Monday, March 16, 2009

Learning Japanese

I have been trying to learn Japanese, and finding immensely rewarding. I just love this language, its obviously different from French and Spanish and this difference is what really spurned me on to try to learn Nihongo. In pronunciation its not too far off Greek so that helped a lot. However in Athens most language schools teach Chinese, so I had to resort to my own research in books and the Internet. Here are what I found very helpful:

  • First I found these books and site, both the books and the site helped me with learning the hiragana and katagana, its as far as I have progressed up to this point book 3 begins with the Kanji. The books are beautifully organised and simply explained to understand the use of the language and grammar. How to write the kana and exercises to practice what you have learned.The site offers sound files that correspond to the lessons in the books, Quizzes and videos. There is also a forum to chat with other learners or ask questions from the teachers.

  • Another of my favorite learning tools is my DS Japanese coach.

  • Another way to test and improve your Japanese reading and spelling is this site

  • For kanji I recommend these books, however if you know any other ones please leave a comment.
  • I also found youtube a great place for videos on learning the language and of course livestation to tune into Japanese TV
  • For the sounds of the Japanese language I also liked earworms, it has key phrases that you could use as a tourist in Japan, not the best way to learn as its just paraphrasing but without a teacher around to ask questions on how they sound it helped me at the very beginning.
  • is another site that I just found through google

I would love to hear a feedback from any of you that are studying the same language and any input on what you are using to learn it.

PS. Thank you to Winifred for recommending iTunes


Doris said...

oh,i only have the DS Japanesse coach.

Winifred said...

Oh my, you're very brave. I'm still struggling with Spanish. I just don't spend enough time on it.

I'm starting to learn a few Greek words and phrases for our holiday in May. I find it really difficult, languages are not my forte!

If you have iTunes you can download free podcasts from the iTunes store for a number of languages including Japanese .

Patti said...

I would like to learn French or Spanish first I think. I think I should do somehting about it rather than just talk about it. I am so in awe of you. Patti xxx

Jean Day said...

Good for you, I would love to learn Japanese since that is one place I am hoping to visit some day. Mini Hugs, Jean

Gina E. said...

Hi Little Rabbit, I found you while browsing craft blogs and just had to respond to your post about learning Japanese. I have a Japanese friend who came out to Australia 10 years ago, to visit us for two weeks. I took a 'crash course' in Japanese at our Council of Adult Education school. It went for 8 weeks and like you, I found the language fascinating, and really enjoyed it. I learnt enough to greet my friend when she arrived, and explain how we live. She can speak English perfectly well, but was delighted that I had made the effort to learn some of her language. Unfortunately I didn't keep it up, so I've forgotten most of it now, but I visit an elderly Japanese lady who lives near us, and she and I giggle over my attempts to pronounce words from my English-Japanese dictionary!

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