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    Junior Member sayuki12 is on a distinguished road sayuki12's Avatar
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    Default 7th grader learning japanese

    How can a 7th grader start learning basic japanese with or without (probably without) kanji and without buying much, I don't really want to get realy serious into it yet, and I can't buy and program, and maybe only one book if needed. I also don't want to bother my parents with it. Is it still possible for me to start learning how to speak japanese?

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    Possible, but this gives you the basics before you buy anything riskay.
    http://www.freejapaneselessons.com/lesson02.cfm

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    Quote Originally Posted by sayuki12 View Post
    How can a 7th grader start learning basic japanese with or without (probably without) kanji and without buying much, I don't really want to get realy serious into it yet, and I can't buy and program, and maybe only one book if needed. I also don't want to bother my parents with it. Is it still possible for me to start learning how to speak japanese?
    The best thing you can do is take a class at school, if you can, since its free and most go fairly slowly. However, if you can't do this, and you don't want to buy any books, you should look at some websites for the basic information that you are looking for.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sayuki12 View Post
    How can a 7th grader start learning basic japanese with or without (probably without) kanji and without buying much, I don't really want to get realy serious into it yet, and I can't buy and program, and maybe only one book if needed. I also don't want to bother my parents with it. Is it still possible for me to start learning how to speak japanese?
    I would suggest buying a book called 'The Everything Conversational Japanese Book' By Molly Hakes. This is the approuch that I took. This book helped me alot. I also wanted to learn the japanese language, but I didn't know where to turn to. When I went to the book store, I bought this book, costing $19.95 in the USA, and I also bought a Japanese to English Dictionary. Both of these books are very helpful. I would recommend these two books for anyone trying to learn this language. Not only does it teach you the language, but it teaches you Japanese culture as well. The book also comes with an instuctional CD so you know you are pronouncing the words correctly.
    Last edited by ~Yumiko-Chan~; 09-11-2008 at 03:32 PM.
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    Start with the free stuff if you start to get into it, I would recommend buying some of the good books etc. Really helps. Buy different books too so you can get different points of view.
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    I personally wouldn't just read books to learn Japanese as a beginner. I would actually listen to more Japanese to help learn more instantly.

    When I was a Japanese beginner, my teacher never gave any homework or reading out for the student to complete. Instead, he stood up for the whole 90 minutes of class time to talk about things in Japanese, such as introducing himself in Japanese, talk about the date like month, day, and year. He also asked each students basic questions in Japanese after a several lesson, such as "how old are you?" or "what colors do you like?", and we could guess what he is saying. It really helped me to learn quicker by getting used to communicating and understanding.

    The most important thing in learning Japanese is understanding, rather than reading, writing, or speaking. When you go to Japan, you really need to understand what is that person saying. Speaking is optional as for foreigners, but the Japanese DO expect you to understand their language. As long as you can understand Japanese communications as the first thing in your lesson, I'm pretty sure nothing will challenge you.

    Anyway, just think about a baby that can't talk. Until the baby starts to learn how to speak the language, think of how the baby learn to say any words, by listening, right? The baby can't remember any symbols or to write it out. Listen more does help you to understand better.

    Good luck to you^^
    Last edited by -akichan-; 10-30-2008 at 01:11 AM.


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    There is a web site called http://www.livemocha.com . It may not be the best, and I have not used it personally, but it's free and it's online--so it's a way to get exposed and learning the language without buying anything.

    There is also a product kind of like Rosetta Stone called Before You Know It found at http://www.byki.com . You should be able to download some sort of trial version, but to get the whole program I believe you have to purchase it.

    Definitely consider materials that will get you exposed to listening and responding in the language, though. Japanese is so much fun to speak, and communicative ability is imperative when learning a foreign language! Hope that helped!
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    NHK or Japan Broadcasting Corporation provides learners
    with some free Japanese lessons in mp3 format.
    How about trying this?

    http://www.nhk.or.jp/lesson/

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    I can be of some use here as well. Actually this is my first Japanese Class @ Rutgers University and I'm taking Japanese 101 (I am a senior). It is really comprehensive and quite challenging and makes you study allot. There is homework before the end of each class which really helps reinforce what you have learned in class and in the book, so when it comes time to take the test, you had practiced it already.

    The professors here are all very worldy and well research. For example, my sensee is a native Japanese and lived in many countries, including China, Korea, Taiwan,etc.

    The Material we are using is: Genki Textbooks.
    http://genki.japantimes.co.jp/index.en.html

    It is very inexpensive and each lesson is pretty short but I have learned so so much! For example, before we started Lesson 1, we were already expected to read and write hiragana and already had a quiz on it prior to starting L1 in order to allow us to proceed. Then we moved to Katakana when we went on to the borrowed foreign words. In lesson 3 and beyond, we already started learning Kanji. Genki introduces you to the Kanji but in a very practical and well explained manner along with stroke order. The book gives you all four essential skills: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.

    The Text Book has short lessons, and vocabulary, verbs, adjectives for each lesson. And short lessons on rules and it builds upon and with time you can construct more complicated sentences. It is just amazing! I can count to 999,999 and it didn't really require complex memorization just need to pay attention to some short rules about how they are pronounced. I can say the months, days, dates. Say time, etc, greetings, questions, how much, read numbers in Kanji.

    All our tests are in Japanese so we are expected to comprehend them in Japanese and write them in Japanese. We also have to answer in Japanese. Also lots of homework lol! Its so much fun! I know there are allot of other material out there, but Genki helped so much.

    Also this book on Mnemonics, Recommending "Kanji Pictographix by Rowley" Is very useful trying to memorize the hiragana and katakana.

    Anyways hope this helped. PM me for anything. I am on Lesson 5 with Genki I. (Japanese 101).

    Genki I is around $30 and the WB for Genki I is around $15 I think. As for finding out where to get (Genki) it (free). PM me. It might be hard to study it without printing it First.
    Last edited by ryusan_daidouji; 11-04-2008 at 07:46 PM.

  10. #10
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    Do you have a Nintendo DS? If so, buy "My Japanese Coach" for the DS. I'm on lesson 75 right now, and from my experience, it's a very good way to learn Japanese on the cheap, though in the later lessons, they will be going into Kanji. I've learned 80 Kanji from the game. I don't know why, but Kanji is easy for me.

    EDIT: Just a funny side-note... I'm of 7th grader level in the game, LOL

    Yes, they give you ranks once you go through a certain number of lessons. My current rank is 7th grader.
    Last edited by packetpirate; 12-20-2008 at 12:09 PM.
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    you should go to some japanese language-learning websites.
    here are two that were helpful for me:
    http://www.genkienglish.net/genkijapan/menu.htm
    http://www.learn-japanese.info/

    sorry i dont have lots of advice for you on this, just work your way through the language with japanese picture dictionaries and get some language-learning type books from your local library to help, too!

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    Study everything! Don't look for one or two resources and expect to learn everything from them. When someone asks which book, CD, or computer program is best to learn from, I say, "All of them!" I learned something from every Japanese language-related book I've ever read. Read a lot and you'll learn a lot. I like the book "Rocket Japanese" by Sayaka Matsuura, which gives a nice overview of the language with lots of examples from real manga.

    Resources-
    Learn Japanese About.com
    Video Lessons Youtube.com
    Learn Japanese MP3 Audio Lessons

    Cheers James

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    Quote Originally Posted by -akichan- View Post
    I personally wouldn't just read books to learn Japanese as a beginner. I would actually listen to more Japanese to help learn more instantly.

    When I was a Japanese beginner, my teacher never gave any homework or reading out for the student to complete. Instead, he stood up for the whole 90 minutes of class time to talk about things in Japanese, such as introducing himself in Japanese, talk about the date like month, day, and year. He also asked each students basic questions in Japanese after a several lesson, such as "how old are you?" or "what colors do you like?", and we could guess what he is saying. It really helped me to learn quicker by getting used to communicating and understanding.

    The most important thing in learning Japanese is understanding, rather than reading, writing, or speaking. When you go to Japan, you really need to understand what is that person saying. Speaking is optional as for foreigners, but the Japanese DO expect you to understand their language. As long as you can understand Japanese communications as the first thing in your lesson, I'm pretty sure nothing will challenge you.

    Anyway, just think about a baby that can't talk. Until the baby starts to learn how to speak the language, think of how the baby learn to say any words, by listening, right? The baby can't remember any symbols or to write it out. Listen more does help you to understand better.

    Good luck to you^^
    No offense, but I don't think your advice to concentrate on comprehension is very vaulable. Sure, it's a very big aspect of the language, but if you approach the language from all 4 fronts (reading, writing, listening, and speaking), you will find that it is easier to transfer new knowledge to the other skills, thus allowing you to become proficient in the language much quicker.

    I'm aspiring to be a teacher in California, a state where there are millions of students who are ESL (English as a Second Language) that I will need to consider in my profession. I have read numerous books and taken several classes on second language acquisition, and all endorse a four-pronged approach to teaching the language, and instruction must provide a balance between social activities, grammatical focus, and phonetical decoding. This is just to let you know, I know what I'm talking about. Not only did I attend 4 quarters of college Japanese, but I've studied about second language acquisition and am fairly well versed on current research in the field.

    Edit: Oh, I forgot this. Book we used for Japanese classes. I think it's a pretty good one.
    http://www.amazon.com/Genki-Integrat.../dp/4789009637
    Last edited by Capernicus; 01-22-2009 at 01:30 AM.


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    Capernicus--We learned Japanese in different environments, that's why we think differently, and I don't think that is wrong to think differently. Instead, it was just MY opinion and I think it was better for me to learn, and to share what I think it was better. Sure I'm still taking Japanese but this is my first year in college, however I think it is not how many books you've read to be more professional than others, it is how people think it is the best way for them to learn. Same thing here, I just think it was a better way for ME to learn Japanese beginning with communicating.

    Even for a foreigner going to Japan, I know it is important to know how to read Japanese especially when they order food, right? But to me, speaking and listening always comes first, because when you shop, you need to be able to communicate verbally.

    This is just MY opinion, and it IS very valuable to me. Even though I didn't read numerous books nor taken more years of Japanese, but that does NOT mean that I can't become professional in Japanese in the future.

    What I tried to say at first was based on what this person was asking:
    How can a 7th grader start learning basic japanese with or without (probably without) kanji and without buying much, I don't really want to get realy serious into it yet, and I can't buy and program, and maybe only one book if needed. I also don't want to bother my parents with it. Is it still possible for me to start learning how to speak japanese?
    If he/she didn't want to spend too much money on buying books, and don't wanna get too serious into it, then it'd be nice just to hear more Japanese such like watching Japanese dramas with English subtitle, you can at least learn basic ways of greeting. And his/her last sentence says "is it possible for me to start learning how to speak Japanese", yes it is, I do think that by hearing more helps a lot, because once you go to Japan, speaking and listening comes first. Plus, learning how to write and read Japanese shouldn't yet be a bother for a 7th grader yet. How does baby learn to speak English in the first place? That's the best example I can give out, it's the way baby learn how to speak their mother language.


    EDIT: BTW Cap, that was the same book I used.
    I wouldn't say which book I think it's better, because people suggests different books they think it's good, it's like advertising who's side is the best.
    Last edited by -akichan-; 01-22-2009 at 12:20 PM.


  15. #15
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    Well, if you're really insistent on learning how to write in Japanese, here's a nice little tidbit: Speaking and writing can be radically different, depending, thanks to Aki-senpai, on how you learned it.

    I would learn how to write in english-syllabic. Rather than going all out and learning Kanji in a week, start off with romaji. Learn to associate syllables as individual characters. It can make the transition from spoken to written Japanese much easier. I myself really ought to start learning written kanji, but I'm too lazy to so :P
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    I would learn how to write in english-syllabic. Rather than going all out and learning Kanji in a week, start off with romaji. Learn to associate syllables as individual characters. It can make the transition from spoken to written Japanese much easier. I myself really ought to start learning written kanji, but I'm too lazy to so :P
    Yeah that's how I learned writing japanese better. When I was taking first year Japanese in high school, the teacher didn't teach how to write the alphabets but after learning some speaking and listening skills for a couple months, and when I took notes, I used to use romaji. When I started to learn how to write the alphabets, it was actually easier for me, because at least I knew how the alphabets are like, such as a i u e o, the only 5 vowels with different consenants.


  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by -akichan- View Post
    Capernicus--We learned Japanese in different environments, that's why we think differently, and I don't think that is wrong to think differently. Instead, it was just MY opinion and I think it was better for me to learn, and to share what I think it was better. Sure I'm still taking Japanese but this is my first year in college, however I think it is not how many books you've read to be more professional than others, it is how people think it is the best way for them to learn. Same thing here, I just think it was a better way for ME to learn Japanese beginning with communicating.

    Even for a foreigner going to Japan, I know it is important to know how to read Japanese especially when they order food, right? But to me, speaking and listening always comes first, because when you shop, you need to be able to communicate verbally.

    This is just MY opinion, and it IS very valuable to me. Even though I didn't read numerous books nor taken more years of Japanese, but that does NOT mean that I can't become professional in Japanese in the future.

    What I tried to say at first was based on what this person was asking:

    If he/she didn't want to spend too much money on buying books, and don't wanna get too serious into it, then it'd be nice just to hear more Japanese such like watching Japanese dramas with English subtitle, you can at least learn basic ways of greeting. And his/her last sentence says "is it possible for me to start learning how to speak Japanese", yes it is, I do think that by hearing more helps a lot, because once you go to Japan, speaking and listening comes first. Plus, learning how to write and read Japanese shouldn't yet be a bother for a 7th grader yet. How does baby learn to speak English in the first place? That's the best example I can give out, it's the way baby learn how to speak their mother language.


    EDIT: BTW Cap, that was the same book I used.
    I wouldn't say which book I think it's better, because people suggests different books they think it's good, it's like advertising who's side is the best.
    You're being very defensive about something that I, from the very start of the post, said "no offense". I also get the feeling that you are grasping for arguments. It is not about "how people think it is the best way for them to learn", it's about using proven research to aid students to learn. If you let a teacher teach however they think is best, it is not necessarily something that will help the students learn best. However, using proven research about second language acquisition IS something that has been PROVEN to help students learn. And that is the goal, right? To learn Japanese. That is why the state of California posts on the California Department of Education website, for each subject taught in the public school system, the standards and framework that make up the curriculum are uploaded for review by the public and educators, as well as book publishers. Foreign Languages don't have standards because of the differing nature of languages, so the curriculum is made of strictly the framework. It is infused with numerous strategies and suggestions for teachers and bookmakers that have been shown to promote second language learning. That is the purpose of it. And in it, an integrated approach to teaching languages is recommended. Another reference is the ELD (English Language Development) framework which also promotes the same philosophy. If this were not a research sound approach, the entire state of California would not have it on the website. This is why I thought it was worth including in the discussion, not to attack you.

    Honestly, I respect you and am not looking for a confrontation. And on a separate note, I said I thought it was a good book, not that everyone would think it was a good book. I only offered it as a suggestion.
    Last edited by Capernicus; 01-23-2009 at 04:21 PM.


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    Allow me to introduce you to the two secret weapens of learning japanese with spending minimal money

    1) Public Library books (That come with audio cds)
    and 2) Flash cards.

    MAKE SURE TO START LEARNING KATAKANA & HIRAGANA AS SOON AS YOU BEGIN. It's not vital, but it'll make things a hella easier if you learn them asap.

    'kay, so make your own flash cards via buying cue cards, and drawing a different hiragana on each on. Use hiragana charts from the internets. on the back of each card, write the roman characters for it. Ignore the second and third thirds of both alphabets, because they become easy oncec you start practicing.
    You can learn hiragana in a week. make sure to print a hiragana ref. sheet in case you should ever forget a character, and practice whenever your bored with your school work in the middle of class, by writting whatever words you know. this is also a good way to practice vocabulary.

    Books: You only need one good "How to learn Japanese" book and cd set from the library. find one, then renew it via internetz every week, untill the library gets fed up with you. by then, you should already have learned everything learn-able from the book, and you can start finding any new nouns or verbs on your own.

    Note on Kanji: As soon as you've mastered hiragana & katakana (can take as little as two monthes, five monthes at most), you should start working on kanji. Make flash cards for these if you want, by writing the kanji on the front, and the furigana on the back (this isn't nessassary). For these, practice works best. Kanji's alot more fun to practice that hiragana & katakana anyways, and by even learning a little you can be the envy of all your friends 8D Learn new kanji via random kanji lists online, and by using Babel Fish . Remember: kanji is used mostly for nouns and verbs.

    </ lesson plan>

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    The first step for me was learning the kana (hiragana first); I found memorizing words easier with kana than romaji because with kana you memorize one whole sound per character instead of knowing the next part started with an "r" but not knowing what vowel sound was attached. I made my own flash cards to read on the bus, doing one line of the alphabet at a time (a i u e o, then ka ki ku ke ko, then k with a " is g, etc).

    I found learning sets of vocab. helps when I know a song with them in it or have a story where the characters keep using them. Just use them often.

    I also gather than "My Japanese Coach" has some errors in it, but not horrible ones.
    Last edited by Dreamstryder; 02-06-2009 at 05:51 PM.

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    You don't actually have to spend a dime, considering the power of the internet.

    www.kanji.kohii.com <-- Use this site to get familiar with a great number of kanji

    www.iknow.co.jp <-- Use this to learn the kana and gain a good vocabulary.

    www.guidetojapanese.org <-- Use this to learn the basic grammatical structure of Japanese.

    www.sharedtalk.com <-- Use this to find Japanese contacts with whom you may practice.

    That should give you a good start.
    Last edited by Wio; 02-18-2009 at 02:53 AM.

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    I suggest you explore these three sites:

    http://www.guidetojapanese.org/
    http://www.alljapaneseallthetime.com/
    http://kanji.koohii.com/learnmore.php

    The last one is supposed to be used with the book Remembering the Kanji, by James Heisig.

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    For reading, I recommend looking on Wikipedia for Hiragana and Katakana charts and using those. I learned Katakana off Wikipedia, and it worked.

    For kanji, I recommend buying a book. They're probably all the same, but I use the Basic Kanji Book series published by Bonjinsha. You can find details in the stickied "books" thread.

    For grammar, you should take classes, or, failing that, buy another book. The Japanese for Busy People series has both grammar and Kanji, but the Kanji isn't organized very well imo and is much easier to learn in the Basic Kanji Book series.

    I don't know much about books I haven't used, but the rumour going around near where I am is that Genki, while a really good book, is also a really hard book to use. I understand (I've never seen the book myself, so I can't speak for myself, only for what I've heard) that it's aimed at people who already know most of the basics and need a refresher course or something like that, so it might not be a good introductory book.

    Of course, when I started Japanese, my book was written by my teacher specifically for my course, so you can't find it anywhere, so I don't know what to suggest for a beginner's level. I'm currently using JBP3 though, and it's pretty decent.
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    I think you definitely got a lot of suggestions here already but I just want to suggest that you work a lot on it now because you're at the age it's easier to grasp languages and later on it will become harder. (Early teen years are the latest when everyone can just pick up on language basically.) So definitely go for it. Ganbatte ne!
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    Quote Originally Posted by shinnraiu View Post
    I think you definitely got a lot of suggestions here already but I just want to suggest that you work a lot on it now because you're at the age it's easier to grasp languages and later on it will become harder. (Early teen years are the latest when everyone can just pick up on language basically.) So definitely go for it. Ganbatte ne!
    I think this is a myth. It took me a long time to learn the English language and technically I am still learning it every day. We fail to realize how much time children spend learning their own language. No matter what age you are, you're bound to learn an additional language faster than your native language. What we fail to realized in the end is how much time we have spent practicing our native language.


    Also, I recommend not wasting your time reading the alljapaneseallthetime page, because all you really need to get out of it is: 1) Practice every day and often. 2) Learn sentences along with vocab because many English phrases can't literally translate into Japanese.
    The rest of it is rambling on about stuff which is just going to take away time from actually studying.

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    And given the fact that this thread was made last year and the thread-opener never responded in any way as far as I can see (and according to profile wasn't active here since last november) I suggest that'll make a good final statement...

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