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Jamis Buck wrote:

> As for learning to speak it first... things like speaking and 
> listening are, in my experience, much easier to learn when you have 
> someone else handy to speak or listen to. Learning to speak "in a 
> vacuum", as it were, seems like it would be harder than just learning 
> to read or write.
>
> It's kind of a moot question for me, at this point, since I don't 
> really have the time to learn either speaking, or writing, right now. :(


I have been learning Japanese for a few years now through a combination 
of cds/tapes and books. I bought the Pimsleur Japanese I set on cd 
(which I'd be willing to sell...) and then checked out levels II and III 
from my local library. These are collections of 30 half-hour lessons 
that you can do in the car. And that's what I did. I would do a lesson 
on the way to work in the morning. Then in the afternoon I'd either do 
that one again, if I didn't feel like I got it, or move on to the next 
one. Sure I looked funny to passers-by, but who cares? I learned a lot 
from doing it.

The "problem" with courses like this is that they teach you things at 
times without a good explanation of /why /something is so. For example, 
they don't explicitly explain the various patterns of verb conjugation. 
You can certainly discern those patterns, but they are not explicit. And 
they only teach the polite verb/adjective endings; this isn't really a 
problem since a visitor to Japan would use the polite level of speech 
anyway, but it can be frustrating when speaking with a Japanese friend 
who might quickly start using the familiar forms with you instead of the 
polite forms. Not a huge thing, just something to be aware of.

If anyone wants to ask me any questions about the Pimsleur tapes, I'd be 
happy to answer them. I have no affiliation with Pimsleur, other than 
being a happy customer.

Joey

-- 
She drove a Plymouth Satellite
Faster than the Speed of Light...

http://www.joeygibson.com/blog
http://www.joeygibson.com/blog/life/Wisdom.html
Atlanta Ruby User Group http://www.AtlRUG.org



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