Hello everyone! It’s my first post here so it’s wonderful to meet everyone! I’ve been doing WaniKani for about a month and it’s helping me really get serious about learning Japanese. I all around love learning languages and between moving to Hawaii (where there is a HUGE Japanese population) and always being fascinated by the Japanese language/culture/media etc. I’m finally motivated to start my language learning journey.
I’ve been lurking on the forums and searching Google/YouTube/etc. to find different resources and there’s just SO MANY RESOURCES! How do you pick which ones to check out or stick with or even when you just have enough resources? It’s very overwhelming. I speak Spanish fluently but I learned that from high school and coming from an area where a large amount of people speak it, so I just learned by listening to it and speaking it. I didn’t really look for outside resources so, I’m not sure how to go about it.
My goals would just be to be able to conversationally fluent/be able to read. Like, if I can have a conversation with someone I meet around here or I can listen to the music and know what it’s saying/read signs around town, I’d be pretty happy. So, I do plan to practice all the different aspects of learning the language.
Currently I’m using WaniKani, Genki, and watching Tolkini Andy videos on YouTube to compliment Genki.
Any tips for me please? Thank you in advance for your time and help!
It is overwhelming! Some of it comes down to knowing how you learn - it can definitely help weed things out.
Example - I detest watching video explanations for anything that you don’t physically do (and frankly, don’t even enjoy watching videos for those unless I really can’t figure it out from a written/picture tutorial) - this has kept me out of a lot of the youtube resources for grammar (I do like some for listening practice). I could do it if it was the only option available, but it’s not, so I skip those.
After that, there’s definitely trial and error - in the end, I find it helpful to have a ‘main’ source for an area, and be aware that there are other options if I need more info - e.g. if you’re doing Genki, stick with it for grammar for a bit, but feel free to poke around other resources if Genki’s explanation doesn’t quite click. Obviously if your main source isn’t working for you (don’t enjoy it, constantly need other resources to understand, having trouble sticking with it), you might need to change your main resource for that area.
I am a notorious resource hopper - I pick up all kinds of resources, use them for a bit, and then stop. This is not particularly efficient and I do not really recommend it - but it’s really easy to go ‘ooh, shiny!’ - and if you do, it’s not the end of the world - most resources cover the beginner stuff well enough to get you started. You might get more picky as you get more proficient (but there are also fewer resources for advanced learners, so there’s less to sift through).
Some grammar book or app is your mandatory companion!
I REALLY like printed material (so I can underline certain sections or strikethrough others), then I would recommend Minna No Nihongo series (perfect for self-learners).
And don’t be afraid to start reading the most easy things like children books or manga (many people from this forum will help you choosing the right one)… That’s the key to master any language: Exposure. Consume content as if there’s no tomorrow. It doesn’t matter if you start with a few lines or just 5 minutes… Once you make a habit, the progress will be enormous.
I highly recommend https://bunpro.jp/ to go with your grammar studies. The site works very well when combined with Genki/Tokini Andy, and any other grammar studies you will do in the future. I’ve been on and off MANY resources for years, Bunpro was the first that made grammar stick for me.
I feel this in my soul!
This is my biggest problen at the moment! Everything looks so exciting! Thank you for the advice though! I think that will really help me at least have a much smaller pool of exciting new things to look at.
we in similar boats. I’ve mainly been using WK and bunPro, and I love both of them. a not with bunpro though - don’t get overzealous with the lessons, it won’t limit you like WK does. If youre not careful you can dig yourself in a hole and not be able to remember anything XD
I started a trial recently, and BunPro makes me realize I know less than what I thought I did once it came to doing the study portions. Good stuff.
If you do try this out OP, I don’t suggest just slamming “I know this!” even on the basic things. IMO it’s good to take it the WK route and start from the bottom because the examples all build up from each other, and they explain lots of nuances you might not have known from textbooks.