Wanna Learn Japanese?
To get started learning the wonderful language of Japanese, choose whichever level interests you. You're sure to find a treasure trove of information!
Both learners and natives are free to give suggestions and ask questions. If you have any ideas on how content can be improved, please let me know.
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The word 今日 means "today" and is typically read as "kyō" but may also be pronounced differently in other expressions such as "kon'nichi" in the famous "kon'nichi-wa" meaning "hello/good afternoon." As a kid, I wondered why 今日 couldn't be read as "imabi" even though 今日日 "kyōbi" is a word, so why not "imabi"? That childhood thought then became the inspiration for my Japanese curriculum, marking today as the day to learn Japanese! Love or hate the name, at いまび you will learn Japanese from a perspective unlike anything else.
It goes without saying that いまび is no Tae Kim's Guide. Anyone is capable of uploading pdfs, making minor edits, and selling it as their own, but even then, I would have been very late to the game. Although いまび remains unfinished, my vision for it is to guide people to a far deeper understanding of the language that wouldn't otherwise be possible with a traditional resource.
First and foremost, いまび is a compilation of study material for learners of all levels. Each lesson is meant to properly teach the topic(s) included with material revised and ordered in accordance with feedback.
いまび is admittedly not easy in the sense that it was not designed to be an alternative to standard resources such as the Genki series. Those resources alone are not enough to even master the basics, but they give beginners a good start in a simple classroom environment.
As for いまび, it will not and should never be the equivalent of telling a class of algebra students that X + Y = Z and leaving it at that. If you want that experience, let me introduce you to www.guidetojapanese.org.
All jokes aside, the world is full of resources designed to hold your hand. Everyone's goal is different. Do you want to learn Japanese just to understand anime? Do you have a Japanese spouse and wish to communicate with them at an even level? Do you want to be a translator? Each motive requires a different level of proficiency. Case in point, the lower your goal, the more difficult いまび material will be to you.
When reading through any mainstream textbook, a learner is expected to study a few hundred words here and a few hundred Kanji (Chinese characters) there. At most, a learner may pass N3 if they study really hard with their classroom textbooks. In reality, an educated native speaker will know upwards of 50,000 words and recognize 3-5,000 Kanji. The gap between learner and native by these numbers is terrifying.
It is also true that of those 50,000 words that only about 2,000 unique words will be used by a speaker on any given day. The amount of Kanji used will also be significantly less than 3,000. What makes the rest so important is that with each new conversation, different words and Kanji will be needed. If you were tasked with devising a way of teaching as much vocab and Kanji as feasibly possible, what would you do?
Mainstream textbooks choose to opt for that 2,000 word benchmark, but in reality, a learner will only be made to learn a few hundred handpicked vocabulary and Kanji, always centered around readings created to achieve that purpose. Mistakes brought about from the simplified explanations are meant to be corrected by the teacher, whose goal is to make sure you're on topic and not so much that you're learning as much Japanese as possible. There is zero obligation and incentive to steer off course, lest you wish to fail your class.
Here at いまび, you are in control of how much time you devote to Japanese. You have just as much access to what's on the Internet as anyone else. If you're studying Japanese at school, you have all the more resources at your disposal. If you find word choices out of reach, perhaps you should read a book or two.
It goes without saying that there are many different kinds of learners. Some are much more comfortable with learning through practice with natives, while many adult learners prefer instruction. Here, it's my job to make sure that that topic is explained as best as possible. You are tasked with having that dictionary tab open. You are the one responsible for reading practice.
The site has remained free throughout its long history, but it does require a lot of time and energy to upkeep. Due to financial hardships, I personally cannot entirely devote myself to this website. Any financial contribution to help keep me afloat will always be greatly appreciated.