Polar Bear Café

anonymous asked:

What are you using to learn Japanese?

Hello there  (•͈⌔•͈⑅) The tools I mainly use are:

  • Genki: this is a series of two texbooks + two workbooks, which also includes CDs with various audio tracks and exercises. I use it mainly for grammar, particles, sentence structures and those kind of things.  I’m still on the first book at the moment and I’m really enjoying it so far, it’s explained very clearly with lots of various types of exercise so you really don’t get bored when studying. It also has a good selection of vocabularies and kanji, and it even has some cultural notes that help you learn something new about the Japanese culture.
  • Imiwa?: it’s an iphone app that’s essentially a dictionary. It also divides kanji depending on which level of JLPT you are most likely to encounter them in as well as according to which grades they’re taught at. You can also bookmark kanji and take notes. It’s a lifesaver, really.
  • Remembering the kanji: a series of three books that covers the 3000+ basic kanji, helping you remember them by associating to each character a funny or weird story. I’ve recently started using it and I have to say it really works, some of the stories are so absurd that they do get stuck in my head.
  • Waygo: another iphone app. This one works like a “camera”, and basically detects the text you’re pointing it at and it gives you a rough translation. I use it mainly when grocery shopping, to avoid making mistakes and buying weirdly flavoured things instead of the plain ones. (soy milk, I’m looking at you)
  • Shirokuma café: it’s a 5 volumes manga series about a polar bear that runs a café. It’s composed of simple short stories and all of the kanji have furigana over them, which means that I can pretty much read it without problems. What I do is, I search every single word I don’t know the meaning of as I go (which is every other word, basically) and try to commit them to memory. Being able to do something tangible with the language I’m learning, even if it’s just reading a simple manga like this one, gives me enough motivation to keep going. Once I finish a volume I reread it from the start straight away to retain as much as possible. At some point I’m sure I’ll be able to read them without looking anything up
    ( ◡ θ ◡ )
  • Flashcards: of course there are tons of apps and websites that provide flashcards, such as Anki and Memrise, and I’ve tried using them in the past just to end up burning myself out. Now I mainly work with self made flashcards, both for kanji and vocabulary. I buy blank business cards and decorate them with some washi tape to make them look all cute and appealing, and then revise them before and after studying.
  • Writing workbooks: I suck at writing Japanese, let’s be honest. My ideograms look all wobbly and strange so I usually buy kids’ hiragana/katana/kanji workbooks from 100 yen shops and do them in my spare time.

I hope this helped a little!