For the new year I have decided to teach myself Japanese. I have taken a class before but sadly I didn't retain any of it except maybe the number 1-4. I basically have the education of a toddler right now but I'm working on it.
Everyday I try to at least work on it for an hour. I listen to free Japanese lesson podcast during the day at work, but sadly I'm not really "working on it" as I'm actually doing my day job but maybe just having it going in my head will help. I will say I think it is a bit as pronunciation is a bit easier as when I first started it sounded like I was just making crazy noises (no offense Japanese speaking folks!).
Currently I listen to a CD in the car over and over and over trying to get down the general greeting words, numbers, etc. Then I have a Japanese for Dummies book that I read through. I have my podcast's that I have found as there are many free one's that have lessons. My favorite sofar is Japancast. I also have found a few websites but a fun one for kids that breaks it down really simply is Kids Web Japan.
This weekend I am meeting with a woman for coffee as she is going to help me with Japanese and I'll be helping her with English. She be interesting as I've never helped anyone with their English. I hope it works out as I think actually working with a Japanese speaking person one-on-one should be very beneficial. I met her through Conversation Exchange, which allows you to find people in your area who want to get help with languages. Maybe I'll even make a new friend... who knows!
I know there are classes to take but since I started with that route years ago and nothing really came of it I feel another approach might be nice. Keep your fingers crossed!