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u/pewpewk · 20 pointsr/LearnJapanese

Writing and reading kind of come in the same package if you need to learn the Kanji. As Kiruwa said, spoken or written first doesn't have an answer because everybody is different. But here are some general suggestions...

  1. Learn the Kana first and foremost. I can't stress how important this is, because the sooner you start learning Japanese in Japanese the better off you'll be later down the road. Learning the Kana is easy and can be done in anywhere between a day or 2 to a week. But really get Hiragana down with utmost haste.

  2. Once you have a basis in reading the Kana, start up an Anki deck (or any Spaced Repetition System). If you search a bit, you should be able to find the Core2k and Core6k which are some great decks to work towards. I'm not too familiar with working with the Core decks, but I'm sure there's a lot of people here that are so ask around.

  3. If you want to go the free route, Tae Kim's Japanese Grammar Guide is an excellent free e-book on Japanese grammar. Their iPhone and iPad apps are excellent and work extremely well, too. This would be a good place to possibly start learning your way around Japanese grammar. If you want to go down the textbook route, I'd suggest the sort of tried-and-true Genki method. I use these textbooks in my Japanese University class and, while I'm not the biggest fan of them, they're pretty good textbooks for learning the material. Pick up Genki I, the Genki I Workbook, and the Genki Answer Key at your favorite online bookstore.

  4. Once you've got a good foundation with the above three (in the case of my University class my professor started after the first semester, or 6 lessons into Genki) I'd say it's time to start learning some Kanji. If you're going down the self-studying route, I, like many others, highly recommend Heisig's Remembering the Kanji. Start with Vol. 1 and don't use any other method of learning the Kanji. Use it in conjunction with Reviewing the Kanji site and you'll have a great foundation after a while of work.

  5. Practice, practice, practice. That's all I can really say. Immerse yourself in the material, don't give up, and go for it. It's really hard work and incredibly daunting. I'm only a little more than a year into my studies and the further I get the more I realize I don't understand. That said, I keep pushing myself to see if I can't get a little further and when I look back to what I knew a year ago and what I know today, I couldn't possibly imagine even knowing this much. This isn't going to be a quick process, but years upon years of studying.

    But enough of the prep talk. Good luck and if you ever need help, /r/LearnJapanese is a great place to ask! :)

    *Of course, all opinions expressed here are my own and may or may not be conclusive for your learning.
u/mca62511 · 8 pointsr/LearnJapanese

You should probably just use Genki

It is possible to learn Japanese using only the internet and free sources, but it certainly makes things more difficult. The advantage of using a standardized textbook and traditional learning methods is that you get a solid foundation, both in the sense that it gets you started on the right foot, but also in that it teaches you what sort of things you need to learn in the first place.

I highly recommend you try getting and using Genki. See if it is available from your local library, for example.

Yes, it is possible to learn Japanese using just free resources found on the internet.

These days, everything you could possibly want for learning Japanese exists on the internet right now.

If you learn how to use Anki (the best and most popular free flashcard program) you can get SRS flashcards without paying for a fancy website. TextFugu's free lessons will get you started with using Anki while at the same time teach you hiragana and katakana (the two syllabaries used in Japanese).

If you use Tae Kim's grammar guide and other online sources, you technically don't need a textbook. Imabi is another website similar to Tae Kim that people like. Duolingo might even be worth your time, assuming you utilize the discussion forums and that community to make sure you understand the grammar which is poorly taught by the app.

If you use HelloTalk, iTalki, and HiNative you can interact with Japanese people who'll help correct your compositions, and that could potentially lead to language exchange friendships where you Skype and practice conversation.

You can find free reading material online for practice, both by nature of the entire Japanese internet being at your fingertips, but also due to free websites like NHK Easy News and Watanoc.

You can assess your skills without ever paying for a standardized test by using the J-Cat.

You can find communities of fellow learners here on /r/LearnJapanese (we've got some good guides in the sidebar, btw), on the Japanese Language Stack Exchange, and /jp/'s Daily Japanese Thread (they've got a good guide for getting started over there).

u/lianodel · 3 pointsr/LearnJapanese

There are plenty of good resources out there, so there's no one best option. So, try what you can, see what jives with you, and then stick with it.

Anyway, here are the resources I used and liked:

  1. Kodansha Kanji Learner's Course. I haven't tried RTK, but I went with this one because I liked the approach. It orders the Kanji taking into account frequency, but also introducing "graphemes" one at a time, and the mnemonics were mostly etymologically accurate. Both it and RTK include all the Jouyou kanji, but KKLC includes a few more (total 2,300) by adding in some common non-Jouyou kanji that are still handy to know.

    I used this to quickly go through all the important kanji and their meanings. I neglected readings, but I think it was worth it, since now I can recognize characters more confidently, and pick up readings in context with vocabulary.

    Unfortunately it's currently unavailable via Amazon, but the item listing lets you preview the book. Use that to see if you like it. Alternatively, see if you can find it at a local bookstore so you can page through it (I bought mine at Barnes & Noble), or check your local library (which may be able to order it if you ask for it). You can also use those methods to preview other books, like RTK.

  2. KanjiStudy. It's an app for Android (and iPhone, but last I checked, that version is considerably behind). Great for quizzes and writing practice, and it supports grouping the kanji by whatever order you want, be it KKLC, RTK, Japanese grade levels, etc. $10 and super worth it (again, at least on Android), but you can try it for free to access the kana, radicals, and one "level" of Kanji for each learning order. The only think it's missing is a spaced repetition system, but that's coming eventually.

  3. WaniKani. I like it as a convenient supplement to keep me studying kanji regularly. You can get many of the same features with an Anki deck, so it's up to you if it's worth the convenience, style, and audio samples. The mnemonics have improved, but are still way too goofy for me, but that's what I have KKLC for anyway. There's a free trial, so it's worth checking out. Plus the people running the site and the community seem cool. Also, it includes vocabulary, which is nice, and has an API to integrate with other apps, like BunPro and SatoriReader, which can add a little value.
u/Yohuatzinco · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

I'm gonna assume that you're starting completely from scratch, so just skip over parts that you already know.

Firstly, Japanese consists of three writing systems: Hiragana and Katakana, which correspond to each other/use the same sounds, and are syllable based. It is extremely important that you learn hiragana, and learn it well. Katakana is easy to learn later on as you'll already have the foundation/a basic understanding of Japanese phonology/sounds. Then there're kanji, which you've most likely heard of: Chinese characters. There are roughly 1700 of these used by the average Japanese person*. So:

  1. Learn the kana. This can easily be done in very little time through this course. You can also use a course such as this: , as it teaches some very basic (but very useful) vocabulary with the kana, which might be useful to you if you want to use the knowledge right away. I'd really recommend the first one I linked to though. If you are willing to spend money on learning Japanese, you can get this book but it's not really necessary with all the free resources available on the internet.

    1.5. If you have the money (or the means...) you might want to go through an audio course quickly in order to pick up the pronunciation/listening skills and some basic conversational vocab. Michel Thomas is supposedly good, though I favour Assimil myself. Assimil is made for being used over the course of 100 days (1 lesson/day), which can be really nice as it gives you somewhere to start and stop, so to speak.

    \2. Get yourself a textbook. Genki I and II are fine, but they can be a bit pricey, and are made for use in a classroom. I use Japanese the Manga Way myself, which is really neat if you're planning on reading manga in Japanese eventually, and isn't all that expensive. there are other alternatives as well, which I'm sure someone will tell you about shortly, haha. Tae Kim and TextFugu are, as far as I know, the only internet-based textbooks worth considering. Tae Kim is 100% free and will teach you about as much grammar as Genki I and II will, while TextFugu is a one-time payment and will teach you a bit more than Genki I, I think.

    \3. You might want to start learning kanji/vocabulary while going through your textbook. is good, as it teaches both, and does it really efficiently. It is subscription-based, however ($10 a month I think).

    tl;dr: kana, textbook, kanji/vocab while doing textbook stuffs.

    Also, stay away from Rosetta Stone. It's expensive, not very good for non-European languages, and there are free resources that are several times better.


    *some people will correct me and say 2000+ because that's what the Jouyou kanji say (don't worry about this for now), but fact is that the last 300-400 are not used a lot.
u/BetaRhoOmega · 4 pointsr/LearnJapanese

Most people are going to recommend you use some sort of SRS (spaced repetition system) to effectively learn the vast amounts of information you need to memorize. Many recommend Anki (it's my preferred flash card/srs app) but there are others out there. Here's the link to the manual ( It obviously explains Anki specific functionality, but it describes the use and purpose of an SRS system and why it's proven to be effective for memorizing information.

As for learning Kanji, this is the most challenging part of learning Japanese. You're gonna want to use some structured learning material which will help you understand what radicals are and how the factor into building individual Kanji. I personally use James Heisig's "Remembering the Kanji" and its sister learning site Koohii ( to create mnemonics for the Kanji and learn to memorize them. I then make my own flashcards in Anki and practice them when they come up on the app.

I've seen others recommend Kodansha (, but I've never used it so I can't speak to its quality. From what I've heard though it might honestly be preferred to Heisig's stuff cause his mnemonics can seem pretty strange or outdated (which is why I get most of mine from the top upvoted ones on koohii).

You're gonna want an english to japanese dictionary. For that I use jisho ( You can search for words in english, romanji, kana, and kanji and you'll find definitions, related words, pronunciations etc. It's incredibly helpful.

I don't know about a discord server but I'd be interested in something like that as well.

It takes a lot of time and dedication, and for most people the payoff will only be achieved after years of learning, but it's definitely doable, and learning can be very fun in and of itself. There's a very satisfying feeling to go from looking at Japanese and seeing it as alien characters, to being able to read a sentence that once just looked like scribbles.

u/jatznic · 2 pointsr/LearnJapanese

I would like to provide some input here regarding JpPlayer. I have been subscribed to the service for 3 years now and it is hands down one of the best study tools I have at my disposal. It does have one major flaw however so I want to make sure people are aware of it before they purchase it, or at least to make sure they try the 3 day trial to make sure they won't have any issues.

The video stream itself is in high-definition. Unlike normal HD streaming services however it doesn't do well scaling quality to accommodate for hardware and connection issues. This means if you have a laptop with a low-grade video card using shared VRAM with the system memory you can run into all sorts of frustrating problems. I've only seen this problem with integrated cards like this though and have never had issues on any system running a stand-alone dedicated card.

The other problem is one that most people will never have to worry about but it is still worth mentioning. JPPlayer will not run properly on an accessory monitor. This means if you run a multi-monitor gaming system with an additional display for watching TV or surfing the net for example, the player has problems for some reason playing anything if it's moved to the accessory screen. It will run just fine on the main monitors however. This is a very minor bug and affects a very small percentage of possible users, but better to know it exists than to pull your hair out like I did trying to find the reason.

Finally I will say that the guy that distributes and cares for the program is absolutely amazing. He has always answered any technical questions I have had on the program and has worked with me on trying to fix that accessory bug from time to time when I try new fixes. When the satellite provider stopped broadcasting the stream a few years back he actually sent me a refund for my remaining time as I'd paid for a year in advance. They have of course long since reintroduced the feed and it's been running strong since. He is a very trustworthy and honest businessman so rest assured your money will be well spent.

JPPlayer aside I would like to also concur with OP regarding the Dictionaries of Japanese Grammar. I dropped traditional grammar methods and started just using those books to look up grammar when I came across it and found it a far more efficient method. They are a bit expensive but again the are worth every penny.

I would only add one thing to the original list. There is a book out there written entirely in English called "Making Sense of Japanese". It's an absolutely amazing short little piece that covers some of the most confusing topics that most learners struggle with and explains them using clear, concise English. It's fairly inexpensive and as with the rest completely worth it.

u/EvanGRogers · 3 pointsr/LearnJapanese

In my own opinion, grammar is the most important part of any textbook. How well a book explains a grammar point determines how well I like the book. There are 3 major areas of grammar that I look for: verb modification, particle usage, and how well the book explains 関係節 (using a verb/sentence to modify a noun: "The chair that he sat in")

I've looked at a few textbooks:

Yookoso (which has, apparently changed its cover...) is a sort of intense, high-density textbook that makes it a bit hard to look up grammar points. However, it is well written and has a lot of practice. It also only requires 2 books to "get the job done". The grammar explanations are short and don't really explain away the confusion, but it's FULL of practice. There isn't much translation in the book, so if you have a question... your screwed (unless you have a teacher with you). However, you probably won't have many questions while reading because the sentences kind of stay mundane.

This book gets a 4 out of 5 on the "Evan Grammar-Explanation Scale of Justice": It explains it, gives good examples and practice, but the explanations are lacking depth. Good for learning the basics, bad for learning the specifics.

Nakama isn't really anything special.

Adventures in Japanese is a series of books that I'm using on my website to teach Japanese a little bit. However, I only chose this textbook because it is the book being used by the local high school, so my students are using it. The book isn't bad, but it teaches a lot of things that really don't need to be taught. Also, some of their explanations/translations are... less than accurate? -- I find myself saying "yes, this is right, but... Really it's this" too much to recommend this book. There is also a stunning lack of practice/guidance. It's NOT a self-study book, you NEED a teacher for it. The workbook for this book is nice, however, and would probably be good practice. The grammar points taught in this book are easily-referenceable.

This book gets a 4 out of 5 on the "Evan Grammar-Explanation Scale of Justice": Similar to Yookoso, however the practice is lacking. It's a textbook and a workbook rolled into one.

Ima! is a book that I kind of detest. When using it to teach, I found myself having to make my own materials in order to get the point across. It's a thin book without hardly any grammar explanations.

This book gets a 1 out of 5 on the "Evan Grammar-Explanation Scale of Justice". I hated using this book. A lot. It was just a glorified workbook.

Genki seemed pretty decent as far as a textbook went. It had plenty of practice, the grammar points were short, concise, and easy-to-reference. I would use it as a textbook in the future.

This book gets a 4.5 out of 5 on the "Evan Grammar-Explanation Scale of Justice": Great explanations and easily referenceable. It seems like a pretty good buy.

Japanese the Spoken Language is my bible. The grammar points are in-depth, effective, and incredibly well thought-out. If you want to know exactly how to use a grammar point, this textbook is the one you want. It is JAM-PACKED with practice that can be done completely solo. It also comes with audio cds that are worth a damn. When I want to know the difference between ~て、~たら、~れば、and ~すると, you can expect a great amount of explanation. The practice sentences in this book aren't just mundane sentences, either: the authors intentionally use weird examples in order to show the student the true meaning of a grammar point. That is, it doesn't just use "one-sentence examples", it uses "entire conversation contexts, and then weird 'breaks the rules' verbs to highlight how the grammar works"

HOWEVER- the language is dated - this book was written in the 80s (earlier?) and has never been updated; it uses a weird romanization system (zi = じ, tu = つ, ti = ち); is intended to teach the SPOKEN language (get Japanese: the WRITTEN language to learn how to write); and the grammar explanations are almost TOO long and convoluted (long and convoluted, but extremely insightful and specific).

This book gets a 5 out of 5 on the "Evan Grammar-Explanation Scale of Justice". However, the grammar is SO well-explained that you might be a little confused trying to read it.


To teach the language, I would use Genki or Yookoso to get people off the ground, then move into JSL. Then the student should be more than ready to self-study and translate native materials.

u/Captainobvious89 · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

I appreciate the quick reply! Yeah, I'm looking at Genki at the moment. I'm wondering which is the best one to get? Is this version suitable? Does it have audio instruction or is it all text? I'm not opposed to text, but I benefit greatly from hearing the pronunciation and flow of things.

Like I said, I enjoyed Pimsleur; if anything it gave me a great jumping off point, I learned basic grammar through exposure, but as you mentioned it doesn't really branch out much, and I feel like most of the lessons have been condensed greatly. I should say I started learning the language out of genuine interest, but I'd love to have it as a career advancement tool in the future, so I'd love to find a good approach to learning the language that I can stick with that should hopefully dovetail with more advanced programs. I don't think my knowledge is advanced enough yet to start working with something like, say Tobira for example.

u/Creep3rkill3r · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

Okay, so I'm also new to Japanese, and I'm 15 too, so I'm in the same boat as you. I should probably let you know though how often people tell me to learn Hiragana and Katakana before jumping in to anything else.

You can do that through hiragana and katakana courses on the flashcard site Memrise. It's recommended for general language learning and specifically Japanese vocab. and writing systems often, and I've had a generally good experience with it. Pick up a book on them if you feel like it.

It could take you between a week to a month depending on your skill level and your general ability to pick up knowledge, but once you have them under your belt and only then, start learning speaking, listening and general grammar and vocabulary then. Pick up a textbook like Genki if you feel like it. Genki 1 is recommended a lot here too.

I should probably emphasise the FAQ, wiki and other info here on this subreddit, too. The /r/LearnJapanese starters' guide is your friend, and will give a more wholesome rundown than I did.

One final thing - I'm new to this too, so to you and any other new learners like me reading this: I'm not an expert; I'm just doing what's working for me and is generally advised. To people with more experience learning Japanese with a better idea of how to start: please comment with anything I've missed or messed up; like I said, I'm not a genius. I've seen people here who I think are, and they're friendly, good people. I try to be good and friendly, but I'm no genius at all, I'm just starting like you.

Sorry for the long post, I can't feel my fingers from typing fast. Good luck to you, /u/Harry-kun!

u/WraitheDX · 11 pointsr/LearnJapanese

Pretty much everyone will tell you that is nearly impossible to accurately gauge. It depends on how much you study each day, what materials you have to help you, how good you are absorbing the information, etc.

I feel that if you have enough time to absorb around 20 vocab a day (not as hard as it sounds, some days I try for around 50) for the first few months (then cut it down a bit as you go, as the grammar you are covering becomes more involved), and practice 1-3 grammar points a day (depending on their complexity/involvement), and avoid kanji for the first month, then start slowly (5 a day, not learning more until you know the current and it's associated vocab), using this book:

I feel like you could read random sentences of a very simple manga within 6-12 months. These numbers are all arbitrary, as it all depends on your motivation and ability to truly absorb and retain all the information.

I can give you a list of materials that I find essential, and I think anyone that used them would recommend them as well:

A general textbook like Yookoso or Genki. I use Yookoso myself, but have heard little bad about either. You can skip this if you are good about learning what you need to focus on next on your own, or if you have someone else guiding your studies, but they are not that expensive, and I would recommend both levels of Genki or Yookoso.

Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar (once you learn the majority of it, they have a second and third level of this book [intermediate/advanced])

501 Japanese Verbs. Fantastic for learning conjugations, and checking yourself while you practice them each day.

The Learner's Kanji Dictionary. This will help you look up any Kanji you do not know, and does not have Furigana. It gives you stroke order, Chinese and Japanese pronunciations, and tons of vocab combinations for each Kanji. It is tricky learning how to look up Kanji by radicals, but you only need to learn it once. You can learn Kanji from this, but it would be a terrible idea, as it is a dictionary, and not organized in a way that will help you retain anything.

Lastly that Kanji book I linked earlier. Many will tell you it is silly to not learn Kanji right away as you learn the vocab, but it takes a lot longer, most modern texts have Furigana (the hiragana characters of how to pronounce the Kanji) for all the Kanji, and Kanji do not help for listening or speaking skills anyways.

I do feel that learning the Kanji from the get-go is far better for vocab retention, but you will pick up vocab so much more slowly. You can pick up Kanji later, once you can actually understand some basic Japanese and are much more motivated to continue your studies.

I listed the materials I recommend in the recommended order (minus the Kanji book listed early on, which I recommend last). Good luck, and let me know if you have any questions.

Edit: Also, learn the kana first. Both Hiragana and Katakana. There is no excuse not to, they are invaluable. I would go so far as to say do not even bother starting vocab until you are comfortable enough to sound out a word written in kana in your head without a reference. Does not matter if it takes you a while, you will see them every day, and you will get used to them. Bare minimum, write the entirety of both every morning and night, and whenever you find yourself bored throughout the day.

As always, others will argue this, but again, there is no excuse not to learn it. Most good learning resources will use it anyways. They are very easy to learn.

u/LostRonin88 · 8 pointsr/LearnJapanese

Let me kindly guide you to the Starters Guide located at the top of this reddit page:


There are lots of methods and resources availible for japanese learners but the most important thing is finding a method and sticking with it for a fairly significant amount of time (at least a few months). Personally I am a fan of the MIA method, but thats not for everyone. Many people also like following a text book series, the most popular being Genki. The one thing I can suggest the most is getting comfortable with a Spaced Repitition System (fancy name for a gucci flash card app) the most popular and customizable being Anki. What ever your goals are know that learning japanese is someting that takes a lot of time, a little bit of motivation in the beginning, but most importantly dedication. Just find a way to enjoy the journey which for most people means enjoying the thing they already do, just in Japanese, like video games, music, manga/comics, anime, dramas what ever! good luck.





u/Triddy · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

Hey, this is very late, but I am procrastinating studying for my Kanji test tomorrow, so I'm going to write this out again! I hope you see it.

Free is going to be hard. I would suggest less than $50, as that's a hell of a lot more feasible.

Step 0: Get your expectations in Check

You have 3 - 5 months, depending on when you are going. That's enough to learn some stuff, but not as much as you'd like.

You will need to study at least an hour a day, every day. At that point, you'll likely be able to form basic sentences, read basic signs and instruction, and absolutely struggle through the most basic of basic conversations. That's really about it.

You can do more if you study more, obviously. But you also run the risk of burning out. Personally, I would suggest setting an hour a night aside, and at the end of that hour, ask yourself, "Am I good for another 30 minutes?" and continue doing that until you can't honestly say yes.


Step 1: Learn Hiragana and Katakana

There are lots of apps and books and stuff for this: It's a gigantic waste of money and time. Make yourself some flashcards, drill them into your head at every spare moment over a few days. You should have a basic sense of them. You'll still forget some, that's normal, don't worry. As long as you don't have to stop and look up every other kana, you're going to be fine.

Step 2: Get a Grammar Resource

Textbook, unfortunately. Alternative: tutor or classes but that gets expensive quick.

Any one of us can give you a massive list of vocab and useful grammar points and flash card decks. That will give you a wealth of information and no direction. The important part of a class or a textbook is that it's a lesson plan. You don't need to waste the time deciding what to learn in what order: Just flip the page.

Genki is the standard recommendation, because it's used in University/College classes across North America and there are resources for it everywhere: Downside: You need 4 Books + The Answer Key to use it effectively. That'll end up at $225USD ish.

Skipping Minna No Nihongo because, while it's another popular recomendation, it's MORE expensive.

I used Japanese for Everyone (I have also used Genki and I own a copy of Minna No Nihongo 1 from school, but haven't used it) and I'm going to recommend it here stronger than I normally do. Reason: It's super cheap, because that's the only book you're going to need. Downside is less internet resources and a faster pace.

Free Alternative is Tae Kim's Guide to Japanese Grammar. It's useful, but it contains no useful practice problems and a not so great selection of example sentences.


Step 3: Practice

Once you get 6 or 7 chapters into your textbook of choice, you need to start using it. Even if you're not speaking, at least be writing to someone in real time in text. Input is probably more important than output, yes, but you need some output at least. Lots of people (Me included) put this off far too long and I Definitely suffered when I first came to Tokyo for it.

Free? You want HelloTalk. It's an iPhone/Android messaging app specifically tailored for people exchanging languages. It's pretty much your only/best option for free. Conversations tend to fizzle out when both people are low level, so be persistent.


Step 4: Additional Resources


    One guy writing hundreds of pages of guides that go into mid-depth of Japanese Grammar. This is not a primary resource. It takes the problems I have with Tae Kim to the extreme, and it is very grammar term heavy. It's best used for additional explanation when you don't understand something. Say, you get to ~てしまう in a textbook and don't understand? Imabi.

  • Anki/Ankidroid/Memrise

    Spaced Repetition Flashcards. They work, they're useful. Anki is more powerful and has more community vetted resources, Memrise is more "Game-ified" but less powerful and with less resources. You should never use either of these programs as your first contact with any grammar point. They are flash cards. They are used to review.

  • A Dictionary App

    Goes without saying. Take your pick, 99% of them use the same base database so the only difference is UI. I use mine 500 times a day (But I am in Tokyo).

  • NHK Web Easy

    Here. 3 Articles a day (5 on Friday) taken from the NHK main site and simplified heavily, intended for foreigners and elementary school students. Includes Furigana on every kanji, colour coding places/names, and full audio recording for each Article. Too advanced for you now, but good god is this good to know about it.

  • Erin's Challenge

    Here. Originally made to go with a textbook, and for learning it's pretty well impossible without that textbook. This site is still a fucking goldmine, with over 100 1-5 minute skits and videos in normal Japanese (Except the main character, who is correct but intentionally slow). Full scripts and line-by-line break down in Japanese, Kana Only, Romaji, and English. Listening Practice and Shadowing does not get better than this.


    Step -1: Things to Avoid

  1. Massive Pre-made Vocab Decks on Anki. They have a time and a place, but neither of those are "At the beginning of your studies".
  2. "Learn Japanese" apps. Duolingo is bad. Lingodeer is less bad, but still not ideal. Human Japanese is even less bad, but provides no practice beyond shitty quizzes.
  3. "Remembering the Kanji" or RTK. It basically teaches you English Key Words for all the standard Kanji, with little mnemonics and mnemonic forming tips. It requires a 3 - 5 month investment, during which you are not learning Japanese. The key words are incomplete at best and wrong at worst. It has a place if you're willing to not learn Japanese for 3 - 5 months to make the following 3 - 5 months significantly easier on you, but that's not going to help you in Japan.

    Have fun!
u/Raywes88 · 3 pointsr/LearnJapanese

I used it up until about level 8 I think. I liked it and the items that I leveled to mastered/enlightened (as they call it) are definitely in my brain.

However I'm cheap and for the cost of 4ish months of WK (it's like $8/Mo for non beta testers now right?) I just decided to pick up The Kodansha Kanji Learner's Course.

This book paired with HouHou is effectively the same thing as WK. Of course you do need to be a little more motivated because you need to add the items to HouHou yourself. I think this is also pretty cool because, for example, I recently switched the language on the weather site I use to Japanese. I've thrown all the new weather terms I've encountered so far along with their Kanji into HouHou.

In the interest of fairness: A major drawback of HouHou is the lack of any app/online review. I've resorted to using Teamviewer to connect to my PC in order to do reviews remotely. WK (and I think Anki) certainly does not have this problem; there is even a pretty good app for WK afaik.

If you're interested, I pretty much do what this guy does (except he uses Anki) and I feel like I've been making as much progress as I did with WK.

Edit: I'd like to add that with WK I never bothered with stroke order or writing any of the kanji at all. Since I've switched to this new approach I've started writing out each kanji ~10 times (sometimes more if it looks really similar to another one I already know etc etc) and I feel like this has helped me remember them immensely YMMV.

u/Evil_Roy · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

Hi, I'm fairly new to learning Japanese too, here is what I know so far: At first it seems like there is a brick wall that you have to break through. But hindsight is 20/20 as they say. If vocab are the bricks.. grammar (particles, canjigation etc.) Are the morter that hold everything together. Its more like having to build a house by yourself then it is breaking through a brick wall. It requires hard work, sacrifice and dedication. First thing is to learn kana, then focus on grammar and reading. Don't study kanji starting out and when you do start learning kanji, make sure to learn it in context. At first you will be focused on each character, then you will start to recognize words, and then you will begin to see sentences and then have to get used to keeping track of what the topic is (は).

SRS is good but won't help you learn well unless you are reading native materials also (such as graded readers or manga). At first I studied as much as possible for the first 4 months to get past most of the absolute beginer grammar. Also, after the first 3 weeks of learning vocab and honing kana skills I started wanikani. Now there are a lot of people who push RTK but having memorized 350 kanji from the book before getting serious about learning.. if I knew then what I know now, I would have gon straight to wanikani. (Anki is ok too if you're on a budget). RTK is good for overcoming fear of kanji and for learning correct stroke order (which comes in handy when looking up kanji that doesn't have furigana). This to me doesn't justify using RTK though in my mind.

I will say that it is better to go at your own pace instead of burning out like I did at first. To me, studying is what you must do in order to achieve your goal. Learning is enjoyable and even leisurely. Finding a good balance is important.

Also, I was in a class that was being taught on discord for a while. Now I'm learning on my own. The internet is full of resources that can help you.

Here are some good resources:

Takoboto (android or windows)

WaniKani (I know there are wanikani decks for anki for free too if your watching $$$)

Anki (Free)

Japanese Graded Readers (level 1-2 I hear will get you high enough to start reading manga, but I cant confirm this as fact.)

Level 1

Level 2

RTK (1st book is the only one worth using)

Genki 1 & 2 (more for in class but can be used to study on your own too)

u/pcmmm · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

When you say you have studied Japanese for 2.5 years that's really not enough information. Have you been to Japan? Have you been there for an extended amount of time (e.g. several months?). I doubled my number of Kanji while I was staying in Japan, whenever I saw a sign / something written on my milk carton / my aircon remote, I would look it up and learn it that way. While in the subway I would take my time to look up random Kanji I saw in the advertisments.

I would use Kanji flashcards of the kind you can by in 500 box sets and go through a couple of them after a day of life in Japan: some characters I would have seen today but maybe would not remember, so going through the flash cards would help me remember them and clarify their reading. I would not learn with flash cards of Kanji I hadn't ever seen before - a useless exercise for me, I can only remember characters I've seen used in a real-life context. I don't "learn" Kanji programmatically taking them from some list and remembering the on- and kun-readings, I will only ever care about what I need to know in order to understand the text I'm working on. A children's book, song lyrics I got from the internet, texts for learners, Wikipedia articles, NHK news. The real lesson is: in order to get good at reading, you have to read a lot. Today I got a copy of a printed newspaper (読売新聞), you can buy those internationally, I got one from my local retailer at a train station in Germany. Reading an article takes an hour and a PC with a Kanji search by radical and a dictionary site, but I can do it.

For refreshment, I use resources like the amazing etymological dictionary "A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters" which will tell you the historical evolution and proper decomposition of Kanji, some stories can be really interesting. With this help I can tell that when seeing a character such as 緒, it consists of thread (糸) and the pronunciation しょ/しゃ(者), hence "the word meaning together (=bound by a thread) pronounced kind of like 者)". Next to etymological help you can also use pure visual clues.

When you read real Japanese texts, you quickly realize that 2000 Kanji is not enough. Even children's literature would use characters outside of that official list. 3000 is more realistic. You should have material (dictionaries, flash cards etc.) that covers more than the official list. Don't despair though, actual Japanese native speakers take their time learning them, too! The more Japanese you come in contact with every day, the better.

u/esaller · 3 pointsr/LearnJapanese

Im just going to post my answer from a different thread. You do not really need a book but I like learning with mnemonics.

Now for the two Kana systems I can recommend Remembering the Kana if you like mnemonics.

Also I highly recommend two Anki (A SRS learning tool that is free) decks.
The first one being for Hiragana. This one has Rōmaji on one side and the Hiragana on the other side. It tests you both ways and also has pronunciation audio files with it.

The second one I recommend is for Katakana. This one has Hiragana on one side and Katakana on the other side. It also tests you both ways and has audio with it. This will cement your Hiragana knowledge and also help you learn Katakana.

Best luck with your learning efforts :D

u/NoRefund17 · 5 pointsr/LearnJapanese

I think that is an amazing recourse. Natural, REAL conversations with people of all ages and topics. Its really good for getting exposure you can learn from easily to native speaking that isn't "dramatized" or too over the top like most anime and Japanese TV acting in general. (is also a great recourse. and its free if you don't use the in site word marking tools)

the last three are good for written japanese, which is more polished and different than real "spoken" japanese (like any language). But they all 3 come with audio, grammar and vocab explanations and are an amazing recourse IMO.

u/DJFiregirl · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

TBH The easy news can be too easy, and it's not really going to launch you much further in reading comprehension. It's not a bad resource by any means, but if it isn't challenging you, look for something that will. Reading will require you to know a ton of kanji (RIP), so I advise just getting books and going to town. There's also several styles of writing, so academic/news/similar read pretty differently from manga/light novels/etc. I am personally quite fond of the Gakken elementary school books. They cover science, autobiography, folktales, so on. They run from 1st~6th grade on the Japan scale, so the content and furigana are all in line with what's expected at that grade level. For reference, the 4th grade list. The 5th grade book I'm reading covers why we have a belly button, why albino rabbits are different from non-albino, why humans can't breathe underwater, why stinkbugs stink, and a ton of others. It's pretty easy to read, and it definitely challenges my vocabulary. Plus, it's a lot of things I'm at least vaguely familiar with in English, so it's easier to catch on.

I definitely recommend the Tobira textbook. I much prefer reading from paper (computer eye strain 2 real), so I have a lot of books. Concerning Tae Kim, I haven't treated it as a text by any stretch of the imagination: I use the search function and ctrl+F to get what I need and close the tab.

Also, the JLPT is... a test. And if you get 50%-ish of the material, you pass. IMO, it's not really worth anything unless you need the N2 or above to get a job in Japan (or where ever). I just passed N3 and I was genuinely surprised at my results. It's a good resume builder, but it doesn't test your ability to use Japanese, just if you understand it. It doesn't really help you much with anything besides reading.

u/MVortex · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

For books or series we should all know about, I have some personal recommendations although as said before it depends heavily on your needs as a learner.
These are:


  • Kodansha's Furigana Japanese Dictionary
    Excellent bilingual dictionary with furigana throughout.

  • Kodansha's Communicative English-Japanese Dictionary
    Likely one of the best En-Jp dictionaries that's also very easy to carry and use.


  • どんなときどう使う 日本語表現文型辞典
    Essential Japanese Expression Dictionary: A Guide to Correct Usage of Key Sentence Patterns
    Contains various fundamental and common grammar patterns from N5 to N1. Translations in English, Chinese and Korean also.

  • Kodansha's (formerly named) Power Japanese series
    Various useful supplimentary volumes such as All about particles, Basic Connections, Japanese Sentence Patterns for Effective Communication, Common Japanese Collocations etc.
    Mainly aimed at beginner/intermediate but contains gems that can be used well into advanced study.

  • Japanese A Comprehensive Grammar


  • Kanji in Context
    Textbook that contains all the Jōyō (common use) Kanji, in natural sentences and commonly used vocab, not isolated. Aimed at intermediate level upwards although does start from basic Kanji.

  • Basic Kanji Book
    Kanji book series that takes you from absolute beginner. Memorable kanji illustrations and etymology.

  • The Complete Guide to Japanese Kanji
    A much more 'academic' kanji guide with detailed etymologies, kanji history as well as coherent pneumonics to remember them.


  • みんなの日本語 Minna no Nihongo

  • Japanese for Everyone

  • Genki

  • Japanese for Busy People

  • 学ぼう!にほんご Manabo Nihongo

  • ニューアプローチ 日本語 New Approach Japanese

  • An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese

    In terms of buying textbooks, I've had good luck with which pools many sites to find the cheapest deal.
u/TigersMilkTea · 2 pointsr/LearnJapanese

This doesn't answer your question regarding Murakami, but if you're interested in contemporary writers as well then maybe check out this book? I just bought it last week and it's actually really cool because of how thorough it is.

The book's got the original prose on one page, a line by line translation on the opposite page, a J-E dictionary of every word in every story in the back and a section for culture/grammar notes sorted by story as well.

It also comes with readings by a native speaker. I've been slowly working through 川上弘美's 神様 and it's been a lot of fun so far. Highly recommend it for anyone who's completed Genki 1+2 and some Tobira like myself.

u/confanity · 7 pointsr/LearnJapanese

To be honest, a lot of the really good resources for etymology and so on are going to be written in Japanese. That said, here are a few things to try:

  • Makino and Tsutsui's Dictionary of ~ Japanese Grammar series. They provide a really thorough resource for looking up the usage of various words and phrases. If you only get one of my recommendations, this is it.

  • TSujimura's An Introduction to Japanese Linguistics. I don't know if this is the best linguistics text out there, but I've used it and it's serviceable. The main drawback is that Tsujimura insists on using kunrei-shiki romanization instead of Hepburn, which for me creates a surreal disconnect between the text on the page and the actual sounds represented. On the plus side, this is an introduction, so you're not expected to know anything about linguistics in order to read it.

  • Naoko Chino's All About Particles. You don't get a cookie for guessing what this one's about.

  • Helen McCullough's Bungo Manual - if you're interested in classical Japanese, it's another slim volume that will help out a lot.

  • If you're feeling brave, try the Chibi Maruko Kyoushitsu series. They're in Japanese, but it's aimed at elementary-school kids, so it should be relatively accessible. I have the books on 漢字使い分け, 四字熟語, and 作文, and wouldn't mind picking up others when I get the chance.

  • Beyond this, looking for resources at your local university library should give you lots of leads. Just search the catalog for a textbook name, go to the shelf where it's stored in the stacks, and look around for other resources in the same shelf - or ask a librarian to help you; that's what they're there for! Even if you can't check anything out because you're not affiliated, at many colleges it should be possible to browse a bit and make a note of things to find later on your own.
u/BigBoyTrader · 5 pointsr/LearnJapanese

I heard Rosetta Stone is quite poor and expensive, but of course, naturally, I am not an expert :)
Here's what I bought on Amazon so far, still waiting for it to all ship to me:

I am under the impression that it's a good use of time to first learn the Kana (Hiragana + Katakana.) As such, I am currently learning to recognize them by playing Once I learn to recognize them I will move to "Japanase Hiragana and Katakana for Beginners" and drill them so I am able to write them and recognize them more seamlessly, while still continue playing the game to review. I think by the end of next weekend I should be able to recognize the Kana, and hopefully after another 2-4 weeks of drilling I can write them too (I'm not sure if this is realistic at all).

Once I am comfortable with Kana I am going to move to the Genki books, which seem to be highly recommended. I think I will do the workbooks and make Anki decks to memorize Kanji/vocabularly. I think this is approximately 2-3 years of University classes but hopefully this process takes 1-1.5 years of dedicated work? Again, not sure what timelines are reasonable.

u/rainer511 · 5 pointsr/LearnJapanese

> What should I do?

You should use a kanji learning method that has you learn radicals (smaller parts of kanji) first, and then teaches you kanji that you can make out of them. One of the oldest popular versions of this method is Heisig's Remembering the Kanji. It teaches you a story and English word to associate with each kanji, which makes learning vocabulary easier in the future.

KanjiDamage takes a similar approach, but uses mnemonics that are a bit more crass. Unlike Remembering the Kanji, KanjiDamage also gives you vocabulary to associate with kanji.

Either of these methods should be paired with regular use of an SRS system. Anki is free, highly customizable, and popular, but is has a steep learning curve. Most people find it worth the effort to learn how to use it. If you search around there are other alternatives, but none of them as widely used as Anki. You could also just make traditional flash cards.

Or, if you're like me and you're too busy (read:lazy) to get books, make flashcards, manage anki decks, etc, you can just buy WaniKani. WaniKani is free to try for the first two "levels". It is pretty much the approach I explained before, except that it's done all the hard work for you. Also, unlike Remembering the Kanji, WaniKani teaches you vocabulary as you learn kanji.

u/AsunonIndigo · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

If you really, really start feeling uncomfortable with kanji, like I did, RTK can help.

It's controversial on this subreddit for a number of reasons:

  1. It does not teach you the readings of any of them.

  2. It teaches you one, concrete meaning for every kanji it introduces. Nearly every single jouyou kanji ("essential" kanji) has multiple meanings. It's nice to have an anchor point for each kanji you come across, but for some people, it can be hard to attach extra meanings to a character they've already memorized as meaning something else.

  3. Some of the meanings are just plain incorrect and wrong altogether. In fact, I made a post about it. So, every single kanji you learn using this book, ALWAYS cross check with before committing the meaning to memory.

    The pros:

  4. It breaks kanji down into easy easy EASY to remember parts, all of which logically come together to form any particular kanji. Or at least, after you've formulated your own story to help you remember it, they do.

  5. It teaches you to dissect more complex kanji instead of just looking at some big, scary character and thinking "Oh God". For example, 夢 (dream) looks scary, doesn't it? Well it's not. It's composed of these "primitives" (every other resource you encounter will call these primitives "radicals".): Flower, Eye, Crown, and Evening. They're all separate pieces. It's not like "Dream" is just some insane, unique kanji. It's composed of parts, like a puzzle. 95% of all kanji I've encountered are this way. Even kanji I've never seen before can be dissected into these parts. Very few are completely, 100% unique and require their own memorization.

  6. You will remember them like it is your job. You won't know how to READ them; but assigning readings to kanji you already know is so easy it's disgusting. That's why I took a break from Genki upon starting lesson 3 and started RTK. It's been 25 days and I've learned 330 kanji thus far, 15 new ones today. It's hard, hard work, but it has paid off so far. Anki helps a great deal (free flashcard program, look it up if you haven't heard of it before).

    The biggest, most important part of this book, to me, is the fact that it shows you that kanji aren't impossible to learn. Challenging, definitely. Difficult, definitely. But not in the SLIGHTEST impossible.

    At my current rate, it'll take me about 5 and a half months to finish it up. The average time is 3-6 months, and it can be faster or slower depending on how comfortable you are with it. I try to do at least 15 a day. But sometimes, I have no time and skip it, and other times, I have excess time and will do up to 30. No matter what and no matter how many, it's always easy to remember. Just remember you aren't actually learning Japanese; you're merely making ACTUAL learning of Japanese potentially easier.
u/askja · 4 pointsr/LearnJapanese

I wouldn't go for something like Murakami to practice translation because, as atgm points out, the translators wouldn't be translating 1:1.

Why not try one of the "Breaking into Japanese Literature" or "Read Real Japanese" books (any kind of reader really)? They usually come with a direct translation and a more artistic translation. The texts are shorter which should keep your interest up for longer but there's still enough stories for you to have enough to do.

There's plenty of others but a few examples would be:

Breaking into Japanese Literature: Seven Modern Classics in Parallel Text

Exploring Japanese Literature: Read Mishima, Tanizaki, and Kawabata in the Original

Read Real Japanese Fiction: Short Stories by Contemporary Writers

Read Real Japanese: All You Need to Enjoy Eight Contemporary Writers

Read Real Japanese Essays: Contemporary Writings by Popular Authors

I think all of those had the "look inside" enabled so you can decide which style of translation you prefer.

If translation is something that interests you, I recommend heading over to /r/translationstudies to get a few tips on good books on translation studies.

u/Phailadork · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

Hello everyone! I've always been lazy about it and put off learning but I want to get serious about it. So starting today I'm going to do daily studying.

I don't have much money IRL due to illnesses hindering me having a strong income, so I'm currently using memrise's free course titled "Japanese 1". I'm probably going to try to milk all the free courses for what they're worth. Is this a decent strategy / will I learn properly? Or should I go to a different website?

Also, I'm putting some money aside to order this book -

Is it worth it or is there better stuff out there? Thanks!

u/CU-SP4C3C0WB0Y · 2 pointsr/LearnJapanese

Hmm, I’ve never read that, but I would assume it’s easier than one would probably think. After all, the Japanese have been navigating this ambiguous terrain of zero pronouns and particle confusion their whole lives. If they can understand it, then it has to be possible.

If you think about it, we do really weird stuff like that, as well. For example, in the sentence “He gave him his keys,” we technically could have three different people here. Perhaps Tom grabbed his dad’s keys from the dresser and gave them to his brother, Mike—in which case Tom=he; Dad=his; Mike=him. If we know that beforehand, then the sentence makes perfect sense. Yes, it’s a bit odd, but it’s not like we’d really have any trouble understanding it at that point. I can only imagine how difficult that is for Japanese learners of English, though.

Since you’ve given me a book recommendation, I’ll give you mine. It’s Jay Rubin’s “Making Sense of Japanese.” It’s a series of short essays that demystify some of the toughest-to-grasp concepts for English learners of Japanese. He covers the type of scenario which you mentioned having trouble with (don’t we all?) extensively and intuitively, and I think it’d help anyone at any level of fluency. It’s pretty short, pretty cheap, and immensely enlightening. I read it again at least once a year. I truly cannot recommend anything better to a fellow 日本語の学生!

Here’s the Amazon (US) link, if you wanted to check it out:
Making Sense of Japanese: What the Textbooks Don't Tell You

u/hans_grosse · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

No problem... thanks for the reply!

So a little over a month ago (after I made that last post), I bought a copy of The Kodansha Kanji Learner's Course, and it's absolutely awesome. If you can get your hands on a copy, I'd definitely recommend it.

Basically, the book lists 2300 basic kanji... and for each one, it gives the meanings, the readings, a few example compounds, and - most importantly - a useful note on how to remember the character. For example, with the kanji 作 (as in つくる, "to make"), the book recommends viewing the right radical (乍) as a hacksaw, and the radical on the left as a person - thus, a person using a hacksaw to make something. That might not be the true etymology, but it's still a good way to remember the kanji. Some of the suggestions are a bit of a stretch (and kind of hilarious)... but I figure, as long as it helps me with memorization, then why not?

I was starting to go crazy trying to come up with mnemonics to help me remember kanji, so this book has been a huge help (and time-saver) for me.

u/Informal_Spirit · 3 pointsr/LearnJapanese

I'm going to guess beginner books like Genki and Minnanonihongo will be super boring and slow for you. And I'm going to guess you already have an intuitive feel for grammar, and you mostly need to learn kanji and get lots of level appropriate reading.

Here is a great overview of basic grammar (if you need it for reference), they also have intermediate and advanced (that cover different, harder topics) - this one will cover way more than the same $$ value in beginner textbooks:

for level appropriate reading, since you already have vocab, and need to learn kanji, perhaps start from graded readers level 1 and work your way up:
For example:

  • Naze? Doushite? series
  • 10-Bu de yomeru series
  • I guess there are lots more that you can find in Japan. The idea is each level removes the kanji learned in the level below. So you gradually wean yourself off of the furigana above the kanji.

    For systematic Kanji learning, I've seen this Kanji course highly recommended by advanced learners who already have vocab knowledge (so might be better than the usual RTK/KKLC/Wanikani recommendations for beginners with little to no vocab experience):

    Hopefully that helps a bit!
u/adlerchen · 4 pointsr/LearnJapanese

I'm a big supporter of using media to boost your listening and reading comprehension, when learning a language, but as a 一年生 don't expect too much from this approach yet. This is more of a thing for intermediate students. Mediawise, it will be very hard for you to understand anything at your level, so maybe you should look into graded readers instead of manga and look into kids programs instead of, say, the more adult oriented anime, though there are certainly plenty of cartoons out there for kids. There are a bunch of ways, though, to maximize how much you learn from media, such as listening to the same clips several times, first with subtitles, second with a dictionary in hand to look up everything you didn't know, and third without anything to test how much you retained/picked up. If you're not focusing on how the media can improve your language skills, then you're only convincing yourself into just watching TV or just reading for pleasure. Neither of these things are bad in small amounts, especially as an occasional break from studying, but, don't make the mistake that sooooooo many others make when adopting television and comic books into their language learning regimen.

Also, check out Japanese the Manga Way by Wayne Lammers. It's a very good source of grammar information, and it gives you example sentences taken from real manga.

u/naevorc · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

Do you have a local university where you can audit a summer class? I recommend doing that if you can, and also you can ask your professor recommendations.

Force yourself to learn Hiragana and Katakana in 1 week or so and get that over with quickly. Do not go easy on yourself and move on from reading the Romanized pronunciations. There are flash card apps you can use as well, my preferred is called Anki. I live in Japan and still use it as there are flash card decks for everything, and especially since it's on my phone (free on android, paid on iphone).

Find a language partner if possible. There are also online Skype services.

For now though, I recommend either of the first two books, and the third. My organization's Japanese language advisor prefers Minna no Nihongo, because he thinks the Genki series uses too much English. But I first learned in the states during college and still feel that Genki 1 & 2 were great introductory books. The third book is from my language advisor's preferred Japanese Language Proficiency Test prepbook series:


[Minna no Nihongo] (

[Nihongo So Matome N5] (

Learn how to count, along with the basic various counter words (ex: the first 10 days of the month are special words, 10 people, 10 things, etc)

Learn "すみません sumimasen" for "I'm sorry / excuse me / thank you" (sometimes). Use this especially if you need someone's attention or want to ask a question.

"arigatou(gozaimasu/gozaimashita)" = thank you

Toire wa doko desu ka? =
Where's the bathroom?

男 "otoko" = man

女 "onna" = woman

Also check out /r/movingtojapan /r/japanlife

Blessings on you

u/kenkyuukai · 4 pointsr/LearnJapanese

In my post about reading strategies I suggested starting with translations of books you are familiar with, particularly those aimed at children and adolescents (primarily for the extensive furigana).

While I agree that good translation requires you to understand all the nuances of the text, translation is a completely different skill from comprehension. I also wonder if too much translation actually hinders the second language acquisition process. Isn't the goal to understand it in the target language, as is, rather than making sure you understand it in a language you already know?

Some suggestions for authors and books:

乙一(おついち): He writes horror and light novels and was first published at age 16. It's not classic literature my any means but it's easy and most of the stories are short. I particularly liked "Seven Rooms" which was in one of the Zoo collections.

EDIT: Apparently there is a 30min short film adaptation of "Seven Rooms".

奥田英朗(おくたひでお): His Irabu-sensei series of short stories is fun and fairly accessible. Although they are all connected through the eponymous doctor, the main character(s) of each vignette are different and the language varies accordingly.

夏目漱石(なつめそうせき): While most of his work is incredibly difficult, 夢十夜 is an excellent collection of short stories made better by the free audio released by the publishers of Breaking into Japanese Literature.

u/silverforest · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

wrt Hiragana/Katakana: Though this mightn't be so useful if you're comfortable with your existing methods, I used Remembering the Kana (Amazon link) to memorize most of the Hiragana in one afternoon. Complete memorization came with subsequent constant use of the Hiragana. Something I've learnt from using mnemonics: Memory tricks are useful for the initial hump of getting things into your short term memory, but practice (and use) is are still important to get things into your long term memory.

wrt Kanji: You'll be fine putting it off for a while. But when you do: I once posted a short rant on Kanji that might be useful. Going at the nice slow pace of one Kanji a day seems to be nice, maybe slower at the beginning when you're overwhelmed with everything else. As for mnemonics, RTK ([click here for sampler]( (maybe ramping it up later.ample.pdf), read the introduction!!) is oft recommended, but it misses usage examples and only teaches you how to write Kanji. A far, far, better book for looking at Kanji is Henshaw's Guide to Remembering the Japanese Characters. The only thing it misses is stroke order but you should get a hang of the general rules after learning the stroke order of the first 50 or so.

u/ishigami_san · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

As expected, my N5 didn't go well for me, as I only seriously started practicing like a few days ago. Although, listening part went well (or so I think) for me, as I'm watching Japanese stuff on a regular basis for ~7 years now.

In any case, I'm more determined now. I'm following KLC book, KLC Anki deck, JLPT N5 Vocabulary Anki deck, and An Introduction to Japanese - Syntax, Grammar, & Language. Also, I have Making Sense of Japanese but haven't started reading it yet.

I tried Memrise too but didn't go well for me. I found Anki better. Now just have to devote some time off Anki to study grammar too.

Hope this helps, and all the best!

u/SaeculaSaeculorum · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

xizar answered already, but KLC, Kanji Learner's Course, is a book by Andrew Conning that presents the kanji in an order that prioritizes both useful to building up future kanji vocabulary as well as usefulness to the student of Japanese. All kanji from the Joyo list are included, as well as kanji popular in names or that are expected to be added to the Joyo list. Each new kanji also has a mnemonic story that helps a student remember the kanji. I really do suggest checking it out if you are looking around for a kanji resource, it's worth far more that what you pay for it.

u/deneru · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

Check out Heisig's "Remembering the Kanji". Learn the kana, know stroke order, pronunciation, etc, but realize they are not a substitute for kanji. You need both to be able to do anything besides read children's books and play really old video games.

Get yourself an SRS (Spaced Repetition Software). Basically really intelligent flash cards. The software tells you when to review them so you don't waste time reviewing what you already know. I recommend Anki, but Surusu also has a large number of users. Both are free.

Check All Japanese All the Time. The author, Khatzumoto, tends to take things to extremes, and he verges off into personal developement a lot. If you stick to the Table of Contents I just linked to and take everything he says with a few grains of salt you'll be fine. A more moderate, more Spanish-focused view can be found on Spanish Only.

u/RamenvsSushi · 6 pointsr/LearnJapanese

Khatzumoto :
Khatzumoto learned to be fluent in Japanese in 18 months. He did this through complete immersion. He would listen to Japanese every single day even if he didn't understand most of it at first. Learning is all about TIME. He learned how to read and write fluently by going over many sentences through SRS(Spaced Repitition System). As for Kanji, he recommends the Heisig method which I myself found extremely helpful and have a much easier time learning Kanji. If you don't want to purchase you can find a torrent very easily.

Explanation in video bits:

Watching Japanese videos without subtitles

4 stages of listening

You'll suck at it less as time goes on

I do highly recommend watching all 3 parts of the videos as there is a lot more information in them.


10,000 Hours of Listening Comprehension

10,000 Sentences

Additional Sources I use for Learning 日本語:

Anki Deck for Sentences



Learning at first is overwhelming but definitely will get easier over time. But that's the thing, you have to give it a chance.

u/therico · 2 pointsr/LearnJapanese

Try some other schools? Usually you don't need to come in at rank beginner level if you already know a lot of Japanese. (I haven't been to one, but I am going to one in October).

The advantage of a school is that it offers you a 2 year visa. If there are other visa options, I'd recommend those - working holiday visa is available for some countries, etc. Then you can self-study and practice conversation. Assuming you're sufficiently motivated!

As for books, I did this book. It overlaps a bit with Genki 2 but it's a natural step up. Towards the end it gets quite difficult as it uses native texts. I'm now doing Tobira which is really fun and is placed between N3 and N2.

u/nenamartinez · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

I don't have much input on your techniques, sorry, but, there IS a book that I thought might fit your situation.

I was sort of in a situation like you (studied in college, had a 5 year gap with no studying at all, and picked up studying again) and I needed to do a lot of review but also move forward. The book linked above, "Kanji in Context" (and the accompanying 2 text books) are great for that. Good luck!

u/Haitatchi · 2 pointsr/LearnJapanese

I've never used Japanese for Dummies, so I don't know how far it takes you and how well it allows you to transition to more advanced learning materials. As has already been mentioned, the easiest method is to exhaust all the grammar your current book can teach. The most popular alternatives to JfD are Genki and Japanese from Zero. If you asked anyone who studied Japanese for a while, if they used either book or at least heard about them, they'll most likely say yes. On top of that, it's easy to build up on your knowledge after you finished the textbook. After Genki 1, you can use Genki 2 and after you finished that as well you'll be quite good at Japanese.

If you want to practise natural speaking and writing, I'd recommend to take a look at an app called HelloTalk. It basically lets you chat with native speakers of a language of your choice for free. It might feel like it's still a little too early to try that but when I look back at how I learnt Japanese, I wish that I would have used that app much, much sooner. It's never to early to start speaking/ writing!

u/Raizzor · 3 pointsr/LearnJapanese

I think you can always do passive listening as in watch Anime and Dorama with subtitles. It might not seem like you study, but the constant exposure to spoken Japanese alone will train your ears and you will soon start to recognize words and phrases which gives you a nice feeling of success.

Once you finished Genki 1, you are probably ready for reading practice with native material. Pick up a simple Manga that has furigana and try getting through it, it will probably take you 10-20 minutes per page at first, but that speed will increase. Just imagine yourself at 4-5 years of age, trying to read your first book. There are also graded readers (just Google it) or parallel texts which I highly recommend.

u/Mrstarker · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

I would be inclined to say yes. It's not a system without flaws, as a number of people have pointed out in this thread, but it can be tweaked and supplemented with Firefox/Chrome userscripts to customize it to your needs. If you have money to spare, you might also consider a subscription to Satori Reader where you can set unknown kanji to display furigana according to your WK progress.

If money is an issue, however, the Kodansha course is a pretty good alternative. I have been using the Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary that the course is based on and it has been a really good supplement.

u/Xen0nex · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

Thanks for the reply! Are these the Genki books you're referring to?

Offhand I'd put myself as an Intermediate-Beginner. Kana is no problem, but I only have around 60 or so Kanji under my belt, and my vocab/verbal was about the level to get me though typical everyday conversations, albeit with some groping around with very basic and bad grammar to make myself understood when I don't know how to say something. One of the bigger points is just that I haven't been speaking / listening to it for the last 4 years.

Is Nikkei this website?

I guess I would want to get a lot of math / physics / mechanical vocab so I can describe results from stress tests and failure loads and so on. I'm not aiming to have easy, flowing conversation skills in 2 months or anything, but if I can understand most of what the other engineers are saying, and make myself understood quickly at least, I'd be satisfied.

Yeah, I haven't set myself up for success very well; all of my blocked-off self-study time ended up getting eaten up with business trips and late nights in the lab, and then the transfer date got set recently.

I've been hoping to find an outside tutor / course if for no other reason than to have some time that I know couldn't get sucked into work-time, but you may be right; setting some focused time each day to work on vocab could be my best bet.

u/WhaleMeatFantasy · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

You're not just going to be able to guess/work it out/get an answer in even a long reddit post.

Are you actually studying Japanese? You need a self-study book at the very least (many people recommend the Genki series) or, if you just want to dabble, look at the Pimsleur or Michel Thomas audio series. Another fun approach you may enjoy is Japanese the Manga Way.

It's well worth making the effort. Good luck!

u/Great_Wall · 2 pointsr/LearnJapanese

Agreed there. For day-to-day use, electronic dictionaries (that is, online dictionaries like, apps, Yomichan, etc. - not just one of these) trump paper dictionaries completely. Looking things up in a paper dictionary is incredibly time-consuming, and can also be frustrating because you will often forget something right after you look it up, especially if you're a beginner.

However! I think paper dictionaries can be great if you just go through them randomly, and for fun. I own a few Japanese dictionaries (namely this and this), and do just that, flipping through them, reading example sentences, making new connections, and occasionally having new vocab randomly stick by accident.

If I used my dictionaries to actually look things up every time I needed to, I'd go crazy pretty quickly, I think. But if I treat them like Wikipedia (ie, hopping all over the damn place because something new catches my interest every 30 seconds), then that's where I think their value is -- and I would argue that that experience with a physical book in your hands is hard to replicate in an electronic dictionary.

Though, to anyone who's new to Japanese, I'd still recommend going 100%-electronic and saving yourself some dosh. I'd only recommend the above if you like the "nostalgic" feeling of flipping through a book in your hands.

u/tkdtkd117 · 4 pointsr/LearnJapanese

I'm not fluent, but the kanji resource that I like best is the Kodansha Kanji Learner's Course; I feel that it does the best job of anything that I've seen in terms of explaining similar kanji and how to tell them apart. There is a decent number of pages available in the Look Inside preview, so maybe browse through and see if any of the explanations for similar kanji early on (木 vs. 本, 休 vs. 体, 牛 vs. 午, 北 vs. 比, 刀 vs. 刃) click with you?

u/sumirina · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

I don't really know why but the books are listed twice on Amazon... on the more expensive base listing (the 90€ one) the alternative shops are actually a bit cheaper (see here) so at least you could get the textbook for around ~50€ and I think the workbook is around 23€ here (the picture shows the second edition so it should be the right one), maybe if you get them from the same shop you could get lucky with cheaper shipping as well, but I don't know about that (same goes for the answer key )

Apart from looking for cheaper shopping on Amazon de you might also want to check Amazon jp (the shipping costs are pretty high but the base price is much cheaper). I'm a bit too lazy to look it up right now, but you can change the site to English so it shouldn't be too hard. Just don't forget to calculate the shipping in as well!

u/Toast- · 2 pointsr/LearnJapanese

If you can't read hiragana and katakana, find an app for that and learn them right away (really doesn't take long).

You'll want some way to study grammar, and while a textbook like Genki is probably best, Human Japanese or Tae Kim's Guide are good options that I really like.

You'll also probably want a way to learn Kanji, in which case I would pick up a copy of the Kodansha Kanji Learners Course and the Anki app plus related decks. If you want to stay entirely on mobile and don't mind monthly fees, try out WaniKani.

As for vocab, Anki with one of the "Core" vocab decks would be a good start.

u/conception · 3 pointsr/LearnJapanese

WaniKani or other "Learn Kanji via the Radicals" methods actually make learning Kanji a lot easier and more fun. WaniKani doesn't always use the "real" meaning of the radicals, which takes away some of your ability to figure out what unknown kanji may mean, but it the method is fantastic for learning kanji. is really good if you need to learn a certain set of Kanji (via a class or something) and want to learn/use the radicals as wanikani picks your kanji for you.

u/TheFermz · 3 pointsr/LearnJapanese

Like most people here are saying you need to know a lot more Japanese before you can read novels. Once you're a but further I recommend you to read this book:

Everytime a new kanji is introduced it has the furigana attached. Also put all the new words you learn in a flash card app.

Good luck with studying :)

u/Twofoe · 2 pointsr/LearnJapanese

It's pretty neat. The author takes panels from various manga along with a brief description of the context, gives a translation and breakdown of what each word is doing, and explains the grammar point for that section. It's a very fun read, and actually teaches you a lot. I suggest clicking "look inside" on the amazon page to see what it covers in the table of context. Read the preface, too.

A Google search reveals that it'll bring you up to about an N4 level of grammar, which is as good as what the Genki 1+2 gets you. The difference is that it's actually fun to read, and it teaches you casual speech in conjunction with the formal stuff. If you're taking a class, Genki takes 2 years to finish; I finished The Manga Way in 2 weeks.

u/poppasan · 2 pointsr/LearnJapanese

Sure. To regain motivation, have fun.

Do you need to learn kana? Make mnemonic charts with your own art.

Genki's method of kanji is bad? Textbooks don't excel at that. KanjiStudy does.

Japanese Graded Readers are fun, tho you may not be ready yet.

Rosetta Stone [insert obligatory condemnation in the next reply] costs money, but if you have it and it doesn't bore you stiff, it's worth a try. (Do the demo first to see if it's for you.)

You can do Japanese the Manga Way ( ) or online versions of the defunct Mangajin almost from the beginning, tho you get more out of it the better you get.

Whatever you do, if it's learning or practice at all and you like doing it, you've got something to make it fun.

u/JohnnyNonymous · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

Thanks for the detailed post. I think the textbook-search site'll be especially handy, since I've never heard of it before.

And since you seem to know of a lot of good resources, I have a few questions (if you don't mind).

  1. Would you happen to know the difference between these two Kodansha kanji dictionaries?

  1. I'm interested in the All About Particles book, and other such supplementary texts, but is there a chance that the Dictionary of Japanese Grammar series might make them redundant?

  2. How is Kodansha's Communicative English-Japanese Dictionary? Wouldn't it be redundant to the Furigana dictionary, which lets you do look-up in both JP-EN and EN-JP? Or is it nuanced enough to be worth it on its own?

u/tactics · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

Some Kanji facts.

There are 1945 Jouyou "Daily Use" kanji. Newspapers use these. Of these, about 1000 are designated Kyouiku "Educational kanji, divided into six grades to be learned by the end of elementary school. You might want to try and learn them in that order.

For reference, Kodansha's The Kanji Learner's Dictionary is unbeatable. It's compact, being almost small enough to fit into your pocket. It uses SKIP, which is the fastest, easiest way to look up characters.

When learning kanji, make sure you memorize the basic rules for stroke order. Enclosures first, left to right, top to bottom, horizontal before vertical, vertical piercings come last. Knowing the stroke order will make your handwriting look authentic.

Radicals each have their own meaning. A Guide to Remembering the Japanese Characters is very good for learning the meanings of each of the radicals and creating a "story" for each character to help you remember them.

One common pitfall with learning kanji is if you neglect to WRITE kanji out by hand, you will be able to READ them, but you will forget how to WRITE them. Just make sure that even if you're using a computer to write out your Japanese by hand.

Try to memorize WORDS instead of CHARACTERS. For example, don't just learn that 続 means "continue" because it's not a word on its own. Instead, learn that 接続 means "connection" and 続く means "to continue".

There's a lot of Kanji. You don't learn them in a few years. It takes Japanese natives over a decade of schooling before they are able to read their own language fluently. And they are immersed in it! Just keep working on them and don't get discouraged.

u/1000m · 3 pointsr/LearnJapanese

(Tae Kim Tae Kim)

Like most answers, i'd have to say you need vocab, some kanji, basic grammar, and probably more. However, if you plow through some reading material, translating as best you can and figuring out what you can, grammar-wise, doing your best understand what's going on, then yeah it can be a valuable exercise.

u/NucleoPyro · 7 pointsr/LearnJapanese

If you need kanji learning to be gamified for you to be interested enough to keep at it, it's not a bad way to learn kanji. However there are much faster ways of learning the kanji, if you're wiling to use a system like Anki. Think of it this way:


  • Interesting and organizes learning for you, making less external effort on your part

  • Expensive

  • Minimum of ~2 years to complete (according to what others have said)

    You could also get the other oft recommended resource for kanji learning, the Kodansha Kanji Learner's Course.


  • Go at your own pace

  • Book is only ~30 dollars

  • Community made anki decks mean it isn't that much more work to use with an SRS system

    If you did 8 kanji a day from KKLC, and learned each recommended vocab word for those kanji (On average there's 2 for each kanji) you'd be learning 16 vocab a day, and you'd "finish" the book in 288 days. The good part about KKLC is if you feel you're getting overwhelmed or you feel that you can handle more, you can adjust how many kanji you do each day. It's both a more flexible system and a cheaper system.
u/Spoggerific · 4 pointsr/LearnJapanese

You should really read the sidebar. There's an FAQ with a lot of stuff specifically designed for absolute beginners like you. Regardless...

Genki: An integrated course in elementary Japanese is what I used when I started, and it's what I like to recommend to people. It has two volumes. You can find the first one here on Amazon, or you can just pirate it if you don't have the money to spend or want to try it out first. Finding out where to pirate it is up to you.

No matter what textbook you choose, you should take a look at Tae Kim's free guide. It's a very good guide to basic and intermediate grammar. It is a little lacking in some explanations and practice exercises, however, so I usually recommend it as a supplement to a normal textbook.

Teaching yourself Japanese all the way to fluency is entirely possible, by the way! I've never stepped foot in a classroom, and while I would never call myself fluent, after four years, I'm good enough at the language to watch Japanese TV without subtitles and read Japanese books.

u/fuyunoyoru · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

> I don't really care if Hayashi did his homework or if the lady reading the newspaper is Tanaka and neither do the people I want to talk to.

At my undergrad school, I taught the language lab (1 hour per week required intensive practice session where we drilled the students) for three years. I was surprised at how surprised the actual instructors were that the students often wrote very similar criticisms on their course evaluation forms. No one gives a fuck what Hayashi is or is not doing. But, everyone was up on the latest chapter of whatever Shōnen Jump manga was popular at the time.

I'm a huge fan of manga. Even as a first year student I enjoyed plodding along in my favorite story with my trusty denshi jisho, and copies of my Yellow and Blue. (The Red one hadn't come out yet.)

Pick a story and go for it. Even if you have to keep a translated copy nearby to help understand.

u/durafuto · 2 pointsr/LearnJapanese
Is a great starter as a book.
You also have if you rather start online (and free) It's very extensive and the guy is really a nerd about the language but imho it's a bit blunt for beginners. is online and beginner friendly but I find it quite verbose (maybe you wont). First "season" is free so go check it out as the WK team has done a nice job there too.

u/nuts_without_shells · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

First off, thank you for sharing your personal background.

If English is not your native language, yet you are striving to learn a third - honestly, I can't send enough kudos your way.

As far as kanji is concerned, I highly recommend A Guide to Remembering the Japanese Characters:

"Remembering the Kanji" seems to be far more preferred, but me, I've found that learning the historical basis of the kanji has helped far more than mnemonics that may be counter to their actual origin. Again, that's just me - everyone is different.

tl;dr version - Looks like you've decided to start learning Japanese and join the group that may have other people looking at you weird. Ignore 'em. We're glad to have you. :)

u/gegegeno · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

Did you read the FAQ? It contains a bunch of sites you might find useful for your situation, like Tae Kim's Guide to Learning Japanese, which can get you started on grammar and hopefully won't arouse anyone's suspicion.

Incidentally, if you're looking for a language where no one is ever going to judge you, this might not be the one. Just saying. Maybe you should get that issue sorted out before moving onto any new hobbies.

If you can wait until you move out of home, Genki (also in the FAQ) is a great textbook, and is highly recommended. Get the workbook too so you can practice what you're learning. This is way more comprehensive than Tae Kim IMO.

u/snowbell55 · 2 pointsr/LearnJapanese

Can't really say for an actual order between all of the books but you should learn hiragana and katakana before doing anything else (it's not so intimidating to do), and you can probably go on to use Genki 1 then Genki 2 after that.

That said you did pick several well recommended books so assuming you can get a study plan going (and stick with it) you should be on a good footing.

As far as other recommended resources, I've heard (but not tried it myself) Tobira mentioned as a good way of moving on after finishing Genki. For Kanji and (to a lesser extent) vocab you could also use Anki (free) or Wanikani (subscription / one off payment), or if you prefer textbooks KKLC.

u/4432454653424 · 5 pointsr/LearnJapanese

I also highly recommend KKLC. You can read the introduction with Amazon's Look Inside! function which really explains the methodology. It takes the best of other existing methods and wraps them up into one. You learn mnemonics for each character, you don't need to study graphemes because they are introduced as the course goes on, and it contains selected vocabulary that represent common compounds with the primary on and kun yomi readings for each character. Vocabulary is, after all, the way to learn readings. Pair the book with a SRS system like Anki (and there is already a deck for KKLC), and you've got an excellent method that you can work through at your own pace. I personally have been trying to average 15-20 characters a day so that I can finish before the end of the year. Some days I'll do up to 50 though.

HERE is why I would recommend WaniKani over KKLC: If you want a system that is all in one, that will give you progress markers, and will hold your hand throughout the process. I'll be the first to admit kanji study is rather tedious, and I think doing KKLC independently requires a lot of dedication. So if you aren't ready to commit to that, you can start with wani kani. I don't want to comment on it because I never used it, but I don't like that it locks you off from further content until you reach a certain level of mastery with the current stuff... I'd rather learn vocab through reading and not be forced to memorize words out of context to advance.

u/leoneemly · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

The various Dictionary of * Japanese Grammar books are all pretty good. They have good explanations and example sentences and if you use Anki, there exist decks that cover all of the example sentences in the books.

The only issue for self-study is that they are laid out like dictionaries, so they go in alphabetical order. I would also recommend the Kanzen Master grammar books if you want something a little more guided.

u/Nukemarine · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

There's lots of resources for Hiragana and Katakana, most of them for free so no need to actually buy anything if you don't want to. Here's some material I put together based on one such book:

Remembering the Hiragana in 3 Hours - Memrise Course

Remembering the Katakana in 3 Hours - Memrise Course

Remembering the Kana Video Series - Youtube

Remembering the Kana in 6 Hours by James Heisig - book

For Kanji, there's sources like Kodansha Kanji Learner Course, Kanji in Context and Remembering the Kanji. You should be able to check out PDFs for all to see which work for you.

Here's a Memrise Course I made based on an optimized list of RTK. Includes videos and stories to help. Good skills to you on whatever choice you make.

u/creamyhorror · 3 pointsr/LearnJapanese

Very nice survey of the options, thanks.

Some years ago I used Henshall's book and recommended it on another forum as an alternative to Heisig/RtK. I liked Henshall's mnemonics and etymologies, though he never got popular like Heisig/RtK did. I've not heard of Conning's book, it seems to be quite new, so I'm guessing it must be really good if you recommend it over Henshall.

Another +1 for the Core10k deck, though I'm only studying the words that have high frequency according to a particular frequency list I'm using. I've heard there's quite a bit of low-frequency, newspaper-ish vocab in it.

u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/LearnJapanese

The thing with novels is that a good novel uses a wide range of expressions to be descriptive, a large part of which will not be used in ordinary life or, if used, will sound strange.

However, so long as you bear that in mind, reading a novel is a great experience. Although, as a newbie, it is very difficult and probably counter productive to learning.

Maybe at intermediate levels, you can take on a Murakami novels. They're written in quite a simple fashion, the sentences almost sound like they were written originally in English and then translated into Japanese, whereas a lot of other Japanese novels go out of their way to demonstrate literary Japanese.

I would also recommend picking up some parallel translations, I think I had this one when I first started like 15 years ago
It's fun, but it's more useful as a guide as to where you're at and a grammar model; it won't be able to serve as a core part of your learning.

u/eduardozrp · 2 pointsr/LearnJapanese

Try satori reader, from the guys who made human japanese.

If you really need a textbook you should probably go with Tobira, it covers more advanced stuff than genki but you can probably handle it since you finished Human Japanese.

I can also recommend ["Making Sense of Japanese"] ( by Jay Rubin, it's a short read but gives you a deeper understanding of a few different topics.

Imabi is probably the most complete japanese resource in english and it's free, definitely give it a try.

u/DirewolfX · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

In terms of books in Japanese, probably not at your level.

If you're willing to expand to books about Japanese (written in English or another language you're fluent in), you can probably find some stuff that isn't too dry. Something like this book: which is a collection of essays about Japanese by a well known translator.

There are also some bilingual books which contain Japanese and English (sometimes with a dictionary), but I think they'll still be too complex at your level of grammar to get the most out of, and you'll just end up reading the English. And honestly, by the time I felt comfortable getting through those, I could just read stuff in pure Japanese anyway.

u/replaceits · 3 pointsr/LearnJapanese

I've found that Japanese textbooks do tend to go cheaper on then else where. Just make sure the ISBN of the book in question is the same and go for it! Some items wont be able to ship out of japan but most books that I've seen do!

I would switch the language from Japanese to English on the site just to ease the purchase (日本語 with the globe under it, just hover over it.)

And even if you've used the free prime trial on regular amazon you can get the trial again on the Japanese version, so free shipping!


For example this book and this book on the Japanese site both have the same ISBN 4874244475 which you can see in the Product Details so they are exactly the same book.

u/Theodorin · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

I really like KLC, the Kodansha Kanji Leaner's Course:

Combined with the Anki deck for it:

It condenses the meaning of the kanji into a mnemonic "keyword". It gives you sample vocabulary so you can see how the kanji is actually used/read in Japanese words. It teaches you the stroke order (some people don't like learning stoke order, by I find that writing a kanji I'm trying to learn really solidifies the specifics of it in my mind). It groups kanji that look similar together, and makes you intuitively learn how to distinguish them from the beginning instead of it being a huge pain later. It teaches you via "graphemes", which are basically radicals that kanji are constructed from. It does all of this while also teaching kanji by frequency of use, so that you learn the most useful kanji early.

Not to mention that it was a course created more recently, so it contains all of the jōyō kanji (kanji that the Japanese government determined you need to know to be literate in Japanese), including the 196 that were added in 2010, and the most useful non-jōyō kanji. 2300 characters in total.

As you're learning the kanji, I would also study grammar and vocab alongside it, so that the kanji aren't just these abstract concepts in your head that you never use, and you understand how they're applied in practice. I recommend Tae Kim's Guide to Japanese Grammar:

Also start trying to read real Japanese: manga, TV subtitles, newspapers, whatever you like, as soon as you can. You can probably start trying that at around 1500 kanji or so with a Japanese dictionary. In my experience, nothing has taught me better than actually trying to read Japanese works and understand them.

WaniKani was too slow and didn't click for me, but that might be something you like.

u/aardvarkinspace · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

if you are still at the level where you feel like you need English translation, maybe try something like satori reader or the Read Real Japanese books. They will have information on the grammar and explain nuances to you which is a lot better for learning than trying to compare to the English translation. As other have said translation isn't literal, and I don't think it will help you know if you got it right in all cases. That said I do sometimes read stories which I have read in English as at least I know the basic premise and it helps me figure things out in a broader context.

u/Roy_ALifeWellLived · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

Just started on Genki 1 not too long ago and a friend recommended I pick up Kodansha KLC to work through alongside Genki. While Genki is my main priority, I find it very nice to have something else to turn to when I start feeling kinda burnt out. Kodansha KLC is a very awesome book for learning kanji and I'd highly recommend it to anyone learning the language! I feel like this is starting to sound like a sales pitch haha, but really I'm so glad I bought it.

u/eetsumkaus · 2 pointsr/LearnJapanese

The Read Real Japanese series might be a good bridge into native material. The particular editions I linked have furigana and English translations on opposing pages. It should be intelligible if you've finished Tobira. Shounen and Shoujo manga should also be a good next step.

Honestly I'm surprised you got as far as Tobira without going outside of a textbook. You should be able to digest some native material by now.

u/Hunsvotti · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

Your comment—and the general consensus around here—convinced me that I should get that series of grammar books. However, I'm not sure I found the right series. If there's any chance you could confirm it's these (basic, intermediate and advanced, seems to be all for ¥11,130) it would be highly appreciated. :)
Thank you!

u/Belgand · 2 pointsr/LearnJapanese

Not like this, no. Still, you can put in the work, build your own, and share it with others if you're feeling generous.

The closest example would be to get some of the Japanese readers out there like "Read Real Japanese", "Breaking Into Japanese Literature", and "Exploring Japanese Literature". These are aimed at people still learning so they're chosen to be notable, but still easy to read. More relevantly they typically have vocabulary at the bottom of each page to help you. Admittedly, there are other features present (full parallel text in English, Japanese audio for each, etc.), but that's why they're specifically sold as teaching tools.

u/wodenokoto · 4 pointsr/LearnJapanese

I can't believe nobody mentioned A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar (and the Intermediate and Advanced books that follows it)

Use Genki, skip the grammar descriptions in the book and instead look them up in A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar (and read all the sections in the book before the dictionary part)

As linguist you should be aware of second language acquisition theory and therefore sympathise with / understand / appreciate how the teaching of the language progress through a normal textbook. You can't learn a language just by understanding its structure, you need practice and exposure.

For Kanji you can look at A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters, which will go through the etymology of the most common ~2100 characters as historically correct as any other work of etymology on these things can get. You can supplement with

I think something like Core 2k decks for anki (or the paid version, is good enough for practicing listening and reading comprehension, even for a linguist.

u/Ambushes · 8 pointsr/LearnJapanese

As far as I can tell, she borrows a lot of inspiration from this really fantastic book which I would recommend everyone to read as well. It's available online if you know where to look.

u/matrices · 16 pointsr/LearnJapanese

It's not targeting you in particular, but I've seen posts like this before and well, I don't understand why people interpret the Kana as a lengthy step that needs to be supplemented. It's 48 characters with no meaning besides sound -- pure memorization. If one needs to supplement additional readings or lessons with this, you are ignoring the issue at heart, memorize 48 characters.

If you sit down and completely focus, Hiragana is a 3 hour memorization job, naturally, if it takes you a few days, so be it, but the point is to have it internalized first. I bet many can do it in even less if they really applied themselves. Sit down, grab a coffee, pull up a table and just memorize it. Don't do anything else Japanese related until you have this down (Notice I'm not even asking for Katakana here, just Hiragana--think about what namasensei said! "Just effing write it down!!"). If you're really struggling, this book is fantastic.

Once you memorized it in however amount of hours it takes, just test and test yourself over and over again.

Anyways, I think you get my point. To me, learning Hiragana is like learning the alphabet. It's the first thing anybody does before anything else, there's no supplement to it, there's no complimentary grammar lesson that fits nicely with it, it's just a straight up 48 character memorization process we all have to go through to get our foot in the door.

u/10yearbazooka · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

If you like anime and manga this site is fun:

It would really help you to get an actual textbook though. I use the Genki series, and it is much, much more affordable than Rosetta Stone and a million times better too.

u/asehic89 · 8 pointsr/LearnJapanese

Why don't you try a book that helps you learn Kanji and Vocabulary associated with those Kanji?

I recommend this:

There are also memrise quizzes to drill yourself on what you learned:

"こんにちは" is the right way to write Konnichiwa. What were you trying to say with the second part, mainly "多町"?

Good luck!

u/Lankei · 8 pointsr/LearnJapanese

Check out Remembering the Kanji by James Heisig.

Learning kanji by radicals is a good way of doing things, but for most everyone, an additional layer of abstraction is required to memorize things well. That is to say, creating stories or mnemonics using these radicals is an effective way to learn kanji.

There's been a lot of discussion on Remembering the Kanji and similar programs such as the Kodansha Kanji Learner's Course, so I'd check that out.

u/rainingcows · 3 pointsr/LearnJapanese

I own a few beginner books like this. If you like folk tales, this is exactly what you're asking for: Treasury of Japanese Folk Tales - the stories are in English on the first half of the page, and on the bottom half in mostly kana with furigana over any kanji. It's a nice hardcover book with color illustrations on each page, so I think it's worth the price.
Clay and Yumi Boutwell have written Japanese readers that are very similar- furigana and kana text with definitions for each kanji/vocabulary on the bottom half of the page, followed by a full English summary afterwards. I own Hikoichi, Momotaro, and Inch High Samurai. I think the Boutwells' readers are good learning material but way overpriced considering how small each reader is. Since the Treasury of Japanese Folk Tales also contains many of the stories covered by each of the Boutwells' readers, it's a better bang for the buck (though missing the 1-1 definitions for each kanji/vocabulary).
I also own the red Giles Murray Breaking into Japanese Literature, but it's a bit above my current skill level since many of the kanji don't have furigana.
I have also looked into Kodansha's bilingual series, but since it's aimed at Japanese readers trying to learn English- manga have speech bubbles in English with no furigana kanji on the sides, but regular Japanese manga + English translated counterpart is more helpful since regular Japanese manga aimed for children have furigana.

u/iwakun · 5 pointsr/LearnJapanese

I've answered this question before, so you might find some useful information there. Special emphasis on Japanese the Manga Way and JapanesePod101

To add to that, let me add a few more pointers directed specifically at you.

  • No Rosetta Stone! Although it's popular and probably works in some learner/language configurations, I hear that it's not the best for Japanese. Rosetta Stone tries to fit all languages into its program and Japanese doesn't fit that mold very well. Plus in think that their "Act like a baby" slogan is bulls#!t. Kids are barely coherent even after four years of immersion. Plus you've already learned one language, so you know a lot about how language and communication works (nouns, verbs, etc). Why not leverage that knowledge? </rant>

  • An good offline grammar resource is The Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar but more as a reference book than a guided learning book.

  • I like the Kotoba app for iPod Touch but that's for reference too.
u/goofballl · 2 pointsr/LearnJapanese

You could try something like books that have Japanese on one side and English on the other. I found those sorts of texts pretty helpful. And because it's literature it might be more interesting to you than manga.

Another option is to get a text online, so that when you run across an unknown word it's just a mouseover away with rikaichan/kun.

u/JJ_Harper · 2 pointsr/LearnJapanese

As not a fox suggests, there are tons of these. When you learn a kanji you should pay attention to whether it can be used as a stand-alone word. Often it can, which gives you a way of using the kanji right away, before you've mastered its compounds (which may include other kanji you don't know yet). The Kanji Learner's Course does a great job introducing a lot of these stand-alone usages as you're learning the characters. The best J-E dictionary resource for this type of thing is Halpern's Kanji Learner's Dictionary, but I recommend the easily searchable app rather than the bulky book.

u/Vladz0r · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

I feel like you might have done kanji->keyword, in which case that might explain why you didn't get anything out of learning the kanji individually. You're supposed to learn how to write the Kanji, so that you can recognize each individually, because kanji meaning reinforces.

Remember the Kanji:

There are also Anki decks and free pdfs for the book floating around.

There's also where you can learn and look up mnemonic stories for writing kanji.

>Wether I read a sentence with furigana or without furigana doesn't really matter, what matters is that I can consume and produce the language so that the structures and vocabulary I've learnt are put into practice and stabilize in my memory.

Uh, go to Japan and you'll notice that people don't speech with kanji and furigana appearing underneath them as speech bubbles.

I feel like what you're trying to say in that big vague paragraph is that you understand that 学校 is school rather than "learning school building." An example of when knowing kanji helped me out recently - I knew the word 赤道 (equator) 富士山[ふいじさん] aka Mt. Fuji. Learning the word 山道[さんどう] was aided by learning those kanji, since I wasn't too familiar with the readings for 山. The word also literally means "mountain path" but it's not やまみち. It's its own word that you just know.

I don't get how you struggle to learn kanji and learn words when they literally reinforce the meanings of each other.

Knowing the meaning of each kanji helps dramatically with reading words - I don't get how anyone could think otherwise. The "occasional word that sounds like nonsense and is unrelated to the word's kanji" and giving examples like "大丈夫 meaning large length husband" or something doesn't discount the 10,000s of common words that are logically constructed by kanji and follow a lot of common rules and pronunciation patterns.

But hey

u/katspaugh · 2 pointsr/LearnJapanese

If you are interested in mnemonics based on the true etymology of kanji, try Henshall's book.

Here's an Anki deck:

He tracks the form and meaning of each kanji down to the original ancient inscriptions. Kanji are not just random symbols attached to meanings. They contain the wisdom of centuries.

u/sailorsun777 · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

I don't have an online resource for you, but there's this AWESOME dictionary that I like called the Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary and they have all you need to know about kanji, from its base meaning to common compounds to stroke order, etc. I love the way it's structured and how much I've learned from just looking up a single kanji.

u/Pennwisedom · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

Anyone ever read the "Read Real Japanese" books? Fiction Essays

I was looking at them in the bookstore, and they seem to have interesting authors. But I couldn't tell if it is really any help in learning, or if it is something you need to be pretty advanced to get anything out of.

u/AnimeCompletePodcast · 3 pointsr/LearnJapanese

I can understand where you're coming from if you have a full time job and a family.

Back when I learned the kana I was 19 years old in college. I had all the free time in the world so I think I practiced for close to 16 hours spread over the first few days so I could get it all down. I used this book which worked very well for me.

Then after my initial memorization I had opportunities to practice by doing work in my textbook for class. That was 2009.

After the class was over I didn't try to learn Japanese further for nearly 5 years. I had a friend back then who would give me his Jump manga and I would read the stories in them even though I couldn't understand a single sentence. All for the sake of kana reading practice.

Once I started going through a textbook again and taking it seriously back in 2014 I still remembered how to read kana because of my effort.

u/Dayjaby · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

I'd say the first one. I bought it, it's decent - but somehow I think it'd be better to not buy this basic one. Learn basic grammar in a textbook like Genki and for advanced grammar you can still buy

Because as soon as you finish Genki, you are already very familiar with everything in this basic book.

u/nofacade · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

Welcome! Check out the wiki to get an idea of where to start. Around here, most people (myself included) suggest getting Genki I to start off, as it goes through the basics of Japanese quite well. Feel free to ask any questions!

u/GozerDestructor · 0 pointsr/LearnJapanese

With good mnemonics you can learn each in a day. Buy this book:'s full of great imagery like け="cape and dagger" and の="no parking sign".


u/mseffner · 2 pointsr/LearnJapanese

You need the textbook itself, as well as the workbook. Scans of the answer key are among the first results on Google when you search "Genki answer key". There's nothing else you need, though pencil and paper will probably be helpful. I also recommend checking out Anki, which is a flashcard program that will help you memorize vocabulary.

u/crab_balls · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

You might check out Japanese the Manga Way. Yes, it will go over all the same grammar in Genki I/II, but it has a lot more as well.

It also has a fair amount of colloquial expressions/grammar in the explanations, especially since it pulls straight from various different manga. I went through Genki I/II first, and then I did Japanese the Manga Way. I learned a lot of new stuff in it.

I don't know what is covered in Intermediate Japanese, though. YMMV.

u/sauceysalmon · 4 pointsr/LearnJapanese

I think you would be better off with the 2nd editions. I met one of the authors and he told me that they changed some things after some feedback on the first edition. He gave a talk at my school but I don't remember any of the examples.

The GENKI I is about 15 dollar used but I would make sure that it is the 2nd edition.

GENKI II is about 40 dollars

Possibly better on Abe

Genki I

Genki II

u/cygnus54 · 0 pointsr/LearnJapanese

Im pretty sure you could buy it straight from with the cd:

I bought genki 2 from amazon jp a while back, and shipping to the US wasn't that much.

u/Saki_Kawasaki · 5 pointsr/LearnJapanese

Yeah it is. Buying it on Amazon Japan is cheaper than Amazon US I'm pretty sure. Here's a link for it:

If you've never ordered from Amazon Japan before, here's a guide:

u/papa_keoni · 4 pointsr/LearnJapanese

I also studied Japanese in college. I had a lacuna of about 10 years before restarting my Japanese studies. After about two or so years of study, I now have my N1. Here are some things I did:

  • I did Read the Kanji for a little bit, getting to some N1 sentences.
  • I read bilingual texts like Breaking into Japanese Literature, though I never got around to finishing it.
  • I also used readers such as Modern Japanese: A Basic Reader. These have graded reading lessons with a glossary of the words used in English in a separate volume/section. Basically I followed the reading program outlined here.
  • I kept reading, getting to the point where I read editorials every day. Reading, reading, reading.
  • I also listened to podcasts all day long at work. I think that’s why my JLPT listening score was relatively higher than the other section scores.

    Start with something basic, then try to work your way up any way you can.
u/Max9419 · 0 pointsr/LearnJapanese


I'm interested in taking genki too, i would like to know if you bought only the book

or if you also bought the exercises ( question and answer)

thank you!

u/omgitsmalson · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

This is the one I have. I don't know if it's related but I really liked it; it was a lot easier for me to grasp grammatical concepts this way.

u/thefuckamireading · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

Depends how you're learning.

I've been liking this book, which I got recommended a while back:

Unlike heisig which is a program in itself, this book can be used to supplement class study which suits me just perfectly.

u/dxrebirth · 2 pointsr/LearnJapanese

Remembering the Kanji is very popular: amazon

As well as Genki: amazon

Then there is the Human Japanese app:

Or the Anki app:

And then sites like: time based flash cards correspondence with people that are also trying to learn your language.

I don't know. I am a beginner myself, but these are a good start as far as I am concerned.

u/Kai_973 · 2 pointsr/LearnJapanese

Nice! That's a promising start.

I'll tell you what I wish I'd known when I first started:

Know that the more you expose yourself to it, the better you'll get. The less you see, the more it will slip away. Studying every day is the key to success.

Once you've got Romaji completely out of the picture (it's a terrible crutch), try to add as much Kanji as you reasonably can. If you're really serious about the language, start looking into Kanji vocab building sooner than later. (Don't learn isolated Kanji 1-by-1, you'll never know how to read them when you see them in words if you do that.) Learning the core ~2,000 for genuine literacy sounds daunting, but the sooner you start, the sooner you can get there.

The starter's guide in the sidebar here recommends either WaniKani or Kodansha Kanji Learner's Course to tackle it. I started WaniKani about 2 months ago, and it's taken me through ~400 Kanji and ~1,150 vocab terms so far. If I had started a year earlier, I'd have learned all its 2k Kanji and 6k vocab by now!

u/symstym · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

By far the best explanation of this topic I've seen is in the book Making Sense of Japanese by Jay Rubin. It also discusses some other tricky aspects of Japanese grammar, and is fun to read as well. The succinct tip from /u/EvanGRogers is consistent with the book, but the book obviously goes into much greater depth.

u/FermiAnyon · 2 pointsr/LearnJapanese

I'm not a fan of textbooks either. I figure if you're at that level and are not particularly interested in passing a specific test, then nix the textbooks and get a grammar reference like the beginning and intermediate levels of this and get a good electronic dictionary and dive straight into novels. When I got into novels earlier this year, and I don't even have the grammar reference... I'm planning on picking those up in a few weeks, things really started taking off for me. So I'd recommend doing that.

u/nadine-nihongo · 2 pointsr/LearnJapanese

The full title is Tobira: Gateway to Advanced Japanese and I think it's pretty good.

ISBN 978-4874244470

u/ywja · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

Kanji learning is by far the most popular topic on this subreddit. I wish they would just ban it, at least as top-level submissions, so that people can spend more time discussing the language as opposed to learning methods.

The interesting aspect of your question was that it was something that couldn't be satisfied by the usual answers because it involved characters that couldn't be easily imported into a computer. If a certain kanji is in computer memory, you can always copy it, throw it to Google and get results. In you case, however, even OCR doesn't work, so you must resort to the old technology, the indexing and searching method that has been used since before computer. It was refreshing.

Practically speaking, I guess most Japanese learners don't need to learn it because they will never wander out of the computer space as far as the Japanese language is concerned, or they will have some workarounds when the need arises, such as guessing the reading based on kanji components or guessing the number of strokes. But your question was specifically about "decomposing" them for the purpose of searching, which was also refreshing.

As for the concept of radicals in WaniKani, I think this recent thread will give you the basic idea.

On kanji learning that isn't Remembering the Kanji or WaniKani, I don't have a good link right now. There simply aren't many people here who endorse other options. The Kodansha Kanji Learner's Course sounds promising but I can't vouch for it because I've never read it.

In any case, recognizing radicals is an acquired skill and you have to put an effort in it. There are 214 radicals, and each kanji has only one radical, or rather, each kanji is classified according to the one radical it is assigned. 214 might sound overwhelming but practically speaking many of them are obvious and easy to remember, and many of the obscure ones aren't actually so useful for searching purposes or any purposes for that matter, so it' OK to skip them in my opinion.

u/shadyendless · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese is pretty popular. I personally am learning kanji from context (not just hammering a bunch of characters, though I may begin to do that now).

Some books that might interest you:

Remembering the Kanji

The Kodansha Kanji Learner's Course (probably the one I would use)
The Key to Kanji: A Visual History of 1100 Characters <- I think most of the pictographs in this one are made up but they don't seem half bad.

As for apps, I don't really know of any/use any.

u/fellcat · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

Awesome, thank you. Should I just buy the book or do you know of any online resources?

u/ssjevot · 3 pointsr/LearnJapanese

Well as far as etymology goes, you can't beat the Henshall text (most recent version here):

But if you actually want to learn Kanji I recommend using KLC:

This has a lot of Anki and Memrize decks to help you study.

u/kittenpillows · 2 pointsr/LearnJapanese

I highly recommend this book , it is my go-to for particles and it is amazing.

u/Tomato_Farmer73 · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

Is this the same book I would be getting from Amazon US? It's cheaper here, so I'd rather save the money if it's the same product. Also, anyone know if the .jp price is a regular price, or if I should wait for it to go down?

u/Kami_Okami · 4 pointsr/LearnJapanese

There's a massive step between being able to read/write hiragana/katakana, and being able to write/read Japanese. I'm not saying you shouldn't get a penpal, but don't be too disappointed when it's almost entirely English to start.

That said, I'd say you should look into ordering a textbook on basic grammar. My university didn't use these, but I hear that Genki series is extremely popular with beginning learners. Try checking that out!

u/nillllux · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

Should I get the Genki 1 book as well as the workbook? Or will just the g1 book be fine on its own?

u/kyuz · 5 pointsr/LearnJapanese

If you want to learn more about kanji etymology, check out A Guide to Remembering Japanese Kanji by Henshall. A lot of them are pretty interesting.

u/LordGSama · 14 pointsr/LearnJapanese

I would very much like for the three Dictionaries of Japanese Grammar (Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced) to be digitized to make searching easier.

u/Vorzard · 6 pointsr/LearnJapanese

Forget the Mangaland books, Japanese the Manga Way is much better, well-structured, covers a great amount of grammar, and deals with the politeness levels.

You should get a reference book (A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar) with it, and The Kodansha Kanji Learners Dictionary.

u/soku1 · 3 pointsr/LearnJapanese

There's three great books out there that I can think of off the top of my head.

[Read Real Japanese: Short Stories by Contemporary Writers] (


[Read Real Japanese Essays: Contemporary Writings by Popular Authors] (


[Breaking into Japanese literature: Seven Modern Classics in Parallel Text] (

PS: if you are "fresh out of Genki 2" level, I'd say these books may be fairly advanced for you, but to each their own. Some people don't mind. There are english translations after all.

u/yacoob · 10 pointsr/LearnJapanese

There are four great resources out there for checking grammar rules:

u/zeroxOnReddit · 117 pointsr/LearnJapanese

I have no idea if it’s an efficient method or not but I use The Kodansha kanji learner’s course.
I do 16 new kanji a day and I use the anki deck for the book to keep them in my memory. Whenever I flip a card, no matter the side, I write it down. Helps me remember better. I only try to remember the main On reading for each kanji and even then I don’t force it. If I can’t memorize it I don’t try that much harder. For the readings I just read a lot of texts and when I come across a word that uses a kanji I know I don’t know the reading of, that’s how I learn the readings. Eventually you become magically able to determine the reading for words even with kanji that have a lot of different pronunciations.

u/Koyomii-Onii-chan · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

I don't know if it answers your question but I learn Japanese using this book . It's fantastic and it starts from the basic.

u/LeftBrainSays · 4 pointsr/LearnJapanese

What about this grammar dictionary?

I feel it's level is above N2, so it should be interesting for him.

Read Real Japanese is also very good. (2 books actually)

u/SuikaCider · 2 pointsr/LearnJapanese

Just because you didn't list them -- my university here in Japanese uses Chuukyuu wo Manabou 56 and Chuukyuu wo Manabou 82 ... each book has 8 chapters which are centered around a 1-2 page reading, which is then broken down to specifically focus on 5-6 grammar points per chapter. I think it would be alright if you're motivated to use jgram or work with a tutor.

Then, I personally recommend this book (and its counterpart, Essays) to everyone: Read Real Japanese Fiction. It's 8 non-modified (minus furigana) short stories alongside a running grammar dictionary; the goal of the book is basically to introduce you to written Japanese and provide you with the foundation to begin reading on your own. Half the book is dedicated to explaining the grammar points that come up in each story. Can't say enough good things about it.

u/Sentient545 · 3 pointsr/LearnJapanese

Pick up a grammar guide. Genki is the go-to for textbooks, or you could use a free online resource like Tae Kim or Wasabi.

u/megumifestor · 2 pointsr/LearnJapanese

Hey, friend. Can I please have a link to where you bought Kodansha from?

EDIT: [Sorry, found it] ( further down in this thread for anyone looking for it!

u/Down_The_Rabbithole · 2 pointsr/LearnJapanese

At level 10 you should be able to somewhat guess the meaning of most sentences if they only use the kanji you've already learned.

I recommend watching these videos:

They actually show you the grammar being used with context. It also covers more grammar than Tae Kim. If you want to read and take it with you I would recommend "Japanese the manga way" It's a cheap textbook with manga examples of grammar usage.

u/Besamel · 9 pointsr/LearnJapanese

That book you linked is only going to teach him Kanji, not vocabulary and grammar. A well respected first step would be the Genki series. There are 2 series and both series have a main textbook and a workbook.

Genki I (second edition)

Genki I Workbook (Second Edition)