Monday, March 12, 2018

Japanese is not Easy #3

It's rare something academic will hold my interest this long.  The last thing I can think of is computer support, and I ended up going to school for that.  So, I've decided to invest.

I started with Duolingo.  That's a free phone app that teaches language.  It was great for about two weeks.  I did notice that it lists "sayonara" as "goodbye" when I believe it means "goodbye forever."  Then the app took a steep climb in difficulty.  In my opinion, at least.  I was completely failing at the sentence structure, when it hadn't even covered the entire "alphabet".

I put alphabet in quotes, because they actually call them phonemes.  Japanese has no "H".  It has ha, he, hi, and so on.  That's a little more to memorize for learners.  The plus side is it's mostly a phonetic language.  But that leads me to TinyCards.  That's another app, but a simpler one.  It just has flashcards, and a mechanism to test if you remember them.  It's more limited, which actually makes it easier to use it on the go.  It's great for simple things like memorizing phonemes and words.

I also bought this a book called Japanese from Zero! Volume 1.  It wasn't a huge investment.  It was $30, but I can surely sell it for $10 if I don't like it.  It does seem good, but I'm really concentrating more on the apps right now.  They're more my style, and fit into my life better.

And since I'm still investing my time, I went ahead and invested a little more money.  I found someone reselling an individual account with Rosetta Stone.  I have tried Rosetta Stone a little for Spanish, and it was great.  This hasn't arrived yet.  It's a 24 month subscription for one person in the one language of my choice.

My plan is to stick with a mix of all these methods, and if all goes well, try Italki.  That's a web service that matches people who want to practice a language with a native speaker of that language who wants to practice your language.  I couldn't think of an easier way to say that.  This service also allows people to sell language lessons.  It's way cheaper than finding someone locally.  I was recently reminded of it by a youtuber living in Japan, who still uses it because it's so convenient and cheap.

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