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BrainpowerdMonday 10th of November 2003 10:49:49 PM
Helpful Insight to learning Japanese - Hello all!

I've been a member of PhraseBase for a few months now and I've noticed that there are a lot of people who've signed up to learn Japanese. As many of you have by now noticed, it's not an easy language to pick up (unless, of course, you're a natural at that sort of thing). I'm currently enrolled in an accelerated Japanese class at my local junior college (City College of San Francisco) and I'm here to tell you, it's pretty challenging. However, in the same breath, I can also tell you it's not impossible... If you want to learn the spoken language, here are a could of things you should do in order to make the learning process a little easier:

1. Learn and practice basic pronuncication for each of the hiragana characters (there are 53 of them to learn). This could take a little bit of time to do but you need to find a source where you can hear them clearly so that you can pronounce them correctly. Without that, you won't get very far. What ever you do, do not use anime as a guideline for pronounciation because you'll either wind up sounding like a small child or a young girl in many instances...

2. Start with the most basic of phrases. Learn when they are used and when they are not. Be repetative in your use of them -- examples: Ohayo gozaimasu (good morning), Konnichi wa (good afternoon), Konban wa (good evening), Oyasumi nasai (good night), Sayoonara (good-bye), Doomo arigatoo gozaimasu (thank you very much), Doo itashimashi-te (don't mention it). Get these to where they are second nature through constant use. Find a buddy to work with and you will see a result.

3. Learn how to count: ichi= one, ni= two, san= three, yon= four (yes, shi= four also but "shi" also can mean death so it's not used commonly), go= five, roku= six, nana= seven (also shichi= seven depending on where in-country you are), hachi= eight, ku= nine (or kyuu= nine), juu= ten. Everything from one (ichi) to ninety-nine (kyuu-juu ku) is pretty simple -- twenty-one= ni juu ichi, thirty-five= san juu go, forty-seven= yon juu nana, and so on...

4. Aside from PhraseBase, there are other resources on the web for learning Japanese. Some are good, others are not. If you are interested, e-mail me and I'll send a list of the sites that I've found helpful in learning. Keep in mind that there are some good books available but you have to have a basic understanding before you can use any of those. It does not hurt to research things a bit before buying.

Again, this is just my take on getting started. Japanese is not something you'll pick up in a matter of weeks or months. This is a language which requires patience and committment become proficient at it. If you have any questions, feel free to send messages and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. I'll try to set up a web page of some sort to chronicle my lessons as a help as well.


anonymousSaturday 29th of November 2003 05:17:32 PM
My Favorite Study Sites Are.... - Why don't we all submit links to our favourite Japanese study websites.

Here are 2 that I like:

What are yours?

liltokyo4jesusFriday 16th of April 2004 08:33:03 PM
Arigatoo - Your advice really helps with my study and i just wanted to say ARIGATOO! ^-^
bellieheadFriday 23rd of April 2004 12:38:07 PM
- I would love to learn Japanese and I want to get some books and tapes and what have you to make sure that I can pronounce them right.. any ideas????