Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Get Set, Ready! Japanese Study Time!




I've been wanting to learn Japanese for a while, but it's really hard to stay serious about studying something when you're doing it on your own. At least, in my case, I tend to procrastinate too often, and thus things end up piling up and not getting done. Things that I should enjoy doing get thrown to the side with pitiful excuses as to why I haven't gotten much done with it. Well, that's not the case with my Japanese studying anymore! I've got four books, numerous bookmarks, joined a couple communities and the interest all there. Heck, I even have an online friend who randomly quizzes me once in a while. But even with all that, I've been slacking hardcore. I pick up a book and read a bit, I've gotten a few phrases, a handful of words and a decent amount of Hiragana stored up in my mind, but I just haven't had the one thing I needed most, constant motivation. Also, much to my dismay, in my city there is nowhere to take Japanese classes or college courses. I've already looked into it, thinking that perhaps what I really needed was to be taught as a student with an actual teacher. Thanks to DannyChoo talking about iKnow on his site, I found what I was missing: interactive studying that goes at my pace. I think I've done more studying today alone than in my entire "studying" previously. Of course, this isn't going to do it all for me, there will be more steps to take in the future, like actually speaking and having conversations with people. All in time. Anyways a brief introduction to iKnow. The site is pretty simple to understand. You register and create an account for free, pick your native language and the language you wish to learn. Once you're set up you can tweak your profile or get to learning right away. You chose courses you want to take, or lists you want to study, and do them at your own pace, or at the recommended pace. I'm still new to it, so I'm still learning the features, but I had to share with everyone even though you may have seen it on DannyChoo.





iKnow is quite the useful site, after hearing about it I made an account right away and tried it out. I'm hooked! I'm going to do this on a daily basis as long as I'm around a computer and able to. No more procrastination. With iKnow being so easy to use and keeping track of my steps for me, I can use that as my core method of learning. But this doesn't mean all my other bookmarked sites and fellow bloggers who give out lessons are going to be ignored, the more knowledge the better! I thought books were the way to go but that's more Riiana's style. She seems to get more out of the books, but for me interactivity online works a lot better. Of course the books aren't going to get dusty though, they'll just be secondary sources of learning. I only know one language besides English and I'm not great at it, French. Four years of French in High School but never had anywhere to seriously apply that knowledge and although I remember a lot, I also forgot a lot. I've found my knowledge of French useful in a few places online at least, but Japanese is what I'm truly passionate about. So random rambling aside, if you're interested in this and join, or if you're already on there, feel free to add me as a friend! My name on iKnow is persocomsan, also Riiana's name on there is nanakonata. Not much else to say here except try it for yourself! Another time I'll share some other useful sites that I have bookmarked for myself, for those of you who want to learn or are currently studying Japanese. Maybe I'll see some of you on iKnow soon?

11 comments:

Otaku Dan said...

I heard of iKnow a while back(3-4 months ago) I have been meaning to use it but maybe during my summer break

Rin said...

I'm using it right now...
It's an okay program...
Helps with speech in a way...
I say somewhat useful as I'm trying to study up on my Japanese for my trip to Japan in the summer...

Blowfish said...

Does it stay free or is there a totoring fee or something like that?

Another alternative for me would be visiting one of the classes offered in Düsseldorf

Persocom-san said...

Blowfish - looks to be staying free to me, if I find out otherwise I'll probably post about it though.

meronpan said...

it's too bad you don't have any classes locally. seems like you have enough drive to really get a lot out of one. for me it wasn't until the courses i took in college that my learning really took off.

guess i should check it out myself, but does iknow have advanced level sort of stuff or is it just beginner?

Persocom-san said...

meronpan - they have really advanced from what I saw, you can start out at upper intermediate level and you can choose things like romaji, hiragana, katakana, kanji or all when doing each course. there's basically something for everyone as far as I know, though I haven't really looked at the advanced stuff because I don't want to take too much on too fast.

Snark said...

Wow, this looks like quite a find. Think I'll be giving it a shot!

M12 said...

This looks interesting! I'm keen on mastering Japanese, also. I studied the language for six years back in high school. Nowadays, I listen to anime audio dramas to "practice" (yeah good excuse XD). I doubt I'll ever be able to hold a conversation with a Japanese, though.

phossil said...

I face the same problem: too little courses nearby. I try the site a bit (I was in a rush), but shure I'll add you once I sign up.

gordon said...

i'm using it right now. good thing majority of it is spoken by the female voice. female voice make people pay more attention. ('~')

only minor complain is she speaks too fast.

meronpan said...

hmmm finally got around to checking it out. definitely a very very nice vocabulary problem. unfortunately it doesn't seem to have any grammar (well, lessons where the main focus is grammar at least). still though, i like all the different drills and stuff.