Help with learning Japanese?

Something to realize is that it takes a long time to be able to fully understand a show or song or news article etc. You mentioned wanting to understand anime, I’ve studied Japanese for about 5 years, and the amount I understand what they are saying can vary from ~60-95% depending on what the show is talking about.

For example, if the show is talking about more normal every day things in a normal conversational way I’ll probably understand 95% but if I’m watching some action-adventure shounen show and they’re talking about spaceships or magic I’m not really going to understand a lot of it.

I’m sure it’s been mentioned earlier in this thread but I’d start with learning common grammar and phrases. I used Human Japanese, it might be too simple for you now since it’s for when you basically know nothing but it covers a lot, there’s a Human Japanese advanced too. Genki is good but imo it’s not always that interesting. You can also use where you write whatever you want and Japanese people will correct your grammar and you correct other peoples’ English.

The most important thing to know is that it doesn’t matter if you learn faster or slower than anyone else. It’s not a race. As long as you slowly learn more and enjoy it then you’ll be an expert in a few years.

Regardless, feel free to ask me if you have any questions. I love learning and teaching Japanese :slight_smile:


Yep, reading Tae Kim’s guide too

(and whoa, realizing that I know more than I gave myself credit for, hehe :slight_smile:)


I’m studying grammar atm with Tae Kim’s Guide and realizing I know more than I thought.

I just feel frustrated when I can’t understand (includes reading or listening, yah, but I understand reading more :slight_smile:) so suddenly I’m like ‘YAH IM STUPID’ and since I’m used to learning stuff quickly, a new language just feels, weird


Like, I haven’t felt this slow ever

edit: another problem is also constantly trying to avoid corrections, because people correcting me makes me nervous… I feel judged ii:(<

I get that last note. Getting corrected has always made me feel judged. I’m slowly trying to work on that cuz I need to be corrected so I can speak/ write properly. I don’t do it as often cuz it makes me anxious but from time to time I try to throw something into the Japanese Only forum.

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Eugh, I try to stay quiet and only try to understand

really doesn’t help at all tbh

I am also subscribed to Japanese and you can learn basic sentences quickly. The program has speaking, listening, grammar, customs, writing, reading, etc. It is a paid site, but you can try the first three lessons for free to see if you like it. I love it. It has pretty much everything you need, although the Kanji is limited. That’s why I am using WK, too.

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I can kinda see what you mean since you don’t want to feel like your time has gone to waste but honestly I wish people corrected me more. I’ve told my friends to correct me if they see me make a mistake but I think they’re afraid of hurting my feelings. I guess that’s why lang-8 is good, maybe I should start using it again…


lang-8 is dead. it’s hinative now

i made an account but idk what to say

I had Tandem briefly but I didn’t know what to say so I just deleted the app.

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big mood

would probably do the same

I just went to the site and it seems like everything is still there. Maybe after a conversation you have or a thought you have in your native language, think of a simplified way to say it in Japanese and write it. You can just write random sentences, doesn’t have to be a novel

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guess you just cant make accounts, i guess

I read some comments that are really helpful. I will just add my own feeling I developed with japanese that may help you as well.

So I’m a software developper but I dropout from college (did one year and a half). I was bored and just learned by myself how to do stuff, it took me around 6 months of full dedication working my ass off 10 hours a day 7/7 and three years later I was CTO of a very nice company.
And all that time I didn’t stress a bit cause learning software development is now “easy”. You have thousands of very well written books / online tutorial / very specialised communities.
With very minimal research you can find a schedule and know that if you have this, this and that skills you can go into the world and do whatever you want.

Then long story short got bored and decided to start learning japanese less than a year ago.

At start I was like you, did few research bought some books and made a plan like for my software programming suff. And boy oh boy. It’s nothing like it.

My own little theory came after I heard something from feminism which is a cause that talks a lot to me. It’s called the mental load (you can check out the feminism topics about that it’s very interesting). I love the concept and I think it describe very well how self studying can be so hard especially for japanese.

If like a lot of people we went to college to learn japanese we would only have to focus on the learning aspect. All the questions
I’m a doing it right ?
Can I be more efficient ?
Is this book any good ?
Am I wasting time reading this grammar point that I may never use or ear ?
Where can I find more practice exercises ?

You wouldn’t have to ask yourself those questions because the mental load of “getting there” and “how to get there” would be on your university and not on yourself. You pay a university because they know, it’s their job to get you from basic nooby to master of a topic.

When you self study… you have to do the study which is for japanese… a big deal. But you also have do do the “how to study” part and manage you mental load that’s always asking you those stressful question about what you are doing.

The main reason I’m slowly leaving my old way of learning new kanjis to Wanikani is because I now have a huge trust in their way of teaching me on how is a very effective way to learn said kanjis. Even if I have to go back 7 or 8 months behind where I actually am. It’s such a relief to not worry anymore about am I doing the right thing ?

But yeah I dream about a website that like Wanikani would promise me if I follow their way I will get there… I would sign for it right now.
I hope that’s what EtoEto will be :slight_smile:

In the mean time I think just relax. Keep doing what you are doing. Learn your grammar. Use whatever textbook you have. Use Bunpro and all the external ressources they provide.
Japanese from zero has a good reputation in terms of understanding and speaking japanese.
Personaly I prefer learning from JLPT books like somatome and kanzenmaster so I can link my books with bun pro all together.

I’m not there yet but I’m sure one day there will be a click like owwww ok it all make sense now.
It’s a freacking big wall we all climb step by step, kanji by kanji, grammar point by grammar point, conjugation form by conjugation form. One day we will see behind the wall, there will still be tons of work to achieve to have a good understanding of the language but at least we will see where we are going :slight_smile:

Hope this gave you some perspectives to think about.

Good luck !

And one step at a time it’s a marathon :slight_smile:


Learning grammar and how to conjugate words and their different forms helps to understand sentences a lot better.


Conjugation… I can get this! I just tended to believe that there’s only 4 ways to conjugate

I was wrong lol

Like the whole thing about different forms with verbs and adjectives and all that. I need to memorize it. For some reason it escapes my head a lot lol

I just downloaded this app called Japanese Conjugation City to help with verb conjugations. It’s set up to test knowledge of conjugations. It goes through all the different types using JLPT N5 verbs I believe. I read about it in a Tofugu article. I’m not sure if it is in the app store but it’s great if u can use it.

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ty for telling me about it

If you want to practice your verb or adjective conjugations you can use


thank you much much!

edit: really helps me yay

Wow thank you !

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