best way to learn Japanese

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by test84, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. test84
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    test84 GBAtemp's last ninja 2.

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    Iran, Tehran.
    so what do u recommend for learning each?
    thnx in advance.
     
  2. xcalibur

    xcalibur Gbatemp's Chocolate Bear

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    The pimsleur japanese course is a great way to start learning the language. Its many audio tracks in the form of lessons going up in difficulty.
    I have never used them but my friend thinks theyre very great
     
  3. ssoccerh

    ssoccerh GBAtemp Regular

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    japanese would be a great thing to learn i wish i had the time
     
  4. fischju_original

    fischju_original I used to be a jerk before i got banned

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    Rosetta stone, it's expensive, I suggest you torrent it
     
  5. nileyg

    nileyg GBAtemp Fan

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    I've used Pimsleur and it seemed pretty good, is Rosetta Stone any better?
     
  6. fischju_original

    fischju_original I used to be a jerk before i got banned

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    I would say so
     
  7. Gus122000

    Gus122000 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    i have a book called "kanji pict-o-graphix" i used that book to learn my hiragana and katakana it worked great.it has pictures with items similar to the kanji to help you remember........and by god that works.Best book i ever bought to help me learn japanese
     
  8. Linkiboy

    Linkiboy GBAtemp Testing Area

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    I have a question, in everyday writing, is both kana and hiragana used in the same sentence? I'm thinking of learning some basic Japanese, mostly Katakana and a few kanji...
     
  9. AishunBao

    AishunBao Advanced Member

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    You mean kanji and hiragana? Then hell yes. Hiragana is a type of kana. o.o

    And just katakana and a little bit of kanji won't get you further than a very rough understanding of what's going on, but it's a good start.
     
  10. Mewgia

    Mewgia drifter

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    If you want to use Rosetta Stone, first check your library's site to see if it has it for free. Mine has it, it's under the "travel" section I beleive.
     
  11. Linkiboy

    Linkiboy GBAtemp Testing Area

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    So, I should first larn Kanji and Hiragana? Hiragana is symbols for sounds like katakana, not for object like kanji right?
     
  12. Lukeage

    Lukeage GBAtemp Regular

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    Hiragana and Katakana are where you need to start. I've noticed some games only use these because children don't have a full grasp of kanji. (Side note, in the new zelda game, if you click on the kanji it brings up the furigana, which i though was the sweetest thing about the game [​IMG])

    Once you've got them nailed, since they are more akin to learning an alphabet, then you can really start on the kanji. You'll need them to look up the readings of the kanji in most dictionaries anyway.
     
  13. butaro

    butaro GBAtemp Regular

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    I dont know "THE" best way do you want to speak , do you want to read, do you want to do both?? I went for full on so heres how i learned.

    First i studied Hiragana then Katakana, then after learning those i started on a grammar textbook, which was written in all hiragana and katakana, which helped me remember and review the kana's. If i ever had a problem with a specific character i just went back to hiragana/katakana book and checked it, after a while i didn't have to do that anymore. I would reccomend a book called "Remembering the Kana" for kana study, its really weird and at first might not seem to work but it works. My total kana study was 1 month, i studied almost every day, i dont remember how long each day maybe 1 hour somedays, more other days.

    As far as grammar textbooks go there are tons of them out there, i went with one that a lot of people recommended me and since the japanese was written all in kana it makes it easier to distinguish from romaji (abc's). The explainations were in english and there was literal translations of the sentences to help out.

    Edit: some more comments..
    You might hate kanji but it sure as hell helps, imagine reading an english sentence with no spaces. That is what japanese is like with no kanji.
    I suggest staying away from kanji until you are able to write/read the kana's and actually use the words for some of the basic kanji in a sentence. Numbers for instance.
     
  14. moshii

    moshii GBAtemp Regular

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    The ??? are not an alphabet.
     
  15. moshii

    moshii GBAtemp Regular

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    The best way to learn Japanese would relate to what you want to use it for; for example the text books will teach you "State Language" i.e long structures like 「行かなければならないんです」instead of 「行かなきゃ」. The best books for learning how to commnicate would be the Japanese for Busy People series from AJaLT. Get the kana ones. For normal Japanese get into reading Manga raws... but don't expect it to be a quick process.
     
  16. butaro

    butaro GBAtemp Regular

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    hehe i used the first and 2nd book of that series and its pretty good for self study so i second that!

    I would suggest learning proper grammar first, then later changing to casual is as easy as snapping your fingers. But yea, it depends on what you want to be using it for.
     
  17. Lukeage

    Lukeage GBAtemp Regular

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    I never said they were, i said they are 'more akin to learning an alphabet', ie Once I know hiragana, I can 'spell' out any Japanese word using it without needing to know the kanji.

    For those that are curious a very rough breakdown of what each type of kana is used for:
    Kanji - Meaning of the word
    Hiragana - Grammar
    Katakana - Foreign words

    These aren't entirely strict though. For example, there are some words which contain no kanji and are written entirely in hiragana, and katakana is sometimes used for other reasons, such as onomatopoeia (sound words).

    Before I comment further, I was learning at uni, so I had teachers/classmates/resourses/etc.. at my disposal so I can't give too much help on exactly what works well as my textbooks relied on the fact that I had a native japanese speaker to clarify some of the finer points (My textbooks were Situational Functional Japanese Vol 1-3 Drills and Notes, so 6 textbooks all up there, and some kanji book which relied heavily on being in use in a full blown course, sorry can't remember the name of it right now, but was something like Basic/Intermediate Kanji Drills....)

    To extend butaro's comments, combine multiple things. Pimsleur is great for learning conversational Japanese, but doesn't teach much in the way of grammar and obviously doesn't teach any writing what-so-ever. Rosetta Stone, as people have mentioned here, appears to be great for learning words, perhaps someone with more exposure could verify this. Remembering the Kana/Kanji are a great series which definitely should be looked into.

    Once you have a grounding, find something interesting (anime/manga/video games/movies/tv/whatever) and work with that. Don't pit yourself against something too difficult to begin with though. Choosing a lengthy JRPG probably isn't the best way to get started as you will be looking up Kanji on many words to begin with.

    Note: You'll need to learn radicals for looking up Kanji, but don't get ahead of yourself.

    Anyway, I could ramble on. I haven't been actively learning japanese for a while now so I'm a bit rusty, but hopefully you'll get something from this.

    Edit: Japanese for Busy People - My university uses these for their 'Japanese for Business' courses, which are a cut down versions of the full blown Japanese course.
     
  18. butaro

    butaro GBAtemp Regular

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  19. moshii

    moshii GBAtemp Regular

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    The Japanese names for these books translates "Japanese for the pupose of communication", which is exactly what they teach.
    If you get hardcore into Japanese you should get some of the advanced books published under the power japanese series, published by tuttle now, these will make your brain explode.
     
  20. warbird

    warbird GBAtemp Regular

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    I hated Japanese for busy people. Best book ive used so far, is the Genki series from Japan Times. Then theres japanesepod101.com, which provides free podcasts, with native speakers, so its nice for practising listening. Best way is to live there tho. I've lived in Japan for more than 2 years, and I still dont consider myself fluent. So just a warning, learning Japanese (or any language really) is a long term project. Dont give up [​IMG]