I started learning kana sometime back in 2008, have been picking up random bits of Japanese since then but not in a systematic order. I know Mandarin Chinese so kanji is kinda easy for me. Would put myself somewhere around N4 to N3-ish level, should be able to reach N3 this year if I study well enough.
I started learning Japanese because of anime, manga, and music, and would really like to be able to consume untranslated media. I’m focused more on input than output, so I’m prioritizing reading and listening.
One of the concrete goals: to be able to read my copy of Fullmetal Alchemist Chronicle - the book that started my desire to read Japanese, because there’s no sign of it getting translated, dammit.
I’d also like to be able to understand spoken Japanese well enough to understand MC sections of concerts, interviews of music artists etc.
For a shorter term goal, I’m planning to take the JLPT N3 test this December.
Tools and learning process
Right now I’m doing a mix of following:
- Nihongo Sou Matome N3 Kanji, Grammar, Reading Comprehension - target to be done by October. Will need to start working on listening too.
- Anki, I use the shared Nihongo Sou Matome decks to review N3 material. I also have a subs2srs deck built with some anime and J-drama I’ve watched before, using Morphman plugin to reorder the cards so that I’m only shown cards with 1 unknown word.
- I have a book on Japanese grammar that came with audio tracks, I’ve been creating tracks for shadowing using Audio Lesson Studio. I like to use it when I’m driving to work - listen to a sentence, then try to repeat it out loud. I find it forces me to be more aware of the particles used. The N3 sentences are too fast and long for me to repeat while driving, so I’m working my way through the N5 and N4 sentences first.
- general immersion - listening to songs I like, and watching anime (subbed, but I try to pay attention to what they’re saying).
- use Yomichan to create Anki vocab cards when I read online articles and see unknown words. I haven’t been reading online recently though.
Other things I have done in the past but have put on hold, will resume when I have the time/are done with the Nihongo Sou Matome books:
- read the 青い鳥文庫 version of 君の名は - about halfway through the book before I stopped.
- read some 十分で読める books I picked up at BookOff during a Japan trip.
- read a visual novel (Narcissu) using JGlossator, and also with the Japanese and English translation side by side - I stopped somewhere in the 4th chapter I think?
- watch the Nihongonomori YouTube channel N3 grammar and vocab videos - watched about 1/3 of them.
- read more on the Tangoristo app.
- rip audio from my favorite J-dramas and anime to listen to while driving, at the gym etc.
Other things I want to try doing in the future:
- study the lyrics of songs I like. I got some recommendations from @ Maisunadokei1856 the other day too, will check them out.
- rewatch anime with Japanese subs instead of English, probably using Voracious video player.
I’m planning to update at least twice a month, hopefully this will provide more motivation for me to study