Me-self is being fascinated by the Japanese culture and language – that is the way I would say it if I wanted to be humble, simple and short on words, but not this time. During the last year or so, I developed grand passion and fascination towards the Japanese language, culture, arts, Manga and Anime, games, Kanji, way of life… Did I mention “Japanese”?
I’m not even sure how it all began. I remember when I began watching Bleach, I remember wishing to know Japanese as one of my desired languages to know, but the source of my passion towards this probably came ever earlier, I will establish this moment as an unknown point in time . Since then I simply got interested. In the first stages as I remember came lots of Anime’s. “Bleach” and “Shakugan no Shana” were the first ones, after which came “School Rumble”… Hey, I do remember this, nice!
From all those artistic presentations I believe I began to assemble the idea of the Japanese life in my mind, even previous to me-self visiting Japan and seeing it all with my own eyes. I still haven’t visited Japan, my work and occupation wouldn’t let me for now – in other words, I’m still a virgin… Boo-hoo!
So, from that point on my fascination and passion began to grow like a tree (Sakura tree?) and as the time passed I already visited all kinds of websites about life in Japan, some of which are Culture:Japan, figure.fm, Tokyo.Japan Times and many others. I was looking at the time for helpful sources to learn the language of the country I wished to visit so much together with examining Mangas, practicing my drawing, searching for materials of all kinds and exploring – exploring – exploring!
(Also, along the way came the idea to study and live in Japan in the future, that idea stays with me until today ^^)
My first source was a series of video lessons – season 1, after which came season 2 that helped me learning the basic structure of sentences in Japanese, Hiragana & Katakana & some vocabulary too. As I was watching and it was my only source of studies at the time (A specially because I wasn’t familiar with any Japanese courses around my area, if there are any at all) I began to take notes and practice daily. I used a small software called Evernote what helped me make notes and synchronize them on the Internet.
After I finished the lessons series, learning not much at a pretty long time, my passion to the subject requested that I look for additional sources, since that was only the beginning and certainly not enough! I was hungry…
After looking for a time, I found a little software called Kana Quiz – was one of the most helpful thingies I ever had. It helped me learn Hiragana and Katakana in about 2 weeks and certainly gave me a push.
The time to study Kanji had come by then! I red an article from dannychoo.com about the ways he learned Japanese (It was most helpful, Thank you Danny!).
One of the points I took from him is hanging Kanji charts in the toilet, makes sense, cause toilet time is practically free time. Along with that I got my greatest tool so far, the Genki I – An Integrated course in elementary Japanese book, which I use to study daily until now.
With that I have my Japanese iPhone app that comes very handy in repeating expressions and Kanji when I travel
So, these are all my tools until present day, hope it helps the ones of you who wish to study Japanese as well. I always try to push myself forward and organize my priorities, although I’m not a 100% good at it and I gotta confess, I waste a lot of time in the process and not always get the result I want, but what keeps me moving forward and push myself towards more of what I wish to know and be able to do is my passion for it. I have my desire to do it, I know I’m capable of it and I take my time towards it so one day I will be there! Peace…
“It doesn’t matter how slow you advance as long as you keep moving” – Confucius