Avital and I have started learning Japanese! We’re aiming to live in Tokyo for a few months in 2019 and are working hard to learn the language.

Right now we’re using Duolingo to get the basics down. It’s a decent app that has built in lessons and quizzes. It’s fun but sometimes I wish they’d give more context and explanations into the lessons rather than just throw new words at us.

Duolingo has a companion app called Tinycards which has all the vocab on flashcards. They’re a helpful way to practice and there are also third party decks to supplement the Duolingo lessons – I used ones to learn the characters with mnemonics.

I’ve already learned the two kana alphabets / syllabaries: hiragana and katakana. Now I’m focused on picking up vocabulary, grammar, and learning Kanji. I’m using the website WaniKani to memorize Kanji and more vocab. It starts slow but looks like it’ll be pretty effective.

I’m looking forward to getting proficient enough to learn by reading manga or watching anime but I think that’s still aways off.

If you have any suggestions or materials you highly recommend, let me know!