New Language Project: Learning Japanese Language Resources

We’re getting ready to start a new year, so I’m excited to share my new language learning project with you! In 2018 I plan to learn Japanese. Today I want to detail my plan on how I am going to go about this.

Getting Started with the Japanese Language

Earlier this year, I decided that I wanted to learn Japanese. I started learning the alphabets and put together a quick introduction, but didn’t get much further.

Why?

Because when I started the Add1Challenge back in September, I had to commit to just one language and for me, at that time, that was Croatian.

But the Add1Challenge is now over, so I’m ready to get back to Japanese. Since I didn’t get far enough into my studies to remember anything beyond konnichiwa and genki deska, this means I need to start over completely. 

 

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Tackling the Japanese Writing Systems

My first step will be to resume studying Hiragana and Katakana. Before my break, I had only studied Hiragana and was far from mastering it. I could recognize the letters/characters in the context of my flashcard app, but this wasn’t so much the case in other contexts. A review is certainly in order, followed by a thorough study of Katakana.

Kanji I’ll study on an as-needs basis. I already know many characters (thanks to Chinese), so it really comes down to associated a new sound with them (and perhaps, even sometimes, meaning).

The Conversational Approach

Compared to my past projects, I’m going to learn Japanese differently. And differently for me means conversationally. My primary goal is to chat with native speakers, so my usual methods won’t really make sense in this context. I’m notoriously a book learner. And I also want to know everything… Why this? Why that? Where can I find an extremely detailed breakdown of this aspect of the language’s grammar? It’s going to be hard work for me to turn that desire off and focus on just what I need.

Of course, learning a lot of vocabulary will be important to me, but I’m going to try to ignore the technical stuff until it gets in my way. But I will try not to get buried in grammar I don’t yet need like I did with Russian.

The Resources I Plan to Use

To start, I plan on using Memrise to work on the writing systems and to pick up new vocabulary. It’s my go-to resource for every language because I can customize my own decks (I add new words to my private deck after lessons) and study pre-made flashcards. I always have it with me since it’s loaded on my phone, so I can study anytime, anyplace.

From there, I plan on using Lingualift as my first course book and Pimsleur as my first audio program.

Eventually, I’ll add Assimil into the mix for both its book and its audio as well as JapanesePod101. And once I’m ready for it, I’ll begin lessons on iTalki.

 

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To Sum Up

I have a few different resources I’m interested in trying out, but as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t like to work with more than 3-5 language learning resources at any given time. It gets overwhelming and I find I’m not able to make as much progress when I study this why. I plan to make regular videos on Instagram and Youtube – so be sure to follow me there.

In the meantime, if you have any tips for me as a new Japanese language learner or if you have any resource recommendations that you couldn’t have lived without, please let me know in the comments below.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Tips for Language Learning | Eurolinguiste



I'm a language lover, traveler and musician sharing my adventures and language learning tips over at Eurolinguiste. Join me on Facebook for daily language learning and travel tips!

  • dandiprat

    Good luck on Japanese. I haven’t studied that for 15 years, but I still remember a fair amount (at least the beginner stuff pretty well). The times I studied it were very different from now for language learners, but one piece of advice I would give is to try to integrate what you like about Japan into the study as soon as possible (I assume you’re doing it out of an interest in Japan), maybe with Lingq.

  • So when we go to Korea we also have to pop to Japan? 😉

  • hmweasley

    Good luck! I’m living in Japan right now and studying Japanese. I studied hiragana and katakana for ages before moving, and I didn’t really get good at them until I was actually living here.

    • Thank you! I am spending a lot of time on the writing systems, but I think it’s important for pronunciation. Hopefully, I won’t have to move to Japan, though I wouldn’t complain about getting to go! 😉

  • Marie Noëlle

    Oh great! I received a Hiragana/Katakana workbook for Christmas and I have a few Pimsleur lessons. I’m really curious about Japanese now. Let us know how those resources work for you.