OK, I have a ton of questions and concerns rushing through my head at the moment and I have no clue where to start. Also, I have no clue if this is the right place to post this but it seems like the best place for me to post. With that said, if it’s not, forgive me.
So my end goal (in which I assume is the same as everyone else’s) is to be fluent in Japanese (rather it’s speaking, writing or reading). I want to be able to watch anime and not be so focused on trying to read the subtitles (I feel like I spend more time trying to catch up on reading subtitles then enjoying the anime as a whole.). I want to be able to read in Japanese, rather it’s social media, manga, personal conversations…etc. I want to be able to speak Japanese in case I ever get the money together to one day visit Japan. I always thought it would be fun to type all of my personal journals, notes, calendar information…etc. in Japanese so when people here in the United States try to sneak a peak at what I’m doing (Because us Americans are nosey) they can’t read it and get confused. Lol
I have always wanted to learn Japanese since I was a teenager but never tried because I didn’t think I was smart enough. Their is a lot of things that I never tried because of the old family moto “Be Realistic!” (sadly, I was not raised in a family environment where chasing your dreams was supported so their is a ton of things I wanted to do that I gave up on but that another conversation that I should probably be saving for a therapist or councilor that I should probably be seeing! lol Seriously though I’m a complete mess… )
Well, now that I’ve officially turned 31 (as of last Thursday) I’ve recently found myself motivated to begin learning Japanese, thanks to an Anime called “My Hero Academia” and I’m legitimately excited about moving forwards and finally achieving something that I have always wanted to do that I never thought I could do until now (OK, so maybe I’m not convinced with 100% certainty that I’m smart enough but let’s just go ahead and ignore that very loud voice inside my head! ). With that said, I need advise about how to go about doing that? It’s been 13 years since I’ve been to school and really haven’t attempted to learn anything in a long time so I want to go about learning Japanese the right way.
When I started this a week or 2 ago, I started with a Rosetta Stone trial, unsatisfied with how terrible it was (God… it was terrible) I did some research where I found Duolingo which is where I learned Hiragana and some Katakana (still memorizing Katakana through Duolingo). Then I came a crossed Tofugu.com which suggests to first learn Hiragana, katakana and then kanji before learning anything else (that is where they suggested WaniKani.com as a great place to learn Kanji). So after I was confident in my ability to read hiragana and most katakana, I came here where I have been since.
Basically, I just want to make sure that I am on the right track and going about learning it properly and I don’t want to spend 2 years learning Japanese to find out later that there is something I should have been doing this whole time or I could have been doing to be more productive. Right now, I’m doing 2 things. Everyday, rather it be on my breaks at work or when I’m not busy I’m completing my kanji reviews and lessons on wanikani.com. I’m also using tinycards.duolingo.com (a flash card app and website created by duolingo.com for additional studying) to further my memorization of Hiragana and katakana. I have not read a single thing about grammar, sentence structuring in Japanese… or anything else for that matter. Tofungu.com advised that I would not want to start learning grammar until I had learned kanji because it would just make things more difficult or confusing.
However, after reading through some of the topics here, I am reading that a few people are suggesting to start learning grammar immediately? I know their is an entire section of References I can look into but I don’t really know where to start or what kind of things I could be learning about that might be good to study in the beginning. Should I be doing additional studying while learning kanji on wanikani.com? It’s not like I’ve been doing this for very long considering It’s only been two weeks at most and I haven’t even broken level 1 yet. I know it’s not a race, I just have a lot of time on my hands. I work at a call center and I work 10 hour shifts, 4 times a week so their are 3 days where I have tons if I time I could be spending doing whatever and sometimes I wonder if I am doing everything I should be?
I just don’t want to spend 6 years studying Japanese and still feeling clueless. I know it’s not a race and studying a new language, specially one that is as different as the one I speak but I just want to make sure I do things right. So I was hoping I could get some tips and what I should be doing? What kind of things Could I or should I be learning while studying the thousands of kanji I will need to memorize here? Should I even be worried about doing additional studying at this stage or am I getting a head of myself? If not now, then at what point should I start studying grammar or additional things about Japanese to further my progress towards my ultimate goal of being proficient in Japanese? Are their any books, articles, web pages that are perfect for teaching basic things while I am memorizing kanji?