THE BEGINNER'S STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO LEARNING NIHONGO THE FUN WAY
Anyone Can Learn Japanese With the Right Tools, Attitude & Guidance
To My Beloved Japanese Learners,
Please stop wasting your hard-earned yen on expensive language classes; save it for ninja stars and salmon onigiri. Stop killing yourself with boring textbooks; use them instead for ninja star practice. And for the love of all that’s Ninjetic, stop trying to use those tired, traditional methods from high school Spanish class to learn Japanese! There’s a reason you don’t remember any Spanish from high school. Well for starters, you were busy trying to look cool in front of Veronica, but more importantly, those tried and not-so-true methods simply don’t work for most people.
Master Japanese shares the tools and resources you need to learn languages the fun, modern way, leveraging technology instead of drudgery, intelligent use of psychology instead of sheer willpower, and free online resources instead of back-breaking, budget-busting, tree-killing books. The guide enables you to learn whatever you want, whenever you want, wherever you want.
But please keep in mind that Master Japanese is not a textbook that will “teach” you Japanese: no book, course, or teacher can ever get a language into your head. This is not The Matrix, Neo-san. Only you can acquire Japanese by getting enough exposure to—and enough practice using—the language.
Fortunately, the modern learner has more chances than ever to do just that. The problem today is not a lack of resources, but an over-abundance. It can be hard to know where to start. That’s where Master Japanese comes in. I have designed the guide as a navigation system for independent learners, with the aim of saving you time, money, and frustration, while maximizing both fun and efficacy. I’ve been learning and teaching languages for over a decade, and have poured everything I’ve learned (and everything I wish I had known when starting out) into the guide. If only I had a time machine…
Cool beans. Now let’s get busy Japanesing!
Author and Chief Executive Ninja
Of all the resources that I came across in Japanese, my favourite by far was John Fotheringham’s Master Japanese: The Beginner’s Step-by-Step Guide to Learning Nihongo the Fun Way. He takes the kind of approach that I like and is incredibly encouraging to beginner Japanese learners. This is a breath of fresh air when most experienced learners were more interested in “putting me in my place” by “warning” me about the mountain of work ahead, and making sure I was aware that Japanese was the one true hardest language in the world.Benny Lewis
How to Learn All Four Language Skills
Master Japanese includes tips and tools to help you master all four Japanese language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing (including a complete list of all standard use kanji).
How to Save Time & Learn on Your Terms
Your time should be spent actually acquiring Japanese, not searching for tools and materials. Master Japanese includes a massive collection of suggested apps, books, manga, magazines, and online resources, helping you choose the right tools for your learning style, your goals, and your budget. To help you save even more time, the guide includes includes clickable links to all online resources so you don’t have to waste time Googling or typing in URLs.
How to Use Brain-Friendly Methods
Master Japanese shows you how to learn the natural way, harnessing your innate language acquisition capabilities (we ALL have them!), and how to work with, not against, human psychology.
How to Learn Anywhere & Everywhere
Master Japanese shows you how to create a Japanese immersion environment no matter where you happen to live, while also helping you harness hidden moments throughout the day to maximize your exposure to the language no matter how busy you may be.
What I love about John’s guide is how detailed it is. John has the patience—that I don’t!—to really take you by the hand and walk you through the resources you will need. If I were clueless and confused as to how and where to approach a self-directed Japanese learning project, I’d definitely want something like this that laid all the tools out in one place. Experienced geeks like me tend to lose sight of how bewildering a new language and electronic resources can be. John has not lost that sympathy for the beginner; John wants to help you, where I want to avert my gaze from your suffering and assume that you’re an anime/computer geek who already knows where everything is, owns all kinds of media and other Japanese artifacts, and just needed advice on how to use them better.Khatzumoto
The Complete Package
Everything the independent adult learner needs to build an immersion environment, get (and stay!) motivated, reach one’s specific fluency goals, and actually have fun along the way: 1) The 391-page guide in 3 formats (PDF, EPUB & MOBI), 2) 6 discount codes for John-approved apps and sites, 3) 9 interviews with experts, polyglots, linguists, and authors, 4) 10 worksheets and cheatsheets, 5) free updates for life, and 6) 1 free copy of the guide for a friend (you are much more likely to succeed if know someone else on the same journey).
Master Japanese is well written to say the least and quite humorous. I couldn’t put it down. I’ve always been afraid of learning a foreign language, maybe it’s because of fear of feeling stupid, but I’m not sure. Also, I’ve never had a desire to learn Japanese and that could stem from the misconception that it’s really hard. After reading through the guide, I’m actually considering getting more dedicated to languages.Crystal Anderson
Three Delicious Digital Flavors
Read the guide on your device of choice using the 3 digital formats included in the Complete Package:
The PDF Version
Print-ready and viewable on all platforms (Windows, Mac, Ubuntu, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, etc.)
The EPUB Version
Perfect for use in Apple iBooks on iOS, Mac OSX, and numerous other e-Book readers.
The MOBI Version
Can be viewed on your Kindle or within any of the free Kindle apps on iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, etc.
Exclusive Discount Codes for John-Approved Apps & Sites
Complete Package customers get access to well over $100 worth of discounts on my favorite language learning tools and resources.
Up to $30 Off Skritter
Skritter is one of my favorite Kanji learning tools. Their site and app use “active recall” to help you master the writing, meaning, and pronunciation of Japanese characters much more efficiently than traditional flashcards and competing apps. Use my exclusive coupon code to get a monthly Skritter membership for $9.99 instead of $14.99 (valid for the first six months). Note that this discount can only be used when signing up via the website (not from within the app).
15% Off JapanesePod101
JapanesePod101 produces some of the highest quality Japanese learner podcasts and tools available. Use my exclusive discount code to receive 15% off a basic or premium account. Some of the best tools include show transcripts & translations, kanji learning tools & SRS flashcards, pronunciation tools & accent review, and a grammar bank.
$29 Off LinguaLift
Master Japanese readers can get a whopping $29 discount off any LinguaLift packages. In addition to their addictive language games, innovative kanji and kana learning tools, native pronunciation guides, and detailed progress statistics, they also has one of the best Japanese language learning resources available, the LinguaLift “E-Textbook”: a comprehensive, interactive, searchable guide to Japanese grammar, writing, vocabulary, and culture that knocks the socks off traditional textbooks.
20% Off LingQ
LingQ.com offers language learners a great way to acquire vocabulary in context and connect with Japanese tutors. They have an extensive library of text and audio content & you can also import your own articles and MP3s. The best part of the LingQ is the ability to save words within articles for future practice. These saved words (called “LingQs”) are automatically highlighted in future articles and added to your SRS flashcards.
OpenLanguage for Just $0.99
Using my exclusive discount code, you can get the first month of a basic OpenLanguage subscription for just 99 cents (normally $14 a month). Your subscription gives you access to all the MP3s and PDF transcripts.
50% Off Aaron Myers’ Guides
￼Fellow language blogger and author Aaron Myers has offered Master Japanese readers a hefty 50% discount off any of his guides, including The Everyday Language Learner’s Guide to Getting Started, The Everyday Language Learners Guide to Self Assessment, and Stages: Short Guides For Every Step of the Language Learning Journey.
One Free Copy for a Friend
Two guides for the price of one. Complete Package customers can choose one friend, tomodachi, amigo, family member, neighbor, etc. to receive a free copy of Master Japanese. Just let me know who I should send the download link to.
Master Japanese is one the best language-learning books I have ever read. It helped me create smarter goals, and gave me lots of ideas to better learn languages. And I imagine the value would be even greater for someone who is actually learning Japanese.Benjamin Houy
Free Updates For Life!
I continually update the Master Japanese guide as new tools, materials, methods and language learning research findings become available. Whenever I release a new version, Complete Package customers can download it for free!
9 Expert Interviews
Complete Package customers can get inspired with over 3 hours of expert interviews with linguists, polyglots, and language experts.
Dr. James Heisig
Despite a research focus in the philosophy of religion, Heisig is best known by Japanese learners for his book Remembering the Kanji. In our interview, he discusses how RTK came to be, including the heavy doses of skepticism his method first received.
Dr. Jay Rubin
Jay Rubin is the author of the must-read book Making Sense of Japanese: What the Textbooks Don’t Tell You. He holds a Ph.D. in Japanese from the University of Chicago, and has taught at both the University of Washington and Harvard. His humorous dissection of Japanese greatly helped save my sanity when I was first battling with the more difficult aspects of Japanese grammar.
Dr. Victor Ferreira
Dr. Ferreira is a professor and researcher at the University of California, San Diego. He runs the Language Production Lab, which looks at “how language users form sentences and produce words, and how that behavior leads to successful communication.”
Khatzumoto (勝本・かつもと), a.k.a. “Khatz”, is the creator of the popular language blog and community All Japanese All the Time (AJATT). Proving that self-guided immersion works, Khatzumoto reached an impressive level of fluency in a very short time by watching anime, reading manga, and having an all around kick-ass time.
Benny (a.k.a. “The Irish Polyglot”) is one of the most effective and―perhaps because of that―controversial language learners around. He created the extremely popular Fluent in 3 Months blog, and as well as the Speak from Day 1 video course. I was originally skeptical of his methods, but have come to embrace almost all of his advice. As we discuss in the interview, he is most adamant about the importance of not “waiting until you are ready” to start speaking a foreign language as that day will probably never come…
Steve is the creator of LingQ.com and the author of The Way of the Linguist: A Language Learning Odyssey. As a fluent speaker of 11 languages (including Japanese, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish), Steve has a thing or two to say about effective language learning.
Originally hailing from Lancashire, England, Simon Ager is the creator of Omniglot.com, “the online encyclopedia of writing systems and languages”. I have been a fan of the site for years, and was quite ecstatic to finally have the opportunity to talk with its creator.
Randy (a.k.a. “The Yearlyglot”) is on a mission to learn a new language every year, an admirable adventure he blogs about over at Fluent Every Year. He is not afraid to speak his mind, and his very vocal about his recommended methods (especially his hatred of flaschards). As you can imagine, his blog is no stranger to flame wars…
Claude is the man behind The Polyglot Project, a collaborative book project co-written by dozens of polyglots and language learners (including your’s truly).
10 Print-Ready Cheat Sheets & Worksheets
Complete Package customers receive 10 print-ready PDF cheat sheets and worksheets, including:
Complete Kanji Lists
Two complete kanji lists, including a Remembering the Kanji list complete with the characters, frame numbers, and keywords included in the first volume of the book, as well as a Japanese Ministry of Education kanji list which includes both modern and archaic forms of characters, and the grade in which each character is taught in Japanese schools.
All the sounds of Japanese, including hiragana (平仮名・ひらがな), katakana (片仮名・かたかな), and roumaji (ローマ字・ろうまじ).
Verb Conjugation Cheat Sheet
Japanese adds quite a few endings to verbs to express tense, politeness, desire, volition, conditionals, conjunctions, enumeration, commands, ability, passives, and causative passives. While you’re still getting the hang of things, use my Cheat Sheet to quickly check how to conjugate certain verbs.
Pronouns & Demonstratives
Japanese has a number of pronouns (some of which can be potentially offensive) and demonstratives (used to indicate location, direction, type, manner, etc.). Use my cheat sheet to help keep them straight.
Japanese has heaps and heaps of “sound symbolic words” (words that imitate sounds found nature, made by the body, etc.). Use this cheat sheet to master the essentials.
Tim Ferriss’ 12 sentences that show the basic essential patterns in Japanese. Think of it as the 80-20 rule applied to grammar.
This worksheet helps you to create specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound goals that are much more effective than typical overly ambitious and poorly defined learning objectives.
A sample weekly schedule showing how to integrate immersion activities into your life, as well as a blank version to create your own personalized study plan.
A simple note taking template to help jot down and review Japanese vocabulary in a fast, efficient manner.
Who is Master Japanese For?
Master Japanese is for learners who:
- Are passionate about learning languages.
- Believe languages are “acquired”, not “learned”.
- Want to deeply understand the Japanese people and culture.
- Are between the beginner and upper-intermediate stages of learning.
- Want to learn all four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing)
- Prefer learning the fun, immersion-based way (e.g. using manga & anime instead of textbooks)
- Place a high value on their time and would rather spend it actually acquiring Japanese instead of wasting time finding resources.
Master Japanese is NOT for learners who:
- Want an academic, grammar-driven approach to learning.
- Just want to learn a few useful phrases for travel.
- Want a highly-structured language course.
- Need a teacher to keep them on track.
Why Should You Buy Master Japanese?
- Because you should be spending your time actually acquiring Japanese, not wasting time looking for the right methods, materials, and tools.
- Because if it’s not right for you, I will give you a 100% refund, no questions asked (valid 60 days from the date of purchase).
- Because you get super sweet reader-only bonuses (free lifetime updates, 3+ hours of interviews with language learning all-stars, authors, and language learning experts, a free copy for a friend, and big discounts on language learning products like LinguaLift, Skritter, JapanesePod101, LingQ, and Aaron Myers’ language learning guides)
- Because the methods and tools I share really work. My growing army of happy customers are proof.
My 60-Day, No Joke, Money Back Guarantee
I am very confident that you will enjoy Master Japanese and make massive strides in your journey toward fluency in Japanese.
But if, after going through the guide, worksheets, and interviews, you find that Master Japanese isn’t right for you, just send me an email and I will issue a full refund, no questions asked. I will of course curl up into a ball and cry uncontrollably for a few hours, but that’s my problem, not yours…
You may think this is a little crazy considering that this is a digital product and there is no merchandise to return, but I am in business to help people learn and I want to ensure that my product is the right fit for you.