Monday, 4 February 2013

Book Review: 30 Days of Becoming a Better Japanese Learner by Koichi

If you're reading this blog, then you're either interested in Japan or studying in Japan. Either way, it's probably not a big leap of faith to say that you're interested in learning Japanese. Well, so am I! (Ok fine, I have to learn Japanese). But a while back, when Koichi from Tofugu had an offer on this book, I grabbed it straight away.

And you know what? This book is suitable for everyone. It's aimed at beginners, but there are things that even 'advanced' learners can learn. The book is a thirty day program that aims to help you build good habits when it comes to learning Japanese, so that you'll continue progressing and not get stuck.

If you're the sort that's self-studying, you should get this book straightaway. I really think that you master a language, you need to study it constantly, and this book is going to help with that. It has really good examples (具体的 gutaiteki) of what you should be doing. You can put your own spin on the excercises, or you can just follow them as it is.

One of the biggest takeaways for me was the discovery of Lang-8. I've always heard about it, but I didn't bother finding out more. But after reading the chapter on it, I signed up for an account - to practice Chinese (most of my posts are in Chinese), although I do occasionally post in Japanese.

Which brings me to my next point - this book will help anyone learning a language. I think that you can probably use the techniques here to learn any language, although again, this book is aimed at Japanese learners. When I was reading it, I was actually wondering how I could turn this into Chinese (especially the bit about passive learning).

This is probably one of the most useful books for language learning. It's not about the grammar or the vocab (but it does teach you how to study them), it's about the skills to learn, and that's probably the most important element of your study.