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My advice would be to scrap the Kanji section on here completely. There’s other and much better ways to learn it. Some alternatives are WaniKani, Remembering the Kanji or the way Japanese kids learn at school.
WaniKani will be an extra cost, so you might want to try our the first two free levels before deciding to commit to that.
If you want to do RTK, you can either buy the book or download it. You can use the supplement website http://kanji.koohii.com/ with the book and use other people’s stories instead of Heisig’s.
The last method is learning the initial 1006 characters taught in grades 1 – 6 in Japanese primary/elementary school. After that, learning the rest taught in high school.
This is a method I’ve recently begun to use as you start to learn common words early which use the kanji you’re learning. You can use jisho.org to find common words, and you can download free anki decks with vocab list here https://ankiweb.net/shared/decks/japanese.
Experiment and see what works best for you.
Definitely don’t bother learning the on and kun readings separately. You will naturally pick these up through vocab.
- This reply was modified 9 years, 8 months ago by kanjiman8.
Agreed, £42.99 is quite expensive for a book. The Kanzen Master series is also expensive for studying for the JLPT. Yeah, it’s good you only had to pay for the postage.
I recently re-watched some of the old Tofugu videos and they’re priceless. This one was very funny at the time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOYKILSjaBo
As far as I’m aware, the readings for 七 and 四 are interchangeable if purely saying the numbers on their own. なな is easier to distinguish than saying しち, as しち sounds similar to 一 (いち). As for 四, よん is preferred as し sounds similar to the reading for the word ‘death’ in Chinese 死 (sǐ). When you say the numbers 40 and 70, it’s 四十 (よんじゅう) and 七十 (ななじゅう) respectively.
When it comes to counting things, し and しち are both used with certain counters. For example:
四月 (しがつ) = April
七月 (しちがつ) = July
七人 (しちにん) = Seven people
七時 (しちじ) = 7 o’clock
If you’re interested, you can read more about unlucky numbers in Asian cultures here http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2011/01/why-the-number-four-is-considered-unlucky-in-some-east-asian-cultures/.
Is that shop in London you’re referring to http://shop.jpbooks.co.uk/ by any chance?
The cost of textbooks is especially high here in the UK. Imagine buying the whole Minna no Nihongo set lol.
An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese is considered Genki 3 as it’s made by the same company (Japan Times), that made Genki 1 and 2.
There’s less English in the book which isn’t surprising as it’s meant to be the start of the Intermediate stage.
Just as I thought about EtoEto. Oh well, here’s hoping this big revamp and merger with all the sites does actually happen one day.
Yeah, not sure if the Gakuu offer still applies but it’s probably worth trying if you’re interested in the site. I’d imagine you’d be able to get some out of it now.
Here’s Hashi’s old Tofugu Twitter account if you’re interested https://twitter.com/TofuguHashi
It hasn’t been updated since last July.
For grammar, if you want free resources there’s Tae Kim’s guide. I tend to find it more useful to reference rather than going through it like a textbook though. If you don’t mind paying for books or are able to borrow them, I would recommend the new editions of Genki. They’re more self-study friendly and have updated vocab and grammar points. Saying that, it is still aimed at a classroom setting and this throws up a few problems such as using ‘linguistic’ terms in explanations sometimes, and lots of practice exercises which requires partners. You can ignore the practice exercises though and google any linguistic terms you’re not familiar with. To supplement the books, I also recommend downloading the following Anki decks.
1) Every vocab word in Genki 1&2
2) Every sentence in Genki 1&2 (including dialogue and example sentences), no English translations though
With grammar, takes some notes but the more you see it and use it yourself, the quicker it will sink in. With vocab, you can choose what words you want to learn. Most of the words I’ve encountered in Genki are common, but I have had to suspend a few ones in the Anki deck I didn’t seem necessary to learn until later on.
Use Lang-8 and make friends with natives and other learners to practice what you’ve learnt. Expose yourself to some easy native material like a manga or anime.
- This reply was modified 9 years, 8 months ago by kanjiman8.
I’ve heard of LingQ, but never really looked into it. Is it any good? The layout looks a bit like Lang-8.
Tobira is a pretty good textbook from what I’ve read. Is it hard to find in the UK? I don’t see it listed on Amazon.
Have you looked at “An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese”?
I have an unusual study routine where I will review new vocab several times the first day I begin learning them.
After the first day, I let the SRS kick in and take care of when it should be showing me the cards.
It’s a method that I’ve found useful and something that Anki does well.
Yes, I know of Eto Eto. I did redeem my account last year. I briefly looked at some of the lessons. It looked ok’ish.
I think someone on here (might have been Elenkis) said that EtoEto hadn’t been updated in a while.
That was some months ago now. I’m guessing that project has been put on hold too.
I’m sure money plays a big part in the decision making here. I seem to remember Hashi shared some interesting stats about the amount of users TextFugu had. I think he said there were 2000 lifetime members. This was at least a couple of years ago now.
By going on that number, 2000 x $120 (old lifetime membership fee) = $240,000. If those numbers are right, that’s getting on for a quarter of a million dollars.
Since then, there’s been more members joining TextFugu plus all the members who have paid for WaniKani.
Obviously there are costs involved too such as server costs, business rates and tax, employees and Koichi’s own personal expenses, etc.
I don’t think it would be wrong to say a lot of money has been made.
Hashi left to join a local ISP from what his Twitter account says. This place went even more downhill after he left.
We could do with a character like him around again.
Did you ever buy a membership for http://gakuu.com/ ?
I bought one ages ago for $20. It’s more like EtoEto as it focuses on native material rather than actual learning.
I just had a quick browse now and it looks like it does get updated from time to time. Not a bad resource for the price.
Hey Mister. Long time no see. How ya doing?
Yeah, I had Sakamoto and Solid Snake as previous profile pics on here. I logged into my Gravatar account for the first time yesterday in almost two years lol. Naturally, I had long forgotten the password so had to do a reset.
Yeah, my studies have been going well, thanks. A bit start and stop at times, but I feel more of an independent learner compared to when I first started. Making friends with natives and other learners on Lang-8 has definitely helped a lot.
Interesting point raised about getting a refund. Although I’m still bitter about the current mess the site’s in, I still think this forum is a good place to visit. Plus, if this place does ever get sorted out, I’d like to see how it will eventually look.
As for ます form, I’m probably a bit biased as I’m basing it off my own experience. When I started to learn dictionary form on here, I got confused and kept thinking in ます form. I decided to forget all the verbs, and start again from scratch with dictionary form. It made more sense and now, I always think of a verb in dictionary form first before ます form. I find converting from dictionary form to ます is much simpler to work out.
I completely agree with what you said about て form. There’s just no excuse for not teaching it sooner. In Genki, a lot of grammar points are built upon after learning て form. This should of been included in Season 5 at least, which is where dictionary form is taught.
I used the first two levels of WaniKani, but don’t like the fact you can’t control when you want to study. In Anki, I sometimes want to study decks early. This can’t be done in WK. I suppose if someone likes the style of learning based on levelling up in RPG games, then WK might be good for them. I’d rather stick to Anki and using free shared decks, or making my own. I think WK should of at least been given to TextFugu members for free, or at a huge discount to make up for the kanji section on here.
“Man, tell me about it ¬_¬ It’s not so much a problem for me because I don’t use TF anymore, but SOOO many people mention this stuff on the forum, it’s ridiculous.”
Haha, I think Joel has almost gone into meltdown with amount of times he’s had to explain about the counter 人. There’s no excuse on Koichi’s part. It would of taken less than five minutes to add a brief chapter on counters and why their readings can change often.
Good point about Imabi. The site is packed with information, which in a way can end up being counter-productive if there’s too much to read at once. I know I’ve been overwhelmed reading some resources in the past. As you say, it might benefit a person who’s been learning for a while, more than an absolute beginner. In such a case, there’s always Tae Kim and the mainstream books which are easy to find for free if you know where to look.
Getting back to TextFugu, I remember defending the site when I began regularly using it just over two years ago now. Even then, the problems highlighted existed. I just didn’t realise it. Even if I can’t make use of the site once the update(s) have been added, I’d like to know that future learners will be taken care of and enjoy what us oldies have missed out on.
I think Hashi has been a big miss here. His Tofugu videos were pretty funny, and it was good of him to pop in the forums regularly when Koichi was too busy.
Hi all. It’s been a while since I last properly used the site. A lot of you might not remember me. I still lurk around the forums from time to time as there’s some good advice being given out. I’ve tried to make this post as short as possible, which was a bit hard as there’s many different points I wanted to talk about. I’ve decided to do a TLDR version and a long version.
TextFugu is a mess and needs major work done on it to revive it. With the right commitment and more people helping out, it can potentially be a great resource for future Japanese learners to use.
I first joined TextFugu back in 2011. However, I didn’t properly start using it until early 2012. In that time, I think the only update has been Season 8 and the mini ‘Advanced’ section (which was around late 2012 if I remember correctly).
In its current state, TextFugu is only good for two things. The motivation tips, and the initial springboard it gives when starting to learn basic grammar. I’m a self-learner like most of the people who bought a membership here. So, TextFugu was appealing as it simplified grammar explanations and gave enormous encouragement to keep on learning. Without those, I might have given up.
Unfortunately, other than that, there’s not much else going for the site. Here’s a few of the gripes I have. These are just my opinion and you may or may not agree with me.
1) Dictionary form verbs should be taught first. I understand some people might need to use polite Japanese from the get go, but it’s much easier to work out the ます form of a verb if you know its dictionary form.
2) てーform should be taught much sooner. It isn’t taught until Season 7 which is baffling as it’s such an important and useful grammar point.
3) Kanji. Aside from the kanji section being incomplete, the order in which you learn them (fewest strokes first) doesn’t make any sense. I don’t want to start a debate about the best way to learn kanji, but it should at least be done in a logical order such as the RTK method, or the way Japanese kids learn it. I personally prefer learning it the way Japanese kids do.
Learning both the on’yomi and kun’yomi readings separately is pointless and rather tedious. It’s just not practical in the long run to do that for over 2,000 kanji. While an extreme example, memorising all the readings for 生 alone would be a nightmare. It will eventually cause major confusion. As others before me have said, it’s much better learning vocab and naturally picking up the readings that way. After a while, you can begin to make rational guesses with words you don’t know using the loose rule of:
on’yomi reading = compound words (at least two kanji next to each other)
kun’yomi reaidng = kanji by themselves, and kanji with hiragana attached to them.
Even then, there’s still lots of exceptions which makes the rule unreliable at times.
On top of those three things, add to that, all the countless mistakes I’ve read about in the later lessons, incomplete Anki decks, missing URL links, and basic information that could of been written in to easily avoided confusion (e.g. the counter 人 not being explained properly).
As things stand, I wouldn’t recommend TextFugu to anyone. There’s free alternatives out there such as http://www.imabi.net/ and of course, Tae Kim’s Guide. I’ve learnt more from Genki and Tae Kim, then I have TextFugu. While Genki can be a bit heavy on the linguistic terms, you can easily grasp the explanations by reviewing the example sentences.
When I look back, I have mixed feelings about this place. I feel ripped off as I definitely haven’t gotten my money’s worth for what I paid for the lifetime membership (back when it was $120). I could have either saved that money or paid for better resources. There’s been many broken promises made to us members, and we keep hearing the same old story. Whenever I read any updates on the blog, I don’t hold out much hope despite how good they sound. If these updates are ever implemented, I expect a lot of us will have long passed the content that will eventually be offered. Simply put, a project this size was far too ambitious for mainly one person. With the amount being charged, higher standards and a more efficient service are the minimum expectations.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. As someone mentioned earlier, we do have a nice little community here. Props to Aikibujin and the rest of you who regularly post and help out. The flip side to buying a membership here has given me some benefits. Half the battle of learning Japanese is knowing how to learn Japanese. After using other resources, I no longer need that hand holding that TextFugu gives. I feel a more independent learner. As I mentioned earlier, that initial springboard in the early seasons gave me a strong foundation on which I’ve built upon.
In closing, this place can become a valuable tool to any Japanese learner in the future. If the right amount of money, time and effort is invested, it could potentially help out the next generation of Japanese learners.
That certainly is unique. What’s it like living there?
Vanandrew joined the dark side. He can vouch for Anki 2.
Astral, what part of the UK are you from?
You can drag decks into other decks. This kind of creates a sub deck.
Hello fellow UK’er. Welcome to the forums :)February 27, 2013 at 10:18 am in reply to: TextFugu Season Completions for Great Motivation of Heart! #38832
I agree. Everyone will have their own method of learning and way that suits them the most. I think we could do with the whole on’yomi and kun’yomi debate being stickied though. What would be good is if a thread was made titled “Common problems” or something similar. In this thread, all common questions will be answered or have a link provided to save people asking the same question over and over.February 27, 2013 at 5:05 am in reply to: TextFugu Season Completions for Great Motivation of Heart! #38829
にゅう is the on’yomi reading which is also used in vocab. One example off the top of my head which is a word you will learn later in Textfugu is 介入 (かいにゅう) = Intervention.
Take a look at this thread which was recently made which has some info about on’yomi and kun’yomi http://www.textfugu.com/bb/topic/when-to-use-%E3%81%8F%E3%82%93%E3%82%88%E3%81%BF-and-%E3%81%8A%E3%82%93%E3%82%88%E3%81%BF/
This thread http://www.textfugu.com/bb/topic/onyomi-vs-kunyomi-the-question-as-old-as-time/ has a ton of links and info about it too. It think it’s about time one of the mods stickied this topic as it seems to be asked quite a lot.