Brigade Leader
Hey peeps.

Just wondering, does anyone here speak or is learning to speak Japanese?

I'd just like to hear about your insight about the subject. Myself, I've studied a bit of it. I've read some different techniques to help you learn more easily and overall learn the 'better way'.

I'd thought since this is a 'Japanese media culture forum' I would have thought some of you guys would be currently studying the language.

Here's an interesting site I've come across about learning Japanese. It takes a different approach which it seems quite interesting.


Hopefully there isn't a topic already about this subject - well I haven't seen any.

BTW do any of you guy watch the youtube channels of TokyoCooney, TokyoSwan/Iwate Swan, TkyoSam etc?


I've attempted to self-teach some japanese to myself, but as i missed out on getting into the course for it at uni by one grade, i've not got the chance to be taught it properly.(Doing Maths instead) I'll take a look at that site though for sure, anything that can actually help teach me some japanese is always welcome, but again, i just hope i can find time to fit it in.

As for the youtube vids, pass, i've never really been one to surf youtube much, so anything like that is unknown to me really.


State Alchemist
I am slowly teaching myself with the Pimsleur system which I think is excellent and would recommend. It's taken a real back seat recently with all the other stuff I've been doing though (I can feel myself forgetting some of what I've learned - I find I really have to persevere with languages) but I will get back into it.


"All Japanese all the Time."
Well, if making such a commitment is indeed enjoyable, then fair play to the chap.
One questions whether the sacrifices needed to dedicate all one's waking hours to learning the language would perhaps hinder said enjoyment, however.

evangelion rocks

Vampire Ninja
I'm self learning at the moment with a friend.Mostly,the resources I've been using have been a series of brilliant podcasts called Japanese Pod 101 which contain lots of useful grammar as well as tips on pronounciation.Other than that,I've picked up a fair bit from anime!Hopefully in the future I'll be able to learn it properly via lessons or some kind of comprehensive textbook,but for now any kind of foundation helps!

Insanity prelude

Brigade Leader
Me and a friend started a beginners course this September (1 lesson a week) as well as using a text book (japanese for busy people).

It seems to be going ok although i'm worried that its going a bit too slowly although its really helpful having a teacher who's a native speaker especially with enunciation and for clarification.

As for different techniques i'd think its more about trying different methods to find out what works best.
For example i'm going to try to learn hiragana by translating things into the English alphabet and back. Hopefully creating familiarity with the characters and picking up some vocab in the process.


I’ve been learning Japanese for about 2 ½ years on and off (mainly off). In that time I’ve bought at least half of the self teaching type books available here and I still reckon that the Kana version of Japanese for busy people is best. But you must make use of the CD (although it can be irritating)

I’ve also had private tuition from two different native speakers. One a male student in a coffee at £15 an hour and currently a lady at £20 an hour at her home.

And I did a beginners/intermediate course at nightschool last year. That was very mixed. A good native teacher but the class was too large and the standard was so bad that progress was often more like regress!!

This year I’ve started GCSE at the same place. It’s better now as the class small and is made up only of those who were reasonably competent.

The reasons I’m learning are because I have a general interest in Japan, learning a language is good exercise for the brain, it makes holidays in Japan far more rewarding when you can at the very least have a basic conversation and because it’s a change from playing sports that fill most other weekday evenings.

So my advice is to get a copy of JFBP Kana edition, try and do a little bit everyday (and listen to the CD)
Watch anime or films to aid pronunciation.
Get a kana dictionary – very useful and a good way of expanding your vocabulary. Keep it with you while watching Japanese films/anime and you’ll soon be chasing around looking up word after word.
If possible get tuition from a native speaker (admittedly they are few and far between and not cheap) or alternatively a college course of some kind.

Doing that should give you a good basic understanding.

And don’t use roman text sources – use kana.

A good site for learning kana is this one http://www.kanacards.com/

And unless you are really serious (ie intending living over there, forget about the kanji. It’s so complex that it easily derails your speaking / listening progress. I honestly believe that kanji is best learnt in Japan. Of course you’ll learn a few without really trying but you need to know about 2000 just to read a newspaper or magazine. As soon as you realise that there are usually 5+ readings for a single character you realise the size of the task.


Guild Member
I am currently in my second of studying Japanese in Dublin City University and I really enjoy it. I think it's a very fulfilling language to learn and the grammar is certainly not as difficult as French or Irish grammar was after 2 years (those being the other two languages for which I had to properly learn grammar). I agree with harkins in that learning kanji is a gargantuan undertaking. There are always a minimum of 2 readings for each kanji and there can be as many as 9 or 10 different readings and meanings so it's certainly the least enjoyable and by far the most difficult part of learning the language. I think Chinese is considered easier to learn than Japanese for the very fact that Chinese characters only have one pronunciation and one meaning.