I’ve been trying to learn Japanese for years now but I am finally actually putting the work in to learn it. I am a Junior in Highschool at the moment and when I graduate I want to study abroad in Japan. Does anyone have any tips on how to learn Kanji and Hiragana? I want to be able to speak and read in Japanese by the time I get to Japan!
I’m in the same boat as you! I’m also a junior in high school but I’ll be studying abroad starting August.
My advice is to find a good textbook for self-study (I use genki but I’ve heard it might be too fast for some people) as well as wanikani & duolingo for extra practice. I’ve found that practicing with a really good tutor also helps, but this is optional as they are (mostly) not free. Take notes & try to set some time away for practice, even if it’s just 10 minutes.
I personally find it helpful to do my wanikani reviews as soon as they become available because it forces me to take a break from whatever else I’m doing and as long as you don’t let them pile up, it’s relatively low commitment. Watching anime with English subtitles at first & then rewatching it either with Japanese subtitles or without subtitles at all also helps you get used to the sound of the language & you may even be able to pick up on certain speech patterns. In addition, there are plenty of YouTubers out there with good advice & language learning lessons, as well as cultural advice because that’s important.
Another thing, honestly, try not to burn yourself out. I’ve done this to myself many, many times with a variety of hobbies & I know this is especially hard in your junior year. Right now, I can’t even watch anime without crying because of how stressed I am over starting a career in animation & becoming an animator. However, this is a good way to relax for other people & I highly recommend watching it for just entertainment sometimes. Or however you like to relax. I wish you best of luck!
You can use the ultimate guide to hiragana by Tofugu to learn Hiragana.
For pronunciation you can use a guide to pronunciation. It won’t teach you everything about pronunciation but the basics.
WELCOME TO THE COMMUNITY!!!
Be sure to check the community guidelines and also this awesome post by @jprspereira . The community is wonderful and there are many games like the 5 Letter Game, Say something about the person above you and Shiritori.
I’m not sure if you mean you’ve not yet learnt the characters of hiragana? but if not - I found the lovely Risa’s mnemonics really helpful.10-Day Hiragana Challenge Day 1 - Learn to Read and Write Japanese - YouTube
And this is my favourite song for learning them 【完全版】あいうえおのうた ひらがな 平仮名 書き方勉強 あ行－わ行 １５０単語！ 歌のおやつ - YouTube !
This patient woman will show you how to write them. And I think that helps them stick: Learn How to Write Hiragana 1 - A I U E O あいうえお and N ん - YouTube
Katakana mnemonics here Learn ALL Katakana in 1 Hour - How to Write and Read Japanese - YouTube
There’s already been people to point you to various kana-guides, so I just wanna note that to make use of WK you’ll need to master both hiragana and katakana. So, if you haven’t gotten them done yet, do so now. Once you’re done with this step, start your WK journey to learn kanji for real.
There are several articles on Tofugu about Japanese that is also worth checking out.
For reinforcing early stages of learning hiragana and katakana, I recommend Real Kana and this Kana Review drag and drop game—it’s fun trying to get a faster time! They both helped a lot when I started.
But for kanji we pretty much all recommend WaniKani, haha.
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