First  Prev  1  2  Next  Last
Question: Beginning to learn to read/write Japanese characters.
43237 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
35 / M / Staten Island, NY...
Offline
Posted 4/22/12
I am currently torn on these three books:

Book 1:
Japan Made Easy, Third Edition [Paperback] (As a guide to getting around Japan)
Boye De Mente (Author)
www.amazon.com/Japan-Made-Easy-Third-Edition/dp/0071713735

Book 2:
Guide to Reading & Writing Japanese: Third Edition [Paperback]
Kenneth Hanshall (Author)
http://www.amazon.com/Guide-Reading-Writing-Japanese-Edition/dp/0804833656

Book 3:
Japanese Kanji & Kana: A Complete Guide to the Japanese Writing System [Paperback]
Wolfgang Hadamitzky (Author)
http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Kanji-Kana-Complete-Writing/dp/4805311169


Any opinions?
611 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
30 / M
Offline
Posted 4/22/12
If you're going to visit Japan are you at least able to speak some? There's a ton of signs in English all over the country, especially at tourist attractions, so the need to actually read isn't so important. I'd suggest getting one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Casio-EX-word-Electronic-Dictionary-XD-B9800/dp/B004IWXEC2

It's easy to figure out and it will go a long way for you if you're not a 100% on the language.
43237 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
35 / M / Staten Island, NY...
Offline
Posted 4/22/12 , edited 4/22/12

Kuro_Kiri wrote:

If you're going to visit Japan are you at least able to speak some? There's a ton of signs in English all over the country, especially at tourist attractions, so the need to actually read isn't so important. I'd suggest getting one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Casio-EX-word-Electronic-Dictionary-XD-B9800/dp/B004IWXEC2

It's easy to figure out and it will go a long way for you if you're not a 100% on the language.


I'm the Assistant Director of the Technology Center for the Language Department at a major University. For me, learning and mastering something is very rewarding. My brain has become a little bored since I finished my MS in Computer Science back in January. I'm already thinking of the PHD program, but would like some time to experience the world, and learn other things outside of computers.

I'm doing it for the challenge, plus it would be fun to watch anime without needing the subtitles.

I picked up all three books online for $33 (including shipping and taxes).
79737 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
49 / M / KC
Offline
Posted 4/22/12

GodWhomIsMike wrote:


Kuro_Kiri wrote:

If you're going to visit Japan are you at least able to speak some? There's a ton of signs in English all over the country, especially at tourist attractions, so the need to actually read isn't so important. I'd suggest getting one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Casio-EX-word-Electronic-Dictionary-XD-B9800/dp/B004IWXEC2

It's easy to figure out and it will go a long way for you if you're not a 100% on the language.


I'm the Assistant Director of the Technology Center for the Language Department at a major University. For me, learning and mastering something is very rewarding. My brain has become a little bored since I finished my MS in Computer Science back in January. I'm already thinking of the PHD program, but would like some time to experience the world, and learn other things outside of computers.

I'm doing it for the challenge, plus it would be fun to watch anime without needing the subtitles.

I picked up all three books online for $33 (including shipping and taxes).


That's a good price. I'd say the Hanshall and Tuttle books are good. I'm not so sure about the first one. But at $33 for 3 books, it is hard to go wrong.

The electronic dictionaries are very expensive. I've avoided getting one, especially now that there are great apps for smart phones, many of them for free. Jim Breen's WWWJDICT is a great online resource.
http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi
Most of the good jdict apps use the data he provided. If you have a smartphone, I'd definitely look into getting some apps to help work with your kanji and vocabulary.

611 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
30 / M
Offline
Posted 4/23/12 , edited 4/23/12
The one I linked to is very high end, there are lower models are as little as $100. I wasn't interested in looking for the cheap one as much as I was looking to link to the right one. Phone apps, at least all the ones I've seen on friend's phones, get boring and repetitive real fast. They're limited.
42484 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
20 / M
Offline
Posted 5/6/12

GodWhomIsMike wrote:

I am beginning to teach myself Japanese characters. I am starting with Hiragana, but reading that online that typical Japanese writing is a mix of Kanji, Kana, Hiragana, and Katakana?

So, basically in order to read Japanese, and be able to get along a few week in Japan by myself - I would need to be able to read and write Kanji, Kana, Hiragana, and Katakana - since sentences, books, and other writings mix all of these characters together?

How should I teach myself?

Begin with Hiragana, then move on to Katakana once I master all of the Hiragana characters? Finally moving on to Kanji once I have a very comfortable grasp of both Hiragana, and Katakana (Kana)?

Is it true that some sentences I might encounter written could use characters from all three within one sentence?




Check out: www.textfugu.com

The first season is free, which teaches you all hiragana.

I'm learning a lot from this site, hope it helps you too.

(To get to the lessons, click the Table of Contents in the top right corner)
43237 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
35 / M / Staten Island, NY...
Offline
Posted 5/9/12

SoulKanon wrote:


GodWhomIsMike wrote:

I am beginning to teach myself Japanese characters. I am starting with Hiragana, but reading that online that typical Japanese writing is a mix of Kanji, Kana, Hiragana, and Katakana?

So, basically in order to read Japanese, and be able to get along a few week in Japan by myself - I would need to be able to read and write Kanji, Kana, Hiragana, and Katakana - since sentences, books, and other writings mix all of these characters together?

How should I teach myself?

Begin with Hiragana, then move on to Katakana once I master all of the Hiragana characters? Finally moving on to Kanji once I have a very comfortable grasp of both Hiragana, and Katakana (Kana)?

Is it true that some sentences I might encounter written could use characters from all three within one sentence?




Check out: www.textfugu.com

The first season is free, which teaches you all hiragana.

I'm learning a lot from this site, hope it helps you too.

(To get to the lessons, click the Table of Contents in the top right corner)



Will do. Thanks for the info. Hopefully, after I finish grading finals next week, I should have a nice two weeks to cram as much into my head as possible before I leave for Japan.
17306 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
M
Offline
Posted 5/9/12
Two weeks is too short to use a broad study plan obviously.

You can probably memorize the hiragana and katakana in two weeks if you enjoy studying.
You won't know most of what you are reading,
but there are many words written in katakana that are English words written with Japanese pronunciation.
(ハンバーガーhanbagga = hamburger, for example)
Once you get the hang of that, you instantly increase your comprehension.

Skip kanji except for the numbers, and a few important ones like "entrance," "exit," etc.

Focus on phrases and basic vocab.
You won't have enough pieces to put together all the various ways people phrase things,
but you can have fun practicing things like, "Where is the bathroom?"

Prepare to be unduly praised, or looked at like you are an alien while they wave their hand in front of their nose.

When you get back, feel free to send me a PM for information about longer term study recommendations.

(I also don't advise dropping a lot of money on a stand alone electronic dictionary.)
First  Prev  1  2  Next  Last
You must be logged in to post.