Learning Japanese is one of the most difficult languages to master. Many people would like to learn Japanese from scratch on their own but don’t know where to start. Therefore, we give the instructions based on my experience. First, a brief instruction will be provided, showing only the names of the items and a minimum of information, and then a complete education.
If someone thinks that only hieroglyphs are used in Japanese, they are wrong; hieroglyphs make up only about 23% of the characters in the text (although in phonetic ratio, hieroglyphs make up more, because one hieroglyph on average means more than one syllable).
In addition to hieroglyphs, Japanese writing uses two syllabaries at once – hiragana (46 characters) and katakana (46 characters), for a total of 92 characters. The syllabic alphabet is something like the Russian alphabet. All three types of writing are used simultaneously; for example, part of a word can be written in hieroglyphs, and function can be written in kana.
The best hiragana tablet is in the akanji app on this page. You can also read about hiragana on Wikipedia. Hiragana consists of only 46 unique characters and learns in about 6 hours. Hiragana is a syllabic alphabet, something like the Russian alphabet. Please note that the order of strokes is significant when writing kana characters. You need to find a site that lists the stroke order. You should also write in hiragana by hand on paper (if it’s crooked, it’s okay).
We taught like this: first, you can write in a notebook and pronounce the first sign あ (a). When we remembered it, we added one more character and copied two characters into the notebook at once (from memory). Then immediately three signs, and so on until the very end.
The best katakana tablet is also in the akanji application and is available at this link. Katakana consists of only 46 unique characters and takes approximately 6 hours to learn. Katakana is a syllabic alphabet, something like the Russian alphabet. Everything is the same as in hiragana.
We compile an informal katakana table. It is not worth learning katakana from it, and this table can only help you understand how some combinations in katakana are composed.
Turn on the Japanese language
On the computer
You can do this in the control panel, and after turning it on, you can write in English letters to be converted into hiragana. After pressing the spacebar, hiragana will be converted to kanji.
On the Phone
We recommend the Gboard keyboard (by Google) or the Google Japanese layout for typing in Japanese on the phone. Gboard is preferable because it includes other languages, and for Japanese, it seems to be as good as the Japanese “Google Japanese layout” now.
Also, set the Japanese font
For hieroglyphs, there are two fonts – Japanese and Chinese. The desired font is selected depending on the language. Chinese characters look a little different, and some look a lot different. Unfortunately, some sites or programs do not indicate the language, so you must select your preferred language. You can also choose your preferred font for Japanese, as the fonts may vary in beauty.
Install the Rikaichan add-on
Install the Rikaichan add-on for Firefox or Chrome, and Opera. Rikaichan is an excellent dictionary: you can hover over the desired word on any site, and the add-on will find the end of this word and give its dictionary translation. Also, the addition will say in what form this word is.
Learn the Dialects
The Japanese language consists of more than one dialect. The most popular is the Standard Tokyo dialect. Next in popularity is the Kansai dialect, a group of dialects that includes the dialects of the Kansai region, such as the O: saki dialect, the Kyo: to dialect, and other dialects that differ from each other. After Kansai, there are many different dialects. It raises the question: How much does the variety of dialects interfere with the understanding of Japanese? What dialects should be learned?
In reality, everything is quite simple. You need to learn precisely the Tokyo dialect. On it, you can find a common language with any resident of Japan. All products are also produced in the Tokyo dialect. Including because it is the most widespread dialect in Japan, because this dialect is understood by everyone, and also because it is the “official” dialect. Tokyo dialect is a dialect of the Internet, television, and works.