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Hello there :) I saw you seem to be quite the expert around here from looking around so I was… - Feed Post from Ryuuzaki7 to shairn

Hello there :) I saw you seem to be quite the expert around here from looking around so I was wonder If I could get some help.

I'm a complete beginner and I'm really interesting in learning the language! The only problem is I have no Idea where to start! I know that the Hiragana & Katakana is the Japanese alphabet but I don't know the difference between the two and I have no Idea what I'm supposed to learn from it!

I have no clue how to start forming a sentence or know nothing about the written aspect of the language. Actually the only thing I seem to be able to do well is the pronouncing of the language itself! I would really appreciate it if you could give me some advice on where to start and tips on how to use this site to it's full potential because it seems like a great site! :) If I can grasp even the basics easily enough I can start to teach my house mates(Who are also interested in learning) and then we can practise on each other which makes the learning curve easier because we can practise the speech element a lot around the house.

Thanks in advance if you decide to help me :-)
posted by Ryuuzaki7

Comments 2

  • shairn
    Even though I'm definitely not the most experienced on this site, I'm flattered you turned to me for advice. I'd love to help you personally, but I'm not a teacher(yet!) so I can't offer a full course on the workings of the japanese language. Besides, I haven't quite mastered it myself! I can however give you some tools that can give you a good start.

    To begin, the difference between hiragana and katakana is relatively simple. Hiragana are used to write words native to the japanese language while katakana are used to write words inherited directly from other languages(Called loanwords) and onomatopeia(Sound effects). Visually, Hiragana tend to be curvy and smooth while katakana often use sharp edges and quick strokes, so it's not too difficult to distinguish one from another. I personally didn't use any resource in particular to learn the kana, picking it up as I went along and actually dablling in a variety of tools, but there is a section on this site where you can practice both syllabaries. It shouldn't take long before you're used to the kana, although katakana could take some more time than its counterpart so don't worry if it doesn't stick as well. After all, katakana is less common than hiragana.

    To get started on grammar, there's a variety of tools you can use but there are two that I would personally recommend. If you would rather not spend money or cannot, then I would recommend that you pay a visit to www.guitetojapanese.org for a free guide through pretty much every aspect of japanese grammar. If you don't mind shelling out some money, you can look online for the Genki series of textbooks. They're highly recommended, although they can be expensive depending on where you buy them. Actually, if you can find them in a local store, that would be a much better deal.

    Finally, you'll face what is certainly the most daunting aspect of the japanese language, the kanji. I don't want to bury you under information, so I'll leave this untouched for now. I do have resources for the kanji if you're interested, you need only ask. I consider myself comfortably knowledgeable in the realm of the kanji and would be pleased to help.

    If you have any other questions, feel free to ask, although as I've said before I'm not the most experienced JCJPer when it comes to grammar and you would probably get better help from Medyrius-senpai or Twoai-senpai, two of the best on here(In fact, medyrius is ranked number one on the website!).
  • Ryuuzaki7
    Thanks for everything that is much appreciated! :) I'm trying to get as many resources, tips and tricks as possible together before starting to learn the language because I want to know exactly what I'm getting into and not get scared and/or bogged down by information overload which might end up putting me off learning.

    I've heard a lot about the Kanji and how difficult it is to get used to but I don't plan to be a part timer in the language. Even if it takes 10 years to know the in's and out's I shall stick with it until I know it all.

    Thanks for your help again much appreciated :)