Tumbleweed's Resources for Learning Japanese

Tumbleweed's Resources for Learning Japanese

Konnichi wa!

Okay, here's a familiar scenario...

For whatever reason, you've taken up the study of the Japanese language. You've gone through a couple of the beginner's level books, you've run through a couple of basic tutorial programs, you've even taken a couple of classes someplace.
Then you decide to try out your new knowledge. You try talking to native speakers, you try to watch an unsubtitled movie or read a magazine. Your head swims with confusion as you recognized maybe (if you're lucky) about 2 percent of the material despite all your hard work.

My sympathies, truly. I've been there, and am usually still there. What you've discovered is that Japanese is an amazingly complex language, with many levels of usage. It's a language where proper textbook grammar for beginners is rarely heard outside of tourist situations. It's a language that utilizes four different writing systems, dependent on the context. It's a language with varied hidden levels dependent on social situations, time of year, and physical location. But there's good news...

It's still a learnable language! So don't despair!

I've collected here some tips and tricks to improving your Japanese. Okay, that's not a guarantee of course, but check them out and judge for yourself.

Tumbleweed's Tips and Tricks.

The Quick and Dirty Guide to Japanese by Tad Perry

How to Understand a Japanese Sentence by Ken Butler

Particles vs. Patterns--Verbal Guideposts in Speaking Japanese by Ken Butler

Japanese on the Computer

Studying Japanese also means being a bit of a linguist. Here I have some interesting articles on the history and origins of the Japanese language and people, as well as sociological resources.

Origin of -masu Form by muchan

Origin of the Japanese Language and People by muchan

But how can you understand a language if you don't understand the people? Check out my bookshelf and reviews of Japan and Japanese-related materials.

Tumbleweed's Japanese Bookshelf

But the best way to learn a language is to choose the methods that best suit you. A page like this never quite stops growing. Expect to see at some point in the future a page with examples from William Imbrie's book of Japanese etymology from 1898. There may also be a page of sample sentences for various grammatical patterns. And of course the links section will grow over time. Fortunately the Internet has many many resources available to you. Here are some starting links that should be helpful.

Japanese Language Links

Japanese Media Sources

Japanese People

Japan, General


If you have any additions or suggestions for my pages, please, don't keep them to yourself! Write to me and share your thoughts and opinions. Feel free to respond to my e-mail address: tumble@ids.net. E-mail is a good thing!

Thanks again for visiting this page. Here are links to my other pages for your viewing and information pleasure. Click below! ^_^

Tumbleweed's Pages

Tumbleweed's Corner
Tumbleweed's Computer Shack
Tumbleweed's Anime and Manga Page
Tumbleweed's Picture Albums
Tumbleweed's Guide to Learning Japanese
Comics Page
Links Index

Tumbleweed's Shack / tumble@ids.net / last rev. June 28, 1998, 9:15 p.m.

Oh yeah! To send mail, comments, vague threats and whatnot... do so! at John Teehan at tumble@ids.net!