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What's your favorite resources for learning Japanese?

;; w ;; I don't know if this was already a thread, but I'd really like to know. JCJP is a great way to learn, but what other websites or books do you recommend for everyone? I personally recommend "Remembering the Kanji" volumes by James Heisig --simply because they give mini stories for the kanji you learn, and it helps you remember them more in-depth. Without relying too much on repetition.

Some people on JCJP also gave their input on some stuff that helps them. And a site that helped somebody with Hiragana and Katakana was http://www.realkana.com

I, personally, am a utaite, so I sing Japanese songs (even though my youtube was deleted because of copyright TT A TT), so nowadays, I try to read the lyrics in romaji and memorize them before looking at the kanji version and matching those two up to learn pronunciation. c: So what are your favorite ways to learn? What books? What websites?
posted by loli_teachan

Comments 15

  • Tinker
    Beside JCJP, I use :
    -Tae Kim's Guide to learning Japanese ; Really good guide IMO for basic and intermediate level grammar. You need to at least know your kana because the first thing Tae Kim wants is to force you to read those Kanji the japanese way, so no romaji. His explanations are clear and have good examples (Still kana/kanji only). It has a HTML and PDF free on the web, and a book version. Also has multiple translation (Deutsch, Spanish, French, Italian, Korean, etc.). I use the French one.

    -James Heisig's RTK method ; Great way to remember kanjis. The method wants you to learn the meaning before learning how to pronounce. To learn those, you need to memorize little stories based on "components". How does that help? Well it is easier to remember a 25 strokes kanji by remembering 3 different components than the 25 single strokes. It helps not feeling overwhelmed by those complicated Kanjis. If you want to give it a try, it is easy to find a sample of the first hundred Kanji for free on the net. It will give you an idea if it is your style of learning or not.

    -I also began reading japanese with Visual Novels. I "hook" ITH to the VN to extract the text, then use Translator Aggregator. Of course I don't use Translator Aggregator to translate it to english, I use it to have the furigana on the Kanji and the "pointing on word to get definition" feature. What is great about VN is that I also have voices for some listening comprehension pratice! Last but not least, Translator Aggregator has a Google Translation Module, if you want to laugh a bit.
  • randomcode
    I quite like Tae Kim's Guide also... I've been using WaniKani quite a bit lately and am enjoying that. Memorize has been okay, and it's free. Also I quite like using networking services such as interpals, lang8 and line.
  • Bonesrockin
    Tae Kim's guide is wonderful.
  • 13eastwood
    I'm learning japanese from anime and listen japanese songs.
  • M1CKI
    Go watch movies and play games in japanese!
  • rehjcath
    anime and songs
  • ineznijland
    hahahaha please everyone who commented that they are learning Japanese from anime. STOP IT. It really is a bad idea to learn from anime for various reasons. I also started out by learning Japanese from anime (6 years ago) then Japanese people told me I was an idiot and explained A LOT to me. Please take this advice under consideration if you are serious about learning this amazing language.
  • Annick
    Websites: Drill the kanji, Tanoshii Japanese, Tim Takamatsu, Kanji Damage...
    Homemade cards.
    I got a few books as well but the best way for me is still manga and anime, at least for some words and kanji.
  • kemhide
    Hello everyone, I've just started my new project at youtube - small polish lessons (actually exercies) for Japanese people. But english subtitles are including so I think other people also can use it for check their knowledge of japanese. I'm waiting for feedback etc. So come and check :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VULTRgZ2w-4
  • SloanAkira
    I liked Tae Kim's guide but I feel he didn't give enough examples. There are so many set expression or exceptions. I really would like to have something more of etymology in Japanese because I have trouble understanding their negatives, double negatives, negatives to positive. It's like learning Latin to understand English.

    Many guides do not bother explaining where the set expression is from. It's difficult to understand set expression without any given background. I rather not use them as it tells me to when this case occurs, but understand the concept behind it.

    So lately, for me, I've been looking into different grammar guides. They offer lots of set expressions, rather than some elementary Japanese books with vocabulary building.
  • mog86uk
    Here's the main website I've been using lately. This has definitely helped me with understanding which particles to use in different circumstances. It's presented in a really good way too:


    Just yesterday, I happened to be reading about set expressions, at one of my favourite Japanese grammar sites. This link should be useful:


    Polish lessons for Japanese people? Sounds interesting. Though I wouldn't have thought there are many Japanese interested in the Polish language?
    I've tried learning basic Polish before, but I'm English living in the UK - where Polish is supposedly now the 2nd most spoken language. I used to understand Polish up to about the level in this video, but now I've forgotten almost everything.
    With Polish being a distant 3rd language for me (after English and Japanese), that video was interesting to watch. :)

    Anime isn't that bad a resource.
    Of course you shouldn't use anime as the primary way to learn the language. But if you enjoy watching anime in the first place, then I definitely wouldn't say to stop watching anime.
  • smolio
    There's this online textbook guide called TextFugu that's been looking pretty promising so far: http://www.tofugu.com/japanese-resources/textfugu/

    According to the author, this guide is MADE for self-learners. It supposedly addresses the problems that self-learners face.

    The first chapter is free (It's a nice little chunk for a demo) And from there you can decide if want to do monthly payments of $20 or pay one large sum of $120 once for lifetime. Yes, LIFETIME. As if that is even a choice, obviously the best deal would be the one-time payment(even the site notes this), unless you plan on falling out of your Japanese studies within 6 months. But if you're as serious about it as you think, then that shouldn't be a problem, right?

    From personal experience I would really reccommend it. I did the first free season and loved the casual tone. I was entertained by posts the author would refer to for learning. My only gripe is that the free season ends way too soon. 8P
  • SloanAkira

    Thank you for the article. It clears some up on the negatives. :D
  • Peacherine
    Hi! Let me second Tae Kim's grammar site. That is definitely the first, most easy to follow site I'd recommend. And read both the complete guide and the grammar guide sections! Sometimes the explanations are slightly different, or more information is given in one than the other.

    → http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar

    For a more advanced grammar learner (or maybe someone who's also knowledgeable about English grammar...) I'd also recommend Nihongo Resources. (Go to Learn, then grammar or lessons.) That site is like the ultimate wall of grammar knowledge you could ever hope to scale lol. It's a lot more strenuous to read through though, in my opinion, but essential to get different views and explanations of things. Plus, the site also has a dictionary feature, and a dictionary of onomatopoeia words! (Found under Search, s/fx)

    → http://redesign.nihongoresources.com/

    Besides those grammar sites, I heavily use White Rabbit Press kanji flashcards. I have all three sets. So far, I've learned the entire first set, and have very solid chunk done from the second. I also recognize several out of the third (I don't stick to learning them linearly)

    → http://shop.whiterabbitjapan.com/japanese-language/flashcards.html

    The kanji site I'd recommend using is Yoshida Institute's kanji section. It's grouped by JLPT level. It shows the stroke order animation, the English meaning, the more common pronunciations (so, only a few for each!), and some example vocabulary that use that kanji. I'd suggest pairing this site with your own learning method, such as keeping a kanji notebook, or putting them in Anki or something! There is also a sort of quiz generator on the site.

    → http://www.yosida.com/en/kanji.php?level=3&page=1

    I also just got the book "Colloquial Kansai Japanese" by DC Palter and Kaoru Slotsve" which is recommended on Nihongo Resource's site. As the title says, it presents different vocabulary and grammar people in the Kansai region use. I love the book! It's clear and pretty straightforward with silly drawings. I have some friends from Osaka, so it's useful for me.


    Hope that helps anyone! I'm also a big fan of learning from anime and music, but rather than learn solely from it, I try to pick out words or grammar I keep hearing, then look them up and learn more about them. And absolutely visit a Japanese bookstore/grocery store/anything if you're able! Get some kid's book or food packages or whatever else, and use those to practice too! : )
  • kemhide
    @mog86uk Thank you! I decided to try to do this video because I now there are some Japanese people who want to learn Polish. I can prepare more videos like that if somebody will be watch it :)