Learning Japanese presents to major difficulties for English-speakers: different alphabet(s) and different sentence structure. This set of knols offers a suggested set of steps and some tips and tricks to make learning the new alphabets as easy as possible.
Overview of the Japanese language
For example, a word for “fish” is さかな (“sakana”),
composed of the syllabies, さ(“sa”) + か(“ka”) + な(“na”)
(pronounced “Saw kaw naw”).
Overview of the Plan
Learn Hiragana and pronounciation. You should start with either hiragana OR katakana, hiragana is recommended. See the Links section below for my article on learning Hiragana. This is where I discuss the specific tools and tricks.
Learn Katakana (Once you’ve learned hiragana, you build on it by adding the katakana equivalents).
Learn the standard 2000 Kanji (start with the most common, use one of the western-oriented systems for learning).
Learn vocabulary, starting with the a conversational vocabulary.
Learn about the culture.
Note: You won’t finish each step before starting another, except possibly the first two.
Kana charts, one notebook sized, one poster sized
links to online games
downloaded games, tools
* This includes some characters which are the same as others, but have small modifiers to change the consonant sound: “ka” > “ga”, for example.