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Japanese on tape - my fortuitous beginning

I think that I started learning Japanese in the best possible way.

I started in the 2-3 months just prior to moving to Japan. Without any really good reason or any idea what I was getting myself into, I had applied and gotten hired for a job with the now-defunct NOVA chain of English conversation schools.  I thought I should get started learning Japanese, but with no real idea where to get started, I went down to the local Barnes & Noble and looked through the slim offerings available there.

What I ended up buying was a tape set entitled “Learn in Your Car Japanese”.  The course followed a simple formula: a reader would say something in Japanese, stop, and then another voice would read the translation.  It started out with simple words: “ginkou...


Welcome to PhraseMix!

PhraseMix is a way to learn languages.  It is based on the idea that memorizing phrases is the fastest way to learn.  Here's why:

  • Learning words leaves out so much information.  Some words are used in polite conversation, others only at a bar.  Lots of words occur in pairs or triplets.  Verbs can be transitive or intransitive; nouns can be countable or uncountable.  It's impossible to absorb all of this by learning the "meaning" of a word.
  • Phrases are grammatical.  But unlike explicit grammar study, learning through phrases taps into the mind's natural pattern-detecting capabilities.  As you remember more and more phrases that are built similarly to each other, you will begin to develop a feel for how sentences are formed in the language.
  • ...





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