Since then I’ve seen a lot of people asking “what next?” It’s difficult to pick a direction when you don’t know where you’re going or what you’re doing.
So where do you go once you’ve learnt your kanas?
- Apps for Japanese Learning
- Japanese Textbooks for Teaching Yourself Japanese
- Study Methods and Resources of JLPT N5*
The following is my own advice for people. It’s not a huge list of things you could do (that’s in the above links with research), but my advice for a single route you take take to get you started. And remember, this isn’t something you need to stick with forever. Studying is fluid and how you do it will change over time.
Personally, after studying Japanese for so long, I think this is a good way to build up your basics.
Core Resource: Memrise
I know I bang on about Memrise a lot, but once you get into it it’s an amazing resource and one of the few where I’ve found myself willing to study a little bit of Japanese almost everyday, rather than putting it down and forgetting about it.
- Memrise is Free to use
- Available to everyone
- Lots of different courses
- Can use on internet, android and iphones when out and about
Step 1 – Learn some basic vocabulary
You can start doing this with any course on memrise! The following are some of my top suggestions (and they’re not all J-Talk ones). I recommend picking just ONE though and don’t try any others until you’ve completed it.
- Anime Japanese for Beginners – comes with romaji if you’re still not confident with the kanas
- JLPT N5 Vocabulary and Kanji – covers 800 basic vocabulary and 100 kanji over 8 weeks
- 180 Basic Japanese Phrases
- 125 Most Useful Japanese Verbs
- 124 Most Useful Japanese Words
- Introduction to Japanese
- Japanese Numbers
Explore memrise and courses people have made before picking one you want to do. MemoryFox has a lot of good courses for beginners.
Step 2 – Learn some basic grammar
Grammar is, I think, tricky, because although there are lots of guides online but not many opportunities to practice unless you’re studying in a class. That’s why I made…
This covers all the basic grammar you need with some explanations. It helps to have completed something like the 125 Most Useful Verbs first because in Japanese grammar is based on the verbs changing.
(Optional) Step 3 – Find people to talk to
“But I can’t even say ‘my name is’ yet!” That doesn’t matter. Find someone, whether it’s a friend, teacher, or someone on skype and just say a bunch of sentences at them and ask them to correct them. Don’t be scared, make mistakes and you’ll learn. Make the same mistakes multiple times and you’ll learn even faster!
I say this is optional because it might be hard to find people who speak Japanese, or you might be nervous. But it’s high recommended to get good fast. For ideas on how to find native speakers see this post for advice on finding people to talk with: Practising Japanese with Natives