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gurenokingyo

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Hello! I've taken upon myself the quest to learn Japanese, no matter how long it takes. I want to learn the language so that I can visit Japan by myself, read manga and watch anime with Japanese subtitles. I've been learning the Kana for the past few days in preparation to start studying with Genki 1 2nd Edition, but I think that I should really set up a schedule so that I can learn more efficiently. Now, I know that schedules are personal and should be made by the person using them, but I'd really appreciate some pointers, like learning resources and threads I could bookmark to help me on my self-study journey! Specifically on the Kana, for now, but I would also appreciate general self-study tips.

Also, alongside the Genki, I got a volume of Shin Chan for me to read, since I thought that it would be a reasonable goal to set for when I finished with Genki I... was that a reasonable goal to set? Or did I get too ambitious?

Anyway, thank you for your answers beforehand! I wish you all a good day!
 

Majestic

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I've never used Genki, but everyone speaks highly of it, so I think you are off to a good start. How are the sections structured in Genki? Can you do a section a week with no problem? I think setting weekly goals is a good thing. you should be able to memorize the 46 hiragana in a week. Most study guides recommend learning hiragana first. Learn them in the order that Japanese learn them: first the A row, then the KA row, then the SA row, etc...
Once you have the hiragana down, you should move on to the katakana. With these two systems under your belt, you will go a very long way. And remember each kana only has one sound (with a few very notable exceptions), so its not like you have to memorize the gazillion possible pronunciations of the letter "e". In Japanese, か is always KA. And likewise, the hiragana カ is always KA. So you only have forty-six pronunciations to learn, and each comes with its own symbol. In English, you would probably hit 46 possible pronunciations before you even reach the letter "d".

Get the hiragana and katakana locked down before moving on to any kanji. I mean, most people probably skip ahead and can memorize the numbers and things like days of the week pretty quickly, which is normal. But make sure you are pretty solid with the kana first before you start trying to rack up a high count of memorized kanji.

One reason for memorizing kana is that it helps you leave alphabetic pronunciation behind. When you rely on the alphabet (roman/latin alphabet) your pronunciation suffers as you tend to pronounce Japanese things as they look spelled out in English, rather than Japanese. (think of how many people mispronounce Sake as "socky", instead of サケ as it should be pronounced, or サムライ versus the common North American pronunciation which sounds like samarai).
 

salyavin

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Or even toe key yo key you toe lol We also have trouble with vowel lengths. tempuuuraa fuuuuuton lol kana should help a lot with that as majestic says.
 

gurenokingyo

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Aha! Thank you both for your replies!

Regarding how Genki is structured, each lesson is split as follows:
  1. Dialogue
  2. Vocabulary
  3. Grammar
  4. Practice
It's quite a lot of content for a day, so I think that I'll stop at Vocab, then make flash cards so that I remember the new words and review them until they stick, then move on to Grammar and Practice.

Should my weekly goals also include other resources, like furigana manga or games? I really like visual novels, but I'm not sure I should be aiming for that this early in the game.
 

Majestic

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I wouldn't try to pack your studies with alternative learning tools like manga or games. The temptation to get distracted by these things is too great. Just concentrate on memorizing hiragana and katakana, and then progressing like it says in Genki.
 

Psea206

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If you can find a flash card tool that helps you with the kana, and later kanji, I think those are worthwhile supplements. Being able to fluidly read kana is a big help to every other step later.

I agree that adding too many other things that don’t align well with the structure of kinky, may simply slow you down.
 

akmatsu

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I used Minna no Nighongo.
And it is similarly structured to Genki.
My pace was a lesson a week (using 1.5 hr. class with a volunteer sensei) and exercises on my own during the rest of the week.
I feel like you can see how the book is designed to have some natural stopping points. But if you reach one and feel it was easy keep going.

All the best in your journey!
 

seaDonkey

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My first exposure to learning the kana came from Tofugu.com. I had a fun time developing memory tricks to learn and this is why I eventualy decided to learn japanese. I am an ace now after studying hard so good luck and have fun finding your way.

I am also armed with a copy of Genki! and stuggled to progress. Genki! is dense and a work of genius for learning Japanese. I think is is absolutely perfect because of the steep learning curve and emphasis on teaching proper and useful sentences. I have devised a workflow that allows me to progress which I will name the tools I have found useful. My tools are Anki flashcards for Window$ and Ankiroid for Android. Also the Genki Vocab app which has audio too. My workflow is copying the Genki vocab flashcards into Anki. Quite simple. This exposes me to the written and spoken language while also making me write Japanese using Windows IME (by adding japanese as a language). For android I use the Godan input. For relaxation after sudying I read the textbook and test myself using Ankiroid :).

Tools ( so far): Genki!, Genki Vocab app, Anki, Ankiroid.

Also check out the app Hiragana - Learn Japanese. It uses spaced repetition like Anki. It also has a write the kana function which is tricky but good fun. I hope these tools are useful.
 
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