To gain a sufficient introduction to Japanese, visit a free website such as Teach Yourself Japanese
. Books should encompass the main bulk of your studies, such as these titles from Amazon.com:Japanese for Dummies
(A basic coverage of Japanese language essentials including grammar, usage and vocabulary. Audio CD included)A Guide to Learning Hiragana and Katakana
(Covers the pronunciation and stroke order of both Japanese syllabries, giving reviews at the end of each section)A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Sentence Patterns
(Covers 50 Japanese sentence patterns, examples and variations of each sentence included)All About Particles
(Covers 69 Japanese particles, organizing and usage)The Handbook of Japanese Verbs
(Teaches how to use verbs and apply them in different ways)Japanese Core Words and Phrases
(Covers words and phrases whose rough translations are seldom found in dictionaries or textbooks)Japanese for Busy People I: Kana Version
, Japanese for Busy People II: Kana Version
, and Japanese for Busy People III: Kana Version
(Overall Japanese courses, omitting romaji in favor of kana)Let's Learn Kanji
and Let's Learn More Kanji
(Covers radicals, components, family groups, learning strategies, and introduces basic and complex kanji) Part II
Entertainment sources (Comics, Role-Playing Games, and Anime) provide supplemental sources for improving written and spoken Japanese. Make sure you have an electronic dictionary
handy. The Canon Wordtank series, such as the IDF-3000 or IDX9700, are good choices.
Japanese comics, or manga, should be the first step taken in putting your kana and kanji skills to work in the entertainment world. TheJapanShop
have a selection of manga, while eBay
is an additional source.
Old games are the cheapest, so if your on a budget and already have a Super Nintendo, a $10-15 converter from eBay (Click to check for availability)
will allow you to play Japanese Super Famicom games.
On a more advanced level, anime allows you to help your spoken Japanese skills (as long as you take the time to pause and rewind to allow yourself to absorb and repeat what they say, DVD versions would ease this burden). Online retailers include U.S. Manga Corps
and ADV Films