So I signed up for Japanese courses and I'll start on first of March. I was hoping someone here could give me some tips on what to focus on and what's more/less important and such. I'm really looking forward to it.
If you're a complete beginner, you should focus on learning pronunciation. Singing Japanese songs is a really great way of learning pronunciation, I highly recommend it ^^
And then of course you have to learn grammar and particles, and especially verbs. You have to learn sentence structure, which can be really tricky to get used to. But it's really important if you want to learn the language.
Also, a lot of people say to not focus on this as a beginner, but I think you should definitely try to learn kanji as soon as possible, after hiragana and katakana. If you don't, it can really and I mean really get in the way of trying to read Japanese, and you will spend so much time looking up the kanji whilst feeling like you're in a sea of confusion. A lot of people give up on Japanese simply because the writing system is hard, but if you really seriously want to do it, then I recommend trying to memorize kanji and their readings early on ^^
Thanks man. That was actually thoughtful and good advice. I got no problem with pronunciation and I've already learned most of hiragana and katakana. I'm hoping they'll focus on grammar and all that at the courses.
No problem ^^ Honestly I think it's important to start speaking really early, too. Even if it's small phrases, it'll help a huge lot
Use lang-8.com as an additional. Combine class with language exchangers. I learned how to pronounce Hiragana and Katakana and some phrases.
What's up with pronouncing? I find it really easy (maybe because the letters are read just like in my native language).
But what's 難しい is knowing how it translates, especially Kanji. Perhaps I need to go to the next level to understand.
The problem with kanji is that even nativ japanese speakers have difficulties learning them because they were importet from china and got purely translated into japanese, most kanji lost their original meaning. This is why sometimes a kanji can have really wierd radicals in comparison with his meaning.
The second difficult part is that kanji have more than 1 reading, there are allways at least 2 readings for every kanji: on-yomi and kun-yomi; these readings originated from the time when japanese ppl converted the kanji into theire writingsystem, that is why there is a chinese way of reading the kanji and a translated japanese way.
There are kanji with meaning those are easy to learn and remember but... the rest has lost their meaning and can only be learnt by memorizing them, wich is bothersome. The only thing that can give you a hind of the general meaning of a kanji are the radicals, they can give you a hint if the kanji is refering to an animal like a fish, a memmal or any other species, they can tell you if the kanji is an action ore a feeling etc.
So I suggest that you first learn the radicals before trying to learn kanji and before learning kanji I recomend looking at grammatical structures and the rules of speaking in general
When it comes to learning how to write kana (仮名), don't "draw" it, write it and get down the stroke order.
Get into that mind set.
When learning pronunciation, really practice getting the sound of Japanese down.
Master the basic A-I-O-E-U vowels to sound out the whole sound system correctly.
Learning culture helps you understand Japanese more.