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What is the most efficient way to learn/study Japanese?

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

Re: What is the most efficient way to learn/study Japanese?

Postby Wakannai » Sat 08.30.2008 7:51 pm

Ahh, well glad that long-abandoned website was still around to copy from.
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Re: What is the most efficient way to learn/study Japanese?

Postby myles1260 » Sun 08.31.2008 4:15 pm

Mike that was genius. If I ever feel stuck, I'll come back here and read that.

Thanks for the replies, many were very insightful and I have a better idea of what to look out for as well as what to do now.
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Re: What is the most efficient way to learn/study Japanese?

Postby clay » Sun 08.31.2008 7:45 pm

That was great, Mike. Here are my favorite highlights:

DO NOT skip over the part about pronunciation. Japanese has only 5 vowel sounds. Make sure you aren't using any others.

* Japanese has LOTS of pronouns and avoids using them whenever possible


It is said that fire is both man's best friend and his worst enemy. Kanji can be either your best friend or your worst enemy in studying Japanese. Make friends with them as early as you can.


Wishing they (kanji) didn't exist will NOT make them go away. Being illiterate in a highly literate society is no damned fun. If you are or will be in Japan, life will be much easier if you can read things for yourself rather than relying on a Japanese to hold your hand and wipe your linguistic butt for you.


"wa" and "ga" confuse the hell out of everybody. Don't feel like the Lone Ranger.


--
Considering all the textbooks published in the past ten years, do you still recommend "Learn Japanese: New College Text" over others?

Great advice. Wow :P
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Re: What is the most efficient way to learn/study Japanese?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sun 08.31.2008 9:14 pm

It is said that fire is both man's best friend and his worst enemy. Kanji can be either your best friend or your worst enemy in studying Japanese. Make friends with them as early as you can.


The only thing I disagree with about this statement is that I think it needs a little qualification -- we have a very high frequency of people coming in and saying things like "I started learning kanji but do I need to learn all the readings? Why are some in katakana and some hiragana?"

I would say to make friends with them as early as you can, but make sure you're learning Japanese along with kanji, not just kanji themselves.
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Re: What is the most efficient way to learn/study Japanese?

Postby Wakannai » Sun 08.31.2008 10:38 pm

I think the whole "make friends" thing is about not being intimidated by them.

There was a really nice book, Teach Yourself Japanese Script. It didn't do a whole lot for teaching kanji per se, but it did a wonderful job of making kanji more friendly.
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Re: What is the most efficient way to learn/study Japanese?

Postby Mike Cash » Mon 09.01.2008 6:05 am

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
It is said that fire is both man's best friend and his worst enemy. Kanji can be either your best friend or your worst enemy in studying Japanese. Make friends with them as early as you can.


The only thing I disagree with about this statement is that I think it needs a little qualification -- we have a very high frequency of people coming in and saying things like "I started learning kanji but do I need to learn all the readings? Why are some in katakana and some hiragana?"

I would say to make friends with them as early as you can, but make sure you're learning Japanese along with kanji, not just kanji themselves.


I would have to agree with you very strongly. I would only point out that when I wrote that in 1997 the phenomenon of people using the internet as a primary learning source really hadn't kicked in yet and I was writing from a default assumption that people were using textbooks of some sort, which means I assumed they were doing all the regular vocab/grammar/drills/etc that go hand-in-hand with that. That particular bit could stand editing to adjust it to the current situation.

Regarding Clay's question, I haven't actually studied Japanese since right about the same time I wrote that (although I like to think I've picked up a thing or two along the way), so I really have no knowledge of or familiarity with any of the textbooks currently available. Practically anyone else here would be able to answer that question better than I can.
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Re: What is the most efficient way to learn/study Japanese?

Postby coco » Mon 09.01.2008 11:04 am

Mikeさん、 ベッキーさんのおっしゃるように埋もれてしまうにはもったいないアドバイスなので、
取り敢えずWagawikiに転載させていただきました。差し障りがあればお知らせください。
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Re: What is the most efficient way to learn/study Japanese?

Postby Mike Cash » Tue 09.02.2008 6:27 am

coco wrote:Mikeさん、 ベッキーさんのおっしゃるように埋もれてしまうにはもったいないアドバイスなので、
取り敢えずWagawikiに転載させていただきました。差し障りがあればお知らせください。


役にたつようなもんだったら全然構いませんよ。
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Re: What is the most efficient way to learn/study Japanese?

Postby spin13 » Fri 09.05.2008 4:58 am

Abandoned or not, there are quite a few good reads on Mike's site.
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Re: What is the most efficient way to learn/study Japanese?

Postby ss » Fri 09.05.2008 7:00 am

An essay of great worth, very encouraging indeed! Thank you uncle Mike + Spin13さん。
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