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> Japanese, The language
ZiegTonanami
Posted: Aug 9 2011, 07:30 PM
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I was wondering if anyone knew of any good places to learn japanese or what would be most useful in learning japanese. It's always been a dream of mine to learn it, but I always hear mixed things. I trust my friends on the Megatokyo forums more than most about an opinion on it. If anyone knows of any good ones, can you please let me know? I just don't want to spend money on something like Rosetta Stone if it doesn't work or isn't very useful.
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I'm Unemployed
Posted: Aug 10 2011, 01:42 AM
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Hell yeah I'm the motherfuckin' princess.
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Take classes at your local adult educational center or community college. If you have the money, a private tutor. Things like Rosetta Stone can work for learning a language, from a concrete perspective, but unless you actually use the language frequently (chances are, you don't know many people that you can converse with in Japanese), you will most likely never progress very far. Classes and tutoring tend to provide a more stable, thorough foundation, imo, which stands up better to periods of disuse.

Also, be aware of the commitment needed to learn another language, especially one that doesn't share any common background with your own mother tongue. This isn't a "I'll take a couple years of classes and be golden!" thing. Fluency will take years of dedicated study.
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ZiegTonanami
Posted: Aug 10 2011, 10:19 AM
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Thanks. I'll see if the college I'm going to teaches it cause I have a ways to go before I graduate. Thanks for the advice!
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Marrowmeld
Posted: Aug 23 2011, 03:16 AM
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Classes in college are definitely a good idea. Rosetta Stone is a bad idea. It's a crap program. There are good/decent alternatives, though.

After you know a few words, find other people who speak Japanese and speak Japanese to them. This is the most important part, so don't push it off with "I don't know enough Japanese yet!" If you don't use it, you lose it. If you don't know anyone who speaks the language, try going to a Japanese restaurant. Just keep in mind that the restaurant may very well be staffed by Chinese and/or Koreans. If you're taking college classes, though, that right there is a source for people who can speak Japanese. Make the most of it.

If you can't take college classes, check out online stuff. Two that I would recommend:
1) japanesepod101.com (free up to a point)
2) www.erin.ne.jp/en/ (free)

For learning Kanji, lots of people seem to use Anki these days. Basically, Anki is a flashcard program for your computer. It's free, btw. If you wanna know more about how to use it, google is your friend.

Actually, google is your friend for this entire process. There's tons of resources out there, including tons of free stuff. Google! Google! Google!

My background: self-studied Japanese for about a year, then took a year in university, now work in Japan and continuing self-study
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sarkeizen
Posted: Nov 21 2012, 05:48 PM
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Like virtually any other language I know. I can read far, far, far better than I can speak - which is to say I really can't speak much. When I was learning I found the Japanese Graded Readers by ask useful as well as the "Read Real Japanese" books by Kodansha.

IMHO just like speaking requires context not just repetition (i.e. real conversations) reading requires seeing words in texts and fighting with some idiom that you've never seen before. Kodansha's books are nice that you can read contemporary texts and still "cheat" because you can always look at the English.

One example of how forcing yourself to read real Japanese helps. The Japanese restaurant across from my work recently changed it's signage. One of the words they used was: こだわり you can look this word up in a number of dictionaries and find it has a negative connotation. However it was clear that the context was supposed to be positive. Turns out relatively recently the term has been used to refer to an attention to detail or quality.

This post has been edited by sarkeizen on Nov 21 2012, 05:50 PM
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TheCoolCat
  Posted: Nov 16 2013, 02:58 PM
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I speak mostly fluent spanish, and what helped me was being immersed in the culture, maybe you should travel to asia for a few weeks?
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Fujioyoshi
Posted: Dec 12 2013, 09:11 AM
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The best thing to get enrolled in a language class. The easy way to learning a foreign language is to have people to talk with in the foreign language you are learning.
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wah
Posted: May 7 2014, 08:57 PM
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As someone who is almost fluent and lives in the country...

Yeah, see if your college teaches it (but given when this thread was started the guy may have already graduated, so this is advice to basically anyone) and study abroad. Living over here is the best option. Short of that, find practice partners are on Skype or something. Especially someone who wants to learn English, then the two of you can alternate between English and Japanese. Issue with that is, lots of Japanese folks are busy, so it's hard for them to make time to do stuff like that regularly, so you may have to "shop around" as it were.

Also, just read Japanese stuff. Websites, books, magazines. It's hard at first, but you'll get it after like... years.
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