Learning Japanese is a goal that many people have set before me. I have to be honest and mention that I am not a very serious student, but I enjoy practicing the kanji and expanding my vocabulary. The language is very interesting and it intrigues me.
Tools that I use
- To train my understanding of kana: Kana Trainer.
- To memorize vocabulary and kanji, I use flashcards and have just started using Mnemosyne(*) with the Genki I-deck for starters.
- For grammar lessons, I rely on the Tae Kim's Guide.
- And Mahou or WWWJDIC for looking up kanji
Other online resources include NihongoUp, About.com
(*) Mnemosyne is easy to install under Debian-based Linuxes:
sudo apt-get install mnemosyne(30MB) and off you go!
(**) On January 27, 2011, Cerego Japan, Inc. announced the planned closure of the Smart.fm free service for March 31, 2011. The Smart.fm service would be replaced with a paid subscription-based language learning site, iKnow! [1, 2]
This is extremely regrettable as the open community from Smart.fm was extremely stimulating and helpful for learning any new language (or other subjects). Edit: I am now trying Livemocha