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Looking for structured learning program

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Joined: January 21st, 2015 11:57 pm

Looking for structured learning program

Postby sciroccojunky_503964 » January 22nd, 2015 6:57 pm

Hi, been using your podcasts and whatnot for about 5 months now. Almost done with absolute beginner season 2. Been poking around at the writing side and it seems confusing. Doesn't seem to be laid out as simple as the verbal podcast type lessons. Now my speaking level is passable but writing is not even kindergarten level. is there a plan available that has both verbal and written in tandem? Lesson notes even for the absolute beginner entry 1 seems to assume that you can read it. Looking for some guidance on having both verbal and written at the same time. Even if I have to go back and start over, want to get a better handle on it.



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Re: Looking for structured learning program

Postby mmmason8967 » January 22nd, 2015 10:34 pm

In my opinion the best way to get started with writing in Japanese is to learn to write hiragana and katakana properly. JPod101 has a very good video series called Kantan Kana here: There are 25 short videos in the series: you can work through them and it's not at all difficult to learn the kana over a single weekend.

I'd recommend getting a pen and paper and following along with the videos--don't just sit there and watch them; write along with the presenter. Rewind and pause the video as much as you need to. There are five kana in each video, and it's a good idea to check that you can write the kana you've learned in the right order after each video--so five kana after the first one, ten after the second, fifteen after the third, and so on. Being able to write them in order will come in very useful in the future because sooner or later you'll decide you need a Japanese dictionary and, of course, the dictionary is going to be in the same 'alphabetical' order as you've been practising.

Once you've done the videos--and you really can do them over a weekend--I found it was good idea to write the entire hiragana and katakana sets out once or twice a day, just to make sure I could do it (and you'll know for yourself when you don't need to do this any more). Once you can write the kana, reading them is a piece of cake: you won't get muddled up by the similar-looking ones because you know how to write them and can easily tell the difference between わ, れ and ね, ぬ and め, or ツ, シ, ン, ソ and ノ.

Now you can go back to the Lesson Notes and focus on the first section--the one with kanji and kana. You should have no trouble with the kana, but the kanji are a different story. You can start to tackle them by reading along while listening to the dialog audio (which will tell you how they are pronounced), or you can use the kana-only section as a crib. In addition, I like to write the kanji-and-kana text out (preferably on genkouyoushi, the squared Japanese writing paper) as I find it much easier to memorise kanji if I know how to write them. Again, writing helps to make it easier to tell the difference between similar kanji such as 持つ (motsu, to hold) and 待つ (matsu, to wait).


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Re: Looking for structured learning program

Postby community.japanese » January 24th, 2015 6:58 am

That is good and specific advice. :oiwai:

Sciroccojunky san,
I think Michael san’s advice is really good.
I hope you can try it.
If you need any advice or have questions, please feel free to post them. :D

Yuki 由紀

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