Learning Japanese – Some Thoughts

For a long time I have been planning to learn Japanese and I have attempted to do so on and off for a little over a year.

My main drive for this has been my love for the Japanese culture and more specifically my interest in anime.

In my various failed attempts to learn the language I have learned a few things that I was ignorant of during my initial attempts:

  • In order to get a good grasp on the spoken language it is very helpful to learn the written forms first.
  • Learning the written forms of Japanese is more complex than one would initially expect as Japanese has at least three written forms that are used interchangeably.
  • The written forms of Japanese are very unlike English and the sentence structure is completely different.

To this end I have decided to write a program that will help me learn the basics Japanese characters – starting with Katakana and Hiragana. I may or may not attempt Kanji after I have some success with the other two.

The program will break down the written forms into categorized subsets, giving options to choose which of the written forms and subsets to use. It will display a random character and prompt the user to enter it’s Romanji variant.

I have other plans for the tool later but I need to start somewhere!

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