What they're saying
Your chart of the kana with pictures and keywords has been very helpful. I am now learning katakana extremely fast, where in the past I've started several times and never got all the way through them.
Finally, I have finished your Supercourse. Here are my impressions:
This book is fully worth the price you're asking for it, and then some.
The way you hold the hand of the language learner in all aspects of studying, all the numerous useful references, and of course the actual ideological framework of the course itself, are terrific.
Everything one needs to learn Japanese efficiently is here. One just has to walk the path laid out in front of him. Even for the more adventurous types seeking their own personalized ways to learn the language, the book still provides a ton of helpful resources and ideas they can use.
The 'and then some' part comes in the form of the general light and humorous tone of the guide, which really made reading it easy. I LOL'd in some parts man, seriously.
Your guide has further confirmed that I wanna follow your methods, with some little tweaks to suit some personal preferences. Mostly just in the materials I will study, really. This guide was heaps awesome, and I'll put it to good use.
My name is Jeremiah, I am 35 years old. I live in a small village in the mountains of Nagano. My wife is Japanese and I have three children.
I am writing to thank you. I am going on my third year living here in Japan. I have never felt more at home than I do here in these sacred mountains. But the thing that I have struggled with is the language. I kept pushing it off, telling myself and my wife that I will get to it soon. And yet soon is now almost three years later.
I really don't know why I kept running away from it. One reason is that it just seems impossible that I could ever be fluent one day. The order of the sentences is so different than English. And the kanji seemed overwhelming. The more time that has passed, the more I have come to directly experience the necessity of communicating in Japanese. And now my children are speaking. They do understand English, but the majority of their speech is in Japanese.
I have felt isolated and disconnected from my family and my place here in Japan.
I was ready to give up. The doubt and fear was becoming too strong. When I do try to speak I often get nervous and feel stupid. And so I then get discouraged and quit. And yet like swimming, the only way to learn is to jump in, and when you jump in you don't know how to swim yet. I don't want to wake up 10 years from now having ran away from what could be possibly one of the greatest gifts in my life.
Last week I was really considering quitting. The doubt was becoming overwhelming. Then I received your book. And I feel a real sense of hope. Not the kind of hope that comes and goes, but rather a feeling that struck deep in my mind and heart.
Your authenticity, fierce belief that anyone can learn, and your great sense of humor helped opened my heart again to the possibility that this can happen for me.
I have bought, tried, and quit so many courses over the years. But your book is probably the best I have ever read in regards to learning Japanese. It is clear, concise, and filled with direct experience that was put into everyday reality. It seems I have everything I need.
My wife will speak to me all day in Japanese when I am ready. I have a woman here in the village who is offering to speak with me for 1 hour each day for free. I have the tools I need. Now it is just committing to the task and answering the invitation that life has offered me. I do not have a strong desire to learn languages in general, but I do have a deep desire and intention to fully function and serve here in Japan for the rest of my life.
Thank you for sharing your personal experiences and the gift of your teaching and book. I am very thankful. I truly appreciate the time and energy you spent in offering this book to the world.
It's just been over 3 weeks since I've begun my Kanji learning and the Hacking Supercourse, and all in all, it's been going excellent so far. The Kanji learning gets easier and easier as you go along- 100 reviews now take 30 minutes vs an hour plus to do, particularly as I'm making less mistakes over time- and while it hasn't felt like a lot, I've learned over 750 kanji, which is no mean feat. I wouldn't have thought learning the Kanji could be this easy or enjoyable, so thanks for your article on the Anki method and the Hacking Supercourse generally. It's quite encouraging. :)
Hi Niko. Just want to let you know that your site by far is the best place to go for advanced learners that I've seen so far in my 10 years of studying Japanese. I have tons of respect for your work, honesty and seemingly endless enthusiasm - keep up the good work! Best, David
I've been reading your NDLs for almost a year now and today the nuances stick...I'm no longer trying to always put an English word to every particle, word, or phrase. It's wild to suddenly be able to push past that "literal" conceptual level. Thanks for everything!
So I'm reading through your Hacking Japanese Supercourse (an absolutely wonderful purchase btw) and I get to the part where you're warning us about death by Anki avalanche. That line, is by far the funniest thing I've read in like, ever. Thanks for making this so enjoyable to read! I bet you're just being yourself, but it really adds a lot of flair and personality to the read. I'm still laughing, quite honestly.
I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing all these free guides to learning Japanese. As a high school student, I hate to waste my parent's money on unhelpful courses that would lead me to nowhere. I'm trying out your method and it is working well so far.
I've been working through your Hacking Japanese Supercourse and been finding it very helpful for organizing my studying more effectively. I'm just over three years into studying Japanese, and feel like I've been on like a year-and-a-half plateau, lol. Since starting your course, it's the first time in quite awhile where I feel optimistic about making progress: not only does your methodology inspire confidence, but your motivational and growth-perspective stuff has been very helpful in re-framing how I'm approaching learning Japanese. Keep up the great work, it's appreciated!
Awesome stuff, keep it up. Thanks to these daily lessons (I subscribed some weeks ago), my Japanese understanding has improved greatly! One can see the effort you have put in these, thank you so much.
Lemme just start off by saying you're a rockstar and you're bringing a metric ****-ton of joy into the world. :) I got the Supercourse a few months back, and I've just finished all the Joyo Kanji. It confounds and strikes me with awe that all those characters that just a few months ago were a bunch of squiggly Asian nonsense now all bring meaning and richness to my understanding of another culture. I would've had a snowball's chance in Hell completing this step so quickly and with so few headaches without your instruction, so I'd like to add my voice to what I'm sure is a myriad telling you that you're doing something really beautiful.
About a year ago I became interested in learning the Japanese language. It was very difficult to learn without a proper "study guide" so to say. I happened to come across your website when I was in school in my English class (how ironic :P). Ever since I found out about your website it has completely changed the way I learn Japanese, and even inspired me to turn it into my career, which I hope to do in the future.
You have done everything in your power to make Japanese the most entertaining language to learn and I thank you for it. Hacking Japanese Supercourse is the #1 best product you want to use if you want to learn or further advance your studies in the Japanese language.
I've purchased Toby in Tokyo and the Supercourse. Both are amazing. I love your teaching style. Especially the inclusion of both the literal and natural language translation. Most people only give one or the other.
100% of the stuff you've made has been super helpful and understandable. Please keep up the great work! I'll gladly keep throwing money at you as you keep making great resources.
There's always hundreds of email to deal with before noon, but NDL is the one treat I look forward to everyday! Thank you NDL team!!
Your hiragana chart is freaking insane! I've learned them all in just a matter of days. This just makes me more excited for what's ahead. With a kid and work it's hard to find the time but I'm going to really dedicate myself to it. Look forward to the rest of your lessons!
Hey Niko! My name's Joseph and I'm a 20 year old guy living in Canada. I remember reading that you enjoy hearing from the people who buy your guide, so I'd like to share my experience. I bought your guide about a month ago and I've memorized the hiragana and katakana and I've learned 680 kanji so far. It has been a major lifestyle change... but I couldn't be happier.
In the guide you stress how important it is to put time into things you want to learn. I always had big plans to learn new things I was passionate about but rarely stuck to because it didn't feel like I was making progress. Once I was doing my hiragana, katakana, and kanji every day I realized how simple it is to learn something if you do it Every. Single. Day. It honestly was a huge lesson for me to learn and I started picking up things I've always wanted to do but ran out of steam learning.
I practice and improve things I love every day now. I picked up drawing (which I've actually never even tried before. It always seemed impossible but I always wanted to try), writing stories, and my kanji of course. I notice huge improvements all the time now. I thought talents like drawing were things you had to be born with. It's so easy for me to make time for things now that anything feels possible.
So I just wanted to thank you personally. It's been a great adventure so far and I can't wait to see what I can accomplish with my new outlook on life and skills! Thanks again Niko, you've been a huge inspiration and role model.
I spread the word about NihongoShark to everyone I know. I did your free trial and then I purchased your others. You were able to teach me what all the other systems couldn't and I thank you so much! After going through your programs I enrolled in college and am now working towards my major in Linguistics/Japanese with confidence in myself that I never had.
Please know that you changed my view on the language and in doing so, changed my life completely! :]