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Beginner in Japanese learning. Need help!

jouralto

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Hello. I have just joined this forum, and was wondering if I could get any help on beginning to learn the Japanese language. I appreciate any and all help!
 

Erik

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jouralto said:
Hello. I have just joined this forum, and was wondering if I could get any help on beginning to learn the Japanese language. I appreciate any and all help!

In my opinion, I found hiragana was a good place to start ... Here's a nice site to help you with the characters....

http://www.kanachart.com/
 

cheapshot

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my tip is to get your hands on a good textbook from the get go. I used the "Japanese for Busy People" series. there are also lots of resources on the web. my favourite place to study is here and on the animelyrics.com forum...
 

Erik

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yorkii said:
my tip is to get your hands on a good textbook from the get go. I used the "Japanese for Busy People" series. there are also lots of resources on the web. my favourite place to study is here and on the animelyrics.com forum...


Those Busy People books are outrageously priced. They are nice books, but since he's a beginner, he needs to first decide if he's willing to fork out a lot of money for books or use free resources like those found on the web. I own 3 of those books myself, but I'm not sure I would say that's the best way to start.
 

jouralto

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Okay, so surf the web and get a textbook ASAP. I think I get it. Yeah, I've heard about the Japanese for Busy People series, and those are a little bit overpriced for me at the time.... so I'll just check out the 'net for awhile. I do, however, have a Japanese/English/Japanese Dictionary....
 

Supervin

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Depends on what you want to do with Japanese really - e.g. to understand songs, anime, for business trips, traveling or speaking to people, and so on. I would recommend different texts for different people.

About JFBP, it is actually quite reasonably priced in the States compared to elsewhere if you know where to look. You could try college textbook shops or second-hand bookstores. But first browse through the first book of the series and see what you think of it before buying.
 

jouralto

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Yeah, that would be a good idea. I'd mostly like to learn it for songs and anime (not to mention the fact that I can rub it in my friends faces!!).

The only problem I find on the internet is that even if I do find a good website, they never explain what anything means! I think I have a fair grasp of the characters, and so I just need to find out what anything means!!
 

Buntaro

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Jouralto-san!

What would you like to say? Give us an English sentence, and we will give you the Japanese sentence.
 

jouralto

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Well, you see, I don't really just want you to simply translate (although there are some things I'd like to know...) I want to actually LEARN the language!
 

KrazyKat

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jouralto said:
and those are a little bit overpriced for me at the time....

I think it is important for anyone considering learning a language to properly understand the huge financial cost and cost of time that will be required to attain any real level of ability. (textbooks and other books, lessons, flights to japan and many years of serious study) If someone is really serious about learning a language then its not really worth worrying about the price of your first textbook, it'll be just a small drop in the puddle. Of course lots of people just want to play around, learn a few phrases, Kanji and some basic grammar and are happy not aiming at fluency, this is fine too. 👍

This post isn't aimed directly at anyone in particular, but at what seems to be a general attitude around people taking up a new language, especially me. 😊
 

Erik

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I agree with you when you say that it will cost time and money but the original poster wasn't very clear about how committed he or she was. Most people who say that they would like to learn usually just want to get their feet wet before making a big splash. I figured web resources are best to start with. I think books are a good way to go also. My replies were not meant to be shooting down the replies of others. If you felt that way, sorry for any misunderstanding. :) All the advice given so far can be of use!
 

jouralto

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Well, I'm really commited, so I don't think cost is going to be too big of an issue. I'll check out the web first, though, and see waht I can determine from that. Afterwards, I'll see if I still want to invest time/money into it. (I probably will anyways) So, thank you for all your help!
 

nice gaijin

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I highly recommend learning materials published by Japan Times. The Genki books and accompanying workbooks are very good and should keep you busy for a while (I and II equated to four college semesters of basic Japanese); my only gripe with them is a reduced emphasis on kanji (for which I recommend checking out the Basic Kanji Books by Bonjinsha)

Expect to pay a premium, up to $30-40 per book and about $20-25 for workbooks, but they are worth it. You can order them online, or get them from Kinokuniya (there's one in SF, if you're in the area).
 

Glenn

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jouralto said:
Well, you see, I don't really just want you to simply translate (although there are some things I'd like to know...) I want to actually LEARN the language!

Oh how refreshing it is to actually see someone say that.
 

KrazyKat

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Erik said:
I agree with you when you say that it will cost time and money but the original poster wasn't very clear about how committed he or she was. Most people who say that they would like to learn usually just want to get their feet wet before making a big splash. I figured web resources are best to start with. I think books are a good way to go also. My replies were not meant to be shooting down the replies of others. If you felt that way, sorry for any misunderstanding. :) All the advice given so far can be of use!

Actually I agree with what you have been saying. :) My post wasn't in reaction to yours but just a friendly warning to beginers that you have to be actually commited to be commited, but that its fine if you are not, and just want a few sentences to show off with at anime club.
 

jouralto

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The only problem I might be having with getting textbooks/workbooks is the fact that I don't get any cash! EVER! My mom gives me, like, $5 for lunch for a week, so I guess if I saved that and starved at school, I could affrod one pretty soon.....
 

cheapshot

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jouralto said:
The only problem I might be having with getting textbooks/workbooks is the fact that I don't get any cash! EVER! My mom gives me, like, $5 for lunch for a week, so I guess if I saved that and starved at school, I could affrod one pretty soon.....

now THATS dedication. good luck with the starving :p
 

Elizabeth

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jouralto said:
The only problem I might be having with getting textbooks/workbooks is the fact that I don't get any cash! EVER! My mom gives me, like, $5 for lunch for a week, so I guess if I saved that and starved at school, I could affrod one pretty soon.....
If you haven't checked your local library lately, a school or nearby public one, they will probably either have or be able to order enough to get you started. From that point, just stick around here long enough with a high enough interest level and someone will give in and send one out free of charge I'm sure....:p😊
 

jouralto

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Well, free of the fee, eh? lol j/k Yeah, the "no food at lunch" thing just got a whole lot easier, 'cause now I get free lunch at school. Though I hate to disobey my mom..... I can still ask for cash...... But that's kinda sneaky and underhanded, huh? Maybe I should just ask for an allowance instead of lunch money.
 

jouralto

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Well., I believe I've officially mastered the Hiragana chart, but I'm still seeing a lot of unrecognizeable characters (I'm guessing Kanji?) Well, I guess I should start studying some vocab..... What would you guys say is the easiest place to start?
 

KrazyKat

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I wouldn't recommend just 'studying vocab'. If you haven't got a textbook start working on the lessons on an online guide (there are hundreds out there) and learn the vocab as you go along. But I would make sure to write your voacb list in hiragana, that way you can acomplish two goals at once.

Have you tried asking your parents to buy you a textbook? Mine were always more willing to give money when it was something educational.
 

jouralto

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Yeah, you might have a good point there. Unfortunately, my mom doesn't seem too keen on me studying Japanese for some reason. :eek: I don't really get it, but maybe it's because I'm in the middle of learning Spanish? I don't know.

All I know is, thanks to my *suffering* at lunch, I have already saved up $25, and so, I have acheived a goal. Now I just need to get to the bookstore somehow(closest one is 5 miles away).....

As far as the lessons go, I think I have a pretty good grasp on the basic layout of the grammer, but I probably should study up a bit more before I get into the VOCAB. (size increased for emphasis) Maybe I'll wait a while and get a book first. That would most likely be the best thing to do, correct?
 

KrazyKat

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I think you missed my point. Just finding a big long list of words on say 'family' or 'home' and learning each one isn't the most effective way to do things. I'm not saying learn grammar, not vocabulary. I'm saying do both at the same time. You are much more likely to remember a word if you see it in context, and the best place to do that is from example sentences expalining a piece of grammar. As you work through grammar exercises you should be making a list of the words you don't know, and then after a while work on the words on that list.

You have a basic idea of the grammar? Thats good, but you'll find that grammar goes on forever. Look at the big long list of things you can do with verbs on timwerx.net. By the time you've worked through all of those you would already have a fairly good vocabulary, without 'studying vocab'. Not that i'm necessarily saying you have to use that site.
 

jouralto

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Yeah, OK, I get it. BIG misunderstanding on my part. Sorry. I think I get what you're saying now. That actually sounds like a really good idea! 😄 Now I'm getting all riled up. Sorry, but I got to go back to work!
 
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