|>> || |
I'm still just a beginner, but I'll share what I know from my experience. Learn katakana first, and then start working on some vocab and kanji, later moving on to simple Japanese-English sentences, and ultimately Japanese-Japanese sentences.
First of all, download Anki and learn how to use it. Anki is God :D You're going to use it to enter all your material (vocab, kanji, sentences, entire anime show/j-drama/movie subtitles, whatever). Personally, I think it's way, way more efficient than the textbook + workbook approach. My progress, learning rate and memorization all went up dramatically when I made the Textbook -> Anki switch.
For vocab, you can start entering some words you often hear in japanese media, or just things you're interested in, really. You can also get this Anki shared deck https://ankiweb.net/shared/info/2353399735 to use in addition to your personal list. If you do, it also has example sentences using the vocab which can be very useful. I suggest learning just the vocab at first, or it may seem overwhelming.
While you're studying your vocab, also work on kanji. RTK is the most common route, and if you're using Anki you can get a shared deck here: https://ankiweb.net/shared/info/2582505257. I use a modified version I got from somewhere that only has 1900 of them, and I added additional meanings to the cards to help me out.
I started sentences when I had about 500 vocab and 500 kanji memorized, and that's when I also started watching Japanese dramas and movies without subtitles, or with subtitles in Japanese. No matter what method you use to study sentences, I suggest watching or listening to japanese material that's not recorded for a textbook. It will help you develop a feeling for how real japanese sounds - anime and textbooks recordings don't count. If you're using Anki, also check out subs2srs (http://subs2srs.sourceforge.net/). If you have a episode of a show, and subtitles in both english and japanese, it will automatically create Anki cards from the entire episode with the sentence, its translation, an audio clip and a screenshot. It's very, very powerful and simple to use. For the shows and subtitles themselves, you can check out http://www.d-addicts.com/ - the subtitles are in the "subtitle index" in the left menu.
Beyond that, I can only recommend what I read elsewhere. When you go trough about 1000 sentences (and hopefully finish RTK by that time) move on to Japanese-Japanese sentences, totally removing english from your studies.
That's kind of a short summary for such a big topic as learning a language, but I'm sure you'll find your way if you're determined to learn it :) Some more random resources:
http://tangorin.com/ - My favorite online dictionary. Very powerful and looks nice as well.
http://www.alljapaneseallthetime.com/blog/ and http://japaneselevelup.com/ , two websites by guys at or near fluency offering their tips and experiences. I got or modified some of my study methods thanks to them, and they're also good for motivation - especially AJATT :D
Comment too long. Click here
to view the full text.