Romaji vs. Hiragana

For students of Japanese, unless you’re only learning enough to go on vacation—“Hello! Nice to meet you! Where’s the bathroom?”—you’ll eventually need to learn hiragana. Japanese uses four writing systems: hiragana, a set of 46 characters and their combinations that represent syllables; katakana, a similar set usually reserved for writing foreign names and words; romaji,Continue reading “Romaji vs. Hiragana”

Learning Japanese, I think I’m learning Japanese, I really think so …

From about 2007 until 2009, I set a goal to learn all the standard kanji (written Japanese characters adapted from Chinese) to put me at a 3rd grade reading level.  Combined with the ones I already knew, this would make about 500 kanji*.  I made flash cards for each one, with each card containing theContinue reading “Learning Japanese, I think I’m learning Japanese, I really think so …”