Data Peasant

How to Start Learning Japanese

I've had a lot of success learning Japanese with the following tools:

  1. Memorize Hiragana & Katakana with Read The Kanji. As the name suggests, it can also teach you Kanji, but I found better tools for that

  2. Download Anki to memorize Kanji and basic vocabulary. I recommend using Recognition RTK for Kanji. For vocab, there isJLPT Tango N5 for basic vocab and Core 2k/6k Optimized Japanese Vocabulary for common words found in Japanese newspapers.

  3. For reading, there is NHK easy, and Japanese IO. I would recommend supplementing these resources with rikaikun.

  4. For listening, by far the best free tool I've found is SuperNative. It has over 10,000 clips from Japanese TV and movies. After the clip, it shows you the written version of what you've just heard, but with a missing word that you have to fill in. Correct answers raise your ranking; higher rankings give harder questions. For a beginner listening YouTube channel, I got a lot of mileage out of Benjiro's small channel.

  5. For grammar, there is Tae Kim's guide, and the popular textbook Genki. I also really like this cheat sheet to reference while I'm practicing.

If you want a more complete guide, use A Year to Learn Japanese.

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