Learning Japanese part 1

So I’ve always admired the Japanese language. It’s beautiful to listen to and lovely to look at when written. I’m terrible at learning languages so I never figured out how to put in the effort until now.

I have played around with some apps on my tablet to help learn the hiragana (Hiragana Learn Experiment is AWESOME) but never stuck with it. But the other day I found a website called WaniKani that has set me on what I believe to be a good path to learning.

I did the free trail run and just completely nailed the radicals lesson. Then I realized it wasn’t free after that and had to do some soul searching.

Why the fuck do I want to learn Japanese? I’m not going to Japan any time soon. I don’t know know any Japanese speakers. Anime has subs/dubs and the few manga I have are translated. I don’t foresee becoming good enough to become a translator or teacher. I don’t have anyone to take the journey with (in person) so that doesn’t help. The only thing I can come up with is personal enrichment. Sure, I’ll go with that. Why not.

So I decide to pay for a month and see what happens. I run across another hurdle. I didn’t realize I needed to know hiragana! After learning some radicals and totally knowing what they were like the back of my hand, suddenly I need to know how to pronounce them. Or “kanji reading”, I guess. I don’t know. All I know is it took me HOURS to figure out what the actual FUCK was going on.

Since I don’t know my hiragana I had to fucking FAIL at each reading several times just to write down enough notes for each kanji to figure out how to pronounce this shit. And then I started studying hiragana again between lessons and reviews.

It’s coming together but I really don’t understand this method of learning and it’s my bad for not knowing hiragana first. I didn’t know I’d need hiragana to pronounce something that looks nothing like hiragana. Does that make sense?

For example: こう is how you PRONOUNCE (read?) industry. the こ is ko and the う is u. BUT THE KANJI FOR INDUSTRY IS . I mean I would be fine with all of this if there were little pronunciation things in these lessons. I have nothing against hiragana, I’m just frustrated that I wasn’t expecting that turn of events right after paying for the service. My bad. Classic rookie mistake I’m sure. 

So here’s a list of what I’ve been working on.

こう ko u – industry
く ku – 9
じょ jyo – woman
りょく riyo ku
はち ha chi – 8
じん ji nn – person
さん sa nn – mountain
だい da i – big
しち shi chi – 7
に ni – 2
じゅう jyu u – 10
りき ri ki – power
かわ ka wa – river
さん sa nn – 3
こう ko u – mouth
にゅう nyu u – enter

I’m absolutely fascinated how the kanji fit together and it’s been a fun journey so far.

I figured if I blog about it it might help a little. I dunno.

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