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 Post subject: Re: Skill share: learning Japanese
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 10:12 am 
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Also, because I am the worst procrastinator, here are the seasonal flavours with translations:

バニ バニ バニラ (bani bani banira) = vani-vani-vanilla!
ウインターホワイトチョコレート (uintaa howaito chokoreeto) = winter white chocolate
いちごみるく (ichigo miruku) = strawberry milk (ichigo is the Japanese word for strawberry)
ラブポーションサーティワンダーク (rabu pooshon saatiwan daaku) = love potion 31 dark
レモンマスカルポーネチーズケーキ (remon masukarupoone chiizukeeki) = lemon mascarpone cheesecake
ジャーマンチョコレートケーキ (jaaman chokoreeto keeki) = German chocolate cake
コーヒーコーヒーチップ (kohii kohii chippu) = coffee coffe chip
チョコレートムースロイヤル (chokoreeto muusu roiyaru) = chocolate mousse royal
ロックンロールチョコレート (rokkunrroru chokoreeto) = rock'n'roll chocolate
キャラメルフロマージュ (kyarameru furomaaju) = caramel fromage
カスタードプディング (kasutaado pudingu) = custard pudding
ストロベリーチーズケーキ (sutoroberii chiizukeeki) = strawberry cheesecake

Hope that helps with getting the hang of it. Ganbatte kudasai! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Skill share: learning Japanese
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:28 pm 
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ありがとうございます Lily! Apologies for not checking in here sooner. This is so helpful.

I got vani-vani vanilla, winter white chocolate, lemon mascarpone cheesecake, german chocolate cake, coffee coffee chip, chocolate mousse (but not the royal!) and strawberry cheesecake on my own. The others, not so much, so thank you!

You're so right about needing to just get used to the way English words are pronounced / written in Japanese. I'm definitely not giving up and I get super excited every time I can read something in a store or on a menu here!

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 Post subject: Re: Skill share: learning Japanese
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 7:40 am 
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For people who know some Japanese and start trying to read, I recommend the Japanese Graded Readers. They go from level 0 to 4 and contain small booklets with furigana for each kanji. They are designed to be used by non-Japanese without a dictionary and come with a CD. They can be bought individually or as a complete set.
https://shop.whiterabbitjapan.com/products/the-complete-set-japanese-graded-readers

Once you have read all the readers, I suggest the "10 pun de yomeru ohanashi", "10 pun de yomeru meisaku" and "10 pun de yomeru monogatari" series. They are three sets of 6 books from 1st grade to 6th grade and are aimed at Japanese children. Each book contains stories, fairy tales, poems and sometimes non-fiction. They have a lot of furigana in the first grades, then less and less. I have three sets and am going slowly through the 4th grade books from each set.
https://shop.whiterabbitjapan.com/pages/search-results?q=ohanashi&p=1
http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/4058110120
http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/4058111917

Similar series I haven't tried are the "Ikki ni yomeru" and "Kyôkasho ni detekuru" series.
https://shop.whiterabbitjapan.com/products/ikki-ni-yomeru-complete-set
http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/4591091678

Other children's books I like are the beauitiful album "Tebukuro o kai ni" (with furigana), the poem compilation "Kodomo to isshoni yomitai shi 100" (without furigana - good for practicing kanji with very short texts!) and bedtime story compilation "Atama no ii ko o sodateru ohanashi 366" (with furigana - written small, for good eyes only!). If you are fan of mangaka group called Clamp, "Soeru to Larg" is a very cute album.
http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/4039633105
http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/4901364162
http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/4072795682
http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/4063645959

I learn kanjis using "A Guide to Reading and Writing Japanese", a book containing kanjis in the order Japanese Children learn them instead of the order non-Japanese usually learn them. That means I learn kanjis in sync with reading the "10 pun" series. The book makes it easy to photocopy each page after it is learnt and making kanji cards out of it.
http://amzn.com/4805311738

For learning grammar and vocabulary, I liked the "Minna no nihongo" series. I went through the beginner 1 and beginner 2 levels, and you can go far with those. They contain theory, exercises and a CD. The textbook and translation/grammatical notes book are necessary, the other books in the series are optional.
https://shop.whiterabbitjapan.com/products/minna-no-nihongo-shokyu-1-honsatsu-textbook-for-beginners-second-edition
https://shop.whiterabbitjapan.com/products/translation-grammatical-notes-for-minna-no-nihongo-shokyu-1-second-edition

White Rabbit Japan is my favorite seller. I also like Yesasia. Amazon.co.jp has the most choice, but shipping is most costly.

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 Post subject: Re: Skill share: learning Japanese
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 9:56 am 
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There's also this book of Japanese children's songs I like: "Nihon no kodomo no uta". It has 153 songs spanning 140 years, with partitions for the melody. It is all written in hiragana/katakana.
http://www.yesasia.com/global/asu-e-utaitsugu-nihon-no-kodomo-no-uta-shiyouka-douyou-hiyakuyonjiyuunen/1033431770-0-0-0-en/info.html

I still find children's novels too difficult and long, and adults' novels impossible to read. Some mangas for children are readable, especially if I already know the story, but those for teens are too hard for me.

I don't recommend short stories for children by Kenji Miyazawa: they are good, but the Japanese is too old and dialectal to be understood. Also all kind of weird stuff happens and you wonder whether it's really in the story or it's that you understand all wrong. Realistic stories are easier (or stories you already read in another language).

There are vegan (or mostly vegan?) cookbooks by Yumiko Kano you may like. I have the bento one, "Saisai Lunch". I find the recipes taste a little weird and some ingredients are really hard to understand/find, but the recipes are easy and healthy, and it has recurrent vocabulary like 'flour' or 'mix'. I definitely need my dictionary with this book though since there are many kanjis.
http://www.amazon.co.jp/%E3%82%AB%E3%83%8E%E3%82%A6%E3%83%A6%E3%83%9F%E3%82%B3/e/B004LUPLQ8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1463410801&sr=8-1

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 Post subject: Re: Skill share: learning Japanese
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 10:27 am 
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Oh, and I forgot this Website. It has tales for children from kindergarten to 6th grade, with audio version included. Much cheaper than buying books (but I'm a book nut).
http://hukumusume.com/douwa/0_6/index.html

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 Post subject: Re: Skill share: learning Japanese
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:43 pm 
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I recently discovered Erin's challenge:
http://www.erin.ne.jp/

It is a multi language multimedia japanese learning website by the Japan Foundation, completely free, very well done and also suited for beginners since you can chose if the Japanese is being displayed in kana/kanji or romaji. I think it's an excellent recource for practicing different aspects of Japanese.


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