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Self Study Plan

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

Self Study Plan

Postby magicallydelicious » Wed 01.11.2012 7:38 pm

Hello Everyone,

I'm a 16 year old college student from the Midwest. I've looked through a lot of posts and I'm still having trouble setting up a self study curriculum. I have two years of previous experience with Chinese. I tried a Japanese language class and I learned nothing. It was extremely boring. I have the Japanese For Busy People from the class. Should I keep that to study with? I know sitting all day with a textbook won't make me become fluent. In addition to a textbook I plan on:
    Getting a Japanese penpal
    Possibly finding a language partner
    Immersing myself in Japanese as much as possible

What are some good textbooks or any literature for teaching yourself Japanese?
Thanks a lot everyone.
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Re: Self Study Plan

Postby SomeCallMeChris » Wed 01.11.2012 10:13 pm

Pick up a copy of Remembering the Kanji (by Heisig), download 'Anki' from ankisrs.net
Download one of the premade decks for Remembering the Kanji
Learn the first 2k+ kanji.
Go through https://www.erin.ne.jp/jp/ for listening comprehension and/or the Pimsleur course (which is horribly expensive but said to be effective.)
Get a better grammar text.
Try Tae Kim's guide http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/complete
Genki Japanese and Japanese the Manga Way have high approval rates.
Put all all your new words into an Anki deck, short sentences on the front, pronunciation and English translation on the back.
Whenever you don't feel like studying, dig out your old Anime or other Japanese media and watch them again, this time with the subtitles -off-. (Or buy new ones.)
Start buying whatever Japanese media interests you (manga, anime, video games, movies, biographies of the AKB47 members) and try to understand them. When you are going through real native material it is probably futile to add -every- word you come across to Anki.

Whenever you don't know what else to do, come to this site and randomly poke around the 'Learn' menu and see if you don't find something interesting.

Once you can understand a short simple article in Japanese, check out lang-8 and start posting there.
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Re: Self Study Plan

Postby nikhilkhullar » Wed 01.11.2012 11:21 pm

@ SomeCallMeChris
Thanks for the valuable info. This will help other newbies like me too... :)

@ magicallydelicious
Are you done with your Kana ..?
I am learning Hiragana to start with and trying to comprehend a few common expressions...
It would be great if we share our progress and share any good resources that we find.
Besides, things have really started to make sense for me. I have worked hard in all the free time that I get from office for the last few days and am just loving it.
Do check out lessons on japanesepod101. They are nice, and I am finding them enlightening.

A query:
Is it better to learn basic conversational Nihongo in Romaji while am learning Kana, or should I just focus on Kana for now leaving aside conversational aspects for now..?


Cheers,
Nikhil
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step...
人生は音楽です。
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Re: Self Study Plan

Postby SomeCallMeChris » Wed 01.11.2012 11:42 pm

I would say, learn your kana first. I learned each syllabary in a week, in spare time while most of my day was school and work; other people have learned them in less; just get them out of the way.

Kanji is another matter. If you are focused and spend a few hours every day on it, it'll take you around 6-8 weeks to complete RTK1. While it's certainly more efficient in the long run to just 'get the kanji out of the way' in 6 weeks, most people can't sustain that kind of focus (even though 6 weeks is nothing compared to the 2+ years it takes to cover the same quantity of kanji in traditional learning programs.)

In order to minimize confusion - because the RTK is basically a mnemonic system and you don't want to muddle the mnemonics before you finish the course - it would be better to study the language only in Kana and audio while doing RTK.

Most people, however, go right ahead and study kanji the traditional way as well, and as is warned in the introduction to the book, this muddles them and they take 6 months to a year to get through the RTK characters.
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Re: Self Study Plan

Postby nikhilkhullar » Thu 01.12.2012 1:05 am

@ SomeCallMeChris
You finished your Kana in one week... That's wonderful and inspirational. Today is my seventh day. Am devoting all of my free time from office in this and I have learnt first 20 characters. Am progressing slowly, but doing lot of practice alongside.
Besides, I have learnt number system from 1-10,000, how to tell time and a few sentence structures and common life phrases with their meanings... :)

Am finding counters very tough... :(

Thanks for the inspiring words and guidance. I will adopt your approach to Kanji once I am through with the Kana...

Hope to seek guidance from you in future too...



Cheers,
Nikhil Khullar
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step...
人生は音楽です。
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Re: Self Study Plan

Postby Shiroisan » Thu 01.12.2012 1:07 am

I have [JFBP #1] as well as [genki #1 and #2].

Genki is miles and miles better than JFBP. Using JFBP is equivalent to people who try crash course anorexic diets to get thin and healthy. :roll:

In reality you need to eat more if anything- It just has to be healthy.

Genki is what you need.


P.S. If you don't have the Kana version of JFBP, then I wouldn't even LOOK at it. Burn it!. The kana version could be a nice supplement to genki though, as long as Genki is your main text.
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Re: Self Study Plan

Postby magicallydelicious » Sat 01.14.2012 10:20 pm

Shiroisan wrote:I have [JFBP #1] as well as [genki #1 and #2].

Genki is miles and miles better than JFBP. Using JFBP is equivalent to people who try crash course anorexic diets to get thin and healthy. :roll:

In reality you need to eat more if anything- It just has to be healthy.

Genki is what you need.


P.S. If you don't have the Kana version of JFBP, then I wouldn't even LOOK at it. Burn it!. The kana version could be a nice supplement to genki though, as long as Genki is your main text.


Thanks.
Now my only apprehension with Genki is saving up for the textbook and the workbook lol
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Re: Self Study Plan

Postby Kamica » Sun 01.15.2012 3:09 am

Shiroisan wrote:I have [JFBP #1] as well as [genki #1 and #2].

Genki is miles and miles better than JFBP. Using JFBP is equivalent to people who try crash course anorexic diets to get thin and healthy. :roll:

In reality you need to eat more if anything- It just has to be healthy.

Genki is what you need.


P.S. If you don't have the Kana version of JFBP, then I wouldn't even LOOK at it. Burn it!. The kana version could be a nice supplement to genki though, as long as Genki is your main text.


To be fair, Japanese For Busy People volume II & III are organized in a completely different fashion. Volume I has emphasis on drills. Volume II & III place the emphasis on reading (although some drills still exist).
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Re: Self Study Plan

Postby Ema » Sun 01.15.2012 6:50 pm

nikhilkhullar wrote:@ SomeCallMeChris

Am finding counters very tough... :(


[/i]


Cheers,
Nikhil Khullar


I am Japanese and am basically fluent in Japanese except for those counters. I refuse to learn them in principal, because it is the most stupid part of the Japanese language and it hangs up everyone who is trying to learn Japanese. I just use "ko" for everything. So people may laugh, but they do understand what I am saying. One day when I have spare time I will learn how to count chopsticks, balls, chickens, pigs etc all with their special counters. That will be after I have mastered every other language in the world. In short, don't let those counters frustrate you. Even the Japanese know how silly they are.
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Re: Self Study Plan

Postby Shiroisan » Sun 01.15.2012 9:29 pm

Ema wrote:
nikhilkhullar wrote:@ SomeCallMeChris

Am finding counters very tough... :(


[/i]


Cheers,
Nikhil Khullar


I am Japanese and am basically fluent in Japanese except for those counters... I just use "ko" for everything.


Wait... If you were only going to use one, isn't "tsu" more general than ko?
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Re: Self Study Plan

Postby furrykef » Sun 01.15.2012 10:11 pm

Can't use 'tsu' for numbers greater than 10, though.

I'd never speak a language incorrectly out of laziness, though (rare extenuating circumstances excepted, like if you really must say a number right now and you have no idea what the counter is). It's like when people speak English badly by dropping articles and whatnot... it just grates on the ear and sometimes makes it difficult to understand what they mean. For instance, if you refer to bread with 'ko', how does the listener know if you mean a slice or a loaf?

Sometimes native Japanese speakers get lazy with counters too, and it's fine to imitate that if it's OK in the social context. But I wouldn't go overboard with it; if my Japanese is too "foreign" I know it will be taxing to read or listen to and people would be less inclined to speak with me (and I wouldn't blame them).
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Re: Self Study Plan

Postby nikhilkhullar » Sun 01.15.2012 11:22 pm

ahh. That's valuable information. Will skip counters for now... :)

Please tell me what is the phrase, "ogataa" or something similar (meaning "I Understand !") that is often used in telephonic conversations in Japanese movies and TV series...

I tried searching in dictionary but perhaps, am unable to hear it correctly...

Regards !
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Re: Self Study Plan

Postby Shiroisan » Sun 01.15.2012 11:58 pm

nikhilkhullar wrote:Please tell me what is the phrase, "ogataa" or something similar (meaning "I Understand !") that is often used in telephonic conversations in Japanese movies and TV series...
[i][/b]


Wakata :? ... It's the past tense of understand (i.e. "understood." "got it")
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Re: Self Study Plan

Postby Shiroisan » Mon 01.16.2012 12:01 am

furrykef wrote:it just grates on the ear and sometimes makes it difficult to understand what they mean. For instance, if you refer to bread with 'ko', how does the listener know if you mean a slice or a loaf?




True, but can't you just do what we do in English? That is to specify the word "slice"? Mind you it would be just as easy to say mai...
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Re: Self Study Plan

Postby nikhilkhullar » Mon 01.16.2012 12:42 am

Wakata... :) ... "I got the phrase..." :)


Shiroisan wrote:
furrykef wrote:it just grates on the ear and sometimes makes it difficult to understand what they mean. For instance, if you refer to bread with 'ko', how does the listener know if you mean a slice or a loaf?

True, but can't you just do what we do in English? That is to specify the word "slice"? Mind you it would be just as easy to say mai...


Yes, that seems correct and apt. I am by no means questioning why it is there in the language, but this sure can be an easier way to convey and be understood... :)
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