Aside from Duolingo, how else is everyone studying Japanese?
Duolingo is obviously an excellent tool to get started with a language, but it isn't very practical if you are hoping to achieve full fluency.
So, aside from this amazing website, how else are you learning Japanese? Websites, books, apps, etc. Do you have a particular study method you go for? Do you have any language exchange friendships?
For example; I use Memrise to learn some new words at least every other day, which I keep in a small black notebook. You learn surprisingly quickly if you write down the words and revise them on the same day and the day after the day you learn them (So many days!)
I also use the textbook "Basic Japanese" by Tuttle, as well as a simple Japanese word dictionary and a Kanji dictionary.
I've also found that reading children's manga is helpful, especially since they have furigana next to any kanji (most manga has this, I've found)
I also use the apps "imiwa?" and "shirabe jisho" for amazing dictionaries, and "Hellotalk" to practice the language with natives.
All of these have helped improved my language skills greatly, but obviously they aren't the only way. How are you studying?
Pimsleur and Micheal Thomas are both available through my local library (Pimsleur Japanese level one and Micheal Thomas compliment each other very nicely if you want repetition of vocab, good pronunciation, and grammar explanations--MT for grammar, Pimsleur for accent and repetition of grammar). These are great if you have a long commute and want to work on listening and pronunciation too.
My library also has something called Mango, which is kind of like Duo but includes explanations read to you by a "teacher." You learn the language with a cartoon mango as your teacher (rather than Duo the owl). It also includes movies about the culture (with English and Japanese subtitles) based on the vocab you learn in the lessons.
On YouTube, Japanese from Zero is great, as someone mentioned. Learn Japanese to Survive: Hiragana Battle is also cool (as someone already mentioned) if you like RPGs with a lot of grinding (you kind of need to grind to memorize though, so why not?).
Japanese Pod 101 has videos on YouTube that probably helped me the most with hiragana. The teacher, Risa, walks you through all the hiragana with mnemonics that make it so you can realistically learn the hiragana with just a few hours of practice/study.
Also, at least for iOS (I don't know about other platforms--sorry), there's also a series of apps that you can find if you type in JLPT on the search bar. The apps have different names because they're actually different storybooks, but they all have a running/leaping bunny for the logo so it's easy to find. These are graded readers though so you get a basic children's story, written in Japanese, read to you by a native speaker (so you see and hear the language and you have cute illustrations to go with the story). At the end of the story, you get flash cards for learning the vocab from the story. Right now I have the story of The Ant and the Grasshopper.
There's a lot of fun stuff out there. :)
Genki and Anki. I actually had 2 long blog posts full of Japanese learning tools but sadly the site hosting my blog shut down without warning and it was all lost. One nice app is called Human Japanese. It's like a text book but has some games thrown in. If you're working on kana (Hiragana / katakana) I liked an app called kana Mind.
There are lots of fun YouTubers who post in japanese like PDR: https://www.youtube.com/user/PDRKabushikigaisha
And his wife Mimei: https://www.youtube.com/user/mimei
Oh snap! I checked Internet Archive again and found my old posts. I think I was entering the name wrong. It looks a little messy but the info is still there: https://web.archive.org/web/20160306113401/http://www.jvlog.org/3djapan/2015/03/21/japanese-learning-resources/
In high school we had a program that used Irrashai from Georgia Public Broadcasting. It's a video series that also has accompanying text and work books. The only part that would be missing is the testing and the oral study that we did in class.
The videos are here: http://www.gpb.org/irasshai/japanese-i
Aside from Duolingo, my primary resources are actually in my second language of Chinese (I learned Italian from Chinese as well), so most will not be useful, but I'll list them in case.
初级日语: college textbook by Peking University Press with CDs (which I do not have), with very thorough explanations of grammar and sentence patterns. After the first few chapters dealing with kana, moves into topical units containing two dialogues, vocabulary, grammar, exercises, and an article about one aspect of Japanese culture. Bonus points for wide margins to fit my many scrawled notes! Around $8 per book, depending where you buy it.
最最日语: android app with many eerie similarities to Duolingo, but with many additional useful features, the most thorough course I have found for self-teaching. Contains multiple courses such as Kana, Basic-High Intermediate Japanese, N5-N2 preparation etc. Each course has a unit section similar to Duolingo, full PPT and audio lectures accompanying each unit, an "assignment" section which gives you daily practices and reviews including pronunciation practice, and a review section similar to Strengthen Skills but where you can pick which vocabulary you want to review. It's not completely free; Lectures are only available in part unless you buy the course, same with tutor feedback on the pronunciation practices.
Aside from these, I use a combination of other English websites for looking up grammar questions (though often I can find what I need in the Duolingo comment threads!) and Erin's Challenge, which has already been mentioned. Lonely Planet's Japanese Phrasebook and Dictionary is good for basic survival knowledge, though the pronunciation guide could be misleading on its own. Another book I happened upon is 英語で話す雑学ニツポン (Japan Trivia Q&A) by Bilingual Books. While the information is possibly somewhat outdated (1998), it's great for practicing reading while learning about Japan.
Since I'm working from several different courses and materials, I keep a notebook where I compile useful explanations, sentence structure, example sentences and related vocabulary. It's basically a master list of and expansion on the vocabulary and sentence patterns in the Duolingo course, and helps me to get things down much more firmly; as I'm compiling it on paper, it also doubles as writing practice, ha!
The Genki textbooks and workbooks work wonders. They teach new vocab and kanji with every lesson, provide listening exercises (MP3), and encourage you to learn a little every day.
I used TenguGo for Kana, completely free, they have a pay Kanji app also but I'm barely 10% into that one. I have spent a lot of time with Pimsleur but I wouldn't recommend it, I got it free from my library, otherwise its far too expensive. I have tried other methods, Tae Kim, Living Language, but I haven't settled into any of them, so I'm very excited about Duolingo Japanese.
WaniKani!! WaniKani is AMAZING for learning kanji. It does cost money, but the first few levels are free, and that teaches you over a hundred kanji, their different pronunciations, and how to use them in a sentence. I also like to go on Tofugu.com , the creators of WaniKani. They have a blog and articles of various japanese things and hilarious YouTube videos. You NEED to check this site out!! Its awesome.
Aside Duolingo, I study with "Japanese for everyone" textbook by gakken, a Japanese grammar textbook in Italian, NHK easy news, "Japanese" dictionary for android, Jisho, Weblio and I follow a let's player called れるりふ (I have problem to pronounce this name. What is this? A tongue twister? xD). I suggest you to watch this serie, characters are from an anime called おそ松さん（おそまつさん） : https://youtu.be/PSuUhxCWxWw?list=PL_n8CCEQl6ncT8vCYptH10voMbEHLLeGH
I also watch dramas and one anime I love to watch (I'm not a big fan of anime) is Osomatsu-san, you can find it in streaming somewhere with subtitle in English.
Did you have suggestions where can I read online something in Japanese? Like blogs, stories, fairy tails, something easy to read for a pre-intermediate learner?
I also wanted to buy a book called "Il mio vicino Miyazaki" (My neighbor Myazaki) https://www.amazon.it/mio-vicino-Miyazaki-CD-Audio/dp/882036297X from hoepli, a book only in Japanese with introduction and glossary in Italian.
This is a link to free downloadable Japanese Childrens Stories. Too advanced for me to read, but you might like these stories.
I currently use Human Japanese, its an iOS and macOS app that I find is pretty close to having a teacher, teach you, without an actual teacher. Also watch anime and have been listening to a lot of Japanese music, specifically 90s shibuya-kei. Also thinking about using those internet pen pal sites to practice usage