Aside from my daily ひらがな practice and dabbling with the Genki book, I also started learning with Pimsleur today.
Finally, I learn some real conversation which I can actually use in daily life, should I happen to meet people speaking Japanese.
With Pimsleur, you will repeat a lot. And I mean a whole lot. But this actually helps, at least from my experience, with remembering the meaning behind your utterances. It also helps losing any accent you may have (whether that is a good or bad thing is debatable – though I strive to emulate a native Japanese speaker as closely as possible).
In any case, the first Lesson starts simply enough:
a. すみません、 あなたは えいごが わかりますか。
b. いいえ、 わたしは えいごが わかりません。
a. わたしは にほんごが わかります。
b. あなたは アメリカじん ですか。
a. はい、 わたしは アメリカじん です。
(Thanks to my ひらがな practice, I can actually read this without much trouble. My reading speed may not be fast yet, but all in due time.)
The transcription looks like this:
a. sumimasen, anata wa eigo ga wakarimasu ka.
b. iie, watashi wa eigo ga wakarimasen.
a. watashi wa nihongo ga wakarimasu.
b. anata wa amerika-jin desu ka.
a. hai, watashi wa amerika-jin desu.
And translated, we get this:
a. Excuse me, do you understand English?
b. No, I don’t understand English.
a. I understand Japanese.
b. Are you an Amerikan?
a. Yes, I am an Amerikan.
The Dialog is a bit different in the audio track, adding a few things here and there, but you get the drift. At least I can excuse myself now, and tell people that I do not understand Japanese very well.