Learning japanese on your own?
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31 / M / Charleston, SC
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Posted 8/2/13
I was just wondering if anyone else has tried learning Japanese on their own. I want to learn Japanese and have started learning some things on my own, but I wonder what other sources are out there to use that can help me learn.
It sucks because there aren't really any good options to try and take a Japanese language course around here.
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25 / M / São Paulo - Brazil
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Posted 8/2/13 , edited 8/2/13
It's totally possible to learn Japanese on your own, but I can guarantee you: It's hard and you'll need patience and dedication.

First of all, you have to learn (decorate) Hiragana and Katakana . Try Hiragana first, reading childish stories or even "reading" anime openings and songs. The best way is to read and write, so you'll get used to hiragana.

Katakana is used, most of the time, to write foreign words in a "japanese" way. For example, "Ice Cream", it would be A-I-SU KU-RI-MU, in Katakana chart.

Even knowing Hiragana/Katakana, you will be able to read phrases, but won't be able to know what they say. You'll need a dictionary. For example:

わかってるよ <- This is "WA-KA-TTE-RU-YO", in Hiragana. You'll be able to read "wakatteruyo", but you'll have to go to a dictionary to see what that means (it means "I know, I understand").

Hope it helps you a little. Sorry for my english mistakes, it's not my mother-language but I enjoy learning new languages. :)

Edit:

Some character names are also written in Katakana, but that depends of the author.
Example:

ゴン <- GO-N
キルア - KI-RU-A
ヒソカ - HI-SO-KA

(all of above are written in Katakana)

さくら <- SA-KU-RA

(writen in Hiragana)
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20 / M / Stoke, England
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Posted 8/2/13
You can learn any language on your own, good luck.
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Posted 8/2/13
Yes, it is a long and hard road. After you get past the hiragana and katakana, which shouldn't take too long, you have to learn Kanji. Kanji helps understand what is being said when written, due to all the homophones. There are 2,136 常用漢字, Jouyou Kanji, which every Japanese learns in school. To be honest, a lot of these Kanji aren't really too popular in literature, but it is still an important list. After you get past that hurdle, to read some common literature, you may need to know 2-3 thousand more. it may seem like a difficult road, but after you get past it, there is so much sweet reward. Never give up.
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M / Places...
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Posted 8/2/13
Yeah its possible, im seriously doing it right now lol all for free ahh yeahh
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23 / M / Fairfax, Va
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Posted 8/2/13
I tried, and couldn't do it, so I took a class.

I was doing great till I hit Kanji. gonna try again after I get my degree Iv'e come this far and I have a great grasp on a new language already. not gonna let it linger away.
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Posted 8/2/13
i pick up books and dictionaries at any library i can. i also look for websites on my computer and im happy to say i have good websites bookmarked. im currently self-studying a whole book of kanji and im learning more on being polite and talking a certain way depending on who im talking to. this is not as complicated as learning Chinese, though, so im having fun learning something i love. if only i could go to a school that teaches japanese, i wouldn't mind waking up for school at all!
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31 / M / Charleston, SC
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Posted 8/2/13
yea ive started trying to memorize hiragana, and i have most of it down. i havent started trying to learn my katakana yet but i probably will be soon. i figured i would need those as a foundation. i'm still looking form some easy literature to try reading that way I can practice reading and learning some new words as i read. but most of the things i have found mix katakana with hirigana at least or also have kanji in it. It would be nice if i could find some reading that contained only hirigana, or at least hirigana and katakana only.
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25 / M / Florida
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Posted 8/2/13 , edited 8/2/13
There's more to learning a language than just memorizing a dictionary; remember you also need to study grammar and sentence structure. Japanese sentences are pretty different from how things work in English. For example, instead of subject-verb-object, it's subject-object-verb.

To practice reading kana, once you've begun to memorize them, I suggest children's stories or perhaps games because the writing is kept simple. I've used a couple of Japanese-language Pokemon games for this, because everything is written in hiragana and katakana (the only kanji in the game is 円 en, meaning yen). The reading is further simplified by the game's text having spaces between the words--which proper Japanese doesn't do.
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Posted 8/2/13

kdabbagh wrote:

I was just wondering if anyone else has tried learning Japanese on their own. I want to learn Japanese and have started learning some things on my own, but I wonder what other sources are out there to use that can help me learn.
It sucks because there aren't really any good options to try and take a Japanese language course around here.

Locking and closing this because this topic is covered in the Tourism/International/Culture forum, in an existing thread there. If you want to explore further, then visit that thread: /forumtopic-796029/what-are-the-best-ways-to-learn-japanese

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