I really need a kick start concerning my study plan. I started learning Japanese, embarrassingly, 4 years ago. I say embarrassingly because after learning of someone becoming fluet after 18 months, I feel my level is brutal. I haven't been studying the whole time and hit my fair share of walls, not to mention work and lack of time being a factor.
I need some goals and direction. In the past I've used and still do:
- JapanesePod101 - Brilliant introduction to the japanese, but feel I need to listen to each episode 10 times for the vocab and grammar to sink in – sometimes the conversations at the start are pointless until you know the vocabulary. After using Michael Thomas to revisit French, I find most other language packages treat you like a parrot, and in doing so, makes it incredibly difficult to go from beginner/elementary to intermediate.
- Pimsleur - Just started with this. Doing it from the beginning as a refresher and trying to do a lesson a day during my lunch break. Bit slow but good listening practice. I find having a foundation in the language helps, and it's helping me fix my grammar errors. However if I was a total virgin to the language, I wouldn't recommend solely using this method.
- Reading/writing: Just got the Heisig book, and I'm going to start again on the kanji. About two years ago, I suppose I knew about 400 of the little buggers however I've forgotten a lot. In the past I've also used Genki which I recommend. Other kanji books I can speak highly about are: Let's Learn Kanji and Easy Kanji (Handy little paperback for the train, uses a similar approach to Heisig to introduce 300 of the basics and how the characters evolved in China).
- Nintendo DS: Tadashii Kanji Kaki to Rikun is also a good supplement. Available from Play-Asia.
I never heard of ajatt – thanks for the link. I'll come back again with updates, maybe a list of good Japanese movies to watch. All help appreciated.