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Monday, September 5, 2011

How I learned Japanese Part 2

How to learn Japanese. er. . I mean, How I learned Japanese Part 2
Part 1 is here. The videos are here


IS! . . . Playing video games!. Playing video games helped me learn Japanese a lot!. Especially in reading, vocabulary, listening and KANJI. One day I went to the local video game store and bought a Japanese copy of Persona 4. Note:I played and finished Persona 3 in English before so I was familiar with the game.I really liked it and it was very interesting. I kept on playing it even though I couldn't read well. The Minna no Nihongo Kanji booklet and a Japanese-English dictionary were my best friends I was constantly using them.
I bought the game just before school  started(before I took Japanese classes). So at the time I had near zero Japanese knowledge, I couldn't even read the hiragana and katakana letters. Also I didn't have the 2 books mentioned above, I only had a small book called "Simple conversation in Japanese" from JICA. The book had hiragana and katakana letters. When I started the game I could only read the hiragana and katakana letters by looking at the small book. And I just skipped the kanji's. It took me about 1 hour and 30 or so minutes to get to the first save point which should take around 15 minutes MAX for someone that can read Japanese. And I didn't understand anything, BUT I did memorize most of the hiragana and katakana letters ^.^ . I realized that I was no match for Japanese at the time and can't continue like this. So I temporarily quit playing Persona 4 and went on to school for training.

How I learned Japanese Part 1

How to learn Japanese. This is the written version of my video "How I learned Japanese". Thought some people may understand better by reading . Content might slightly differ from the video but mostly the same. This is going to be looong. Divide this into 2 posts.
You should watch the videos too here
I thought of all the Methods that I used to learn Japanese before going to Japan. And I had 5 Methods in total.

Method #1
Is just plain normal studying. I went to a good school that taught Japanese well. I had 4 hours of Japanese class a week. And learned all the basics here. The Hiragana and Katakana letters, basic kanji's, basic greetings, conversations, words, numbers all the beginner stuff. But most importantly I learned the grammar, adjectives and the structure of Japanese sentences how they work and how they combine. The structure of Japanese sentences was luckily the same as Mongolian so there were no problems. Unfortunately for English speakers the structure of the sentences are reverse which will make things a little confusing. Our school had 2 Japanese teachers who half of the time taught us. They spoke little Mongolian so it was all Japanese talking, this helped our speaking and listening. 
I'm not the academic study study study type. But I payed good attention to Japanese class and studied hard. Yes I studied at home too. I also started to go to extra lessons besides from school. Like cram schools. There are plenty of places and institutions that teach foreign languages here in Mongolia. So finding one was no problem for me. I went to extra lessons 3 times a week each 2 hours long for 2 months. In total I had 10 hours of Japanese class a week for 2 months. After the extra lessons it returned to the normal 4 hours a week. Note: This is in the school year before going to Japan.