Resources for Japanase

I continue on my quest to speak Japanese fluently in 3 months. To that end, I’ve learned the kanas and I’ve begun to look at the kanji. Also, I began to study a little bit of the structure of the Japanese language.

Since delving too heavily into the guts of the language may actually keep me from learning how to speak it quickly, I opted for a Japanese language book that focused on speaking the language. I found Japanese Step by Step by Gene Nishi to fit the bill quite nicely.

Book cover

Easy cheesy…

For my study of the kanji, I selected Essential Kanji by P.G. O’Neill. I bought this book before I knew that there were easier books on kanji but I decided to stick with it because it’s all about memorizing anyway and I can conjure up my own mnemonic devices to remember the kanji.

It’s all kanji to me

In addition to these books, I am making heavy use of YouTube to listen to spoken Japanese by native speakers. I’ve found a number of Japanese vloggers and I have found many videos of Japanese shows. I also plan on watching a lot of Japanese movies.

Thank you for looking!

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I Kan Do Kana!

Yes! My new strategy to learn the Japanese kana has paid off. I was able to memorize the entire Hiragana yesterday and I started on the Katakana today and I am already making good progress. I think I should have both kanas learned by end of today.

I found free ebooks written in Japanese at the Gutenberg Project’s web page that should help me consolidate my mastery of the kana. I already have a book on kanji which is what I’ll start working on next.

I also made an addition to the languages I want to learn first. I’ve always wanted to be able to read Hebrew so I might as well add it to the list of languages to start with.

So I am very excited with my progress. Learning multiple languages fast seems more doable now than ever before.

Thank you for looking!

Hiragana I don’t wanna

Once again I am sabotaging my own success by doing what I always do when starting something new, and that is, I spend all my time getting ready to learn and I do little actual learning. So I spent the first week of my Japanese learning project collecting resources and making charts but doing very little practicing.

So far I’ve learned only the vowels, the ka and sa sounds. I was supposed to have learned the whole Hiragana set in the first week. Sigh!

Oh well, I guess I still have today and the weekend to make up for it. Last night I found a really cool iPhone app called Kana which should let me catch up by the end of the day. It uses flashcards and mnemonic devices to memorize the kana.

So much of learning a new language is just figuring out how you’re going to go about it. I hope I can discover a methodology that works for me that I can apply to the other languages I will be learning.

Wish me luck!

The First Six

The first six languages that will be part of my polyglot experience (as of right now anyway) are:

SPANISH
Spanish is my native language. Some people say that it is lame to include one’s native language as part of a polyglot’s languages but hey, Spanish is a language and I speak it so I will count it. One down, five to go 🙂

ENGLISH
I speak English because I live in the U.S. and it is hard to live here without speaking it. English is like a second native language to me since I’ve been speaking it for over 30 years now. Again, I will count it.

JAPANESE
I know next to nothing about Japanese at this point but it would be foolish not to learn it since my Karate class is an environment where one is encouraged to learn and practice Japanese. I have been working on learning the Hiragana script for two days now.

ITALIAN
I think Italian will be a fun language to learn. I can understand about 50% of spoken Italian already.

ARABIC
Arabic is a language that is very relevant today. Also, it is spoken widely in the Middle East (I think anyway). Last, my maternal grandfather was an Oriental from somewhere in the Middle East so I claim the right to speak this language.

PORTUGUESE
I just want to be able to sing Samba songs and understand them. Also, wouldn’t it be fun to watch Brazilian soccer in it’s native language? I hope that both Portuguese and Italian are easier for me to learn because of my mastery of Spanish. I know very well though, that both Italian and Portuguese are very different from Spanish regardless of their shared roots.

LATER
Depending on how I do with these first six languages I may venture into other languages. Heck, depending on how I do with Japanese, I may decide three languages are enough! Be that as it may, I have an interest in other languages such as Cahita, the language of the Yoeme people of Sonora in Mexico and Arizona in the U.S. That’s gonna be a hard one mostly because there aren’t many resources available to learn it. I have Yoeme blood both from my father and mother. Other languages that interest me are German, Russian, and French. Last, I would like to take a crack at Vietnamese because I have lots and lots of people to practice with around here.

Hasta Luego y gracias por visitar!