Japanese Studies History


Past (2006-2014)
The first time I tried to learn it I was 16 and did hiragana and katakana. I only managed to get good at hiragana, katakana was hard. Then I read about where kanji came from, with the pictographs showing their evolution, and learnt maybe 10 or 20 kanji and promptly gave up.

Over the years I tried again but never went anywhere. I’d spend some weeks hammering down some kanji English meaning, get bored or tired and consider it too hard for me to learn.

I though I was stupid and lazy, because it wasn’t working. The maximum I did was with Kanji Look and Learn, a kanji companion to the Genki books, but I reached the 100’s and started forgetting old ones and quit agai, in 2014.


Passed me by and in December I discovered, to my great delight, Memrise had an android app. If I’d known before, I’d have restarted my studies earlier but alas it was what it was. I installed it and started studying Japanese again.

I did 8h a day, I woke at 6am and only stopped studying at 22 each day for the whole of December. During December I got recommended Amnesia (memories) to play in Japanese because she didn’t talk. Best decision of my life was pairing the game with my N5 studies. I crunched and crammed like crazy to try to catch up to the game.


While I never suceeded, I did finish the game and learnt a ton with it. After that I felt pretty lost. Entered 2016 and January I redid JLPT N5 course on Memrise made from another person because it was better organized and had more content and explained better. As soon as I finished it, 15 days after starting, I started N4. I promptly finished N4 on the last day of February, which is another victory! ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ I started my N3 studies afterwards but sadly fell prey to my depression (have it since I’m 13) and my studies suffered, even my gaming got affected. I was able to finish Starry Sky ~in Spring~ , which is great!

I’m learning using Memrise alone after stints with:

Nihongo Resources
Kanji Look and Learn



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  1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience! (:
    I’m currently in the process of playing Japanese otome games while learning Japanese, too.
    I’ve been obsessed with Japanese ever since I can remember, and I always wanted to learn. Unconsciously, I did learn a lot from all the anime I watched over the years (lots and lots of anime), but it was only after I got into Otome Games in English that I really-truly finally have the proper motivation and means to learn Japanese in a way that is also fun.
    Japanese Pod 101 is *highly* recommended, as you said. Their youtube videos made me grasp Hiragana and Katakana to perfection.
    I also highly recommend Japanese Ammo with Misa (a great youtube challenge with a *great* Kanji series for beginners).
    I hope you’re doing alright and that it all went well for you!
    I wish everyone (myself included) luck with their Japanese – and Otome gaming ^_^


    1. Good luck with learning Japanese 🙆
      Anime definitely helps gain a hit of a vocabulary 👌
      I’m glad you are inspired and motivated now, 2d men are truly powerful 😹👌
      Will give Japanese ammo with Misa a try, I’m always looking for good suggestions.
      Well I did a 1 year stop in studying and now… I can’t remember 80% of the Kanji 😹
      But I’ll get back to it, just need to get motivated again 🔥
      For you too, remember to have fun with learning and gaming 👌👌


  2. that’s a good post! i would like to know how what did u do to learn Japanese cuz even im trying to learn japanese although im japanese ik thats weird but i moved. any tips or some motivaton would be great!


    1. What you’ve read in this has been all I’ve done, i haven’t finished learning, heck haven’t even completed N3 kanji + vocab yet xD;;;
      I am compiling a post where I link to things to learn from N5 to N1, but it’s coming from someone still definitely learning. I can only play slice of life games with low plot in Japanese 😹
      It’s not weird at all, don’t worry, it’s normal to start forgetting/not have learnt it.
      Memrise (website and app) has from N5 to N1, and also kanji radicals, the kanas, vocabulary, grammar, to learn with.
      There’s also Tae Kim’s guide (website) where you can read directly there, he also offers a PDF of his website for free, if you prefer it. He teaches grammar while introducing from the beginning kanji, their meanings and readings.
      Immersion is really important. Consume and envolve yourself with as much Japanese as you can, it’ll really help you. For me what helped me the most has been definitely when I started gaming in Japanese. Tho i do need to game more, only started and finished two games in it, but it really startef solidifying the kanji readings with everything else.
      Hope this helps and sorry if it isn’t of more use :’D
      Good luck with it, I know you can do it! 🔥🔥🔥🔥

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Aw, poor P3P. For me it was a game that I couldn’t put down.Can’t wait for next year when Persona 5 hits Europe.


    1. I’m gonna finish P3P for sure! (☞ ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)☞
      Sadly don’t have any stationary to play P5, but I’d love if it came to the Vita!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s really amazing how much effort and hard work you’ve put into your Japanese studies!! I learnt Japanese when I was 16 too but dropped because the teacher wasn’t very good. When I was learning hiragana and katana, I used to do this weird thing where I wrote out my favourite anime character’s name. So I literally have books filled with Sasuke and Naruto’s names in hiragana and katana, written in lines on every page >_<! I wish I had stuck with it. I'm hoping to pick it up again, now that I've finished uni and have some spare time. Maybe we can motivate each other :)!


    1. Aah, thank you!
      Teachers can really make it or break it, which is why it’s important to choose well or just self study to avoid that (^_^;)
      That’s actually a pretty good thing to do, I would write down the Japanese words I knew from anime like apple, future, words like those, and it actually super helped with learning it (≧∇≦)/
      Tbh, I’ve been slacking off on my studies, but it’s fine, I’ll get there eventually and so can you if you want ~(^◇^)/

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh, good luck! In case you can’t download Memrise, they also have a website, which can be accessed even through mobile. I hope you can use the app, it’s real good and easy with it (≧∇≦)/
          Yes, we can do it, fight! 🔥💪💪🔥

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey good luck on your Japanese studies! I actually got taught Japanese in primary school and I’m so thankful it was compulsory (especially after I fell in love with anime/manga at the end of primary school) because I enjoyed it and found it easy to learn. I’m not learning Japanese in high school because I must learn my own language first but I would love to learn Japanese next, so I hope you keep going. =D

    You probably already know this, but the way I memorise characters in Chinese (kanji) is you create a reason yourself why the character looks the way it is. You know they originated from drawings and there’s a reason it helps a lot, especially if you’re a visual learner.


    1. Thank you! (◍•ᴗ•◍)❤
      Oh, that must’ve been really interesting learning it so young! ♡´・ᴗ・`♡
      I’m definitely not going to stop, I’m so invested in this and the more I keep learning the more I want to! ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ
      I’m super lazy to do mnemonics myself ORZ I just use others or brute force it/see it a bunch.
      I actually really like to see how the kanji changed with time, it’s why I really liked Kanji Look and Learn, it showed those drawings and their evolution. I didn’t keep up with the book because SRS apps like Memrise do a better job for me to remember (⌒_⌒;)
      Thank you a lot for the kind comment! (´∀`)♡


  6. Please continue when you can!!! I really want to know more about how you studied and what you’re doing now. Maybe an indepth post? I know there are a lot of others like you and I who are self studying. I’ve begun to take it srsly only last november and it’s really difficult. What are some tips? How do I know if I have a translation correct? What else did you do that you didn’t write here? ^^ Haha sorry for all the questiosn.


    1. Thank you!
      I’ve toyed with the idea of doing a page for helping for learners and with my findings. But I also find I think it’s not very helpful how I’m going about it, so it’s not published ;_;
      Oh interesting! I started taking it seriously since December, so we’re both pretty new! High five! ~(^◇^)/
      Don’t translate in your head. If you get a sense of what they’re talking about it’s fine like that. If you want to make sure you’re understanding things, consider reading summaries of the game after playing it. There’s many that summary routes and bad endings, and it really helps with understanding the game fully!
      I think I’ve written down all I’ve done so far (I’m still playing Starry Sky Spring and haven’t been playing much a lot).
      Another tip that helped me: if you know the game has a subject, like ex astronomy, it’s good to do a crash course on the terms. It really helped me for Starry Sky! (^_-)≡★

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Srry I had to eat dinner lol
        OOO I really would love to read it when u do think of doing a post! Any kind of experience helps not just you but others and we can all share our own tips:)
        And thanks so much!! I guess it’s really difficult for me to not translate in my head. I get a gist of it and then I try and see if I’m right.
        If you can, there’s a game I’m playing on the vita right now called Soukai Buccaneers! and it’s a pirate otoge. I got it super cheap on ebay and there’s a lot of ppl selling them for cheap there still. Maybe we could both play it and write up a review concerning how it was playing as someone who doesn’t really know Japanese? And we could also have the opportunity to ask questions about what confuses us:)
        OOO I never really thought of taking a little crash course on terms. That’s super important!


        1. It’s okay, funny how differences in time/countries goes, its 2:30 am here ;P
          I feel like I don’t have enough experience to try to make a post about Japanese. It’s also very personal, because I know some girls learned Japanese just by playing games and not studying at all ^^’
          It’s fine if you try to find if you’re right, but I’d wager your energy is better spent on the ones you don’t understand at all ;p
          That’s interesting! Didn’t know about that game :0 sadly I can’t use Ebay, I’m currently a NEET and really do need to find a job /shakes fist at depression for kicking her ass
          I’d love to do a joint review/play together, sadly I can’t for that one ;_;
          If you do end up playing a game I’ve played (you’ve probably played more than me in JP) I don’t mind! But really, summary routes are really good to help plot doubts ^^ (though I don’t trust them because it’s the players view of it, so beware that!)
          The reason I even have Line was because I started a game club over Twitter which became an otome game club really, and we ended getting together on Line to play because we couldn’t have a chat in Twitter ^^’
          Yeah, crash courses are super important. I’m really glad I did one for astronomy and astrology terms for Starry Sky, it totally helps me follow the conversation without getting very lost!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Whoa haha it’s 9:10 pm here. And nah I hear you, it’s hard to get a job and I’m too lazy. I’m just trying to get through classes 😛
            Awesome and yes, I usually follow Hinano’s summaries if I have a game of hers. I have a few that she hasn’t played and I honestly really want to understand that she hasn’t played (Bad Apple Wars, Haruka no Toki de 6, Soukai, etc) so I figured if she could do it, maybe I can too! Though, it might take a very long time….hahaha!


            1. Well you do good in focusing on your studies (^(I)^)
              I’m pretty sure I’ve seen other otome players review/summary Bad Apple Wars. Maybe just put on Google? Km sure it’ll turn up! And indeed, if it doesn’t, you’ll get there eventually! (♥ó㉨ò)ノ♡
              You definitely can, learning a language is like any other skill. You just gotta keep doing it and you’ll improve (● ̄(ï½´) ̄●)

              Liked by 1 person

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