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Where to start?


A0130
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Livemocha.com is pretty good and I've been hearing my friends raving about it.

http://www.livemocha.com/learn-japanese

There are a whole lot of other languages besides Japanese.

Take a look around the site and try it out!

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I'm not too keen on Livemocha, personally, but I know it does work for some people.

First thing you should do is learn hiragana and katakana. Those syllabaries are the absolute basics of Japanese language. You can find some free resources for that online (for example http://gahoh.marinebat.com/), but if you want a textbook, I highly recommend Remembering the Kana by James W. Heisig.

If you want to see some more recommendations and information about kana, I wrote an article about it some time ago, so I hope it's ok to shamelessly promote it here:

http://www.zujava.com/learning-japanese-how-to-learn-hiragana-and-katakana

After you know kana, you can do everything else :) I think this site http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/ is great for learning Japanese grammar, but I'd really recommend getting a textbook.

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That zujava article was very well-written and captures the essence of what it means to learn hiragana and katakana.

Getting a textbook would definitely be the best option and yes, it is a good idea to start with kana in order to get a basic idea of Japanese grammar and word order, before moving on to kanji.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have studied many languages and my MO was always the same, I started by browsing the net for free contents. After that I bought my stuff on Amazon and did self-study, but self-study can take you only up to a point. So it really depends on how far you want to take your studies.

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Personally, I recommend getting an actual study book. I recommend GENKI I by Eri Banno. It is a bit pricey, but it's a good book to use if you want to start studying Japanese seriously.

But if you don't want to get an actual book, you can try livemocha. This is also a good website to start:

http://www.sf.airnet.ne.jp/ts/japanese/

Good luck!  :tongue:

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Personally, I recommend getting an actual study book. I recommend GENKI I by Eri Banno. It is a bit pricey, but it's a good book to use if you want to start studying Japanese seriously.

But if you don't want to get an actual book, you can try livemocha. This is also a good website to start:

http://www.sf.airnet.ne.jp/ts/japanese/

Good luck!  :tongue:

I would also recommend this one. Also, there is a guy on YouTube who teaches Japanese while drinking. Haha. His name is namasensei, I believe. Really funny guy. Laugh while learning Japanese from him. ;)

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  • 2 months later...

I'd like to suggest something else. If you were to ask you how you learned your first language, how would you respond? If you were like me, you started speaking and building a vocabulary first. In fact, if you grew up in a bilingual home like me, you spoke in two different languages before you ever learned how to write in one. Now I know that this isn't for everyone but so far this is working alright for me with Japanese. I memorized the Hiragana syllabary first but now I find myself trying to read it having no idea what I am saying. So what I decided to do is go back to learning how to speak first, just practicing my Hiragana and Katakana for a while, then I will go back and learn how to turn my spoken words into text.

I definitely agree that you should learn Hiragana and Katakana early. I also think that you should focus on speaking first then learning how to write it down. I know that this won't work for everyone but so far I think that this is working best for me. Maybe give it a shot and tell us what you think!

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  • 1 month later...

My method was listening to a podcast. I listened to japanesepod101 and it kept me interested for about half a year then I shifted to studying in school so I can really practice speaking. Hope that helps.

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