Japanese Writing Class 101

Discussion in 'オタクの大学 [Otaku University]' started by Tentei No Mai, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. Tentei No Mai Bitch Pudding!

    Hello, everyone! This thread...er, class is for those that want to practice and learn the ways of Nippon-style writing. For now, I'm going to give you all the proper "materials" to help enable you to get started!

    This is to help you with the basics of kanji and kana.

    A somewhat detailed explanation on kanji.

    Practice some of your reading skills here

    JWPce, a program that will enable you to write in Japanese real easily

    Now, if you have any questions on the materials or whatever please feel free to raise your hand (post a question) or send me a PM. Ciao ne and ganbatte!
    1 people like this.
  2. Archangel Sabre Well-Known Member

    Those look like some pretty good links for practice, Mai-sensei. And JWPce is an absolutely awesome program for any student looking to learn Japanese, as it includes a full dictionary and information on virtually every common use kanji.

    A few links I'd like to add are:

    Learn Japanese - Japanese Language
    A link that contains general information about Japan and learning the Japanese language. It has a large database of information, including links to other sites and information for those looking to learn kanji, hiragana and katakana. It's also helpful for anyone who just wants to screw around and have a bit of fun with the Japanese characters.

    This is actually the site I used in self-teaching myself all the hiragana and katakana. It's a very useful resource and should definitely be used instead of wasting money on books or some such. It can be a little difficult to navigate, so here are a couple direct links:

    Hiragana Lessons - How to write hiragana
    Katakana Lessons - How to write katakana

    If you're like me and learned the katakana and hiragana before going into learning the actual Japanese language, you might also want access to a couple of sites that provide lessons using Japanese characters right from the start. For this I recommend:

    Nihongo o Narau - Learn Japanese
    This site contains a useful database of beginner's Japanese lessons in both romaji and kana. It also has sections for vocabulary and quizzes to test your knowledge.

    Japanese-Online.com ::: Online Japanese Language & Culture Resource Community :::
    You need to sign up to get the full benefits of this site, but it offers Japanese lessons in romaji, then kana starting after lesson 6 or so. They also give you a free e-mail address when you sign up.

    Welcome to TJP! | Learn Japanese for Free -- Language, Culture, Kanji and Grammar
    Another decent site for learning Japanese, that also has a somewhat active forum for beginners that might have questions or want to practice their skills over the Internet.

    Hope you find these resources useful in your quest to learn Japanese!
  3. Archangel Sabre Well-Known Member

    A few more good resources I forgot to mention in my previous post:

    YouTube - Aploosh's Channel
    These are a series of videos originally part of a paid program to learn Japanese, released sometime in the 1980s. They start right with the basics, and work at a fairly steady pace. Originally came with an accompanying textbook which I can send (in .pdf form) if you want it.

    YouTube - intelsilver's Channel
    I haven't really checked these out too much. They're part of a small series called "iLove" where they use very basic Japanese phrases. The videos are subtitled. Good if you want to review what you've learned.

    ^ Both of these YouTube users have a lot of great videos for learning basic spoken Japanese. I would highly recommend using Aploosh's videos, as they were originally part of a paid program.
  4. Elle Lawliet Elle Oh Elle

    I'm trying to learn Japanese for my own purposes. Sort of as a second language, sort of for fun, sort of cause I want to go to Japan and not sound like a retard.

    Would it better if I started learning the characters or if I took up romaji first to learn how to speak correctly? I used to watch so much anime that I just started picking up words, and I have this horrible speech problem where if I talk too much I slur my L's into R's. ;_;
  5. Archangel Sabre Well-Known Member

    If you already have basic Japanese pronunciation down, you should probably try to learn the Japanese hiragana and katakana as quickly as possible.

    This link should be incredibly useful: Hiragana Lessons - How to write hiragana

    Basically, hiragana and katakana are used in Japanese pronunciation. Each character is simple and represents a different sound in the Japanese language. Hiragana is mostly used for native Japanese words, while katakana are more for foreign words.

    These tables give a nice overview of all the hiragana and katakana:

    Hiragana -

    Katakana -

    As you can see, there's only about 45 basic characters for each, with little marks that can be made to change their pronunciation.

    I know I'm not so great at explaining this, so it might really be of help to check out some of the links above. But definitely see if you can learn the kana. It helps a great deal in all forms of studying Japanese.

    Hope that was helpful!
  6. Tentei No Mai Bitch Pudding!

    ...I have a similar speech problem, but my R's turn into W's and L's. Well, in terms of accent the speech problem will probably be of assistance (at least, it felt that way to me). Anyway, I suggest that you start with romaji and kana to be honest. See, if you practice with both at the same you'll quickly master how to read and write kana which will be an asset to you. For example...

    My name is Mai. I am 21 years old.
    Watashi no namae wa Mai desu. Watashi wa 21-sai desu.
    わたしのなまえはマイです。 わたしは21さいです。

    Of course, you don't have to write the sentence out in English first. Basically, you'll learn the spelling of the words in romaji and then be able to put them to use once you write it out in kana. Once you master kana, then you go into learning the kanji aspects. Eventually, you wouldn't need to write in romaji, because you'll feel comfortable enough with kana. 'course, that's just the writing and reading aspect of it. Speaking the language becomes a different sort of trouble, but it's TOTALLY manageable if you start of slow. Watching anime and Japanese music are helpful in helping you figure out the proper pronunciations (which can be frustrating at first) even with your speech problem. Practice is key. TOTALLY KEY.
  7. Elle Lawliet Elle Oh Elle

    Where do you get characters from to type with like that?

    I want to spend the better half of today learning what I can, but I have no idea where to start ;_;
  8. Tentei No Mai Bitch Pudding!

    Well, go to the first post of this thread and look for JWPce. It's a program that will allow you to type in kana and kanji. Download and install EVERYTHING. If you need help, just ask Sou-kun (Http) or me.
  9. Elle Lawliet Elle Oh Elle

    I tried using the program, but the site's readmes suck t_t

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