Before we begin….I have a question!

Hi everyone! Before I take on the task of helping everyone learn Japanese, I’d like to get a feel of where everyone is at! First off, who is reading this? Also, if possible, please leave a comment on what your level of exposure is and what you’d like covered in this section! Are there any grammatical things you’d like covered in more depth?


13 thoughts on “Before we begin….I have a question!

  1. I guess I am 🙂 Maybe leave a comment under the new post on the main page to get more responses. Let’s see, self-study for a month. I think I got the Hiragana and Katakana down well and about 50 kanji. So really just a newb. As of now, everything is fairly new. I prefer to continue with grammar at first, I suppose, as the Kanji seems to be pure brutal memorization. Question: how important is learning the stroke order if one is only planning to read Japanese?

    • Stroke order is not important for reading. However, it is very important when writing. By knowing the proper stroke order, you’ll be able to write the characters neatly and well. You can tell if someone doesn’t know stroke order by how nice/ugly their characters look XD

  2. I’m reading and I’m nearly through with Nakama 1 & Genki 1. I felt that nakama was like riding a bike with training wheels for too long, while genki is like starting without training wheels, but the mixture is quite nice for me.
    Also, I think nakama is slightly too focussed on the japanese college course.

    My main problem atm is deciding whether or not I should even bother with handwriting kanji, since I feel that I will never need it since all my writing will be on electronic devices and you don’t need to be able to write them to read them.
    I think I even read that many (adult) japanese today “suffer” a condition coined as “Kanji Amnesia” since they don’t bother with writing anymore, since nearly everything is written electronic.

    Also, even now, ツシ & ソン in some textfonts/sizes make me struggle when reading at normal speed.

    • Regarding Nakama being focused on the Japanese college course, you are correct because it’s what I used in college for first year japanese XD It is true. Writing Kanji isn’t so important unless you plan on living in Japan and need to fill out paper work or leave notes XD Being able to read Kanji is definitely much more important. If you do have time, it’s not bad to learn how to write kanji though.

  3. I’d say I know about 100-150 words/phrases in Japanese. All self taught, mostly via watching a ton of subbed anime and/or translation notes in manga. Because of this all I know is romanji and know next to nothing about kanji, hirigana, or katakana.

    Part of my reason for wanting to learn Japanese is simply because I’m fascinated with the Asian cultures and part of it because I’d like to be able to read Light Novels/Novels in the original language (especially since some never get officially translated and fan translations can be hard to find sometimes). I’d like to be able to find Twelve Kingdom raws and read that series, along with read future volumes of SAO, Oreimo, Shakugan no Shana, and others while translations are in progress.

    Eventually f I get to where I understand and know enough of the lettering, language, and grammar I might even try to help out some of the fan sub/translation groups.

  4. Kanji is my biggest crutch… The next one would be vocab >.< Curious as to what keeps you motivated to learn all the different kanji readings and what you use when you have to look stuff up (if you do at all)?

    • Kanji is definitely tough. The best thing to do is to keep a log of all the Kanji you encounter so you can learn them. Before you know it, you’ll start recognizing more and more kanji! On my computer, I use the preloaded dictionary on my Mac. Apple laptops let you draw the kanji on your trackpad to find out what it is. If not, is great for Kanji. If I have my phone, I use the Aedict app which also lets you draw the Kanji.

  5. Years of hearing have done me well and I can’t just about pull apart phrases and work out what a person is saying (at medium speed anyway :/) I guess what I want to focus on is reading hiragana katakana and of course as much Kanji as I can in order to read novels in their original states as well as help translate and bring this kind of storytelling to America and other English speaking countries. I did note the program you put up a few comments up and I will definitely be checking that out immediately. I have used Rosetta stone which has helped a great deal surprisingly.

    • The program I listed above is how I learned it. It’s not super exciting but it’s a simple way to use repetition and learn to recognize hiragana and katakana. If you have a Mac, one EXCELLENT program is It lets you create flashcards for anything and helps you memorize things. Instead of just shuffling through them all, it repeats ones that you miss so you can really learn them.

      Another good way to learn how to read hiragana/katakana faster is to join a scanlation/translation group and do transcribing (converting all the characters to romaji so the translator can work faster).

      Sorry for the delay everyone! Hopefully I’ll be able to post a real lesson soon. Just switching jobs so I haven’t had much time.

  6. Found this page, as I’m always looking up ways to try to learn Japanese. Pretty interesting way to try to learn Japanese, though I wonder if it’s a mind blow to see a huge lesson coming from just the title/one sentence. Took a few classes and have been studying on and off for a while now. I know enough to read simple manga, though not without a dictionary as my vocab is still quite lacking. Mainly here to see what small tidbits I can pick up, as the lesson pacing seems geared to Japanese beginners. I look forward to seeing the lessons you come up with. :3

    As I’m new to light novels, a question when you were starting out reading novels… did you read through a certain amount before looking things up or did you look up at every unknown you encountered? I miss out on a lot of things for the former, but the latter sounds like something that would burn a person out pretty quickly.

    Gotta admit that I’m having a hard time resisting reading the translations you provide, as I had originally intended to try to read it to improve my Japanese, but those unknown kanji with no furigana increases that amount of time to look things up and makes me lazy. 😛

    • I’d say that it’s a good way to learn if you use a dictionary and look up unknown words. Once you understand basic grammar, it makes it a bit easier to guess and understand the general idea of each sentence. Definitely take a light novel slow since it’s much more wordy than a Manga!

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