How should I go about learning Japanese?

Should I only do it on LingQ?

No you should also watch Japanese shows, listen to Japanese music, and read what interests you in Japanese if you’re into that kind of stuff. :slight_smile:

Four years ago I started off as a complete beginner with the first of the two levels of Assimil Japanese. I read through about 2 of those chapters a day and put a lot of words and phrases I thought would be useful on Memrise, and reviewed those on a daily basis. After about a month or two, I had mostly gone through about 3/4 of the book and Assimil got a bit boring for me, which is when I took on Lingq and stopped using flashcards bc there would simply be too many of them. If you’re complete beginner or you only know Japanese through anime, Lingq can be a bit of a hassle because it will feel like you’re lingqing every single word and an entire page of yellow can be overwhelming. So what I do is buy/cop a beginner book, read through most of it and review the vocabulary via flashcards/etc. then when you’ve developed the most basic vocabulary (especially important Japanese Particles like “ga”, “no”, and how to use them!!) go onto Lingq.

Are there any good resources for reading?

google + something your interested in in Japanese

Try Japanese Ammo on YouTube, there is a grammar series of around 50 videos, great explanations, with focus on informal and colloquial language.
I am currently doing that, plus Pimsleur (now finishing part 3), plus 80/20 Japanese (a good though a bit pricey ebook). I also have a japanesepod101 subscription, it’s a great intro source too. With a good background on characters (heisig my favorite also with Chinese), you’re good to go read anything intermediate (“news in slow japanese”, …)

My personal recommendation would be the following procedure. This is how I went about it. However I made a few experiments and wrong attempts in between. I will skip those and leave you with what has worked best and still works best for me. (I have studies for three years now)

  • First thing I did was learning one meaning for each of the common Kanji
    (Tool: Heisig, I invested 90 minutes a day, and learned 30 Kanji a day and reviewed the previous with Anki) This means one can finish all of the common 2200 Kanji within 3 months. If one does that that, you have the most difficult part of Japanese taken off the table. From now on every Kanji you see, no matter how complex it is, looks “familiar and friendly” to you, because you know at least one meaning.

  • Next, I got myself a basic overview of the language (sentence structure, basic vocabulary, grammar) by reading textbooks. I used Genki 1 and 2. I didn’t do the exercises, nor did I systematically review vocabulary. I did one chapter a week and it took me 6 months in total to go through everything. I think I overdid it a little here. Investing two or three months should be enough. The idea is to keep the learning curve steep.

  • Then I moved on to Lingq, which I still use. I started off with the beginner stories and lessons. Then I started to go into “Japanese Lingq” which is an advanced course from the Lingq library “real people, talking real stuff”. About 50 lessons. I read about 30 minutes a day, and listened an hour. After finishing the interesting stuff from the library I started using the import-function to read news and blogs. A good source is NHK. They have short articles. Many of them come with a video about the affair. So what I did was to read the article and then watched the video a couple of times, until I was able to catch up on the speed. NHKニュース 速報・最新情報 I also downloaded the NHK app for my phone. You can use it to listen to radio recordings of the day (several get uploaded a day, 5-60 minutes long. The topics are of course the same.

  • Because just reading on Lingq is a bit boring for me I now consume a lot of different media, parallel to using Lingq. The best source for me is Netflix. Even though I am not into Anime I can find a lot of content there. Jap. TV shows or dubbed American shows. The available content depends on the country you are currently at. However you should be able to find enough interesting material. Without subtitles, with Japanese subtitles, with English subtitles. Everything is useful and adds up to the time you spend with the language. Pick the option you feel the most comfortable with.

  • Recently I studied a bit of Grammar. I recommend the book “A Dicionary of basic Japanese Grammar”. 2 advanced volumes are available as well. I only read the example sentences for each Grammar point, I skip the explanations. I will take the JLPT2 in a month and wanna make sure I got all the Grammar mandatory. Having a bit of exposure background with Lingq I was able to finish both the first and second volume in one month each. (20 pages a day).

  • Sometimes a speak a bit with people either online or offline. I plan to do an extensive speaking period soon, to fully activate my knowledge of Japanese.

Good luck!
Tobi

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Steve K has a video, “How I went about learning Japanese.”

To supplement Tourban’s suggestion, I study using the NHK Easy website ( NEWS WEB EASY ). It features simplified news stories with the option to view hiragana alongside the Kanji words. You can also listen to a person read the article. Some words are color-coded, too. Super helpful!