Hello everyone, I'm new here. I just signed up after reading several threads over the past few days, and I think I'm gonna like it here. Pleased to meet you!
Now it's time for my question. I'm a 17-year-old senior in high school, and like many Japan-fans developed my fascination with the culture through anime/manga. But now, my friends and I are taking our interest seriously and have decided to learn Japanese language/culture and visit (or possibly live in) the country someday.
So, over the past few months I have acquired various resources and started my own "Japanese Learning" plan, and have already put it into action. However, after reading some of these threads, I want to post my plan here and have experienced Japanese learners review it to see if I'll actually benefit from it in the end.
Okay, I'll be as detailed as possible so it'll be easier for you to correct or suggest anything. Here goes! (It might be long...)
1.) Learn Hiragana & Katakana
- I have already learned this using Smart.fm - 世界最大無料英語学習コミュニティサイト
** I'll admit I still occasionally mix a few Katakana up **
- I use Nintendo DS games like "The Legend of Starfy 4", "AIUEO Study with Anpanman", and "Kumantanchi" daily to practice the H & K by reading them (even though I don't know the meaning of the words being used)
2.) Learn the First 500 Kanji
- Out of all the websites I've seen, Kanji alive: A free, web-based tool for learning to read and write Japanese kanji
is hands down one of the best kanji-learning websites in my opinion. It'll only take a few minutes of your time to click this link to see why it's so good, instead of me wasting time/space describing it here. Anyway, I'm using the "Basic Kanji 500 Textbook" on this website to learn the kanji (meaning, stroke order, ON/KUN reading, vocab) ** I focus mainly on the meaning/stroke order, the rest are "bonuses" for me right now **
- I try to do 10 kanji a week, and after about 40 kanji use Flashcard Machine - Create, Study and Share Online Flash Cards
to make flashcards to test/review with
- I am currently at 97 kanji, and moved on to the next set of kanji three days ago.
- Once I learn all 500 kanji, I'm going to read "Crazy for Kanji" (a book I got for X-mas) to rest my brain from all the studying while still getting an in-depth look at Japanese kanji
3.) Grammar Structure - Reading/Writing Sentences
- I know the basic *subject-object-verb* format, and basic particles like "ha", "ga", "ka", "no", and such. Other than that though, I'm clueless...
- The books I plan on using to learn Japanese grammar are "Japanese Demystified" and "Barron's Japanese Grammar 2nd Edition" (I also got these for X-mas)
- I also own a "Random House Japanese-English/English-Japanese Dictionary" <-- the one with the geisha on it
- When I become experienced enough, I'll use Lang-8 - Multi-lingual language learning and language exchange
to learn how to correctly type Japanese sentences/paragraphs from native speakers via forum posts
** I am currently unable to purchase anymore books **
4.) Speaking - Communication
- I know basic pronunciation rules such as how to say the vowels, consonants like "r", and the difference between "kite" and "kitte"
- I plan to use japanesepod101.com to learn how to speak basic Japanese
- Please suggest any other websites that I can use
** As of now, I have no way of contacting a native speaker to verbally communicate with **
Extra Japanese Helpers
I took Chinese 1-4 (they don't offer Japanese) during high school, but I only remember a few things from it
I watch KeyHoleTV on a daily basis
I own "The Japanese Have a Word for It" that discusses Japanese thought/culture (I haven't read it yet)
I'm learning how to make my own bento boxes!
That... was A LOT.
Anyway, if you had the patience to read all of that, please post your opinion. I honestly don't know how long it will take me to complete all of this, but I'm determined!
Thank you for your time!