Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Learning the Kana

ok so the first step realistically is to learn the two Kana, both the Hiragana and the Katakana. Along side this its good to practice with the pronunciation at the same time. So here is a link of a place where you can download a pdf with practice writing squares that you can print. Alternatively I just bought a squared exercise book from WHSmiths, was a couple of quid and cheaper than printing a load.Just practice writing the kana over and over whilst pronouncing them as you write to learn them.

This is a little program that tests and trains a bit like flash cards. It's a small program so you can stick it on a usb flash drive and take it anywhere to practice which is handy. Unlike some other flash card type programs, which although are great to practice which are usually a lot bigger. A good example would be Byki - Japanese Before You Know It Deluxe 4.0 Language Tutor which you can download a free trial and then download pre-made flash cards others have made such as hiragana to practice with.

Again all of this is just to learn the kana, once you have these down you can read a good chunk of Japanese! Yes there are then thousands of Kanji you will need to learn, but you will be amazed how much is written in the kana, especially menus and the like!

A great book to look out for is Remembering the Kana: A Guide to Reading and Writing the Japanese Syllabaries in 3 Hours Each (Manoa) (Japanese Edition) (part 1) which has a interesting way to learning and memorising the Kana and well worth a look. You can view a few pages free from the publishers website to get a feel for how the method works.

Finally for stroke order etc to practice writing look at the first post

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