How to Start Learning Japanese

Textbooks.?? Teacher..?? Online?? Penpal…?

I have been learning Japanese (日本語) for approx a year. I have been using a tutor/teacher (先生) for around 1 hour a week.

The best way to start is to get straight into the Hiragana (ひらがな) chart..

Repetition is the key… keep writing until it sticks!!

Understanding how to pronounce words is essential!!

A あ  ‘ah’
I   い ‘ee’
U  う  ‘oo’
E  え  ‘eh’
O お  ‘oh’

I guess everyone learns Japanese for a different reason from wanting to speak another language, interested in living in Japan (日本), through watching anime and many more…

I first got into Japan after visiting with some friends back in December 2010…

We did the ol’ Tokyo (東京), Kyoto (京都市) route and threw in Hiroshima (広島市) and Hakuba (白馬村) for something a little different… Check my previous post for some pics  😛

After visiting Japan I wanted to learn the language and started having a tutor/teacher once a week.

This I believe is a very good starting point although definitely not essential as there is so much material available at your fingertips on the net. I found having a tutor great as any questions or confusions I had regarding Japanese I could ask and knew that my answer was going to be correct.

There are basically 3 forms of writing in Japanese and they are:

Hiragana (ひらがな): Used very frequently and normally accompanies Kanji to form words.

Katakana (カタカナ): Another form of Japanese writing used for foreign words eg. toilet, credit card etc..

Kanji (象徴): Thousands of Kanji which are used the most throughout Japanese writing.

Two other forms are Romanji and Furigana.

Romanji is the romanized spelling of Japanese words eg. nihon = Japan

Furigana is Hiragana which sits on top of Kanji, you will normally see this in magazines eg. anime etc.

Now to the more interesting stuff… Movies that can help you learn Japanese.. Here is a few below:

Princess Monoke (もののけ姫)
Graveyard of Fireflies (火垂るの墓)
My Neighbor Totoro (となりのトトロ)
Spirited Away (千と千尋の神隠し)

This should be enough to get you started… Also here is a few websites that you might find interesting and helpful..

Any questions, just drop us a comment…


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