Feb 17, 2008
I have several articles for your Japanese learning enjoyment, the links I will list below. Most of the content of these articles are for intermediate to advance learners. Being exposed is a good thing in education. Being immersed would be the most ideal situation. You are thinking in a good manner to want to read it then speak it. I think that there are 4 categories or areas which must be developed when attempting to master a language: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. I know there are other terms for listening, like comprehension etc. but for our sakes I shall call it listening. There are two outflows of language, they are writing and speaking. Outflow of writing uses the medium of pen and paper to write symbols which will convey meaning, and the Japanese language is so very full of meaning in this way. There is so much to learn in the way of kanji. All terms having to do with water use the sui hen or water radical. Start memorizing the radicals of Kanji, this will help you immensely in your understanding of the language, but it may not help your amount of vocabulary. I would suggest this at first because if you try to attack the kanji too soon you might get discouraged, so I say its ok in order to learn how to speak in Japanese a lot of your words will simply be written in romaji. You must make a list and set a goal. I set a goal at first after deciding adamantly that I was going to be able to speak Japanese because I couldn't and was living in Japan. Must determination was so high and motivating that I did it. I can say it took me 9 months at least maybe 10 before my ears were open enough to hear the small intricacies of the language. But I'll never say that I have become fluent like a native, although when people talk to me over the phone they can't tell if I'm a native or a gaijin. Even the police when they pulled me over twice for speeding I was doing 45kph in a 30kph until I took off my helmet they didn't know and I almost scared the silly puddy right out of them once they saw my blonde hair. It really freaked those power ranger looking police officers that I, a blonde headed gaijin could speak as a native. It blew them away. But those are the rewards of all my diligence, determination, and steadfastness to my goals. My very first goal that I made was to memorize 15 words in 2 day. I did that at first but I did anywhere from 15 -30 words every 2 days, and I would constantly pester someone to quiz me on my new words. The way I memorized words was I made a list of all the useful words I could think of and the list grew very big and then I would do a review over and over, I repeated the words over and over in both directions into and out of English and Japanese, front ways and backwards. Every chance I got I would try to use my new words in sentences as the chance permitted. I woke up at 5 in the morning and studied my bootie off, because I was so determined to master it and be the best I could be as a speaker of Japanese. Next I had two grammar books and learned how to put verbs in bases, and then I could just plug and play with my Japanese grammar and my vocabulary list. It would be good to be able to simultaneously learn and memorize the kanji of a word on your vocabulary list as well as having just the romaji. Most often times I didn't have the luxury or time to study the Kanji, so I didn't start the Kanji until about a year into studying it. I was mainly concerned with my desire to speak Japanese quickly. But let me tell you. If you study the radicals of the kanji and just start learning your first year kanji then you will be able to see how words are made and how they may have originated. I mean kanji is a fascinating pictographically way of communicating. To me there is always more meaning in the Kanji of some word as opposed to the shallow no descript meaning of just the Phoenician alphabet. Before taking on any kanji though, master the kana, both hiragana and katakana. And practice writing the kana, these basic strokes are what forms kanji in the long run. Ok I am going to tell you my secret for getting good really fast. It worked wonders for me because I would sit and study, practice my Japanese in an odd way but it was so fun. This is what I did, it may not be like scholarly or a recommended way to do it but it sure worked wonders for me. I would laugh all over town practicing saying the word fart in every type of grammar I could find that accepted verbs. Because verbs are put into the bases I II III IV and V and verbs put into the various bases have various grammars, I would just put the verb to fart in any bunpo (grammar) I could get my hands on. For example, I like to fart. Onara suru koto ga suki desu. I even put it in polite form which to me is really funny. Or you could ask someone please fart! Onara shite kudasai. Or I must fart now! Onara shinakereba narimasen. Or you could have fun saying I just farted, Onara shita bakari desu. Well hopefully you will take the spirit of what I'm saying and not take it to the letter of the law. It was so much fun learning Japanese that way. Set your goals challenging yet not to the point of overload, neither are productive. If you need a list of words to start memorizing check the link below I have made a word list just for people like you. In essence the more vocabulary you know the more fluent you are (well that’s the idea or that is what someone told me once that if you have at least a 4000 word vocabulary you can be considered fluent, but I don't consider anybody fluent unless their pronunciation is well prepared). The amount of vocabulary must increase a little everyday. But you will need someone to check you on your vocabulary so all you have to do is this or something Here are my guaranteed steps to getting better at Japanese in the shortest amount of time.