One of the major mistakes many language learners make when first studying a language is attempting to learn everything from the book.
This method of learning, while can be effective for certain individuals, generally speaking is not an efficient way to absorb information.
In this article, we have put together a number of different resources available for Japanese language learners to help maximize the number of ways in which you can retain information.
Among the first of resources are actually the books themselves. When first starting out, our personal recommendation is to go through the first two Genki Textbooks, as this lays a strong foundation for grammar and key vocabulary.
Supplement these books with the associated Genki Workbooks and Remembering the Kanji by James W. Heisig.
This is suggested because the kanji book will give you a strategic way to learn kanji while simultaneously studying from Genki.
Next come the apps.
When it comes to using apps, both mobile and web, the options are quite endless, however we’ve put together a few key apps and broken them down by how they should be used. Of course, the BondLingo app is a no-brainer.
Aside from this, Hello Talk is an extremely useful app that allows you to connect with native Japanese speakers learning your native language, filtered by similarity, distance, etc. You can get your sentences corrected by natives and ultimately make good relationships to carry out beyond the app.
Other essential apps include Duolingo, Memrise, Google Translate, and Anki. Obviously Google Translate is necessary for quick translation of words, and while doesn’t always translate correctly, can be very useful at the beginner level, as Hello Talk translations are limited daily.
Duolingo and Memrise are great platforms for creative memorization through flashcards and other interactive exercises.
Anki is an app that allows you to log the kanji you study and reveals this card to at different time points depending on how well you guess the kanji over time.
While these resources have a mix of value for reading and listening practice, none of the resources discussed above help in speaking, unless of course you make friends through Hello Talk.
We would like to stress the importance of developing relationships with those native in your language, as the ability to apply what you learn from these resources to real world situations is essential to your growth as a language learner.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to those on Hello Talk or strangers on the street. A stranger is just one “Hi” away from a good friendship ☺