Originally Posted by gurugt705
I realize that this is a very old thread, but I was wondering: Has anything come out in the past years that would help me learn. Because I would love to learn Japanese (very cliche, I know) so I could watch some R2s. I know of Rosetta Stone and actually have all three language packs. I'd like to hear mainly from people who know Japanese that don't live/haven't lived there. (Sorry to the mods for this massive Necro-post, but I didn't think it was appropriate to start a new thread when this one is stickied.)
(Although I live in Japan NOW, I learned Japanese before I got here
There are only 3 ways to learn a language, with the best being a combination of all 3:
1. Classes. If you can take a course at a college or university, do it. Might not be the fastest way depending on the course, but it'll drill the language into you (and having actual tests and quizzes never hurt)
2. Books. For a beginner I'd suggest the series of textbooks called "Genki" which have very good english grammar explanations and a large amount of material (each book covers about 1 year of a college course). For self study I also recommend "Japanese: Step by Step" which is a small, compact text with a ton of information in it, organized very logically.
3. Friends. Make a Japanese friend and try and get them to speak in Japanese with you. Can be done over the internet but better in RL.
Systems like Rosetta Stone are a waste of money, in my opinion. They might help you quickly understand very basic Japanese, but they'll be useless to progress further than that and you'll need to use something specifically developed for Japanese language learning.