I'm a Japanese n00b, preach to me

Fellow n00b here, thanks everyone for the resources and Papayaya for the topic :slight_smile:

I kind of like Duolingo, personally, but yeah, it’s still pretty rough. That and I don’t feel like it will last all that long compared to WK… I’m already like 1/3 of the way through and I’ve only been there a few weeks, not rushing. Memrise is cool, too, though their ads for the paid version are a lot more intrusive…

1 Like

Why though?

I kind of like the grammar, though I’m still not too far down the rabbit hole… then again, I kind of liked learning English grammar, so maybe it’s just a mindset thing?

Saying grammar isn’t “supposed” to be fun is a little strange. Grammar just is, and you can like it or hate it or just deal with it.

On Memrise, you might start with an N5 Vocab module. That’ll start you in on common vocab and start introducing common kanji, as well.

When I absolutely started learning, I picked up a book called Japanese From Zero. It starts with Romaji, but works you into hiragana. The guy who wrote the book is highly entertaining in his youtube videos. The book’s grammar and culture points are well presented, too. The series goes truly from Zero to quite advanced by book 4.

If you plan to work up to the JLPT, I like the ASK series of books starting with TRY! N5 (amazon has a ‘look inside!’ for it) but it’s likely well beyond you, right now.

Georgia Public Broadcasting has an older TV series called Irasshai. I can’t seem to access it from Japan, but friends of mine said it was still working a couple weeks ago. The 140-ish 26-minute episodes are the equivalent of three years of high school Japanese.

If you’ve already got the Genki textbook, then that’s a solid place to start, too.

Oh, practice writing… writing things by hand will rapidly add to your learning speed since it will add another path for your mind to remember things. While I know the world is becoming far more digital, the physicality of writing is still beneficial.

Welcome to WaniKani!

(PS - liberally use your likes (the little heart icon on other people’s posts) to show appreciation to the folks above me in the thread, they deserve it)


Saying grammar isn’t supposed to be fun is like saying a good spanking isn’t supposed to be fun :slight_smile:


Even too much of a good thing can be… well, then again… I guess it’s just more of a good thing. =)

1 Like

I think we all learn differently honestly… I’m on year 3 of Japanese (yes I am very slow). My first year was mostly spent learning about how I learn… it’s honestly hard work to self study but it also helps you realize your strengths and weaknesses better than anyone else. I tried out a ridiculous amount of resources (I have about 15 physical Japanese textbooks, 30 digital textbook and readers, 5 apps, a couple of websites… you get the picture) and through that I really came to discover that each resource does well in some things, and poorly at others.

If you want to slowly ween yourself into reading Japanese, the “Japanese from Zero” series does a pretty good job slowly introducing characters, but not so great a job at explaining things. If you want a book that does a good job at explaining the basics of Japanese but can kind of overwhelm you, I really am enjoying the Genki Japanese textbook series. If you want a fun/more practical look at Japanese grammar and phrases to add on your knowledge, “Japanese the Manga Way” is really great for visual learners.

I have been slowly updating a post on tumblr with my reviews on different resources as I finish them, including difficulty and what they’re useful for… I’m not sure about the forum’s “links” policy so I won’t post the link to it unless told how :stuck_out_tongue: but ya, I’m totally okay with lending it out. I still have a lot more resources to come on it.

As for stinking… I’ll be completely honest with you… the reason I STARTED learning Japanese was because way back when I was in high school, I tried to continue taking French into my second year (in Canada you are required to take French from gr 4-gr 9) but after that year was told to stop trying because I had no head for languages. I had originally chosen Japanese because it bugged me still years later that I had given up, so I thought if I could master such a hard language than any other language would seem easy. Since then it has grown into “Because I’ve really come to appreciate Japan and love the people in it” but all that to say, I understand what it’s like to be bad with languages… yeesh 3 years into this and I can just manage to hold a conversation for a few minutes.

I once read somewhere that as long as you try you can only grow. We focus so much on trying to get 100% that we miss the point of studying and learning. Even if you score 5/100 on a test, those are 5 facts you would have never known if you hadn’t tried. Be proud of that. You’re a better person for it.

I’ve really found that to be a huge encouragement through this.

Understand the culture -> learn the words -> grasp the grammar

It’s hard to suggest which to hit first because they are all so connected. The words tell you what to fit into the outline of grammar. The grammar tells you how to be understood easier, and communicate clearer. And the culture is the ever changing thing that allows you to understand how to think in Japanese and understand WHY you are saying things the way you are saying them. They are all important, an each one will help you with the other two.

Best of luck to you though! :smiley: We are all here trying to do our best! And I think as you learn you’ll find it surprising just how easy it is to get started. (You’d be surprised how far you can go with the classic “A は B です。” sentence structure) Japanese is amazingly simple in some ways, and ridiculously difficult in other ways. But it is definitely worth learning! The best advice will always be to NOT give up! :smiley: YOU CAN DO IT! がんばりましょう!


I think Genki + WK is a great way to build grammar, reading and vocab all at once. I find vocab much easier to learn now that I know the kanji for a lot of them beforehand–something that didn’t happen often in college for me and made learning so much harder. (It was all about using the words and memorizing the meanings without studying the kanji meanings, which gave very little frame of reference to which to link the vocab or the pronunciations and just…ughhhhh 0/10 do not recommend.)

Tae Kim is a great resource for helping to strengthen your vocabulary. I’ve found that on self-study, having multiple sources to learn grammar from is super helpful in making sure you understand what you’re learning.

I do agree that you should probably work on building vocab a bit before diving into grammar since it is SO helpful to have some words to use before you know…trying to make sentences. It might be worth going through a couple of WK levels, plus studying the vocab from the first few Genki chapters, and then hitting up the grammar. :slight_smile:

GOOD LUCK! You can do it as long as you keep at it. :+1:


THIS. So much this. I think this is the most important thing I’ve learned through my experiences in studying Japanese, and in cosplaying (even if it’s hard to remember some days). With cosplay, I look back on my prior projects and see all these flaws…but also see how much I’ve learned and improved with time. With Japanese, I feel a lot like I’m not getting anywhere some days, but then I take a while off, come back, and realize how much I’ve retained, or how far I’ve come since I started learning, and realize that I’m still better than I was before and I HAVE made progress. Even when I have the desire to focus on “oh I keep getting these one or two words wrong,” I try hard to make myself focus on how much I got RIGHT so I don’t get disheartened. It’s not failing as long as you’re improving even a little bit along the way!

It’s a really important life lesson I think, especially in a society where we spend way too much time focusing on the ULTIMATE GOAL and not the journey and small victories along the way. Like, yes, the overall war is important…but it’s the individual battles which decide the ultimate outcome! :smiley:


Oh my god. As someone who researches a lot of stuff to see whats out there, i knew about the irasshai books but i did not know they made a show. that is amazing. i wonder how terrible the acting is. Im totally gunna watch it, youre a gem for linking. :slight_smile:

Saw your page, you’re Korean? That’s mad awesome. Hangul beats Kanji any day. :slight_smile:

<3 Fellow n00b.

Sorry for the dumb question but what does N3 mean?

I already signed Up for Hellotalk, and I think I Might have done it a bit too Early, but many Japanese People also speak some English so I can Still learn a lot from Them. It’s also nice to read on the moments section, and try to see what they Say :slight_smile:

I absolutely recommend Hellotalk and Hinative though, really great sites to practice speaking and reading, Even if you are a noob :slight_smile:

1 Like

I think it’s still in beta so they’re working on it. The wa looking like ha doesn’t help, but I’m pretty sure it does say wa now because I didn’t know the rules and wondered why the ha sounded like a wa.

Hi, I’m new.

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.