Learning Hiragana: The Foundation for any Japanese language learner

There’s good news and bad news with learning Japanese. The bad news is there’s three alphabets, two with about 50 characters, and a third, Kanji, with 2-3,000. The good news is the first alphabet you learn, Hiragana, has sounds that are repeated for the rest of the alphabets. So once you’ve mastered Hiragana.  

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Introduction to Learning Japanese Kanji

Learning Kanji can be a daunting task. There are about 1,000 – 2,000 Kanji that are necessary to learn in order to be able to read newspapers, street signs, and menus in Japanese. With all these Kanji characters, it’s important to know the most effective order for learning them. In this article we’ll explain how to start learning Kanji, and give you the very first beginning Kanji.

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Japanese Sentence Structure Introduction

Probably the first thing you have to learn when learning a language (other than your native one) is sentence structure. Even if you know grammar and vocab, without knowledge of sentence structure, you can’t build a sentence properly. But before I get into Japanese sentence structure, let me delve a little into linguistics...

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Learning Japanese - The Wonderful World of Particles

Welcome! This is the first article in a series on jyoshi助詞 (particles) in the Japanese language. This article is a primer with more detailed articles to follow on individual particles. First off, it’s clear to everybody that English and Japanese are pretty different. They look different, sound different, write differently, they move in opposite directions, and the way things are said is different, too. 

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Why Learn Japanese?

This is a certainly a question that is asked of both myself, and of Hills Learning. Japanese in the 80’s was what Chinese is today, a language that is learned for business, political, and most importantly future expectations. If a language is perceived to become more prominent, people will try to learn it...

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Learning Hiragana: Finishing Up the Final Rows

Learning Hiragana is a crucial part of becoming a speaker of the Japanese language. Not only does the alphabet provide you with all the pronunciation sounds you’ll have to learn in Japanese, but also gives you an opportunity to be able to read the Japanese language. 

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Learning Hiragana, Mastering the Technique of Memorization (6th and 7th rows)

This article is the 4th installment for learning Hiragana. By now you should be quite familiar with the rows from あいうえお かきくけこ さしすせそ たちつてと なにぬねの. You should be able to at least recognize those and read them in succession. The key to memorizing is repeating the rows out loud in order, again and again. 

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Learning Hiragana: The 2nd and 3rd Row of Characters

Learning the Japanese language can seem intimidating, so many characters, so little time. The good news is learning the first alphabet, Hiragana, is actually quite simple. There are only 52 characters that cover the entire phonetic structure of the Japanese language. 

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Learning Kanji – Simple Strategies and Your First Two Kanji

Learning Kanji can be a daunting task. There are about 1,000 – 2,000 Kanji that are necessary to learn in order to be able to read newspapers, street signs, and menus in Japanese. In this article we’ll explain how to start learning Kanji, and give you the very first beginning Kanji. 

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Learning Kanji – Beginner Concepts and Simple Strategies

The most daunting yet fulfilling to learn alphabet in Japanese is Kanji. Kanji literally means “Chinese character,” because literally the alphabet derived from Chinese characters. In English, it’s similar in that the roman alphabet came from Latin, however Japanese Kanji words and Chinese words are actually quite similar. 

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Learning Japanese Conversation, as Familiar as Sony

Learning the Japanese language at first might seem exotic. The grammar structure is actually quite different than English, and learning the vocabulary for conversation also might seem like a daunting task. However once a student acquires some basic grammatical patterns the Japanese language can also become familiar, well almost as familiar as Sony!

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