Hello my lovely mauw-mauws,
yesterday my "Japanese Course 2" finished. The 3rd course will start in september. Now Im going to have a quite long break and in order that I do not forget everything Ive learned so far I really have to keep the ball. For almost one year now Im learning japanese at the local community college. Fortunately, Im still delighted learning the japanese language and can't wait to the point where I will finally reach the level in which I would be able to pass the JLPT N5 (Japanese Language Proficiency Test). The test for the lowest level, N5, contains about 100 Kanji, 800 vocabulary and basic listening and assumes a study time of ~150 hours.With my current learning rate it would remain about 1.5-2 years to reach that level. So, I need a lot of staying power and motivation in the future, too.
Because you cannot learn a language with only one book (especially not japanese!!), I accrued during that year several books and other (learning) material, which I like to suggest you:
Books and other useful learning materials:
Langenscheidt - NIHONGO DE DOOSO - text book (german-japanese) and Langenscheidt NIHONGO DE DOOSO - exercise book (german-japanese)
The two books we had to use for the Japanese Course at the college. I can recommend them when you're learning japanese at a college. For self-study it is not that advisable.
Usborne - First 1000 Thousands Word In Japanese (english-japanese)
Actually a picture-book for children but very useful and interesting for adults, too. A nice picture-book by way of change while learning the sometimes "dry" japanese language ^o^
Doitsu Center Ltd. - Japanisch im Sauseschritt 1 (german-japanese)
I personally think that "Japanisch im Sauseschritt" (english: Japanese for busy-people") is the better book for learning japanese than "Nihongo De Dooso". Here you learn more practical things and in a higher pace but it is also still comprehensible. I would prefer if we would work with "Japanisch im Sauseschritt" at the community college.
Langenscheidt - Dictionary (german-japanese)
If you learn a language, a dictionary is always a must have! =)
Seems maybe old-fashioned at first sight, but its still very effective and handy when you're on the way.
Website "Erin's Challenge: I can speak japanese! - The Japan Foundation" (english-japanese)
A very great website to study and learn the japanese language and culture. The website contains many pictures and short videos of daily situations and also various exercises, quizzes and little games. I really can fully recommend this website, the spoken japanese is mostly easy to understand and you also get a lot of "background" culture informations through the videos. =) Visit the website and convince yourself: Erin's Challenge: "I can speak japanese!"
Anki - flashcard program
Anki is an open-source program. Unlike other flashcard programs, Anki supports Hiragana and Katakana characters and got a flexible fact and card model that allows you to generate multiple views of information and input information in the format you wish. You can also share your own deck to friends and download maaany prepared decks. You can download Anki f. e. here: Anki
Miscellaneous (learning) materials:
Kirara Purinsesu (Kilala Princess) - Japanese Manga (japanese)
I am also owning the german version of these very cute Manga, so I thought it would be a nice practice. Fortunately, the Manga is written in Furigana - so I can read even all, to me, unknown Kanji.
Mari To Koinu No Monogatari - Japanese Mana (japanese)
Just look at the cover. Isnt it heart-melting? I just had to buy these Manga, although I do not own a german version of it. Its really challenging reading it, because I can read everything but most often I do not know what those words and sentences mean. So, I have to look many words up. Nonetheless are very good practice! Mercifully the Manga works with Furigana, too.
Notebooks to practise Hiragana and Katakana characters and Kanji
The best moments by learning japanese is when you recognize more and more Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji and can understand (easy and/or frequently) words and sentences. Then you notice that all your effort is worth doing! =)