Hi everyone! My name is Cassie! Welcome to my study log! Under the cut is my obligatory introduction about why I started learning Japanese!
You must be really bored if you’re reading this. You silly Durtle, you.
I started my dive into Japanese language fairly recently, in August 2020. My goal was to learn enough to get by during solo travel and eventually for work purposes. Unfortunately, my travel plans were waylaid by COVID-19 shutdowns, but now I’ll just know that much more when I’m finally there! As for work, I am a scientist and hope to do my postdoctoral studies in Japan! Since middle school (many, many dark years ago), my best friend and I have always dreamed of living abroad, and Japan just happens to be our shared top destination. She has visited many times and loves it very much. I, on the other hand, have not been able to travel internationally yet, but Japan is #1 on the list! The goal of my first visit is to see everything, eat everything, and figure out if I could actually picture myself living there for 2-3+ years.
I’m not very good with self-motivation, so I have a Japanese language teacher that I work with every week for an hour. I actually started using WaniKani in September 2019 at her recommendation. We follow the Genki lessons plans, but she often gives me more contextual knowledge about the topics and keeps me updated with current events going on in Japan. If you can afford it, I definitely recommend learning with a real teacher vs. self-learning.
Lastly, feel free to comment on here. Eventually I want the whole study log to be in Japanese, so if you notice I’ve typed something incorrectly or you have something cool to share, I’d love to hear it! Or, if you just want to say hi, that’s cool too!
4/9/2020: I believed that coronavirus quarantine time would help me boost my WK level faster, but instead I’m stuck in more meetings then ever before! . Anyway, currently I’m halfway through level 12 and halfway through Genki Level 4!
Past Progress Checks
1/21/2020: I finally made it to level 10 today! Double digits, yesssss. In light of that, I’ve decided to jump on the study log bandwagon.
Study hard everyone!!! 頑張って下さい!!!
Genki I Textbook and Workbook
My sensei uses Genki’s lesson structure, but tends to throw in a lot of extra things Genki doesn’t teach.
Japanese From Zero
Before I started working with my sensei, I used this textbook for self-learning. For absolute beginners who are only planning to self learn, I think Japanese From Zero is easier to understand than Genki and you learn pretty much the same stuff. The only difference is that Japanese From Zero has a weird half-english half-hiragana text set up that can be a little confusing, especially if you already know the kana.
Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese
So far, I am pretty new to using this guide, but many people find it very helpful. I find that if I need a clearer explanation of a certain topic, I can usually find it here.
Getting to Know Japanese Language and Culture YouTube Channel
So far, this channel has a series of eight lessons for beginner topics, such as how to introduce yourself, how to tell time, etc. Each lesson has a genuinely hilarious comedy skit at the beginning of the video. Check them out! Also, these videos are supported by The Japan Foundation, a Japanese institution dedicated to the sharing of Japanese culture and language with the world.
The Difference between は and が with Miku-sensei, Part 1 and Part 2
I am guilty of constantly messing up when to use は and when to use が. These two videos helped clear things up for me. Miku-sensei teaches you when to use the correct particle based on perspective. For beginner or intermediate Japanese speakers, I highly recommend these videos if you’re struggling with when to use what.
Wasabi’s Complete Guide to Japanese Grammar
So many example sentences. It’s great. They also compare and contrast situations where it seems certain particles may be interchangeable, but actually subtly change the meaning of the sentence.
Listening Comprehension : 聞き取り。
JapanesePod101’s Listening Comprehension for Absolute Beginners.
To be honest, it’s not really for absolute beginners because I’ve been studying for 5 months now and it’s still a little advanced for me. But if you’re around Lesson 6 in Genki, I think it’s about right!
If you’re anything like me, you’ll obsess over your handwriting until it’s perfect (Kanji is the ultimate struggle, people). Also, I really do recommend getting graph paper if you’re serious about improving your handwriting. It helped me so much. I’ll try to post some before and afters later.
Apart from being a dictionary, this is where I go to learn how to write new kanji. They have gifs and charts of the stroke orders.
Sasagami358’s Hiragana and Katakana Charts
These are my favorite ones. They show stroke order and there are grayed out versions if you prefer to print them out and trace before writing on your own.
Hiragana with Takumi-san
Katakana with Takumi-san
All of Takumi-san’s handwriting videos are excellent. His handwriting is beautiful and I find the videos really relaxing to watch.
He actually has multiple calligraphy ASMR videos. I’m so happy right now.