SamJReilley comments

Posted in: Why you shouldn’t learn Japanese See in context

I'm currently living in Japan with my girlfriend. I began studying Japanese a few years ago to satisfy my growing interest in the language and culture. I'm able to hold a casual conversation now and I can understand the spoken language well, not because I'm living in Japan (that seems to be people's excuse for not studying enough!) and not because I have a Japanese girlfriend (although she does help me =p) but because I've been using Japanese books to read and learn from on a daily basis. The best site I've found so far sells Japanese picture books, but they each come with what's called a "Nihongo Recipe" which essentially is an in-depth translation, filling in all the "whys" and "hows" of the language. The site is called memories-bunko.jp Def worth a look for all you Japanese enthusiasts! Also, Japanese picture books may sound easy, but the language is certainly upper-intermediate in many of them. For anyone that's studying Japanese using textbooks, please remember that people don't really speak like that in Japan. Its far more casual, even in stores! (Which they don't tell you in class) I showed my girlfriend "An Integrated Approach to Intermediate" which I brought with me when I first arrived here, and she was saying how odd and unnatural the language and scenarios were. Since then, its been native material for my study and I don't regret it. Best decision was to dump my textbooks on the shelf and read children's books. I'm at the stage now where I just take notes on some vocab I don't know and enjoy the story! =) Peace! -Samm

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