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What studying aids do you use?

Forum Index » 一緒に勉強しましょう! [Let's study together!] »
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What studying aids do you use?

Member Since
21 Jul, 2012
Location
Sydney, Australia
Number of Posts
311

Just wondering what textbooks people are using, any websites they find useful (apart from tanoshiijapanese that is, haha), or any other applications / games that they would recommend for learning Japanese.

For me my main learning resource has been from the textbook Japanese for Busy People.  I've found this series of books to be fairly good in a class situation, its strong points are the group activities and listening tasks, which more comprehensive and challenging then the other textbooks I've used. The downside for it is that its grammar explanations aren't very good.  So if you are using this book, you need a good sensei (which fortunately I've had), or you need to use another textbook in conjuction with it.  The other thing it lacks is a strong kanji program.

The other textbook series that I've used extensively is Genki, An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese.  The grammar explanations are excellent, and it has a solid set of listening activities, vocabulary sections, and introduction to the basic kanji you will learn.  My feeling using it was that the group exercises were too controlled and didn't challenge the student as much as Japanese for Busy people did.

For Kanji, I've been learning from the Basic Kanji Book series (actually I'm  just starting the intermediate books in this series now).  Its very comprehensive in that you learn a lot of vocabulary, and the Kanji are grouped in a logical manner, making it easier to learn.  There are a lot of exercies for you to practice with too, that progressively get more and more challenging.

There is video series, Japanese Basic I and Japanese Basic II from the Japanese Foundation that I've watched too.  If you are just starting and am not enrolled in a class, give them a look up.  They are very good for a beginner, and while they are no substitute for learning in a class situation which is a lot more interactive, you get good explanations of the grammar expressions they use, and the skits involving Yan are quite amusing.

The new video series by the Japanese Foundation 「エリンが朝鮮 にほんごできます」Erin's Challenge - I can speak Japanese, you can access from the website http://www.erin.ne.jp/.  This series is a lot more difficult than the Japanese Basic I and II series, as the whole episode is in Japanese, with no english explanations.  So definitely not for a beginner self-learner.  If you are a self-learner, wait till you have a bit of experience before you start this series, as it can be quite daunting to be thrown in the deep end with no english explanations.  If you are learning in a class, or have a bit of experience, give it a try.  The website has a lot of interactive exercises, and the skits in the video are quite fun and challenging.

Actually there is a lot more resources, games, ipad apps that I've looked at.  I'll add them in a bit later.

#1 Posted by flint over 9 years ago
Member Since
12 Feb, 2013
Number of Posts
4

I'd add in some of the resources I use from the app stores for both android and itunes. I'll say I have tried lots of ways to learn Japanese without school and find these to be the most useful for people with busy schedules. I'll go by the order which I feel Japanese should be learned in.

To start off you should probably learn these pronunciations  あ(ah -- as in banana) い (ee -- as in eat) う(oo -- as in shoot) え(eh -- as in etymology or edison) お(o -- as in oh man or omen) ん (nn -- as in I'm gonna be shunned for trying to even pronounce this with one sound so I'll just say it depends on what precedes this letter. I'll just tell you there's like 5 sounds to this for now and you can google where those "five" sounds come from. If any program tells you to memorize more katakana than hiragana, just try not to hurt your head and stop after you finish the last set of 2nd pronunciations, which is after ひ び ぴ <--- the last one has a circle at the top right corner.

To start memorizing from hiragana and katakana go with "Anki"(itunes/androidwhich is availalble for both itunes and android for free last time I remember. Anki uses a flashcard memory retention method to try and drill those symbols into you until you memorize everything. If your memory retention is good you can put off learning that symbol/ kanji for a longer period. If you are "honestly" not so good, Anki will keep repeating that character into it's stuck in your head. There are premade flashcards available and you can make your own as well. I think going with the premade ones is good enough to start. 

Next, I have to pick would be "Kanji Study" for itunes. Initially the app is free and the vocab for JLPT4 is available as a preview to see if you like their program. You can buy the rest of the JLPT plans for $1.99 USD. I use this app for the study and drill modes on the app. What is good about this app? It's simple, fast, and it just works. You have to start learning kanji at some point. I mean people might recommend you try to get more vocabulary in your system but you try and learn kanji and that might be true, to an extent. After a while of just learning vocabulary you willl realize that without kanji, a lot of words sound the same and you'll just have to end up relearning them, understand their meaning again. I recommend this app because, with your ipod or iphone, this app is portable and you can just study whenever you have time. You will be amazed at how much time you can spend on this app. I've probably spent more time on this app than I have playing and replaying Dead Space and completing it or any facebook farming game for what not. Study the meaning of each word, try to remember at least one meaning be it the on-yomi or kun-yomi. If you ever forget one of the readings which will definitely happen you can at least know one method of calling this kanji out on your Japanese keypad/board and search for it or just know what word you're looking for. 

Here's a dictionary to help.  Imiwa? for itunes and Aedict for android . Aedict has an amazing kanji stroke recognition feature that is really nice when you don't know how to pronounce that word. Aedict offers a bunch of good examples to help you with grammar construction. I wouldn't say Imiwa? is the best or even comparable to Aedict but it is robust enough for me to not feel annoyed with the opening the app once in a while. 

Here you go, 3 apps to start learning. 

None of these are fun nor are they painfully boring. It's education! If you want fun go search up some MVs with kanji/romaji + English to take a break and you will see how much fun it is that you can actually read kanji and sing along :}  

 

 

 

#2 Posted by CuriousBee over 9 years ago
Member Since
26 Jan, 2013
Location
Oklahoma, USA
Number of Posts
6

nifty o.a well organized japanese language grammar information including particles, linguistical structure and verbial transition.

 

"a logical japanese grammar"

                                                                                                                                                                ゾイシテ

凌ぐ

#3 Posted by Zoycite over 9 years ago
Member Since
21 Jul, 2012
Location
Sydney, Australia
Number of Posts
311

^ Thanks for the suggestions

Another good app for iOS or Android is 書き取り漢字練習 (itunes/android). This app is great for practicing writing the kanji.  The only catch is you need a Japanese iTunes account to download it, and because the app is designed for native Japanese learners, there is no english interface or english translations.  But still, if you are looking for an additional app to help practice writing kanji, this is a good free one to go for.

#4 Posted by flint over 9 years ago
Member Since
29 Apr, 2013
Location
California, United States
Number of Posts
2

Hmm, well I have a lot of time on my hands so most of the time I look things up and find answers on different kinds of websites. Some of the websites include:

Linguanaut

Japanese Phrases

Omniglot

Other than that, I use Youtube a lot. I really like Puni Puni Japan though because they started from the very basics, and moved up. Their videos are really helpful and simple to understand. They even have their own website and stuff:

Puni Puni

If you don't mind the weirdly cute creatures and the sort of high pitched voices then it's really good. Sort of like watching a baby program, lol.

Oh! But one of the very first things I started learning Japanese from was this program I bought for my kindle.

It's called Human Japanese, and you can try it free if you get the lite version. If you want to full version it's like $10. That is, if you buy it for your kindle or as an app for your cell phone. I think you can also get it for your computer.

Human Japanese was probably the most helpful thing I ever bought because it talked about the basics, the culture, and all this good stuff that you need to know. Without that program, I probably wouldn't have gotten so far. You could probably use that program if you are even advanced at Japanese. They talk in detail and have words and phrases of a bunch of things and they even have practice tests and stuff.

I also have used Busuu and Byki but I don't really use those much anymore.

Hope this helped.

~Sabri-kittie

#5 Posted by Sabri-kittie over 9 years ago
Member Since
6 Jun, 2013
Location
London, England.
Number of Posts
2

I recommend JA Sensei on the android. Been using it for about 8 months and its got quite a nice collection of handy tools and options for increasing your grammar, reading, writing and pronounciation skills as well as stat tracking so you can see where you go wrong most often and so on.

I'm also currently using a combination of Pimsleurs Japanese, Rosetta Stone Japanese and Human Japanese which another poster before also mentioned. Watching a lot of drama's have also helped in some ways like getting used to different speakers styles and helping to point out some differences in the way japanese is used.

#6 Posted by noir83 over 9 years ago
Member Since
8 Jul, 2013
Location
Washburn
Number of Posts
8

I recently found a website with a lot of fun studying games called Digital Dialects.

My favorites are the alphabet and numbers games which are arguably more engaging than the games on this site. The vocabulary probably isn't as thorough though.

*Edit: Also Slime Forest Adventure, an rpg in which you attack enemies by translating kana.

Douzo yoroshiku onegaishimasu.

#7 Posted by Crystal6 over 9 years ago, last modified over 8 years ago
Member Since
30 Jul, 2013
Location
ニューヨーク
Number of Posts
8

I really enjoy using memrise, it's basically a completely online Anki.

It helps a lot to make decks (anki, memrise, w/e) with vocabulary from your favorite Japanese songs. You'd be surprised just how easy it is to learn when you're already in love with the Japanese lyrics.

And there was this Dictionary app called "Kotoba!" I think it has a new name now, though. Lol

Other than that, when I'm not paying attention in class, I usually drill myself on how to write kanji. lol priorities, right?

ねぇ〜今日は何処に行こうかな?

#8 Posted by Murasaki over 8 years ago
Member Since
8 Aug, 2013
Location
Indonesia
Number of Posts
12

I'm still a beginer,

Right now using rosetta stone program, and kaijin dictionary.

This web is randomly picking 

www.japanese-lesson.com

www.realkana.com

www.japanese.about.com

どぞ。。。見てくださいね。

#9 Posted by alundric over 8 years ago
Member Since
11 Jul, 2013
Location
Australia
Number of Posts
32

Here's a list of sites I use, from time to time:

- http://www.japandict.com/    

(You can follow them on fb, and you'll get the occaasional word-of-the-day, complete with Kanji, Romanji & Hiragana/Katakana)

- Japankuru, on fb

(Posts about tourist attractions in Japan, with comments in three languages: Japanese, English & Korean.)

- 日本零食! お菓子! Japanese Snacks, on fb

(My personal favourite~ regular posts showing uniquely Japanese snacks/desserts/sweets/drinks. Comments mostly in Kanji & Hana/Kana but you should be able to click 'See Translation' if you're really curious to know.)

- http://www.bitesizejapanese.com/

(Really quite useful! Provides short useful phrases you're likely to use when in Japan, and most come with an audio recording to help with pronounciation. However, I recommend getting exposure to multiple people saying the same word... i.e. Listen to that word/phrase being said by a number of Japanese people to get the general gist of how it is used in everyday life. I've found it is more helpful than relying on one website's pronounciations.....)

 

On that note, here are some links to help with listening to Japanese speakers:

- http://wwitv.com/tv_channels/b5172.htm (Seebit TV Online, general Japanese TV channel)

(I might not understand 99% of what they're saying but I still check it out to get used to real Japanese speech. As you learn more & more Japanese, the more you will understand what's going on! The shows are mixed so what you watch will be random...)

 

Need a break from studying? No need to worry! You can even pick up Japanese while watching anime, like "Chi's Sweet Home", about an adorable kitty~~ (Though I'm sure you probably already knew about the anime part :P). 104 episodes, Eng subtitles, 3 mins each~~

http://www.watchanimeon.com/anime/chis-sweet-home/page/4/

^I think this is a good technique for learning words by ear & becoming really familiar with how the Japanese use them. But not so much the Kanji/Hiragana/Katakana...

I've already mentioned in another thread:

- http://yuko-sensei.blogspot.com.au/  (a blog called Something About Japan)

(This is by a native Japanese teacher, who teaches Japanese to foreign buisness workers & athletes living in the Tokyo area. She posts from time to time, but this is an excellent way to learn *written* Japanese & how sentances are structured~~ plus, you get to learn about Japanese culture at the same time!)

And of course...

- http://www.tanoshiijapanese.com/home/

(I chose this site because it has a great, user-friendly dictionary, provides useful lessons, practice games & in particular, stroke order diagrams for each Kanji entry! Also, try out the Shiritori game in one of the forums~~ I'm having fun there improving my Japanese vocab. ^_^)

But the most important thing to remember is.......... have fun with learning this new language! Because from there, you will start going places before you know it~~ ;)

Someday, someday.. I will make it happen!  (ノ´ヮ´)ノ*:・゚✧

#10 Posted by Samantha over 8 years ago

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