Dialects

Had an interesting discussion yesterday in Japanese class about particles in Japan, which led to a discussion about how natural fluency develops from childhood, which led to talking about an English dialect. The main example was we say “I am going home”, not “I am going to home”. But Japanese will always have に in the sentence when you’re going somewhere specific, 「家に帰る」。 Then someone said that they’ve heard some people in the States and the UK say something like “I went hospital”, which brought up briefly the notion of English dialects. And then after class, I reminded myself that the Japanese I’m learning is “standard” Japanese, and there are… Read More

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Fluent Forever?

I don’t think there is any single app or website that can give you the full Japanese experience.  Japan Activator comes very close, and if you haven’t seen it, check it out. One of the new entries in the overcrowded “Learn a new language easily at home” category is Fluent Forever.  I have to say, its origin story sounds like a superhero origin. “A young opera singer, surrounded by productions in multiple languages, broke out of his unilingual prison, and developed a method to quickly learn any language.” It’s a variation on the flashcard theme. You start off by setting your familiarity level with the language. Then, you choose words to create… Read More

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The Paradox of Busuu

I registered Busuu for Japanese. That is, I paid money for it. It has a big claim in that it’s going to get you, not fluent in Japanese, but to a point where you can survive and speak some basic sentences if you are suddenly strapped into a parachute and dropped into Tokyo. And how does it do this? First of all, though, let me say that some languages in Busuu have placement tests. So if you have some experience already, it tests you, and then starts off at a higher level. Japanese doesn’t have this feature, so everyone starts off at lesson 1. I’m not too proud to admit… Read More

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Talking to Yourself (PG Rated)

I do love dancing to Caribbean music. There is one song that contains the lyrics If you can’t get a woman, take a manIt’s the only solutionTake a man Nothing wrong with that, but not my personal preference. But for Japanese studying, the lyrics would be If you can’t get a language partner, talk to yourselfIt’s the only solutionTalk to yourself Again, not my personal preference, but this time I am all for it. You can do language shadowing, or you can follow along with LingoDeer stories, but getting language practice this way is, well…better than nothing.

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So Many Choices: Grammar [Apps and Web Sites]

Web sites and apps, the painless way to study Japanese grammar. Ha, ha! Oh, I’m so funny. There is no painless way to study Japanese grammar. Just a lot of hard work and regular study. At some point, the pain lessens as you become more fluent in regular conversations. At least, that’s my theory. If it ever happens to me, I’ll let you know. This list isn’t by any means the full list of what’s out there. It contains entries I’ve had personal experience with. I roughly break these down into the following categories: Websites ImabiThis one is the full course meal. The owner of this site has a grand… Read More

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So Many Choices: Grammar [Books]

Japanese grammar. You start off studying it thinking, “Say, this isn’t too bad!” And then you get into て form, and adjective conjugations, and set grammar constructions, and then you listen to real Japanese people speaking outside of a classroom, and realise that you know nothing, John Snow. But, you have to learn some kind of rules, so when you go to speak, people can cheerfully smile at you and say 「日本語は上手ですね?」. Japanese people are very polite, you see. This entry is a bit long, so I am going to talk about apps that I use for grammar in a separate post. Books Holy cow, there are a lot of… Read More

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So Many Choices: Vocabulary

There are a lot of ways to learn Japanese vocabulary. This is one of the times where I think a mix of self-study methods is better. Textbooks I started learning my vocabulary the old-fashioned way. Took some Japanese courses, didn’t do a lot of my homework, and then stammered in class when 先生 asked me a question. I don’t recommend this as a great method, but still, you do retain some things. Genki I/II Sure, there are lots of other textbooks out there, but these give you a great start in studying Japanese. Sure, the situations and vocabulary are a bit skewed towards academia (do I really need to immediately… Read More

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お久しぶりですね?(2/?)

これは日常のブログ投稿だね?(笑) 人生はいつも忙しいからこのサイトを聞捨ている。悪い考えだと思う。 今年は日本語を学ぶのは本気な気持ちを集める。秋は日本へ行きたい。楽しい時と願う! それから今日の私の聞く事と話す事は将来より良くなければなりません。 よいいちにちを。

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