what is the best software to learn japanese?
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25 / M / Texas
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Posted 12/15/12
The reasons I'm asking is because first I want to visit Japan and second because I really like a lot of anime openings. I feel like Rossetta Stone is too overrated and over priced but I might be wrong (let me know if I am). So what do you guys think is the best software to learn Japanese?

I hope this question isn't another duplicate, or do the ppl that work on this site remove duplicated questions?
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Posted 12/15/12
Unfortunately none can compare to rosetta stone. However I would recommend you teaching yourself the basics, and downloading some apps on the iphone/ipad app store that are used to help japanese children learn how to read and write. It may seem childish but it will at least teach you the basics. That is how I learned.
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26 / M / West-Central Florida
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Posted 12/15/12
Rosetta Stone will definitely not teach you all of the language, and I personally find it completely ridiculous that a company is willing to sell a set of four CDs for $300-$400. But if you want to learn the basics, I guess that'll probably be the best way to try it, unless you want to attempt to self-learn it. Might be difficult.
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32 / M / MA
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Posted 12/15/12 , edited 12/15/12
I've heard alot of negative things about Rosetta Stone. Best 'software' would be good ol' hard work. Other than that, Anki is a spaced repetition system flash card program I am currently using to learn kanji, with the ability to download user created decks. Couple that with an old fashioned English-Japanese dictionary and a desire to learn and you've pretty much got everything you need.

Methodology towards the learning and saying motivated, you can visit blogs like AJATT, etc. Also, I suggest getting Google's input method editor (IME) for Japanese script so you can freely write in ひらがなとカタカナと漢字 at any point in time with a few clicks or well pressed hotkeys.

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46 / M / Canada
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Posted 12/15/12
Have you tried livemocha.com ? It is kind of cool though you have to help out English speakers while you are learning Japanese!
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Posted 12/15/12
For me, I needed a variety of resources. I started out with a book on how to draw Kanji, got some books on grammar, and a couple of dictionaries.
I watch a lot of subtitled anime, and a lot of it sinks in.
And then I transscribed and translated manga. I've done a lot of that over the years. So I can read a lot of conversational japanese, but I'm still _always_ looking up the dictionary. It can take looking it up 5-10 times before I've memorised it.
I've done a few hours of Rosetta Stone, as I otherwise don't have a lot of practice speaking it.

After 10 years, I still suck at it, I just suck less than what I started.
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46 / M / Canada
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Posted 12/15/12
I also use many methods. Until I had to use it for work it wasn't sticking that well but using it for hours a day helps. That is limited to technical Japanese so I read manga and light novels and watch anime and drama so I know how to say I love you which doesn't come up too often when talking about functional safety requirements ;-)
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37 / M / somewhere that is...
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Posted 12/15/12

shymexican10 wrote:

The reasons I'm asking is because first I want to visit Japan and second because I really like a lot of anime openings. I feel like Rossetta Stone is too overrated and over priced but I might be wrong (let me know if I am). So what do you guys think is the best software to learn Japanese?

I hope this question isn't another duplicate, or do the ppl that work on this site remove duplicated questions?


Hohohohohoho!

Yes if you make a duplicate thread to one that already exists we will close the newer one and redirect you to the original. While there are other threads that deal with this topic most of them were quite ancient *dusts off the forums* so we sorta closed em.

So your thread is okay. However it doesn't really belong in the anime forums since it really isn't about anime. So I moved it over to the lifestyle/general discussion forum since that is the only place it seems to make much sense.

Thanks for using the CR forums and best of luck picking up the language. Personally as much as you don't want me to post it... Rosetta Stone gets the most recommendations for a reason. Other posters have already offered some nice alternative options too though!
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25 / M / Texas
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Posted 12/15/12

RandeKnight wrote:

For me, I needed a variety of resources. I started out with a book on how to draw Kanji, got some books on grammar, and a couple of dictionaries.
I watch a lot of subtitled anime, and a lot of it sinks in.
And then I transscribed and translated manga. I've done a lot of that over the years. So I can read a lot of conversational japanese, but I'm still _always_ looking up the dictionary. It can take looking it up 5-10 times before I've memorised it.
I've done a few hours of Rosetta Stone, as I otherwise don't have a lot of practice speaking it.

After 10 years, I still suck at it, I just suck less than what I started.


So what is the best book I can buy on Amazon that teaches me how to understand or draw kanji? Also does Rosetta stone teaches grammar or am i gonna have to buy another book or software?
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M / ミシガン
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Posted 12/15/12 , edited 12/15/12

shymexican10 wrote:
So what is the best book I can buy on Amazon that teaches me how to understand or draw kanji?

Well, before Kanji, you need to learn the Kana (the Japanese Syllabaries) first: The Hiragana and Katakana. I think the best way to learn is thru James Heisig's method of "imaginative memory." This is how I learned them right away. As long as you are willing to give your brain an exercise, you can learn it in one day. Seriously. The book is called Remembering the Kana: http://www.amazon.com/Remembering-Kana-Reading-Japanese-Syllabaries/dp/0824831640/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355636485&sr=8-1&keywords=remembering+the+kana You may be able to search online if any of your local libraries or universities has it available to rent.
Also, James Heisig also has another series of books (3 volumes actually) called Remembering the Kanji in which he uses "imaginative memory" again to help you remember the Kanjis. If you find his Remembering the Kana book helpful, only then would I recommend getting these volumes as well.

Like RandeKnight, I've found it very useful to get some grammar books and a good dictionary as well. You'll need it. I'm sure you can rent these at your local library too if you are short on cash. To be honest, I don't think the grammar is really to hard to learn. It's just the Kanji that can give you a headache since there is about 2000 (last I heard) that are commonly used.
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27 / M / Pandemonium
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Posted 12/19/12
None. Try Pimsleur. It's realy easy and really effective.
My friend learned fluent japanese in just a few months with it.
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Posted 12/19/12 , edited 12/19/12

Syndicaidramon wrote:
Try Pimsleur. It's realy easy and really effective.
My friend learned fluent japanese in just a few months with it.

I've used that too. It works great, but it's really expensive. Just to get the complete level 1 course will run around 100 bucks. All 3 courses around 300 bucks. Rosetta Stone is pretty much the same price for all 3 courses. I don't know which one is better though since I haven't really used the Rosetta Stone for Japanese, but I can vouch also for the effectiveness of the Pimsleur's Audio CDs.

Shymexican, u can try and see if one of your local libraries carries Pimsleur's Japanese Audio CDs for rent. It really would be well worth it as one of the tools u can use to help learn the language.
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Posted 12/19/12 , edited 12/19/12
Pimsleur IS actually worth the investment, maybe even as a group if possible. While it's true that it isn't necessarily a software, and it certainly will not teach you the written language, I was on translation duty at an anime convention and I got by with just a few weeks of using the Pimsleur Method! You can find tapes and audio CDs available at some local stores, or you can just type in Pimsleur into Google and go from there.

The audio-based method requires some thinking on your part -- but if you critically evaluate why they are having you learn each phrase or word, you'll pick up conjugation of japanese verbs and other useful grammatical tools VERY quickly. Granted, I have a lot of other language study under my belt (French, Latin) so I knew what to look for... But this is still great for anyone who needs to speak or understand essential Japanese on the fly (and makes watching your favorite anime that much more fun!)
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27 / M / Pandemonium
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Posted 12/23/12

PharaohmoneGranted, I have a lot of other language study under my belt (French, Latin) so I knew what to look for...

Wait... you mean Latin as in the ACTUAL, practicly dead Latin language? The language of science?
I've been wanting to learn that language for a long time, but Pimsleur doesn't have any, and I don't know where else to look.
Can you give me some suggestions?
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