Learning Japanese

I know it’s a cliche for someone who’s interested in video games to also ‘want to learn Japanese’ but I couldn’t give less of a toss. For years now I’ve spent time listening to podcasts, learning hiragana and katakana and picking up the odd word and phrase here and there.

The problem I’ve run into now is that I simply don’t have a structure or a real ‘goal’ to aim for. I’m sat here saying ‘I want to learn Japanese’ but learning a language is a mammoth task. Where do I start? What should I learn first?

Well, this is exactly what I’ve gone and figured out with huge amounts of help from Fluent Forever (check out this page in particular). Here’s the goals I’ve got set for myself;

  1. Hiragana, Katakana and Radicals –
    This is important because otherwise you’re not really reading ‘proper’ Japanese otherwise. It’s all well and good reading romanised versions of Japanese words but without learning the basics of the Japanese writing system, you’re knackered. This is job number one. I’ll be using the Kanji Study app (Google Play) to help me with this, with the aim to be to 100% the radicals, hiragana and katakana by the end of June.
  2. JLPT N5 Kanji and Vocab –
    Whilst I’m not exactly looking to get qualified, it’s a good starting point to use vocab required to pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) N5. As with most things in the world, there’s a fantastic online resource to help with this and it’s called Nihongo Ichiban. Give it a click.
  3. Book A Lesson On iTalki –
    I simply hate the idea of not being understood, not being able to find the right word or being thought of as stupid. This is a bit of a personal hang-up of mine, though I doubt I’m the only person to think like this. The fact is that whilst a language at some point you’re going to come unstuck, you’re going to say something that sounds weird to a native speaker and you’re going to need to get over yourself. I’m hoping that by taking part in an online lesson, this can go a long way to improve my confidence and reduce my ego. The site I plan on using is iTalki – it looks like it offers the most choice, has been recommended by friends and offers free articles too.

So this is my plan. As with all things I aim to do on this blog there’ll be updates as and when there’s something worth talking about. Wish me luck and if you’re looking at learning a language yourself, good luck to you too!

がんばって!

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