As sometimes happens when one is fascinated with so many topics, I have accidentally bounced over to learning Japanese. I’m still reviewing my Hindi books from time to time, but with my girlfriend expressing her interest in learning Japanese, it’s hard for me to resist doing it too. I really love working on a project with someone else rather than just by myself.
So far I’ve become addicted to Slime Forest Adventure for learning the writing system. It’s a simple RPG-style game (for windows, mac, and linux) that teaches katakana, hiragana, and kanji. I’m trying to learn as many kanji as I can in as short a time as I can, so that I can incorporate that knowledge into the rest of my vocab study.
Much of my study time will be through consumption of media. We’re re-watching a long anime series, which has English subtitles. Sometimes it’s really tough to ignore the English, but I’m sort of getting into the habit of quickly reading the English and then concentrating hard on listening to the corresponding Japanese sentence.
To assist with this, I’ve been reading Tae Kim’s Japanese Grammar Guide in order to just see what sorts of structures exist in Japanese. I’m not trying to memorize any tables of conjugations; I just want to get a taste for what’s there. After reading a section of examples, then I go watch another anime episode and try to listen for that grammar concept to come up in speech. This allows me to sort of fit together more pieces as I listen to them.
Once I finish going through the ~2000 standard kanji, and learn some of the basic vocab, I’m eager to start on some actual reading. I’m not sure what I’ll use for this, but good old Harry Potter might be an option.