One piece of advice I needed when I began studying Japanese was to look out for stagnation. Not only does stagnation limit your learning ability, it also can be demotivating and in the worst case can be what prevents an individual from learning Japanese to the fullest extent possible, or any other skill for that […]
Introduction Learning a language as a non-native speaker is different from learning your native language. The learning process is different, the pacing is different, the type of vocabulary learned in what order is also different. A major problem (and deterrent) for learning a new language is how languages are taught. In the case of Japanese, […]
If you are new to studying Japanese, or have been studying the language for a short while, you might have come across the name Jim Breen at some point. Even if you don’t recognize the name right away, chances are you have seen this name before. Many Japanese-English dictionaries use the entries from the EDICT project. Most mobile Japanese-English dictionary apps such as Aedict, Imiwa (Formerly known as Kotoba) and JED (just to name a few) are all using the EDICT database.
Having an interest in learning the Japanese language is great and all, but how do you ACTUALLY get started? Given the fact that you need to learn Hiragana, Katakana, sentence structure, vocabulary words, kanji and more, it can be a daunting task. This is really a catch 22, if you don’t start somewhere, you won’t get anywhere, but you might be totally confused on where to start. This can lead to a very lengthy delay in when you had the initial idea of learning Japanese and when you actually started learning. There are many guides out there, and I’ve definitely done my fair share of reading through them, but I thought I’d give you my take on it as well. This is going to be geared more towards just starting out with Japanese, without any formal exposure to the language. Later on, there will also be a written series/guide which will be continuing on after you’ve mastered the basics.
If you are new to learning Japanese, you may have noticed a curious element to the language itself. There are no spaces. Of course, if you are familiar with other languages such as Chinese or Burmese the lack of spaces between the words would be nothing new. However, for speakers of languages which do use spaces, such as English, French, German, Spanish, and countless other languages, this appears to be a daunting task. In order to understand why Japanese does not use spaces in writing, it is important to first go back in time and see the origin of the writing system itself.
Hiragana and Katakana can be considered to be the basic building blocks of the Japanese language. While Kanji (Borrowed Chinese characters) does have a huge role in Japanese writing, all of the words that any Kanji character can represent can be shown using Hiragana or Katakana.
So you’ve decided to learn Japanese? Great! Deciding to learn a new language, or even reactivate a language which you haven’t learned in a while is always a challenge worth doing. Even though it requires a lot of time, dedication and practice, there’s no reason to go at it completely alone. The Nihongo (日本語）Project is a place for me and the readers to begin documenting their progress, collaborate on other projects, and share study tips for a better learning experience. No one ever said learning would be easy, but the trick is to stay positive and have a genuine interest in learning Japanese (or any other language for that matter)