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Learning Japanese - Useful resources


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I've just finished all of the N4 level vocabulary. Is there any simple VN out there I could read just with N4? Or should I go for N3 now?

With ITH and Mecab, maybe. But ITH+Mecab theoretically solves the issue of vocabulary altogether, it's really more a question of grammar then (although the more vocab you know the faster you'll read of course).

 

If you want to read at a decent speed, even N3 vocab might not be enough imo (not too sure what's in the JLPT lists). Unless maybe there's a really really simple VN out there that doesn't sucks.

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I feel I should add that even if you study so you have a good foundation in jp grammar and vocab. You will prbly still read slow. The best way to become a fast reader is by reading. That being said, having good amount of vocab is good. Because it doesn't make reading in jp so hard with the help of dic's.

 

Otherwise the "reading" becomes more like studying the text due to your speed. Which is a different kind of fun. At least for me.

You have to be a special kind of crazy to enjoy that.

 

This is more my personal experience, but it's more important to choose a jp vn you really want to read. Rather than one that is easy, but doesn't interest you so much. Irotoridori no Sekai maybe Nagisa? :D

Hmm, maybe, Shinku seems adorable. *_*

I think I'm practicing reading already? Because here's the way I study vocab:

- Get an anki deck

- Use Jisho and eow.alc to search sentences with the words I get on the deck, so I can memorize them from context (I don't like mnemonics)

 

I think that counts as reading practice too?

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Hmm, maybe, Shinku seems adorable. *_*

I think I'm practicing reading already? Because here's the way I study vocab:

- Get an anki deck

- Use Jisho and eow.alc to search sentences with the words I get on the deck, so I can memorize them from context (I don't like mnemonics)

 

I think that counts as reading practice too?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Today I learned the word for being fired, one of them at least, there's probably more: 首になる

I can see the reasoning there:

Becoming a neck - Being beheaded - Losing your job.

I just don't see the reasoning behind being "fired". What losing your job has to do with fire?

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  • 2 weeks later...

This was just linked in skype, should be added.

 

http://www.imabi.net/

 

"expanded and awesome version of tae kim" 

 

In case it isn't known how awesome this is, more is covered on that website then you would learn majoring in Japanese in a good Asian Studies post-secondary institution. Quite a bit farther than N1 grammar, and provides wider coverage on a LOT of stuff that's not listed on JLPT but that'd you'd see and pick up from or be confused with in VN's or novels. It also provides plenty of comments on spoken usage and about culture. It teaches the conjugations and bases the same way they are classified in Japanese, which does admittedly make for a steeper learning curve (more than Taekim, which is more than Genki), but which basically puts it on the same level as the resources in Japanese, except it's all gathered together.

 

Basically, it doesn't hide any of the complexities of the language from you, so what you see is what you get (which is a lot, btw).

 

Hooray!

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Frankly, after reading some articles on imabi I don't think it's a good idea for a total beginner to get into that right away. Half the thing uses kanjis which is ridiculous for a beginner (even armed with Rikaichan it's a pain, imagine if the dude doesn't know about Rikaichan yet he'll straight out close the page), and it goes into so much detail in such an obscure way (by which I mean, if you don't already know some japanese it doesn't make sense) you'd drown after 3 lessons.

 

Learning from Tae Kim than switching to Imabi to get a further understanding seems better imo.

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I suppose Imabi forces you to learn Vocab/Kanji first before you get to the advanced parts. I haven't really checked it out but does it use kanji even in the beginning?

 

Either way I believe studying vocab/kanji is separate from learning grammar. Plus it might not really matter whether it's in kanji if you don't happen to know the vocab itself (even in Hiragana).

Imabi could have recycled the easy vocabs over and over I suppose.

 

Not knowing the Vocab/Kanji does hinder learning grammar, that's why my study regimen for JLPT goes like: Kanji ---> Vocab --> Grammar --> Listening + Reading.

The Kanzen Master series for jlpt doesn't shy away in throwing kanji at you, even on the grammar booklet.

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Frankly, after reading some articles on imabi I don't think it's a good idea for a total beginner to get into that right away. Half the thing uses kanjis which is ridiculous for a beginner (even armed with Rikaichan it's a pain, imagine if the dude doesn't know about Rikaichan yet he'll straight out close the page), and it goes into so much detail in such an obscure way (by which I mean, if you don't already know some japanese it doesn't make sense) you'd drown after 3 lessons.

 

Learning from Tae Kim than switching to Imabi to get a further understanding seems better imo.

Yea, I agree. It's pretty unsuitable, the level of commentary and minor stuff he talks about. Even the group that shows this as a recommendation says to go to it after you've gotten through a few VN's.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Btw, I saw you asking about what you should practice your reading on when at N4 level and I'd recommend going for plot-thin nuki-ge if that is your thing. At least that's what I did when I was at your level. It was both great practice and loads of fun (I liked 闇の声, へんし~ん!!! ~パンツになってクンクンペロペロ~, 隷嬢倶楽部 〜堕辱の虜囚達〜, 超昂閃忍ハルカ, 聖エステラ学院の七人の魔女, 嘘デレ!). You can probably start reading easier VNs at N3 (はつゆきさくら, stuff by 丸戸史明 or Key) and pretty much anything short of Nasu, Muramasa and Dies Irae at N2. I got my JLPT N1 a couple of years ago and, apart from basics and a kanji dictionary, all Japanese I studied was from VNs. xD
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