After living in Hokkaido Japan for the past 3 years, and knowing a lot of the language, I feel it is time for me to buckle down and get a serious handle on the language. Sure I can get around town, buy anything I want, ask for directions, and basically survive. But I want to become proficient in the language so I can communicate freely with others in Japanese. Luckily for me I have a good base, but I might have picked up some bad habits as well, that I will need to loose.
So the question stands, What is the Best way to Learn Japanese? I am not sure there is one answer to this question, but a multiple assortment of means that work well for some and not so well for others. So having said that, I will not claim that my method is the Best way to learn japanese, but rather the one that I am using at the moment, and this is subject to change over the course of my studies, as I come across new material.
Please feel free to share your methods in the comment section and by sharing ideas and techniques, we can put together a nice resource for others who are studying or want to study the Japanese language.
So now on to the methods that I am using at the moment.
I started off learning the written language first, I wanted to get the easier Hiragana and Katakana down before I tackled the very complex Kanji. The methods that I am using to study Hiragana and Katakana are a couple. First off the website Smart.Fm is excellent in my opinion to learn the Hiragana and Katakana, but the only complaint that I have is that the regulating of time that I can study sometimes is frustrating. For example, I am now on a 2 day wait before I can study further because the website regulates the speed that I learn.
When I am on the go, I have been using an Iphone application called iFlipr which works in almost the same fashion as Smart.Fm does. Right now I have basically mastered Hiragana and am about 95% on Katakana, then It will be on to the 1st Grade Kanji. Now when I say 1st grade Kanji, I mean exactly as it sounds, it is 80 Kanji characters that Elementary students here in Japan learn. The 88 number is a bit of a misnomer though since sometimes one Kanji character might have up to 4 different sounds, in which you have to learn them all.
To give you an example this Kanji Character
So actually you are having to learn 4 meanings, so is there really 80 Kanji in first grade, or just 80 characters??
Another reason that I have started to hit the books hard is because I would like to take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). The Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) has been offered by the Japan Foundation and Japan Educational Exchanges and Services (formerly Association of International Education, Japan) since 1984 as a reliable means of evaluating and certifying the Japanese proficiency of non-native speakers. At the beginning, there were approximately 7,000 examinees worldwide. In 2009, there were as many as 770,000 examinees around the globe, making JLPT the largest-scale Japanese-language test in the world.
There are 5 levels, with 5 being the easiest and it is given 2 times per year. The test consists of listening grammar, and vocabulary. So what is the best way to learn Japanese?? I’m not sure but maybe together we can figure it out.
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