Posts Tagged ‘Resources’

Absolute Pimsleur’s Japanese I is an excellent resource for learning Japanese, but it is not the only one and should not be treated as the be all and end all of your learning experience. I know this site focuses heavily on it, but don’t let that fool you.

Remember, you should be pursuing other avenues for learning Japanese besides Pimsleur’s. It’s a solid oral and audio comprehension (learning to understand the Japanese you hear), but it’s more a suppliment than an all-in-one tool for learning the language. You should be focusing on the reading and writing aspects of the language and learning some basic grammar and vocabulary as you go along as well. Yes, the tapes introduce new vocabulary and build on it each lesson, but I don’t think it’s enough on its own.

If you have no other means of learning the language outside Pimsleur’s, I recommend checking out the various Vocabulary posts I’ve been making for simple, progressive vocabulary lessons. Also, you would benefit from doing regular writing and reading. Re-reading the various Pimsleur’s Japanese I Transcripts I’ve been doing would be a free and easy option, as it has no romanji to mess up your learning to read the kana. While repetitive reading and writing of the same kana, word, words or sentences may seem tedious, it actually works and you will begin recognizing regular words, particles and sentence structures this way that simply listening to tapes won’t allow.

Depending on how things go, I may start adding grammar, particles, conjugations and other topics to my posts. For now, the focus remains on the Pimsleur transcripts and simple vocabulary. You can check out my Japanese Resources post if you are interested in some first hand opinion on the various Japanese books I’ve used and recommend.

Finally, I just want to reiterate that you cannot rely on a single resource when attempting to learn a language as complex as Japanese.  Aids, like Pimsleur’s, are just that, aids.  They help flesh out more in-depth courses or other aspects of the language not covered by them.  Don’t get me wrong, Pimsleur’s is damn good, but it can only take you so far and that’s all I’m trying to stress to you in this post.

Remember, keep at it and don’t get discouraged.  Progress, especially early on, takes time, but with a little effort, you’ll start to see the benefits of your hard work.

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We’ve got a few quick lessons under our belts, have, hopefully, mastered all the kana and even have a little bit of basic vocabularly under our belts. I’m sure many of you are chomping at the bit with the desire to rush out and buy flashcards, dictionaries, grammar books and other useful language learning resources. Listen up all you beginners, as this is the best advice I will ever likely give you.

Don’t do it.

Seriously, you just started learning Japanese. Don’t go out and drop a couple hundred dollars on books that are far too advanced for you. There is a high probability many will stop trying to learn Japanese after the first month. Some might last until they get to the kanji. Furthermore, you don’t need those things yet. What’s a kanji dictionary going to do for you right now? Unless you are pretty far along, it’s useless. Grammar books? You don’t know enough words, let alone have the verbs, particles or know how to conjugate in Japanese.

I’m not trying to discourage you from learning the language. Far from it. I’m just trying to save you some money. Those books will be there in 3 months time when you might start needing them. Don’t overcommit when there are numerous resources on the internet available to you for the introductory Japanese lessons.

That said, you will need books eventually. Sadly, the online world doesn’t have nearly enough resources to fulfill our Japanese learning hunger. Therefore, I’ve prepared a list of my recommendations for various Japanese resources and brief descriptions of them and when you would be best served in purchasing or using them.


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