Perfect! I guess I kind of assumed that I should learn a good amount of kanji vocabulary before grammar, but a little bit of everything seems to make more sense now that I’ve thought about it. I’ve been looking into Genki, but I’ll definitely check out Tae Kim as well. ありがとうございます!
Japanese lesson 1: It’s こんにちは! The は is a the particle は, which looks like ha, but which is pronounced wa.
I’ve solely been learning kanji on here. I’ve picked up vocabulary on and off for years. I started trying to learn hiragana and katakana from books - and I had some success… but the most success I had was after I kicked myself in gear and played Learn Japanese to Survive: Hiragana Battle and Katakana War. I played Hiragana Battle long before Katakana War was kickstarted, and learned katakana afterwards… but once they released Katakana War, I used it to solidify my knowledge.
They taught neat words and everything along the way - and if you’re in to games they’re about $10 each and pretty fun. They’re set as RPGs.
I also use things like:
My Language Exchange: https://www.mylanguageexchange.com/
I’ve met and made some great friends IRL because of this site. Sadly, it only works the best if someone is paying for their account. Thankfully it’s not very expensive, so if someone responds to your “hi” and you’re interested enough you can purchase a one month subscription so that you can send them a message and they can respond.
HelloTalk which is an app for your phone, is wonderful! You can look for people close to you, or just with the same interest in language exchange. It reminds me a bit of Facebook, just on a global scale.
HiNative works great if you’re looking to ask and answer questions. The more you answer and higher your rating, the more your questions are seen. Usually, you’ll get a response within a few minutes.
LINE is another great place, once you’ve made some friends. Most of the Japanese friends I’ve made love to use LINE. It’s a free app and it works just like any other messaging app. You can even download games to play with your LINE friends. There are stickers and what not as well.
Otherwise I watch Japanese dramas and comedies to try and pick out words and match them up with what I learned.
I’d be happy to talk with you, or look for sources to study Japanese with you! Since we’re both new (I just started two days ago!) it could be fun to have someone to exchange the learning experience with.
Thanks, good to know! I have only really studied the syllabary itself so haven’t learned much of characters’ context within sentences, so I’ll definitely get on that. Guess I’ll get started on that grammar ASAP!
Awesome, I’ll check out all of that! Thanks for your super thorough response, it’s really helpful!
I’ve heard really good things about HelloTalk, so I definitely want to get started on that in the near future when I’m more well-rounded in terms of vocabulary/grammar/everything. I’ll def check out the other ones you’ve mentioned as well to see what will be the best fit!
And yeah, I’d love that! Shoot me a message and we’ll chat about our experiences so far!
Thanks again! x
@aztears as soon as I can PM I will do that! Until then, if you have LINE or HelloTalk we can talk there:)
Our Wanikani forums here don’t have PM.
We are too cool for it.
Once you get into the swing of things, http://lang-8.com/ can be useful. Another way to communicate with native speakers, and to get practice.
Since you mentioned you recently learned hiragana, I figure you might not be aware that the “correct” spelling is こんにちは. You will see Japanese people use こんにちわ, but in the way we use “gonna” casually. Just an FYI, it’s not a huge deal.
Edit: oh it was already addressed. Don’t mind me.
This is a bit off topic, but speaking of こんにちは, the 今日は reading confused the heck out of me, as I invariably type きょうは almost by autopilot.
Who the heck writes こんにちは like that?!?!
It’s how you’d write it formally. In WK it wouldn’t make much sense for it to be きょう because then the は would be just the particle, and not part of the vocab, for basically no reason.
But they do look identical when used in real life.
Yeah, I don’t read much formal writing, so it’s just weird to me, and yeah, sometimes having no context just makes everything seem super unnatural.
Anyway, it is what it is, I suppose.
As others have said, I’d definitely recommend Genki I and Genki II for grammar (they’re only around $50 each, which is pretty good for a textbook), since they’ll give you all the fundamental grammar for Japanese. These two books teach everything from です (to be)/じゃない (not), to なきゃ (need to (casual))/なくちゃ (feel obliged to), to しまう (when something regretfully happens), なら (if; under the condition that…), 上げる (give to others) vs. くれる (receive) vs. もら う (get), 欲しい (want (a noun)), and て forms, which are probably one of the most important and fundamental grammatical concepts you’ll ever learn (seriously, you can do so much with them). Right now I’m around a 1/4 of the way through Genki II. The two books also come with CD’s for listening practice (which I don’t use a ton, tbh).
I should also point out that even if you do wind up using WaniKani, you should still learn the kanji in the back of the book. The two books together teach 317 kanji (145 in G. I and 172 in G. II). It teaches them as it pertains to your vocab.
Tae Kim’s Grammar Guide (he also has a website, as you probably already know) is more reference material than anything, since concepts aren’t thoroughly explained and there aren’t any exercises to reinforce grammar (and vocabulary seems kind of like an after thought). That being said, the points are still explained very concisely, and sometimes I’ll read a passage if I’m a bit muddy on something. I gave a quick look at the slang section, and already know that じゃない can be like ね, in that it seeks confirmation from the listener (exactly like “isn’t it?”). For memorizing vocabulary, I usually use Memrise (more specifically the Genki I + II courses).
Although I personally haven’t used it, the go to book after Genki II is Tobira.This book will teach you upper-intermediate grammar and 503 kanji.
Good luck on your journey to learn Japanese! It’s a long, bumpy road, but I’d say that learning Hiragana and Katakana is more than most people ever learn with the language, so that should be an achievement on its own. I wish you the best!
Totally miss read and without my contacts deleted instead of edited my post. I thought it was something that unlocked at a higher trust level! It could have been my misreading though.
Good to know though!
100% of Japanese people would read it as きょうは, unless it was within context. Even then, it would look a bit stilted.
Yeah, when we did the forum switch a couple months back it was decided to not have PM enabled at all.
Thanks so much! I think I’m definitely gonna grab a copy of Genki now, be it if I can find an online PDF or just the textbook itself. I’ll make sure to check out Memrise and Tobira once I get into Genki also! The journey has been exciting so far, but there’s of course a long ways to go. Your response has been super helpful so thank you again!
Do you have any messaging programs? I can help you with finding Genki
i added you on hellotalk! I’ll shoot you a message right now!