Found in 2 comments on Hacker News
no1youknowz · 2019-08-07 · Original thread
I'm currently learning Japanese and I've only been at it for a month. My tools are :-

1) Pimsleur Japanese [0]

2) Michel Thomas Japanese [1]

3) Creating my own Anki decks [2]

4) Genki Textbooks [3]

5) Remembering the Kanji [4]

Firstly, I know it's going to take at least 2 years to be good at Japanese and I'm intent on just enjoying the journey. I have absolutely no need to rush.

Right now I'm only concentrating on my speaking and listening skills. I'm not at all fussed about pitch accents and will improve that when I get a tutor (think year 2).

My methodology is going to consist of:

- Doing each CD of Pimsleur (there are 5 in total, with 30 lessons each).

- Actively listening and speaking for 30 minutes in the morning, just after lunch and just after dinner. Thus doing 1 hour and a half a day.

- Write down all the newer words for each lesson into a notebook for review later.

- Writing down all the sentences in an excel spreadsheet for the anki deck. So far I have around 900 words and sentences.

My progress is that I have completed the first CD and I have memorised into my long term memory up to lesson 20. Unfortunately my memory starts to fade when reviewing the anki deck past lesson 20 and I get the sentence order incorrect even though I know the words. Of course, I want to get to 100% before moving onto the next CD.

To switch things up a bit. I've now started to do Michele Thomas CDs and listen passively in the background. Michele Thomas isn't as demanding for your attention as Pimsleur.

When I have finished both groups of CDs. I'll go through the Genki textbook and after that start to focus on my writing skills with Remember the Kanji.

After that, that's when I'll go on italki [5] and get a tutor.

Oh and when watching Anime (with Japanese Subs). I understand around 10% so far, in just a month. I do start to laugh though when the subs are not correct.

I can only imagine what I understand, when I have finished all CDs. I hope to get to at least 75% and then start to watch Anime with the subs removed.

Finally, if anyone wants to go the immersion route. Highly recommend Matt vs Japan [6]. I'll be doing this once I finish the CDs and books.








karamazov · 2013-01-27 · Original thread
A fantastic book for learning Kanji is "Remembering the Kanji", by James Heisig.[1] It teaches you the meaning and writing of each character independent of its Japanese readings, which drastically reduces the cognitive load of memorization. It also arranges the characters in a logical order to speed up the process. A few months of study with this book are enough to memorize the reading and meaning of the 2136 jouyou kanji. These are the basic characters you need for proficiency; Japanese students learn them during elementary and middle school.

(A personal anecdote: I used this book one summer to learn and remember about 1500, substantially more than I could use after 6 years of studying Japanese and drilling kanji the usual way.)

If this sounds too good to be true, it's partially because it is. You won't learn much actual Japanese by studying the characters; you'll just learn to associate them with English words. This might be frustrating initially, but if you're committed to becoming proficient in Japanese this will speed up the path substantially. If you've ever seen how quickly native Chinese speakers pick up Japanese, you'll understand why: the Chinese and Japanese languages have about as much relation as Japanese and English. The advantage of the Chinese speakers is that they already know all the Kanji in their native tongue.


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