Hi, what are the best resources to get started with Japanese? I’m a complete beginner just getting started with WaniKani. I’ve seen a number of recommendations for Genki and Bunpro, so I plan on using those as well. What other resources would you recommend for a complete beginner like me?
It’s on the list that Sidcaiyar recommended, but another popular textbook is Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese. It’s a free textbook that you can access online. I prefer genki, but if you don’t want to spend money then this is a good resource to use.
As a self-studying beginner it can be difficult to get enough listening and speaking practice, so I’d recommend a few things that target those skills:
If you’re using Genki, there is this website with additional listening exercises similar to those found in the workbook. There’s an exercise or two for each lesson, and it uses the same vocabulary found in Genki, without being an exact repeat of the dialogues found in the actual text/workbook.
Shadowing: is a technique for improving speaking skills, and it helps your listening as well. The idea is to listen and then repeat the phrase immediately, either in your head or out loud. The book in this video has the English translation on the facing page, so if you have the book, you can see the meaning of what you are repeating (or cover it up to challenge yourself). If you use this book, I would recommend starting it slowly once you get to Lesson 2 in Genki.
- Graded Readers: At first this may not sound like it will help with speaking/listening, but, many graded readers come with audio, so that you can listen to the book either before you read or while you read. There are some graded readers that do start at a very basic level. Check out this thread for more info:
If you need to learn Hiragana and Katakana - I would recommend the Dr Moku app for iOS or Android.
The mnemonics make it easier to remember the sounds and this gives you a great base for using WaniKani and other resources that use Hiragana and Katakana characters.