Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering.

Paulo Coelho, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept (via dissapolnted)

So, I’m in multi-suffering…  ._.



So lesson 1 will be: Hiragana.

Why am I going to start with hiragana?  Because the main thing what I am going to teach will be the Japanese writing and reading, and Hiragana is the first thing that you need to learn in that subject. 
Having the hiragana charts (above) is only a part of it, now you still need to learn it.
There are various ways of doing so. You need to be able to read it & you need to be able to write it. 
Writing is not the biggest problem, since many of us don’t write anyway (we all use computers/ the internet), but it is always nice when you are able to write it down & I learned it really fast because of writing it down.

I wanted to put the rest of the lesson under a ’ read more’, but seems like you can’t do that with posting a picture. Oh. Sorry for the huge post then. :\

I’ll put down more than one method for learning Hiragana;

First, you have the websites like RealKana (where you select all the characters that you want to practice and it’ll let you practice until you remember everything, by showing it to you again and again. This is for hiragana & katakana) & Readthekanji  (where you make an account and you select ‘hiragana’ and it does the same.) (although ReadtheKanji also has the option of teaching you all the kanji for the JLPT N5 (actually also all the other JLPT levels  & the Yojijukugo kanji, but you have to pay for those)) (ReadtheKanji also had an audio option)
ReadtheKanji is my personal favorite, because of the JLPT N5 option.
This one let’s you remember how to read it/ type it.

Secondly, you have games like the DS game ‘my Japanese coach’. These will teach you basic words and eventually it will also teach you hiragana and katakana and you’ll have the option of writing it down on your ds, this can be a good way to practice the writing. Maybe you also have things like that for your phone or something, but I have no idea.

Thirdly, we have the way I learned hiragana. I hate studying a lot, so the last thing I want to do is have the feeling of being busy with studying. So, what did I do? I took a pen and a paper and I started to write it down. Firstly, just once, I wrote down the entire chart, for a first practice.
The second thing I did was thinking of every Japanese sentence I could come up with … and just write it down in Hiragana. Look at the chart and search for the syllable that you need and write it down.
The good thing about this is that you’re already using a lot of different syllables because you’re actually making sentences.
You might be thinking “oh gosh, but my grammar isn’t good and I mess up a lot and-“, yea, so? That doesn’t matter right now. Even if you make sentences that don’t even mean anything. Even if you mess up everything grammar-wise.  No one is going to look at that, you’re doing it for yourself and the only thing that you want to achieve right now is being able to write down the syllables. 
Like really, I used to do this in math class (I didn’t fail in school for nothing :’D), which made math more fun. I exchanged notes with my friend the whole time, having that chart beside us and just looking at it the whole time and just writing down our failure Japanese.
We used to write really stupid stuff like ‘kumiko-chan, sensei wa baka desu ne.’ (くみこーちゃん、せんせいわばかですね.)
There is a lot wrong with that sentence. For example the ー shouldn’t even be there. In Japan they write ‘ちゃん’ directly behind the name. わ should be は and ‘くみこ’ and ‘せんせい’ both needed to be kanji. And in Japanese a sentence doesn’t end with ‘.’ but with ‘。’.
But does it matter that we did that? No, not at all, because we were practicing everything through that and we learned really fast. 
I kept making sentences, also like ‘なるとをすきです’(come on :3 don’t let me write it down in romaji :3 look it up in the chart right now.) Again, すき should have been in kanji, and なると is actually written in katakana, but I did not know that yet. Also I overused the word です. No, really, I kept putting that after almost every sentence. Also, since my grammar is bad, the を might even be out of place.
Still, it doesn’t matter. Just have a failure Japanese conversation with yourself, it will actually make it fun. Also you need to look up the characters the whole time, which let’s you remember it faster than having a website just put it randomly in front of you every time (although that also works since you have to try to remember what it’s called then, but I think that with my method you learn both reading and writing). 
Also just write everything that should be in kanji or katakana in hiragana, since you’re practicing hiragana right now.

I can give you a bit of reading homework though ;D If you like. You are, obviously, free to skip it.
I will put just a few sentences in hiragana only below and you can search in the chart and read what I wrote. Maybe try to think of a response to what I said and write that down in hiragana on a paper? 
Good luck and if you have any questions: shoot me an ask <3
(Side note: also in Japanese they often use ‘ka’ as a ’?’)

Oh, shit. While writing down the homework part… I noticed that I forgot something again. This already happened three times and I am too lazy to edit the charts again, so I’ll just make a note of it here:

The a, i, u, e, o ( あ、い、う、え、お)can be written as small characters too. Like in my name (officially written in katakana ミシェル, but in hiragana it would be みしぇる) the third character you see is the ‘e’, and this one is smaller. This is because it’s changing the letter before it. My name in Japanese would be ‘misheru’ (my name is Michelle), but it will be written mishieru, because they don’t have ‘she’ in Japanese. So you write ‘shi’ with a small ‘e’ behind it, so the pronunciation of the  ‘i’ will change into an e. When writing it with a Japanese keyboard though, you can just write ‘she’ from the beginning, it will change itself.

Also a small lesson about Hiragana itself: Hiragana is used for all the grammatical parts in a sentence. It is also used for almost all the Japanese words that don’t have a kanji.

Bonus: here have the Japanese Alphabet song

Homework part:









So. yea, I kept forgetting a lot and I edited everything like 5 times, so I might still be forgetting something and I really hope that I didn’t.
I hope this was helpful for some of you :3

The next lesson will be about Katakana and I dunno when I’m going to do that, since I think that is going to be longer than my hiragana lesson :\ meh. 

Edit: Oh, yea. Thing I forgot (fucking knew it). That part about the ‘っ’ also having the meaning of a pause/ no sound… Kuro-chan told me about that :’D (How could I forget to credit you.. baka me)

Reblogging this because I originally posted this on my main blog

- Michelle


Okay, katakana. If you thought Kanji was the hell of the Japanese writing system; you’re wrong. It’s katakana.

I know people who study Japanese at a school and at their 4th year they still have problems with Katakana. I know katakana for 3 years now, and even I sometimes still have problems with this. 
Why? Probably because of two reasons. 1. it’s not used as much as hirgana 2. It’s probably because things tend to look alike.
However don’t let this discourage you, because a great deal of the katakana won’t be that hard.

Okay assuming that you already know hiragana, some things are going to be easy. Maybe you already noticed while looking at the chart above but the katakana for “ka” カ looks a lot like the hiragana character “ka”  か.

Do you notice that it’s almost the same, only the hiragana one is written a bit more beautiful and had a line beside it. This also shows you right away a big difference between hiragana and katakana . Hiragana is a bit more elegant and katakana is a bit more… practical? It’s not the word I was looking for, but I hope you understand me anyway.
I would say “ka” is one of the more easy ones.

"he" ヘ is also easy, since its exactly the same in both hiragana and katakana.  

If you already know a bit of the kanji characters ニ(ni) will also be a bit more easy, since it looks a lot like the kanji character two (also pronounced ni, often at least) ” 二”.
It’s the same for the character “ka” カ, since this one looks a lot like the kanji for power (chikara) 力. 
However this might be good for remembering the kanji, this might also be a little bit confusing. I believe the kanji characters are a bit bigger, but there are times where you can’t really see that difference.
Also; yeey, great, they look alike, now can I remember them, but how do I know when it’s the kanji or the katakana character if I can’t tell them apart by how big they are?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but as far as I know a katakana character won’t be alone. There will always be another katakana character with him. For kanji it’s either another kanji character or a hiragana character. 
Also, gradually you’ll be able to tell apart what a kanji character is and what not, but this can be difficult in the beginning maybe.

Besides some katakana looking like kanji characters, there are also katakana characters that look alike. These are the most annoying ones and I often have to look twice at them. 
シ、ツ、ノ、ソ、ン  (shi, tsu, no, so, n)
ワ、フ、ウ、ヲ ( wa, fu, u, wo)
ク、ケ (ku, ke)  also look alike.
マ、ム (ma, mu)
There was a post made about this and I really laughed at it (x). 
I also confuse the katakana character ‘sa’ サ a lot with the hiragana character ‘se’ せ.
So yea, we have a lot to hate on in the katakana chart, but you’ll slowly get used to it I suppose. Although I still mix up the characters above a lot. A lot.

So what for is katakana used? You may wonder. Katakana is usually used for all the foreigner words. For example an English movie title. Or let’s not forget all the engrish and so on words that the Japanese use.
For example the word コーヒー (Koohii / Coffee) comes from the Dutch word koffie. 
The word シャワー (shawaa ) comes from the English word shower.
And there are a lot more of these examples; コンピューター (conpyuutaa / computer), フィルム (firumu/ film (however this is not the same as ‘movie’, I’ll tell you later when we’re doing kanji), カメラ (kamera/ camera), キス( kisu/ kiss) and so on. There are really a lot of them and you will be seeing them a lot (although not as much as the other writings).
Katakana is usually used to mark a word as something that came from foreigners, but there are some exceptions in that I suppose. I don’t know all of them, I’ll still have to study it and come across them: but I can tell you the ones that I did come across.

I’ll look in to it later, but sometimes it is also used for some Japanese words. For example when I was playing Diabolik Lovers More Blood I came across (used by Laito & Ayato) the words キミ (kimi/ you)、キバ( kiba/ fang)、ムカツク (mukatsuku/ irritating)、オレ(ore/ I(male)), ホント(honto/ truth)、オマエ(omae/ you)、モン(mon/ thing).
Well personally this pisses me off a little actually, haha. Okay not really, really, but I don’t really like it. Maybe because I just love kanji (is that weird?). 
The thing about these words is: they shouldn’t be written in katakana. I mean, I am sure it’s correct since it’s used in a Japanese game, but still it shouldn’t be like that.
The correct forms would be: 
キミ  = 君
キバ  = 牙
ムカツク  = むかつく (hiragana)
オレ = 俺
ホント = 本当
オマエ = お前
モン = もの/物 (mon written in katakana is okay, I guess, since it leaves the “o”  out of the word, but the whole word should be mono)

Well I guess it’s accepted like that, but I just love the kanji more. The first time I saw Ayato and Laito use those words I was literally silent for a moment and then screamed ” NOOOOOO”. Haha. I just… love kanji. 

Okay, next, katakana can also be used for names. Mostly foreign names, but not always the case (names can be written in kanji, hiragana and katakana by the way. Although I haven’t seen them in hiragana often.)
For example (both foreign and Japanese names): ナルト、デイジ、サスケ、アヤト、アポロ、

Yes, this is your first exercise, like with hiragana: don’t let me tell you which names I put down here, scroll up and read them yourself :3 It will help you ;D
Hehe, I’m sure you can pretty much guess though.
If you don’t have a Japanese name and you want your name in Japanese, use katakana. Just write down your name with the chart above. If you’re unsure about how your name should be pronounced, try this site.
Also, for people who want their name in Kanji: some people do this, but… I don’t recommend doing this (This is why). I used to write my name in Hiragana first, before I knew that it should be in katakana, but now I always write it in katakana. I love my name in katakana actually :3

Okay, so, now we know a bit more of katakana, what is the best way to learn it?
Remember what I said in my hiragana post about Readthekanji & RealKana? This also works for katakana.
Actually all the methods I named there can be used for katakana, however if you’re going to use it by writing down: you can use katakana only, but you can also combine the katakana and hiragana, for example change all the names to katakana, unless they’re not supposed to be in katakana.
Also if you start to remember them a bit, you can do some of the tests I mentioned in this post, or try to sing along with this song since this one used a lot of katakana.

Also, very important: I forgot to mention this in the hiragana post, and I’ll mention this more often when I will be talking about Kanji, but do not write the characters 10 times after each other. Switch a lot between them ( if you’re not writing different sentences, but just writing the characters down as they are), because after three or four times your brain will go on automatic pilot and you won’t be learning them anymore.

This video might be helpful, but it’s only for 5 words & a, i, u, e, o.
And of course the: Katakana alphabet song. (Although this sounds a bit annoying to my ears. I you also think so, this might be more helpful.)

Looking up the names I mentioned above can be viewed as the homework part, but if you really want another one:

Hiragana + Katakana one:

こんばんわ (in kanji written with ‘ha’ instead of ‘wa’)、ミシェルです。
ホント? あ、そうですか。よろしくおねがいします。

Obviously it doesn’t use much katakana like that, so even though you won’t ever use this in real life, just for the sake of practicing: also a katakana only one (different of course :3):


Haha, writing everything in katakana (or hiragana even) is quite difficult if you’re used to writing with kanji. You’ll automatically want to change the words into kanji, haha.

But okay, I hope I could have been of help to you, and if you have questions : feel free to ask ^^
Yes, in the next writing-lesson we’ll talk about kanji, or rather: radicals. Look forward to it! :3

- Michelle