こんにちは I'm from Russia. I want to start studying Japanese, because it seems to me that your language is quite complicated and difficult to understand (it's a compliment, btw); how should I start it off?
(1) Start by memorizing the script (kana and kanji).
(2) Understand the sentence structure.
(3) Add listening material and work on your pronunciation.
(4) Read according to your level.
If it's of any use, check out the resources in the links below:
This guide is created by duolingo to supplement the course material.
Other users summarized useful study resources here.
and you can find more useful resources if you check previous posts in the Japanese forum.
- First of all, you should have a clear and specific goal. What is your purpose on learning Japanese? Do you just want to watch anime without subtitles? Do you want to read graduate level texts for research? Or become fluent enough to work doing a job other than teaching English in Japan?
- Second, it's very important to make some Japanese friends. Languages are means of communication. You can never learn to speak by talking only to yourself, so you need people to communicate with. In this case, native Japanese speakers would be the best.
- Another thing: avoid translating. Maybe you have to translate when you want to learn new vocabulary, but try not to do so all the time. Many things simply can't be translated directly into English. Instead of translating, try to guess what the expression means, learn how to pronounce it correctly, and memorize in which situations people use it. This kind of knowledge will help you much more later on.
- Last one, take it slow and have fun!