Guide to Self-Studying Japanese
A large proportion of Japanese learners self-study. Finding places to learn Japanese in a classroom environment can be difficult and expensive. Here’s a guide on how you can learn Japanese for free and from the comfort of your sofa.
When learning Japanese, the most important step is to learn Hiragana and Katakana, the writing alphabets of Japanese.
The best way I’ve found to do that is to make flashcards. Make sure you practice writing as well as recognizing them, this will not only be a great skill to have but will also reinforce the shapes in your mind.
[Hiragana 42], the best guide I’ve found to learn the Hiragana (in a day!)
[Hiranana and Katakana Quiz Site]
[Kana Invaders Game]
[Anki] An amazing program that will make sure you never forget any Vocabulary….
The next step is to start learning vocabulary. Where can you find what to learn? Use a site like Memrise to find word lists (for example, there is a word list for all the vocabulary in starter textbooks like Genki), and use the amazing interface to learn them and keep them in your long term memory.
While encountering vocabulary, you’re likely to be coming across super-complicated-looking Kanji. You can learn Kanji through Memrise as above, but there are some other websites that may be of interest.
[Kanji Damage] A great site where you can learn Kanji through Mnemonics.[WaniKani] by the same people ho make TextFugu (below) can help you learn Kanji from scratch.
[Anki] An amazing program that will make sure you never forget any Kanji….
The next step is to apply that new vocabulary to grammar points and start making sentences.
If you can’t get your hands on textbooks like Genki, don’t fear! There are a lot of great online grammar resources.
[TextFugu] a highly rated ‘online textbook’ which will guide you right from the beginning of learning Japanese.
[Guide to Japanese] another online textbook with a lot of grammar points and excellent explanations.
The Fun Parts: Using Japanese Online Media
So you probably have learnt Japanese because you have some interest in Japanese media. Time to start using it to your learning advantage!
Aside from the obvious watching Anime, J-dramas and films, why not try Reading Japanese News? Watching Japanese TV? Just make sure you are making these activities productive - note down new vocabulary, add them to Anki, and keep learning! It’s much easier to learn things you’re interested in. Try translating Japanese songs, etc.
The most important but difficult part of self-studying Japanese is getting your own compositions checked. Utilize all that grammar and vocabulary and write a short piece, it could be a diary entry or a short essay. Get it recorded for you by a native on RhinoSpike, and checked for grammar and consistencies on Lang-8.These sites also give you the chance to connect with Japanese natives, and perhaps start up some language exchanges!
For more resources, take a look at my Ultimate Resources List
Any more tips? Comment below!
This is a great starting point, and I seriously can’t stress enough how amazing Anki is. USE IT! There are sooo many decks for it out there already made, which makes it easy for busy people to always learn new things, since it’s all in the program for you.
I would say though, you don’t necessarily have to wait to do Kanji and grammar that late. Having an understanding of kanji can REALLY help when learning vocabulary. And grammar is something you can squeeze in anywhere by reading the multiple guides out there.
But for the kanji, I can’t stress how much doing Remembering the Kanji has helped me in my studies and boosting my confidence. It doesn’t teach you the readings, and it takes a lot of effort to get through it (for what seems like little to no ability to actually read Japanese) but it will teach you how to recognize the kanji, so that they aren’t just a bunch of random lines to you anymore, and actually make sense. And now that I’m doing Vocabulary after it (through an optimized Anki deck set up so that each word builds off the other, which is better than just studying random lists) I’m so glad I dd RtK. My eyes don’t just gloss over the kanji not understanding how they’re made up like they did before I started studying, I’m actually reading and remembering them. Even though I can’t read tons of Kanji yet, it feels like the biggest hurdle is over, which is a very good feeling since Kanji always seemed like this gigantic wall, but now I’m picking up the readings sooo fast.
the bridesmaid (to the waiter)
Girls are told to be skinny but not too skinny and to wear makeup but not so much that guys can tell and to dress in revealing clothes but not too revealing or else you’re a slut and a hundred other contradictory standards so I think guys can deal with being made fun of for wearing fedoras
reblogging for the last part because LOL