Dec 18, 2009

Lesson 1

Basic Japanese letters

Push the play button to hear pronunciation (need to enable media player browser addon)

1: ぁ = (a)

2: ぃ = (i)

3: ぅ = (u)

4: ぇ = (e)

5: ぉ = (o)

please make execise in the note book

50 times for one caracters

for example the words ぁ ぃ (a i) means "love"

Dec 13, 2009

Japanese Language

Japanese is believed to be linked to the Altaic language family, which includes Turkish, Mongolian and other languages, but also shows similarities to Austronesian languages like Polynesian.

The Japanese writing system consists of three different character sets: Kanji (several thousands of Chinese characters) and Hiragana and Katakana (two syllabaries of 46 characters each; together called Kana). Japanese texts can be written in two ways: In Western style, i.e. in horizontal rows from the top to the bottom of the page, or in traditional Japanese style, i.e. in vertical columns from the right to the left side of the page. Both writing styles exist side by side today.

Basic Japanese grammar is relatively simple. Complicating factors such as gender articles and distinctions between plural and singular are missing almost completely. Conjugation rules for verbs and adjectives are simple and almost free of exceptions. Nouns are not declinated at all, but appear always in the same form.

In comparison with other languages, Japanese knows relatively few sounds, and pronunciation poses little problems to most learners. The biggest difficulty are accents, which do exist, but to a much lower extent than in the Chinese language. In addition, there are relatively many homonyms, i.e. words that are pronounced the same way, but have different meanings.

Levels of speech:
Different words and expressions are used when talking to an unknown person or a superior, as opposed to when talking to a child, family member or a close friend. For instance, there are more than five different words for the English word "I", which are used depending on the context. For formal situations, a honorific language level (keigo) is still in common use.

Dec 5, 2009

Whether you are learning the Japanese online or taking Japanese classes you should be making sure that you are in fact learning. Studying Japanese can become a very time consuming endeavour if you don’t make a strong conscious effort to learn. As Japanese is a fairly complex language many students suffer form information overload and struggle to make progress. Before going out a joining a school or paying hundreds of dollars for an audio program go to Youtube a take some lessons. Find out if learning Japanese is really for you.