Back around April, I picked up Rosetta Stone Levels 1-3 for Japanese. If you pay close attention to the price on Amazon, you can sometimes find it for pretty cheap (the price fluctuates pretty heavily and as of right this moment, it’s $200, which is actually cheaper than what I paid.)
I was pretty excited to begin, and I blew through the first few lessons pretty quickly. The program is divided up into 3 levels, each with 4 units and each unit has four lessons. I felt pretty good about Unit 1, but when I got to Unit 2, the difficulty seemed to ramp up quite a bit and I got discouraged. So I quit. My three month trial of the online subscription ran up, and I’d just kind of stopped.
But I still want to learn Japanese, and I paid for this software, so now, six months later, what do I do? Here’s my plan:
- I restarted from the very beginning, so I can lay down a more solid foundation. I’m also focusing on the hiragana/katakana more since I just did romaji the first time through and I think I made it too easy on myself and didn’t learn enough of a good base.
- I’ve started to take notes. I didn’t take notes last time, and I regretted it. I had nothing to study, nothing to look back on or reference. I don’t plan to use these as a cheat sheet or anything, but mostly as a study tool. I also have found that I notice more when I’m taking notes and I can go back and look things up later if I’m confused by them or need more clarification.
- Next, I plan to label objects around the house. This will help me with my vocabulary. I bought some label tape and I plan to go at it as I learn more and more words. So far I’ve labeled only a few things in the house, but that’ll change.
- I’m using the free app called Memrise. I had been using it when I was doing the Rosetta Stone before and it makes a nice companion. I don’t plan to pay for the online stuff on Rosetta Stone, at least not until I get further into the software. It’s kinda expensive and I think it’ll be a lot more useful once I know more Japanese. Memrise has some really good flashcard-type programs you can download for Japanese, and they’ve been really helpful for helping me learn the hiragana and katakana. It will be my option for on-the-go practice when I am not around my desktop.
So now I try again. Our plan is to go to Japan in the spring of 2016 and I would like to know a decent amount of Japanese. If I finish the Rosetta Stone program and I feel like it’s not enough, I will look into conversational Japanese classes or some other form of practice. I will document my achievements and struggles as I go along. I’m hoping to finish one unit every two weeks, so we will see how it goes!
Does anyone have any advice for more things I can do to work on my language learning? (Other than watch all the Anime?)