Learning Japanese as an adult weeb


Self Learning Japanese

I’ve been learning Japanese for about 1.5 months now. I try to study at least a little bit every day, and I do think I’m going well with my studies.

My point here is sharing my exp with it and what I do to study it.

My studies

I’ve researched quite a lot about how to start and dabbled in different things. I’ve tried to stick to specific times like a school system, where I do 1h30m of studying per day + reviews or something. Didn’t work. Tried doing 1 chapter of “Japanese from zero” each day and… it didn’t work.

In the end, this type of “school system” doesn’t work very well for me. My current system is based on 3 things:

  • Learning new stuff (Human Japanese)
  • Note-taking
  • Reviewing (anki cards)

Learning new stuff

For those who don’t know, human Japanese is a book like app for learning Japanese. I say “book like” because the app is almost constructed as one. You turn pages, you have chapters, so book it is. The difference for me, it’s the sweet spot this app seats in. It’s the perfect balance of benefiting from the digital format without being super gamified or childish.

Highlights for me are audios for words, characters, sentences etc and locked chapters, where you need to complete reviews/quizes to unlock the next chapter. If you are interested, the app has a free version called “HJ lite” that goes up to chapter 9. The rest can be unlocked by paying $10.

If you are Brazilian it’s R$50 because our currency is almost equal to monopoly money ;-;

Note-taking

This one is pretty straight forward. I create notes for each chapter I study, the notes are not deep nor well-structured. I just quickly write anything I find very important about the chapter I’m own.

Reviewing

This one is probably similar to every one that is or have tried to learn Japanese. Anki Cards. You probably heard about them, but if you didn’t here is a quick TLDR:

Anki is a program for flashcards. You have the front for example with the Japanese word “fuyo”. You look at the card, think about the answer, and then flip the card. At the backside of the card you will have the translation, in this case “winter”. That’s it. its a memorization program with a very simple concept, but is amazing to use it.

I usually do a few of those everyday in whatever moment I can and want to. Waiting in line? Anki cards. In the bathroom? Anki cards.

The experience so far

My first language is my native one, Brazilian Portuguese. My second was English while I was still a child. And now my third is Japanese. As someone that has being watching anime for almost 20 years, the thought about learning it crossed my mind multiple times through life. But something’s kept me away of it.

Japanese is too hard.

Is not just cause you watch anime that you will get it.

Well, my experience with it for now is… This is actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. There are a couple similarities in pronunciation between Portuguese and Japanese, so my native language helped me quite a bit in that.

Hearing Japanese in anime for so long makes me not get weirded out about stuff, cause most of the time I’ve already heard those words, I just didn’t know what they meant. There are even a lot of words that I already know, or simple culture tips that I’m already familiar with.

Don’t get me wrong, Japanese is hard. So is learning any language. But is not nearly close to how hard people make it seem.

Final thoughts

Self learning Japanese has being super fun. Do I make crazy progress every day? No. Do I really care? No.

I’m not really learning for something super useful, I’m learning cause I really wanted to. But hey, maybe one day I will get to the level of reading my Japanese mangas and LN’s without a translator.