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Good free/cheap way to study Japanese

  Tags: Low budget | Japanese
 Language Learning Forum : Advice Center Post Reply
16 messages over 2 pages: 1 2  Next >>
Madman6510
Newbie
United States
Joined 3274 days ago

11 posts - 13 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: Japanese

 
 Message 1 of 16
01 August 2010 at 6:16am | IP Logged 
I'm interested in learning Japanese, but I'm having difficulty finding good material to
start with. Or, to put it another way, I know I want to start learning, but have no idea
how to get started.

I'm learning the kana now, but eventually I'm going to want to start working on
vocabulary and grammar, and eventually learn the important kanji.

So can anyone recommend any good learning material that I can get either online, or has a
good chance of being at the library?
1 person has voted this message useful



Emme
Triglot
Senior Member
Italy
Joined 3392 days ago

980 posts - 1593 votes 
Speaks: Italian*, English, German
Studies: Russian, Swedish, French

 
 Message 2 of 16
01 August 2010 at 2:39pm | IP Logged 
Welcome to the forum, Madman6510!

I don’t study Japanese so I don’t know what good resources are out there, but I know you can find a free 100-lesson course on the website of NHK (the Japanese national broadcaster).

http://www.nhk.or.jp/lesson/english/learn/story/index.html

From the website you can download a pdf textbook (with both kana and romaji as well as the English translation) and the mp3 audio files for each lesson. As I said, I can’t vouch for the quality of this course, but it may be something to start with until you find better materials, or someone more experienced can direct you towards them.

Good luck with your Japanese learning.

PS. Take out the blanks (if any) in the link above for it to work.

1 person has voted this message useful



Akalabeth
Groupie
Canada
Joined 3564 days ago

83 posts - 112 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Japanese

 
 Message 3 of 16
01 August 2010 at 4:10pm | IP Logged 
http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar is a good site for grammar. Also, if you go
to smart.fm there is the Core 2000 and Core 6000 series, which you can use to learn a lot
of vocab.
2 persons have voted this message useful



Madman6510
Newbie
United States
Joined 3274 days ago

11 posts - 13 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: Japanese

 
 Message 4 of 16
02 August 2010 at 5:50am | IP Logged 
I like the smart.fm site. Actually looks like a commercial program that someone would
buy... and learn well from.
1 person has voted this message useful



Samuelovich-kun
Newbie
United States
Joined 3339 days ago

2 posts - 2 votes
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 5 of 16
04 August 2010 at 4:53am | IP Logged 
Whoa all the info you guys have provided has helped me alot too! Thanks!
1 person has voted this message useful



Dragonsheep
Groupie
United States
Joined 3315 days ago

46 posts - 63 votes 
Studies: Tagalog, English*
Studies: Japanese, Latin

 
 Message 6 of 16
04 August 2010 at 7:33am | IP Logged 
When you do get started and are willing, don't be afraid to start (wisely) spending money. Realize what a monolithic and long-term project you are undertaking, and 100 well spent dollars on learning materils could shorten the time needed to learn the language by years. (I don't think learning any language at all is possible with 50ish well spent dollars.)

But, if you're still unsure, by all means freebe it. I'm still trying to freebe the second level of Assimil with the first (although I'll probably give in eventually.)''

On a side note, any tips to freebeing Assimil?

Oh, and welcome to the forum! I have no doubt this is the best general language forums on the internet. You're going to like it here.

Edited by Dragonsheep on 04 August 2010 at 7:35am

1 person has voted this message useful



Madman6510
Newbie
United States
Joined 3274 days ago

11 posts - 13 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: Japanese

 
 Message 7 of 16
04 August 2010 at 7:43am | IP Logged 
Well, I just ran into a quick 80 dollars or so, so I might spend a little on materials.

Do you have any recommendations on what to pick up?
1 person has voted this message useful



Lexii
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3267 days ago

162 posts - 194 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Japanese

 
 Message 8 of 16
08 August 2010 at 7:40pm | IP Logged 
I have been using a website called Read the Kanji (readthekanji.com, not to be confused with the very popular Review the Kanji) which has helped me tremendously with kanji/vocabulary recognition. Readthekanji is a flashcard-style vocabulary site. It is broken up into the (old) 4 JLPT levels. They haven't updated the level system yet to reflect the new 5-tier leveling but, for me, that's not a problem. The words are the same, it's just the categorizing that's out-dated.

Readthekanji shows you a vocabulary word and you must type in its pronunciation. For example, it might show you 日曜日 (Sunday). You are expected to type "nichiyoubi" in the answer box. You type in romaji (English letters/syllables) but the program will automatically convert it to the kana equivalent of what you typed. In the case I just used, I would see "にちようび" displayed in my answer box. This has the added benefit of reinforcing your kana.

You control how much information you see about the vocabulary word. You can choose to see JUST the word itself, or any combination of the word and it's meaning, an example sentence in English and an example sentence in Japanese (all kanji/kana, no romaji). You can choose those options on a universal or an as-needed basis. It's very flexible. For me, I choose to see the word all by itself with no hints. Very challenging!

One of the best features of Read the Kanji is that it utilizes spaced repetition and keeps track of your progress. The words you get right will show up with less and less frequency. The ones you get wrong will show up more often. You can determine the frequency with which new words are introduced to you. After 2 months of daily practice, my "correct" ratio for 525 4th-level words is just about 75%.

Just like these forums, Read the Kanji is free... to an extent. You may study the 4th-level words (and all the kana) free of charge for as long as you like. However, if you want to get the 3rd-, 2nd- and 1st-level words, you'll need to pay. Even then, the fee is extraordinarily reasonable -- the best rate is $20 for a year's access.

My only wish-list item for Read the Kanji would be to add audio. It would be wonderful to reinforce my listening/speaking skills! Heck, I'd even pay triple the fee for that feature!

Please note. I am in no way connected with Read the Kanji, financially or any other way. I gain absolutely nothing if you use it. I'm just a very satisfied customer and recommend the site highly. I hope this information is useful to you.


Edited by Lexii on 08 August 2010 at 7:42pm



2 persons have voted this message useful



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