use often like anthropology and economics.


This tells me you haven't even tried to use this book, you just browsed the vocabulary section of Chapter 1 and noticed some words you don't need. Nevermind that the primary vocabulary (26 words) consists of words like: now, yes, student, AM, PM, teacher. Anthropology and Economics are listed under "Additional Vocabulary", as in non-essential to the lesson but may be of interest to someone using the book. For instance, someone studying Economics would probably like to be able to say it in Japanese.

You're suffering from an idea very common to people your age. When something doesn't exactly fit your expectations, it must be crap.... or at least mostly crap. You have led yourself to believe that your school course is worthless for an unnamed reason, and have declared that Genki is only good for grammar and not vocabulary because you saw two words you will never use in a vocab list. Now, you are panicking because you read that learning Kanji individually has been a waste of your time.

My advice is to RELAX.

Stop generalizing, and learn what your teacher has to offer you.

Take another look at Genki, and tell yourself it's OK to not learn the "additional vocabulary". Stop thinking it's full of useless words just because there were a couple that didn't apply to you.

Stop worrying about whether or not you wasted your time on JLPT4 kanji. Whether it was a waste of time doesn't matter. I wouldn't have recommended this method, but what's done, is done!

Create reachable milestones for yourself to achieve a sense of progress (especially if you feel like you're not really learning anything). School courses are great for this because you can view every test as an opportunity for YOU to see how far you've come, and not as "just another grade in the class". Keep your old tests and compare how easy they were in the beginning of the year with the ones you are taking now. Have a giggle at some of the stuff you got wrong then, but know very well now. It makes you feel good. ^_^
Sairana
 
Posts: 709
Joined: Wed 02.27.2008 11:54 pm
Native language: (US) English
Gender: Female

Re: "How to Learn Japanese"

Postby yukamina » Tue 03.18.2008 3:30 pm

Hm, if your class isn't enough, there's plenty of good resources on the internet, if you know how to use them. Also, see if your library has any good courses. My high school Japanese course brought me to to somewhere in between JLPT4-3, and everything else I had to find elsewhere. Material for JLPT4 and 3 are easy to get a hold of...so with some work and research, you can definitely do it.
yukamina
 
Posts: 288
Joined: Tue 06.05.2007 1:41 am

Re: "How to Learn Japanese"

Postby somenube » Tue 03.18.2008 10:09 pm

Sairana, Yes I exaggerated a little, my friend who is a senior only knows 30-40 kanji. He has a bigger vocabulary but I don't want to stary from the point. The first year is just the kana and desu related sentences etcetera. This is not an exaggeration. I go and I use the class as a review mainly. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying this is a bad thing. Right now we are "working" on the last row of katakana and we are much more than halfway done with the course. I agree with your logic, I may be bored in the class but I ask for additional practice and exercises form my teacher.
About Genki, I am in the 5 chapter about now. I, even though the vocabulary may have seemed unhelpful, I memorized all the additional vocabulary. kokusaikankei,(international relations) and all. I didn’t just glance at them and skip them. It is just that I don’t know how to use those words in daily conversation. I seemed upset because I just spent hours of study trying to teach myself and then read that I may not have learned anything. advice What sort of study plan I should have? I just don’t know if I should change. I don’t want to sound like I am better than anyone else in the class. I am trying to learn Japanese but I want to do more than just my class. You, yourself said, “wouldn't have recommended this method”. I heard that flashcards are a terrible way to learn. What else way is there besides writing by rote? Thank you for your time and patience. :oops:
somenube
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Thu 02.28.2008 6:15 pm

Re: "How to Learn Japanese"

Postby Wakannai » Tue 03.18.2008 11:00 pm

somenube wrote: I seemed upset because I just spent hours of study trying to teach myself and then read that I may not have learned anything. advice What sort of study plan I should have? I just don’t know if I should change.


Keep in mind the 80% rule. Once you've memorized 80% of the chapter, it's time to move on. Don't force yourself to spend extra time learning that 20%. It will be reinforced later and probably be more easy to remember next time. The best way to remember stuff is by exercises. Do exercises, and repeat them. Memorize those dialogs. Listen to your sound files whenever you get a chance. Listening to the same thing over and over does help your listening comprehension.
Wakannai
 
Posts: 658
Joined: Thu 10.18.2007 6:38 am

Re: "How to Learn Japanese"

Postby somenube » Tue 03.18.2008 11:57 pm

Oh, OK. So memorize about 80% of the content then start over and read it again but learn all of it the second time. :)
somenube
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Thu 02.28.2008 6:15 pm

Re: "How to Learn Japanese"

Postby yukamina » Wed 03.19.2008 12:27 am

somenube wrote:Oh, OK. So memorize about 80% of the content then start over and read it again but learn all of it the second time. :)

I think he means, once you know 80% of chapter 5, move on to chapter 6. Not, like, skipping 20% of the chapter, just don't worry if you can't remember absolutely everything.
yukamina
 
Posts: 288
Joined: Tue 06.05.2007 1:41 am


Return to Learning Materials Reviews & Language Learning tips

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests