Originally Posted by Quarkboy
Originally Posted by gurugt705
(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.
Thanks, I'll try those books you suggested. The colleges around where I live don't offer Japanese and very few Asian people live around here (Lots of Hispanic people though, too bad I don't want to learn Spanish). And of course I also thought Rosetta Stone was too good to be true, so I got it through...other means.