My Japanese Progress: Off With Some Basics

This will be one in a series of post that I intended to post every Saturday on the progress of my learning in the Japanese language. Since this is a blog concerning about Japanese pop culture and it’s too a personal blog of mine. I thought this will be a great place for me to note down my development until the exam arrives.

With the last piece of RM 50 voucher of the total RM 200 that our education minister gave us. I really hope that he had given us more as I already have a list of books I wanted to buy. The act of giving out book vouchers are very rare and distributing it country wide is certainly unfathomable. Most of us, citizen alike, just thinks that he wanted to woo some votes for our current government as election draws nearer every passing day. If I’m lucky enough there might be a slight chance for me to vote too in this year.

So, thinking that it’s the second last day for the voucher before it expired on the 31st. I quickly went to Kinokuniya to get myself a Japanese language book for dummies.


I got it that afternoon before my finals — An English exam later that day. Japanese Demystified is a pretty good book for a real beginner like me and before I bought the book like every savvy shopper do. I check the reviews, high and low in Google and of course, the prime place to really dig around is Amazon online. The book managed to received good reviews and above all a lots of 5 stars.



I started studying on the 30/3/2012 until yesterday to which I had only finished 4 Chapters in total and doesn’t have much problem with the test given inside as well. In summary, there are 65 pages of material learnt in a length of 8 days with only 1 to 2 hours of study per day only. Not to much mention I did some prep work on Hiragana and Katakana too so the speed of picking up will be much smoother and faster.



So, after 4 chapters I’ve come to grasps certain grammars particles to build sentences, indicating locations, common phrases, some kanji, in describing things and asking questions. It’s pretty neat learning by yourself and I even created a group in facebook who are in the same boat as me to share what we have learnt so far. It’s much more fun when you learn together with a group of people with same goals. On another hand, they can become your motivation and competition too in the same time which helps to create a pushing force.


I don’t think I would pay to get lessons in a physical class any sooner nor in the future. The way I see it, the Internet have become a large helper in spearheading in all sectors and industries. Especially the education sector where spread of knowledge is fast and abundance. Other than that, Japanese language books are a dime-a-dozen since I can access them via my college library or I can purchase them online or visit the local bookshops. Now, maybe I need some native speaker to practice on when I improve my listening capability. hehe


I planned to build a strong foundation first. Grammars will need to become a staple in everyday learning and be build as the foundation in order to master the language. It’s same as any other human spoken languages in the world and this also include even programming languages because once you get the syntax wrong, shit flies. For instance, every high level  programming languages like Java or PHP have their own compiler/interpreter to understand what those syntax (they function like grammars) and commands means.


It’s the same as a human who are learning a new language, if a learner gets the grammar wrong then he won’t benefit much as he got it wrong but if he got it right then it’ll provide him a solid foundation to build on. After that is done, then studying more complex patterns and sophisticated concepts in the everyday usage of the language would become a tad more easy.

Artist: Takehito Harada



I got to build up my grammar understanding first before I leap into anything more complex. However, so far I have no problems with them yet.

Shockerz Lee

An aspiring web developer, Japanese culture enthusiast, gamer, ardent cosplay appreciator and the writer of this blog. Hello world (^ o ^) /

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  • Kimochi

    I’m interested in learning japanese too but i just don’t know where to start. Is it a good idea to take classes or just self study? 

  • shockerz

    I think the question can be further distilled down to whether you can study with yourself or you need a more traditional approach to push yourself forward like a language center for assist.

    If you think you can handle it yourself that will be awesome and saves a lots too. However, if you think you can’t then language center is the way to go or you can directly fly into Japan can start yapping. I can guarantee you your learning efficiency will increase a 100 folds immediately. lol XD

  • Kimochi

    Lol, i would  fly to japan if i had the money. Heck, i would love to live there if i could. I guess i should start with self studying, thanks for the advice.