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Re:A beginner Learning Japanese for the first time (1 viewing) (1) Guest
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TOPIC: Re:A beginner Learning Japanese for the first time
#1842
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A beginner Learning Japanese for the first time 10 Years, 4 Months ago Karma: 0  
Greetings,

Some friends and I will be going to Japan in about 17 months. Before that time I hope to have a strong knowledge of the basics of Japanese written word and a very basic knowledge of Japanese spoken word.

I know this seems daunting! I have prepared myself a schedule that I plan to stick to strictly. I hope that if any of you have advice for me about my schedule, you can enlighten me now about what changes should be made before it is too late.

My basic understanding is that Japanese written word has 3 language scripts that it combines and uses regularly. Chinese characters called kanji, and two syllabic scripts made up of modified Chinese characters, hiragana and katakana.

My schedule:

Months 1 - 3:
Learn the Japanese number system and be able to identify numbers just by listening and or seeing the corresponding characters. Example: roku-man ni-sen go-hyaku nana-ju yon en (62,574 yen)

Learn to write my name in hiragana/katakana.

Months 4 - 6:
Learn the sounds of Hiragana and Katakana and be able to identify them by sight.

Learn how to read a name written in hiragana/katakana.

Learn how convert spoken Japanese to the equivalent Hiragana or Katakana sounds.

Months 7 - 12:
Learn basic phrases that are commonly used in Japan. Be able to identify correct responses to common questions such as, "how are you doing?" "where are you from?" and "OH MY, why are you wearing your bathroom slippers in my living room?"

Months 13 - 16:
Learn common kanji characters that I may encounter on my trip.

And that is my plan. I have purchased Rosetta Stone which I plan to make strong use of. I also have calligraphy brushes that I can practice my written kanji (if I get to that point in time.)

Thanks in advance for any help!
 
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#1850
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Re:A beginner Learning Japanese for the first time 10 Years, 4 Months ago Karma: 17  
I think it's good that you have a structured plan for learning as much as possible before comming to Japan. The content seems good, although i wouldn't really go for the timed plan, aka the 'chunks' of learning per months corresponding with the content.

For example by months 7-12 you will focus on phrases but will your learning from months 1-3 not get as much attention?

Maybe what could be done is, for example just say you are giving yourself an hour for learning. Why not break each hour by four 15 minute chunks and dedicate each 15 minutes for specific learning like kanji, phrases, kana etc

I think by doing this continously for months rather than dedicating so much time for one thing for a longer period it might help keep everything refreshed in your mind. Although every individual has their own way of learning and remembering, but if i myself were to do a learning plan i would like to structure it that way.

My 2cents on it anyway . How long is your planned trip to Japan?
 
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#1853
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Re:A beginner Learning Japanese for the first time 10 Years, 4 Months ago Karma: 0  
Ahh... that makes a lot of sense too! I plan on being there 2 to 3 weeks the first time (next year). Then (depending on how the trip goes) there may be an extended stay a few years from now (a few months?)

How about the "content" that I mapped out? Am I missing any major element that I should focus on between now and then?

*** Update *** I pounded through section one on Rosetta Stone last night (Word and sentence association with pictures.) I doubt I could spell or correctly say any words yet, but in one night I have learned to identify about 30 words and verbs!
 
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#1860
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Re:A beginner Learning Japanese for the first time 10 Years, 4 Months ago Karma: 17  
The content of your study plan seems fine. To be perfectly honest, i think you would be ok with little knowledge at all of the language if you plan on staying for 2-3 weeks. Obviously every little helps though!

I just say this as when me and my friends stayed we had little knowledge of the language (me being the most knowledgable) but we got around quite alright without having to use it. But the stuff you plan on using will be fine and will help in some way.

I think learning numbers and common phrases will be the most important, for reading trying to identify some foods on menu's would be helpful (i.e establishing a vocabulary of food). Sometimes we had order food that we didn't know what we were going to get
 
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Re:A beginner Learning Japanese for the first time 10 Years, 4 Months ago Karma: 0  
HAHA "Sometimes we had order food that we didn't know what we were going to get" that sounds like fun! But seriously I appreciate the advice. I know that Tokyo is very "English friendly" much more so than if for example someone from Japan came to the US. More than just getting around and ordering food, I would like to try to talk with some of the locals once I get there and get some pen pal connections for future trips. I think if I show an effort of learning the language (even if I suck at it) I may be able to make more connections. So that's my motivation, however I am going to take your advice and try to do a little of everything right up till when I leave.
 
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#1864
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Re:A beginner Learning Japanese for the first time 10 Years, 4 Months ago Karma: 17  
Yup, we called it 'Surpise Food' . I actually had one of the most delicious dishes ever and didn't know what it was , but i want to find out what it is when i head back over.

Yeah Tokyo would be English friendly, although it still doesn't really mean that locals will speak English (a few may do, but not alot) but it's more friendly in the way that there is more signs with English on them, food menu sometimes might have English and it's also a bit easier to get around Transport wise. Also the hostels etc are usually run by English speaking Japanese people so you can always ask for advice or directions to certain areas.
That said, every Hostel in every area we stayed in the staff spoke English as well.

Ditto, i completely agree with you too (about establishing connections). In Kyoto i met with two Japanese people in one of the local bars, they spoke English as well as the Barman. We were chatting etc and when they found out we were Irish they were enthusiastic about increasing the consumption of alcohol and we all had good fun drinking and chatting and didn't leave until 6am the next morning (along with the Barman, who was also drunk) GOOD TIMES! We still keep in contact with them and would be nice to vist back to that bar

Anyway, you will have a blast when you get there. Id try plan as much as you can beforehand but it doesn't harm to have one of those 'spur of the moment' times where you randomly decide to go somewhere or do somthing. If you have any more questions feel free to ask on the forum. I still might not be knowledgable about Japan in the long term but in regards costs, transport, accomodation when travelling etc i might be able to help in that way
 
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Last Edit: 2010/03/28 04:57 By Cravez.
 
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