there's the whole alphabet for you to try

anonymous asked:

Hello! Not ons related sorry. Basically I'd like to learn Japanese and I'm pretty serious about it. But I don't really know where to start. I've understood there are three alphabets basically, the kanji and two syllabaries. Should I just learn all the symbols by heart? How? Then there's the whole grammar part...

Hello NihongoAnon~~ This took a while because I really wanted to make sure I thought about it and didn’t leave anything important out, sorry.

When I first started out learning Japanese, my cousin (who is fluent and married to a Japanese man in Osaka) told me to memorize hiragana and katakana first thing. And boy was he right. I saw so many people continue to try learning Japanese while writing in romaji. Romaji is when you write out how things sound using the English alphabet. Hiragana really makes so much of a difference when learning, so that should definitely be your first priority. You definitely cannot learn kanji if you don’t know your hiragana. I personally made 2 sets of index cards. 1 set with hiragana/English pronunciation and 1 set with katakana/English pronunciation. I studied them individually until I felt I had them mastered. Then I combined and mixed up the 2 decks so that I could master differentiating between them. (though I still struggle at times with katakana as it isn’t used as much as hiragana lol) 

Once you have those down, you cant start working on kanji and grammar. I have found that it works best to learn kanji along with vocabulary and grammar. Kanji is very difficult as they can mean different things depending on context and the combination of kanji used. That’s why I think it’s better to not just sit and memorize the readings for all  2,136 commonly used kanji. Instead, learn them for what they mean as vocabulary as you work through grammar. This works, because you should have a solid mastery of hiragana. This is what my teachers here in Japan have been doing as well. 

If you’re looking for books to use, I started at my college with a set called “Yookoso!”. And nobody liked it. It wasn’t bad, but I think it worked better for review purposes than actual learning. “Minna no Nihongo” is what my Japanese University uses. If you’re looking for probably the most recommended book, it’d likely be “Genki”.

For Kanji, there’s the “Basic Kanji book”. There are of course many volumes you can work your way through. 

One of my absolute favorite resources is this “A dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar”. There is also an intermidiate version as well. It works wonders once you’ve gotten a little foundation started. 

Of course those are all paper books, as that’s the way I’ve learned. I haven’t done much learning online excepts reading manga raws and watchign anime. So I’m probably not of much help on the digital front. Except, I have a wonderful app on my iPhone called “Midori”. it works great as a supliment when learning and making flashcards. 

Hopefully at least some of that helps haha (^^ゞ

If you have any more specific questions, feel free to let me know~