日本語の勉強のために – Introduction

I have been wanting write a couple of blog posts about how to study Japanese, and what I have done so far in my Japanese studying. Last semester I finished the third year Japanese courses at my university, but I have actually only been studying Japanese for about 1.5 years myself. (I have fiddled around with 日本語 for the past 4 years, but nothing serious until I decided to make a commitment about 1.5 years ago.) My Japanese is by all means not particularly amazing nor especially great, but hopefully there can be some tips and tricks people who are new to the language can pick up and use for themselves to actually get started.

There are already tons of good resources for Japanese which can explain the technical side of the language itself better than I can, so instead I will try to collect the resources I have been using and write a little bit about what methods worked for me so far and what didn’t work at all. I can not tell you how many times I have gotten the question “Oh, so you know Japanese?” or “Oh, you speak Japanese?”. Anyone who fiddle around with Japanese know that this is not a black/white thing, and just how much or how little I “know Japanese” is extremely hard to explain to people who have not had any experience with Japanese (or another language very far from your mother tongue). Obviously, the things I write here are merely my own opinions, and feel free to disagree with me, but personally I don’t think Japanese is the sort of thing where you wake up one day and you feel like you “know” it and you are done.  so this is very much a work in progress. (This fits me perfectly, because I am very much a 90% kind of girl – once I get decent enough at something I tend to lose interest and move on. Good thing I will never reach 90% in Japanese, there will always be new things to learn, this will keep me interested and occupied for life! )

In any case, I realized that that I am sitting here with a lot of good resources and experiences, and why not share them with the world? Maybe it can help someone somewhere. (And there are probably awesome resources out there that I have not heard about myself, so feel free to share!) I know that when I started learning Japanese, I felt very overwhelmed, I did not know what resources were good  and reliable, and what was just a waste of my time. So, I will type up a couple of posts, and these are the topics have come up with so far:

  • Method and how to get started, general tips and ticks in order for you to incorporate Japanese language learning in your everyday life
  • Books – a variety of books textbooks I have used to learn Japanese, and what was good and bad about them
  • Online resources and webpages
  • iPhone apps (and dictionaries)
  • Nintendo DS games and resources
  • Breaking in to real Japanese literature, a collection of books and where to start if you want to start reading real Japanese.
  • How to combine drinking and Japanese studies (a little collection of great karaoke songs)

If you can think of any other topics which would be fun or useful to read about, feel free to make a suggestion! (I love suggestions!) I made a new category called “Language learning” here on the blog where you will find all the posts related to learning Japanese. Learning Japanese is a lot of fun, and I actually do not think Japanese is that hard. (In my opinion Japanese is super-logical and very structured.) However, it takes a lot of TIME! And it requires a lot of effort. Quite a few people might disagree with me on this. I know it is a popular take on language these days to just have fun and watch a couple of movies and the language will basically learn itself. I am not saying you will not learn a lot from watching cartoons, but in the end, I truly believe that you can not become proficient in a language like Japanese unless you actually buckle down and study.

So, brace yourselves! More posts about Japanese language learning will be coming soon!

 

related posts:

  1. Tiffany says:

    I whole-heartedly agree about Japanese being an extremely logical language, I think it’s what I love most about it.

    I’m looking forward to your posts!

    • Sushi Bird says:

      At least it is pretty logical on the lower levels – I am trying to study for the N2, and I feel all the mean grammar sneaking up on me 😉

  2. Maria says:

    Gleder meg! Har gått på et japansk-kurs før og kan et par setninger, men vil gjerne lære mer 🙂

    • Sushi Bird says:

      Hurra! Det er alltid vanskelig å finne ut hva man skal skrive, men jeg har et par innlegg på notatblokken, jeg må bare finpusse dem litt og få dem postet.

  3. Your outlook is bang on! Learning a language is a journey and you have to enjoy the ride. I would be interested to know if you have taken a look at the resources on LingQ (www.LingQ.com)? I think they would be perfect for someone at your level and the system will track your vocabulary level. It would be great if you would review LingQ for your readers. Keep up the hard work on your Japanese!

    • Sushi Bird says:

      How funny that you should comment, I was just watching Steve’s videos on youtube and signed up for an account on lingQ. I look forward to testing it out, it seems promising. The concept behind the site seems spot on – but it is not the easiest site to navigate. I have to check it out a bit more and see if I can get used to it.

  4. Monique says:

    Oooh, I am very much looking forward to this series; even though I stopped studying aeons ago, it’s still fascinating. 🙂

  5. Gitte says:

    Japansk er en del av hverdagen min selv om jeg ikke studerer språket. Grunnen er at jeg går på karate, og mange av kata-ene (mønsterene) og kampteknikkene har japanske navn. I tillegg er åpningshilsningen på japansk – jeg føler meg alltid litt utilpass når jeg skal forelle alle i salen om å sitte, lukke øyene, åpne øynene, bukke fremover, bukke for shihan og bukke for alle – alt på japansk. Når vi konkurrerer, deler dommerne ut poeng og advarsler på japansk.

    Jeg ser frem til disse språkinnleggene! : )

    • Sushi Bird says:

      Så morsomt! Jeg har jo sett at du driver med karate, og jeg har liksom aldri lagt sammen to pluss to… For å være ærlig er jeg fryktelig lite inne i en del av den japanske kulturen som jeg sikkert burde kunnet mye mer om – som f.eks. karate og judo. Jeg synes det er skikkelig tøft at du holder på med dette, og i forhold til resultatlisten din virker det som om du gjør det skikkelig bra også!

  6. Ray says:

    Hi SushiBird,
    I just wanted to point out the the link to the FSI course above no longer works. That sites has been down since the first of the year. The material has been put back up on:

    http://www.livelingua.com/fsi-language-courses.php

    I hope this helps.