Author Archives: gontama

About gontama

Japanese polyglot

Japanese songs for learning Japanese with easy and simple lyrics

Learning a language through songs is a good idea. The best criterion for choosing one is absolutely what you like listening to. For those who don’t know many Japanese songs yet, I will recommend some for you.

how to search for the lyrics of Japanese songs

The easiest way is search Youtube with the keywords like “the name of a song lyrics”.
You can search Yahoo! Japan with the keyword of “歌詞” accompanied by the name of the song for the full script.
If you wish to know the meaning of the song between the lines, you could search by adding “意味” in the search keywords.

Pop music

If you have any question about the meaning of the lyrics, leave a message down below.

負けないで by Zard

For the lyrics, visit this page.

壊れかけのRadio by 徳山英明

未来へ by キロロ


Enka(演歌、えんか) is a genre of traditional.

また君に恋してる by 坂本冬美

津軽海峡・冬景色 by 石川さゆり

So, what’s your favorite Japanese song? Let me hear about that!

Copying texts in foreign language


This method is simple: just copy the texts by writing them in your notebook, no matter where the texts come from, be they from websites or books. At this digital era, I guess some of you might have forgotten these kinds of old techniques.


more discoveries than just skimming

When you read a text in a foreign language, you will probably go on even if you understand some parts of it. You even do not notice

Easy to review

All the texts you have copied on your own are records of what you have viewed and learned. When you want to review it some day later, these records will be a good reminder.

Sense of Achievement

All you copied is the proof of your hard work. And it’s apparent how much you have done. This will give you a great sense of achievement.

books to learn japanese

Polyglots’ Method: Reversed Learning

I’m learning Indonesian through Chinese with a textbook intended for Chinese people to learn it. And, I learn Chinese as well through this method.I bought lots of language books during my stay in China to apply this method for other languages.

textbooks purchased in China

Normally, when English speakers learn a language, they use materials designed for English speakers and written in English. In this method, however, I suggest they use textbooks intended for Japanese people to learn English for the sake of learning Japanese.

(This link is from Even if you do not live in Japan, you can buy it via International Shipment.)

Tim Ferris, author of the New York Times best-seller The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated) calls this method reversed learning in the interview with Benny Lewis, the founder of fluentin3months.


With this technique, you use a self-teaching material intended for speakers of the language that you want to learn.

Let’s say you speak English as your first language and Japanese as second. In this case, you can read English textbooks published in Japan.

Japanese is my first language, and I’m learning English.  So , I can use these books (below) and the likes to learn English for example.

Alternatively, you can learn your target language through learning another language. For example Benny from the interview video above said he was learning Arabic through French, and he was learning French as well through this.

Suitable timing to apply

The preferable stage for trying this method is after finishing the basic grammar and vocabulary.

What’s good about this method?

One of the most conventional way of learning a language is read texts. Unfortunately, in most cases, those texts are something like this:

John plays soccer every Saturday.

It’s not from any real situation and learners see it not as real, but as a dead sentence. Because it isn’t related to us and it’s not real.

The grammar explanations in the target language relate to you, because you’re interested in it and these texts are written to convey some messages to its readers.

Less errors

Tim and Benny say some errors and mistakes can be found in teach-yourself textbooks. As I noticed while I was reading a Japanese textbooks for Vietnamese people, sentences in textbooks are correct in terms of grammar, but sound a bit unnatural for the native speakers.

(Also, I found one incorrect word in it, by the way. The green book in the middle is textbooks for Vietnamese to learn Japanese. One on the right is written both in English and in Vietnamese.)

books to learn japanese

I think this phenomenon is inevitable for many everyday phrases do not follow grammar when, for instance, we miss out some words to say simple, It will be tremendously tedious work to cover lots and lots of samples that are natural but not cinorrect and elaborate why.

English texts in textbooks for English speakers to learn a foreign language all sound natural because they are written by native English speakers.

The opposite is also true.The texts in Chinese from English textbooks in China are all correct because they are written by Chinese people.

Different language, different approach.

If you can read and write in Japanese, then you already know many Chinese characters used in Japanese, which are called Kanji in Japanese. Many of these kanji’s are the same in Mandarin Chinese. You do not need to learn from scratch in the way the textbooks for English speakers go about.

In this case, you can use materials from Japan to learn Chinese, which are based on knowledge of the Japanese language. The way they explain Chinese grammar is not the same as that can be seen in books intended for English speakers.

This is because the contents, or the way of learning of materials are based on the learners’ common sense. The approaches to the target language, therefore, change accordingly.

This is another advantage of reversed language learning.

Phrases to cover not the same

Maybe so.

Biggest Reason: Two Language at the same time

You can learn two different language simultaneously through this method. It sounds pretty efficient, but that’s not the case if understanding in your second language is slower than that in your native language.

Fun and Sense of Achievement

It’s so much fun. You don’t need a reason before trying new things.

Besides there are always new things to discover when learning this way. I found many useful Chinese phrases in an Indonesian-learning book.

How to make most of teach-yourself textbooks

Priority: Motivation managing

My method of using teach-yourself language books is to get my schedule automatically finish all the chapters to get a sense of achievement.
I put the more priority on managing my motivation than understanding what is taught.

Schedule when to do which page

Before you start a new book, decide when to do every chapter and the date you will finish it. On the final day as schedule, you will get to the end no matter what. And when your plan has been completed, you can make another plan to do the pages you missed.

Stick to your schedule

Even if you skip a chapter for some reason, move on to the next page as scheduled before. The priority is finishing the book. At the beginning, since there are too many stuff you don’t get, you might lose self-esteem. But by finishing something, you will get evidence that will give you confidence and a sense of achievement, which will bring about motivation.

Don’t be defeated by books!

Learning a language under independent settings is a matter of persistence. Keeping interest and motivation is a vital part.
Before they start, they make a great plan. But many people get disappointed with themselves once they fail to complete their plan and lose interests and motivations. In the worst scenario, it will lead them to give up language altogether. And this is one of the common reasons many people fail to learn a language.

Leave difficult stuff behind and keep on

Learning language can be tiring because of tons of tedious work. To tackle it, my priority is to keep your motivations by finishing textbooks up to the end.
Some people get distracted by difficult sections they don’t understand, but I recommend you first move on to the next chapter. You don’t need to get everything out of one chapter. If you encounter something necessary from the previous chapter, then you can go back. Maybe you will get it more easily than before.

Do it again and again

Even after I finish one textbook, I do the same one for the second round or more. I will understand more and notice new things. Words are a lot easier to memorize on the second encounter.


So, I hope you’ll find this useful and successfully finish textbooks.