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I can't imagine that learning to read kana would be hard. Yes, writing the characters helps, but it's not strictly necessary. The fact that you're finding it hard tells me that you should not practice writing yet. I used two applets here http://www.chipchat.com/NihonGo/ to learn the kana. It took me about 3 hours total for each with numerous breaks, including for dinner. I woke up the next morning and I could read Japanese text written in hiragana, even if I didn't understand it. It's just a matter of learning to differentiate 46 simple characters graphically, plus a few simple rules to produce additional syllables with those 46 characters.
As for kanji, despite of what that site tells you, don't go memorizing any on purpose right now. It's the silliest thing to do to try to memorize kanji as random abstract pictures. You'll need to find a book that explains the structure of kanji (that they're composed of a finite number of radicals), and then memorize the kanji as a set of radicals, rather than stroke by stroke. Remember, you can always go back to a concerted effort to study kanji later. But if you try to memorize any now, it will be a lot of wasted effort that will never be compensated. You will really need kanji only when you start learning complicated words (kanji compounds). At the point you are now, there is no need. First, get to where you can read children's stories that have practically no kanji (I gave you the link before).
I'm learning kanji by categories...like verbs, adjectives, nouns...one category at a time...I also divide those stuff into let's say...family, nature, sport etc...
Learn kanji by radicals instead, it'll go a lot smoother. Sort of like in "Remembering the Kanji" -- learn a new radical, then learn all Jouyou kanji that contain that radical, but only those whose other radicals you know already. It's the most efficient memorization sequence in my opinion. Oh, and don't learn the on-yomi while doing that. It's much easier to learn on-yomi by memorizing vocab.
@cmertb: Oh no. I learned kanji first but I didn't know that I wasn't suppose to learn that first is what I meant. The textbooks I borrowed taught it practically all in romaji. Also, it may have been easy for you but sometimes it's not for others.
Btw, kana is easy but I've been lazy with it since I'm busy right now with school and sports.
Yeah I'm gonna start on it today when I get back home from London. I'll let you know exactly how it's going tomorrow or something. Thanks for moving threads btw.
Sounds good, goldb! Let me know how it goes.
Have a safe trip!edit (4/26) I'm glad you had a fun trip! Welcome back.
About moving threads, I hope to see your Japanese writing there as well .
Are you bored with the CD yet? (I guess I would...) If you are, just pick a random phrase from your favorite manga and practice writing. What manga do you like btw?
(5/1) Glad you discovered the google translate tool!
(5/5) Ah, I see, goldb. You didn't use the google translate. (We talked outside this thread.) Which one do you like to use?
Last edited by mikkih; May 05, 2011 at 12:04 PM. Reason: 4/26 strikethrough; 5/1, 5/1
Hmm.. people haven't posted here in awhile but I just thought I should mention that I know some Japanese, I took it for two years.
site better, but I'm having to re-check the japanese to english to see if it makes sense before I post it. Damn it, sometimes I wish I just had an intersect like Chuck
For the past 3 or four months, I have been studying japanese. I am quite familiar with basic grammar and some vocabulary, so I've started on kanji and more vocabulary, especially through raws and a few books that are on the topic. I've noticed that if I just glance at something, I sometimes see a kanji that I remember learning earlier and I occasionally mistake an english word for romaji of a japanese word at first glance. Is this normal? O.o
I don't see it being a problem, because it's only subconscious recognition, which is easily over-ridden by my conscious mind. I was just curious if it has happened to anyone else. I guess I could say that it's a good sign that I am indeed learning, but it is kind of disconcerting that I am seeing japanese in normal, everyday canadian-english life. Maybe I'm just expecting japanese to be secretly hiding within my culture xD.
Anyways, if it is normal, and a good sign that I am learning, could anyone point me to a website or book that helped you to learn kanji and perhaps even made you see kanji at the corner of your eyes (not literally)?
But I'll probably get concerned with my sanity if I start dreaming in fluent japanese. (It's a hilarious thought, but if it were happening...)