What is the best way to learn Japanese?

Posted in

#1 by weter
2019-01-29 at 11:07
I don't need to be able to write or speak Japanese. I just want to learn Japanese to read VNs. I also learned English just by sitting with a translator and a dictionary reading VNs, when I started reading I literally did not understand anything, but now I read and understand very well (but I do not write sentences very well), it took about 1-1.5 years.

But what is the best way to learn or translate Japanese sentences? I do not understand where the word begins and where it ends and how is the best way to write or pull words from VNs in general? (Translation of pictures or drawing Japanese letters in Google translate a terrible idea)

(I searched here on the forum, but I’m not good at searching)
#2 by mqvisionary
2019-01-29 at 11:14
for a basic understanding of japanese, get genki books. For text extraction: link
#3 by shroomlord
2019-01-29 at 17:21
Well you can always start by learning katakana and hiragana. I dedicated a weekend to that back in the day. I had it down after 16h effective time. Of course you gotta keep using it after that to let it sink in and settle.
In any case, I'd suggest meeting up with a professional private tutor. Take a few lessons, let them gauge you and then consult with them on how to best proceed.
#4 by surferdude
2019-01-29 at 17:30
Watch tons and tons of anime. It worked for me. Takes time, though.
#5 by tomtheerogeman
2019-01-29 at 18:00
I learned how to read Japanese the same way you learned how to read English. I studied genki 1 and genki 2 for almost a year while trying to read in Japanese. I also downloaded anki on my phone, downloaded some vocabulary and grammer decks and studied them while I was outside and had time to pull out my phone. I did all this while reading at home with the help of texthookers and yomi-chan. I've been doing this almost every day for 2 years now and I can read most VNs without any assistance. I'm probably at JLPT N2 reading level at this point, according to the vocabulary decks I've studied. Never had a teacher or anything.
#6 by ramaladni
2019-01-29 at 18:53
#7 by nihilloligasan
2019-02-01 at 22:31
duolingo has japanese available now, so you can start with that
#8 by lunaterra
2019-02-01 at 22:33
Duolingo is terrible for Japanese, don't use it. It doesn't bother teaching you anything and just expects you to already know stuff.
#9 by spidey01
2019-02-03 at 17:55
One thing I have found useful is imabiLast modified on 2019-02-03 at 17:55
#10 by weter
2019-02-07 at 20:26
Thank you very much for the answers.
I tried what you all recommended and what I found on other pages.

#3 The problem is that in my city there are no good Japanese tutors, and online tutors is extremely expensive for me.
#4 Well, I think this option will be quite difficult for me.
#7 I tried it half a year ago and quit, it was extremely incomprehensible to me. It is better to read Genki.

#2/#5 I think Genki will give me good basic knowledge.
#9 After reviewing several pages I think there is more unnecessary information than in Genki for me. I’ll read Genki for now, but I think Imabi will come in handy too.

What did I do during this time (some useless information about my achievements):
The first days I tried to set up 'Visual Novel Reader', it was torture but I did it (who knew that the official site has been down for a couple of years and you need to look for all the components yourself). Having tried it just with a dictionary and translator without any knowledge, it was... incomprehensible even the wrong word, something worse D: So it is better to start with some basic knowledge. I started with katakana and hiragana (with digraphs & diacritics) and learned it in about 5 hours (feel lucky). Remembered about 300 kanji already (but did not remember how they sound, but only what they look like). Read and remember the first 30 pages of Genki (not counting the introduction). Now opening the same sentences, I understand ~1 word from each text block :D I thought Japanese is much more complicated and incomprehensible although this is only the beginning.
It all takes 4-5 hours a day. I hope within a month, at least I will start to understand the meaning of VN with a dictionary and translator

Once again thank you all for the help

Btw, if anyone can advise which is the best online/offline Japanese-English sentence translator?
#11 by harp
2019-02-07 at 22:25
Sounds sorta good I guess, regarding the achievements. Now I come bearing bad and good news. link
This is basically a better version of VNR, and it can hook more. One of my friends uses it quite extensively, and it seems quite good.
Reception online seems pretty good, and Artikash is really active.

I'm quite certain #2 was joking. I think he does that a lot? He's a good guy, nonetheless.

Best of luck.Last modified on 2019-02-07 at 22:25
#12 by kametec
2019-02-16 at 22:42
I don't think we'll ever see the "best" way to learn Japanese, because what works for one person may not work for another.

But I'd say that regularity is the name of the game. Whatever method you decide to try, stick with it and keep doing your drills or reviews or whatever regularly. It is going to take time before you get noticeable results, but if you endure the demotivating part where you don't understand anything outside textbooks, you've won.

For me, learning grammar first and then applying knowledge of it in figuring meaning of written text worked the best. That and vocabulary drills on the side. I tried reading vns several times during my learning. It was only after I've gotten solid grasp of grammar and vocabulary before I managed to keep reading long enough to actually finish a route. In the beginning I would spend hours trying to lookup things I didn't understand. And needing hours to decipher just a couple of lines got boring fast. Knowing grammar and vocab allows me to figure meaning fast enough to keep me entertained. It is easy to keep practising now, but getting to a "workable" state is the real challenge, imho.


You must be logged in to reply to this thread.