I signed up for the RyuuuTV course “Learn Japanese with Anime and Songs from Zero to N4” course in November 2021, when they were doing a launch with a significant discount. The course is taught by Youtube couple Ryu and Yuma (Malaysian-immigrated-to-Japan and Japanese native, respectively) in Chinese. So I get to “hit two birds with one stone”–learn Japanese while keeping up my Chinese.
(I’ll be really honest, originally I wasn’t actually planning on buying this course back in November 2021. I’ve been learning Japanese off-and-on since mid 2017, just ’cause I needed something to do at the time after a personal health crisis. But I’ve gotten busier, taken on a bigger workload since then and I hadn’t been taking Japanese seriously, just watching a few videos here and there and dreaming about inputting more. Ha.
But then I saw RyuuuTV’s launch and decided to jump in, a bit spur-of-the-moment. (The near-50% discount also helped. The course now is over $100 USD I think, but at the time I signed up, it was around $60+.
And I’m glad I did. So far, the course is better than I expected. They have some fun-cute little skits to illustrate different concepts, then hard-core teaching stuff in the middle, and downloadable PDF worksheets to reinforce concepts. Some things they don’t explain in great detail, but I do already have a -minimal- beginner level background, so I didn’t really need it. Ex: they tell you the “Japanese alphabets,” -hiragana and katakana- but don’t give any mnemonics or strategies for memorization. Thankfully I memorized that years ago with JapanesePod101’s mnemonic videos.)
They started releasing the course on 1/17/2022, and will be releasing it in four batches. Initial thoughts:
- I’m grateful for the dripped release, it feels a bit less stressful, considering all the other things I have going on.
- I really like the composition of this course. Like I said, I like the little skits mixed with the hard-core teaching and the worksheets. And you can tell they put a lot of effort into the art, design, and feel of the course. It’s not the most important part of the course by far, but it’s nice to have pleasant-to-look-at worksheets and videos.
- I definitely have to spend more time on my own outside of watching these videos to figure out ways to memorize some of the vocab and grammar concepts presented in the videos. Just taking an hour or so to watch through half a module doesn’t mean you’ve learned the material, not without review and effort.
Here are notes on my progress/what I’m learning:
Module 1: Lessons 1-4 (220117)
- Well, I just went through the first module of the course, and talked through the worksheets. Thoughts: So far, pretty easy, because they’re going through the basics (a, i, u, e, o and basic greetings). But there were some handwriting brush strokes that I got wrong. Not super important, so I might not try too hard to remember it.
Module 2 Lessons 1-3 (220118)
- Originally I wanted to go through all of Module 2, but ended up doing just the first three lessons, which took about an hour (well, more, as the YT video below shows), but ah well. I had to get ready for bed so I stopped there.
- In the first three lessons of module 3 we learned some basic “A is B” sentences and -i and -na adjectives, using convos you might hear at an airport and a restaurant as the backdrop.
- I like how this class has some summary worksheets and homework questions at the end of each lesson. The homework questions are straight to the point, maybe a bit too few, but too many questions isn’t necessarily ideal either.
- You can really tell Ryu and Yuma put a lot of work into this course with the art and video editing, etc.
Module 2 Lessons 4-6 (220121)
- More grammar things here, for example, the -te form. I’m still not really entirely sure what the -te form is FOR, but I’m sure that will be made more clear as time goes on.
- I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I like their silly mini skits. It makes me laugh aloud, and I think language learning should be an enjoyable process.
- I didn’t absorb a whole lot, (brain was fried, it’s Friday. Even though I took a nap) made several mistakes while going through the homework. I will DEFINITELY need to review a lot of things later.
Module 1 Review (220125)
Lesson 1: Intro “Say Goodbye to Your Non-Japanese-Understanding Self”
- Nothing to review, just an intro to how the course works, assignments overview, study recommendations (watch 1-2 videos a day), etc.
Lesson 2: Hiragana, Katakana
- Nothing to review, I already know hiragana, katakana, thanks to JapanesePod101
Lesson 3: Pronunciation Thingamabobs
- Nothing to review, either, for same reason as above
Lesson 4: Basic Greetings
- I knew most of these. The only new things were:
- おはようございます = used as a basic greeting in business settings.
- こんいちは = started out as “great weather today!” and got shortened to “today!”
- おまたせしました = what you say when you’re sorry for running late
- If you see someone AFTER the morning, there’s no word for greeting them. (Ohayou is just for morning). In the afternoon, you just use their name or say nothing at all by way of greeting.
- おやすみ = without -nasai, is how you say goodnight to friends/family.
- “You’re welcome” = is usually どういたしまして, but in real life, it has a somewhat disrespectful tone.
- Instead, say: いえいえ as in 哪裡哪裡? (or うん, is even more informal)
- To make an apology more respectful/serious: すみませんでした
- いってきます = I’m off!
いってらっしゃい = have a safe trip
- お元気ですか can become just 元気? How are you?
- お疲れ様でした = 辛苦了, used as a greeting for peers and underlings, but not too respectful for higher ups. (Short: お疲れ)
- I already knew itadakimasu and gochisosamadeshita (although Ryu had a cute way to remember “吃完飯要過去說什麼?” hahaha) and おひさしぶりです (get rid of the “o” to be less respectful)
- And another funny Chinese mnemonic for tadaima (I’m home) is 她大姨媽 (hehehe)
Module 2 Review (22012x)
Lesson 1: Airport – basic nouns, asking locations “AはBです”
- I learned this before, but I need to remind myself:
- The opposite of -です is -じゃありません (can add a “いいえ”)
- Not sure whether I should make note of all the phrases I don’t know, like: どのくらい滞在しますか (たいざい)
- Remember the days of the week, and the numbers 0-10, 10s, 100, 1K, 10K
- 0 = ゼロ or れい
- 4 = よん or し
- 7 = なな or しち (both atama-daka pattern pitch accent )
- 40 = よんじゅう
- 100 = ひゃく
- 1K = せん
- 10K = いちまん
- The tricky thing I need to practice is the days of the month:
- 1st = ついたち
- 2nd = ふつか
- 3rd = みつか
- 4th = よっか
- 5th = いつか
- 6th = むいか
- 7th = なのか
- 8th = ようか
- 9th = ここのか
- 10th = とおか
- 11th = じゅういちにち
- 12th = じゅうににち
- 14th = じゅうよっか
- 24th = にじゅうよっか
- 19th = じゅうくにち
- 20th = にじゅうくにち
- 29th = はつか
- How long are you staying? (どのくらい滞在しましか) About # days:
- 3 days = ３日間 / みっかかん(です)
- Note, use the #th from the list above. So 5th would be: いつかかん
- 1 week = 一週間 / いっしゅうかん
- 1 month = 一か月間 / いつかげつかん
- 1 year = 一年かん / いちねんかん
- 3 days = ３日間 / みっかかん(です)
- Where are you staying? どのくらい滞在しますか
- Use: -までです, as in:
- (…今週の日曜日までです) こんしゅうのにちようびまでです (Will stay til this coming Monday)
- …２月１日までです (にがつついたちまでです) Until 2/1
- (This time) where are you staying? 今回はどこに滞在するよ予定ですか (こんかいはたいざいするよていですか)
- Use: -までです, as in: