Hahahahaha… I love the graph @shikaji! And don’t worry, I’m not scared
Thanks for the warm welcome. Really digging the community here so far
Basically anything I can get my hands on @Tjorven
Uh oh, I feel a rambling story coming on.
I was at a critical point in my life where I was laid off from my job at the end of 2016 and trying to think seriously about constructive ways to use my time. Japanese was one of the things I decided to pursue, and it’s stuck with me since then.
I’m a gamer, I had noticed “Learn Japanese to Survive” (Hiragana) on Steam. Searched out reviews and after reading a reddit thread, actually ended up passing on that game. But in that thread found some resources and learned Hiragana and Katakana from Memrise on Android.
(I did recently end up Kickstarting and beta testing to completion “Learn Japanese to Survive - Kanji Combat”, which was fun, and I did learn from, and I can happily recommend.)
Facing a pretty long ass commute, I decided that my time could be better utilized than the rap song or Katy Perry or whatever I happened to be listening to (no offence). I started listing to JapanesePod101.
My big gateway was searching out and teaching myself how to enable and type the characters on my computer, phone, and tablet. Through Youtube, I found NHK News Web Easy, and looking up words using Jisho.org, Takoboto, and Google Translate are super addicting to me.
I want to pass the JLPT N5 in December. I’ve studied an Anki deck for that. I’ve enjoyed the Kanji Tree Android app for learning to write Kanji and as another vocabulary aid.
Kindle Fire tablets were on sale. It was a big help to get a cheap one and set it up as purely Japanese. Using my phone to take a picture of the tablet screen or whatever with Google Translate works for blocks of kanji that I’ve never seen before. The bummer is even though, after some frustration, I can use the Japanese Kindle store; I can’t use the app store or Amazon Video.
Reddit has been a great source of ideas, and hearing other people’s experience is encouraging. r/LearnJapanese is how I ended up here.
These days I’d say:
90% of music I choose to listen to is Japanese
90% of shows I choose to watch are Japanese with English subtitles
40% of games I choose to play are Japanese dialogue with English subtitles.
I’m trying some games (VERY slowly) with the full-on kanji text, looking them up and collecting the results in a Google Doc to study. (Japanese PSN store)
Manga - I’ve tried working my way through the Yotsuba series (bought on eBay). I’m on book 5. Dang it was hard at first, as it was one of the first things I tried. Super hit or miss when I was just using Google translate. And the little girl main character is just a weirdo lol. When I found Takoboto I’ve had much better success looking up words. (As well as certain details about typing such as つ/っ, よ/ょ. Before realizing that, it was super frustrating!)
I bought a regular but nice paper notebook, and am working my way through a Japanese book, slowly looking up the kanji I don’t know by the radicals and writing them, along with their pronunciation and definition.
I just keep pushing myself. I don’t feel like I’m getting good, but I can notice myself sucking a little less.
I eat up any Japanese non-anime show I can on Netflix, they’ve kept enough on there for me so far, but they need to keep it up because I’m in danger of running out. I’m actually not that into anime, but love Agrretsuko and Disastrous Life of Saiki K.
Someone’s tip of searching for the title of a show + “eng sub” has been super helpful (with ad-block) for finding good, legally questionable streaming sources for other shows.
I track down any media or pop culture reference and at least keep a note for later of anything that I hear somebody reference.
Youtube and their recommendations are helpful for music, people’s experiences, inspiration, and tips. I’ve found a lot of new and interesting music after finding and subscribing to the “avex” channel (music publisher?). asiadreamradio.com is good for finding new music. I look up and study the lyrics to the music I find, and try to sing along for pronunciation and as a mnemonic. I print lyrics and keep a binder.
Googling in Japanese can be helpful in finding new and different things. (Tip: 歌詞 or “かし/kashi” means “lyrics”… full-on kanji lyrics )
I probably heard all of these ideas first from other people on Reddit or Youtube.
So yeah. Every little bit keeps me interested and keeps me going and helps in some way. People have said it before, find the things you enjoy and keep doing them.