How to Learn Japanese through Anywhere Immersion
Master Japanese is your step-by-step guide to learning Japanese through fun, effective immersion, instead of boring, tedious textbooks. The book shows you:
- How to acquire Japanese anywhere in the world.
- How to learn by doing instead of studying.
- How to optimize your memory to make Japanese words and structures stick.
- How to overcome your fears, build discipline, and stay motivated.
- How to choose resources that fit your unique interests, goals, and learning style.
Once upon a time, you had to two choices if you wanted to get fluent in Japanese: 1) take expensive Japanese classes, or 2) move to Japan. Today, anyone with an internet connection and a little creativity can learn Japanese anywhere in the world. Master Japanese shows you how. While Japanese classes and living abroad can be great, they no longer have to be a barrier to entry for Japanese learners. Moreover, Anywhere Immersion has many advantages over traditional classroom and textbook-based learning:
- It's More Fun: The Anywhere Immersion approach allows you to choose fun, engaging materials and activities that you love.
- It's More Efficient: Your custom immersion environment allows you to make use of tiny “hidden moments” throughout the day.
- It's Less Expensive: Language classes and textbooks are boring and expensive. Choose fun―and often free!―modern resources instead.
- It's More Natural: Humans have learned languages through immersion for hundreds of thousands of years. It’s how our brains are wired.
- It's More Convenient: Anywhere Immersion allows you to learn anytime, anywhere. You don’t need to travel to a class or move abroad.
- It's Personalized: Anywhere Immersion allows you to tailor the learning process to your unique interests, needs, and learning style.
3 Delicious Digital Flavors
Read Master Japanese on the device of your choice using the three different digital formats:
- The PDF Version: The PDF version of Master Japanese is print-ready and viewable on all platforms (macOS, iOS, Android, Windows, Windows Phone, Ubuntu, etc.) and within a wide variety of apps (Preview, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Apple Notes, Evernote, Google Drive, Safari, Chrome, Firefox, etc.).
- The iBooks / EPUB Version: The EPUB version of Master Japanese is is supported by the largest number of ebook readers and is perfect for reading on smaller screens since you can adjust the font size on the fly. You can open the EPUB version in Apple iBooks on iOS and macOS, and numerous other eBook readers including Nook, Kobo, etc.
- The Kindle / AZW3 Version: The Kindle version of Master Japanese can viewed on your Kindle or any of the free Kindle apps on iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, etc.
Bonus Guide: How Japanese Works
The How Japanese Works bonus guide shows how the Japanese language ticks, including:
- Japanese Honorifics: How formality, respect, and humility are expressed in Japanese with special words and conjugation.
- Japanese Numbers: How to count zero to 900 trillion, how counter words are used, how to tell the date and the time (from years to seconds), how to use the Gregorian vs. Japanese Imperial calendar, and a summary of national Japanese holidays.
- Japanese Parts of Speech: How adjectives, adverbs, particles, pronouns, proper nouns, verbs, and vocabulary work in Japanese.
- Japanese Pronunciation: An overview of all Japanese syllables, the most common Japanese dialects, and how pitch accent differentiates meaning.
- Japanese Writing: Details on kanji (漢字), hiragana (平仮名), katakana (片仮名), and roumaji (ローマ字), as well as text direction, word boundaries, character spacing, and punctuation.
8 Expert Interviews
Get inspired with over 3 hours of expert interviews with linguists, polyglots, and language experts:
- Dr. James Heisig: Best known by Japanese learners for his book Remembering the Kanji (RTK), a 3-volume series that shows learners how to remember kanji using imaginative memory instead of rote learning. In our interview, he discusses how RTK came to be, including the heavy doses of skepticism his method first received.
- Dr. Jay Rubin: 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: 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.”
- AJATT's Khatzumoto: Khatzumoto (勝本), a.k.a. “Khatz”, is the creator of the popular language blog and community All Japanese All the Time (AJATT). Proving that Anywhere 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 Lewis: Benny (a.k.a. “The Irish Polyglot”) is the creator of Fluent in 3 Months, the most popular language learning blog in the world, and is the author of Fluent in 3 Months: How Anyone at Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language from Anywhere in the World and Teach Yourself’s Language Hacking series. As we discuss in the interview, he is most adamant about the importance of not waiting until you feel “ready” to start speaking a foreign language as that day will probably never come.
- Steve Kaufmann: 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.
- Simon Ager: 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 Hunt: 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.
12 Print-Ready Cheat Sheets & Worksheets
Use these print-ready PDF cheat sheets and worksheets to help you optimize your language learning time:
- SMART Goals & Daily Systems: This worksheet helps you to create specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound goals and then translate them into effective daily systems.
- Study Plan & Routine: Use the sample routine to get ideas about how to integrate Anywhere Immersion activities into your life, and then create your own personalized study plan using the provided worksheet.
Deconstruction Dozen: This cheat sheet includes the Japanese translations of Tim Ferriss’ famous 12 core sentences that reveal the essential patterns frequently used in Japanese. Think of it as the 80-20 Rule applied to grammar.
Self-Intro Worksheet: Use this worksheet to create and memorize your self-introduction in Japanese. It's a great way to learn the language, meet new people, and help put native speakers at ease.
- Hiragana & Katakana: This cheat sheet includes all the sounds of Japanese in one handy resource, including hiragana (平仮名), katakana (片仮名), and roumaji (ローマ字).
- Remembering the Kanji List: This cheat sheet includes a comprehensive list of all 2,200 kanji included in Remembering the Kanji, including kanji, frame numbers, and keywords.
- Jouyou Kanji List: See a comprehensive list of all "common use" kanji (常用漢字表) approved by the Japanese Ministry of Education, including both modern and archaic forms of characters and the grade in which each character is taught in Japanese schools.
- Most Common 1,000 Words: This cheat sheet includes the most common 1,000 words in Japanese, empowering you to understand over 75% of the language you will see and hear day to day!
- Verb Conjugation: Japanese adds quite a few endings to verbs to express tense, politeness, desire, volition, conditionals, conjunctions, enumeration, commands, ability, passives, and causative passives. This conjugation cheat sheet allows you to quickly check how to conjugate common verbs while you’re still getting the hang of things.
- 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 this handy cheat sheet to help keep them straight.
- Japanese Sound Symbolic Words: 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.
- Japanese Honorifics: Japanese expresses formality, respect, and humility using a complex system called keigo (敬語). Use this cheat sheet to see which words are used when.
Free Updates For Life!
I am a big believer in kaizen (改善, かいぜん, “continuous improvement”) and regularly update the Master Japanese guide as new tools, materials, methods and language learning research become available. Whenever I release a new version, Master Japanese customers can download an update for free!
Note that Master Japanese is sold as a ZIP file and cannot be opened on most tablets or smartphones. I recommend unzipping the file on your computer. On Windows, please use 7-Zip (not the stock unzipper utility).