I am getting ready to start learning Japanese. I know enough that I know I need to learn Hiragana/Katakana first. But in any case I am thinking after that. What are helpful websites that helped you? I also wanted textbook suggestions. I know of Genki but I also found this book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0804835047/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_d0_i2?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1TNVX08ZN2JBFJYYKAYP&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846
Some say it is better than Genki and I wanted to know opinions from people if they had tried both or one of these textbooks and if they liked it?
I was also curious about this book: http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Zero-Techniques-Students-Professionals/dp/0976998122/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
Have you used it and was it helpful to you? Have you heard nightmares about it, etc.
Also helpful books for learning the Kana? I know of these two and wanted to know your opinoins:
I know the first one is for Hiragana but they have a Katakana one as well. I also realize there are plenty of websites to help. I'm easily distracted with the computer though which is why I am resulting to books more so than computer methods.
Other things I would like to know is definitely what websites you used? Did you use social sites such as italki, livemocha, edufire, lang-8, etc? If so which were best?
Are there any blogs you suggest following? I know of Tofugu. I have done quite a bit of research on this. I just want to know personal opinions from those who have learned Japanese.
I also wanted to know how you learned Kanji. Was it flashcards or are there books you suggest there to?
Thank you all who answer. And hopefully I get some helpful and detailed answers :D Appreciate it!
JASensei is great mobile application and Waku Waku Japanese Youtube channel is good for beginners. There you can learn phrases on Romaji but there are also the same phrases writen in Hiragana.
I would leanr hiragana and katakana first. Next i would learn some basic senteces and vocabulary such as family, the house, travel, numbers etc. Next learn more grammar, and plug in new vocabulary as you learn.
I used this website for learning hiragana and katakana and it helped a lot
Remember to keep a hold of your newspaper/novel/manga or whatever you use to practice your reading comprehension skills.
If you run Firefox or Google Chrome, download "Rikaikun," a free program that tells you the meaning of words when you hover over them with your cursor.
For a good, free desktop dictionary program, I'd suggest Wakan. They also have a pack of example sentences you can upload to the dictionary, which I'd recommend. Example sentences never hurt. For a reliable online dictionary, try Jim Breen. You can search in english ("love") or in romaji ("ai"). Searching in English can be a mess, since the results are not as reliable, though. It's a very good dictionary with an excellent collection of example sentences.
Anyway... I could go on forever, but those things are good (and free) tools you can use to get started. Good luck! I know you'll do well.
After you learn hiragana and katakana, I would suggest beginning to learn the Kyouiku kanji (the "education kanji" or the kanji that young students learn in school) and the basic particles (wa, ga, wo, no, ni, etc.)
NihongoResources has created a free, downloadable .pdf book on the Japanese language. It has everything from hiragana and katakana to particles and grammar. Here is a link: http://grammar.nihongoresources.com/doku.php
Look for flashcard programs to help you learn kanji, as well. Mnemosyne and Anki are both free programs you can download and use. Many sites have excellent (and FREE!) flashcard packs. I would suggest this site: http://www.tanos.co.uk/jlpt/, which focuses on tha kanji one needs to master for the JLPT or Japanese Language proficiency test. Level 1 is the highest, so you want to start at Level 5.
(Too many characters. See next post.)