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Best way to learn to read Japanese?

Forums - Gaming Discussion - Best way to learn to read Japanese?

If this was the wrong forum I apologize.

I have been jealous the last few years of the games that the Japanese get that the United States does not as of late and would like to learn to read Japanese so I can play these games. My friend has a copy of Rosetta Stone Japanese that he bought a few years ago (for the same reason but he never learned Japanese) that I am using and I began using it last night. The learning curve in very high but i eventually learn to listen to it and I know which is the correct answer but I feel I am not truly learning anything. I just thought I would ask you guys for any advice. I do not know if I will end up learning but I have spare time during the day and am willing to try. 

 

Also what characters does Japanese games use?

 

Also I do not care to be able to write or speak the language as those are not my objectives but it would be a bonus to learn how :)



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well, the very first step should be to learn Hiragana and Katakana, those are syllabary the japanese use (Katakana only for english/foreign words, to be "cool" or for phonetics)

these always have the same reading and no additional meaning

learning these should only take you about a day

the hard part is learning the Kanji, which are used for the majority of words, especially for complex words and to start those you probably need to learn the Kanji radicals (the parts which make up a Kanji), as they are the key to discern the many similar looking Kanji

additional Kanji can have many different situational readings and several different meanings



Lafiel said:
well, the very first step should be to learn Hiragana and Katakana, those are syllabary the japanese use (Katakana only for english words, to be "cool" or for phonetics)

these always have the same reading (which is not the case for the Kanji, the complex chinese letters the japanese use aswell) and no additional meaning

learning these should only take you about a day


By default Rosetta Stone has Kanji/Furigana as how it reads I should change that to Hirigana and Katakana?

 

Also from what I am reading Rosetta Stone is not a great way to learn Japanese



I'm interested in learning Japanese as well. Could be practical to know for stuff other than gaming as well.



The absolute BEST way is to be born in Japan. Aside from that, it would probably be wise to never listen to anything I say on any subject, ever.



Twitter: @d21lewis  --I'll add you if you add me!!

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d21lewis said:
The absolute BEST way is to be born in Japan. Aside from that, it would probably be wise to never listen to anything I say on any subject, ever.


Well I can not do that now can I? =D    If that was the case I would probably be on an Japanese forum right now saying I want to learn English so I can play games not in Japanese LOL



Try finding TUFS (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies) workbooks for beginners on the net if you're planning more regular approach of studying it. I have good memories of them, but it was years ago (the ones I have are ancient -- and all in Japanese lol -- published in the 1990s, there must be smth newer). Since then I wasn't practicing much of Japanese -- switched to Chinse --  so can't advise any better.

//Learning alphabet is like an hour, the rest is practice. Kanji might be a bit more complicated task -- there're plenty of separate kanji courses (how to write, memorize and search them), for basics even Chinese ones will do.



IsawYoshi said:
I'm interested in learning Japanese as well. Could be practical to know for stuff other than gaming as well.


I thought so too, but upon thinking about it I could not think of any thing I could use it for other than gaming. But gaming is a good enough reason for me.



rolltide101x said:


By default Rosetta Stone has Kanji/Furigana as how it reads I should change that to Hirigana and Katakana?

 

Also from what I am reading Rosetta Stone is not a great way to learn Japanese

uhm, I don't know how the Rosetta Stone programm is structured, but as I said, simply learning the 100~ characters of the Hiragana/Katakana syllabaries should come prior to learning any words or anything

most of the japanese words are written in Kanji, but each sentence usually contains Hiragana characters aswell and if something is using Furigana it means that the reading of a Kanji-based word is written above it in Hiragana, so you can atleast read how it is pronounced once you can read Hiragana



rolltide101x said:
Lafiel said:
well, the very first step should be to learn Hiragana and Katakana, those are syllabary the japanese use (Katakana only for english words, to be "cool" or for phonetics)

these always have the same reading (which is not the case for the Kanji, the complex chinese letters the japanese use aswell) and no additional meaning

learning these should only take you about a day


By default Rosetta Stone has Kanji/Furigana as how it reads I should change that to Hirigana and Katakana?

Furigana is hiragana (or rather, the characters of Furigana are rendered in hiragana). Katakana words will never be rendered in kanji in any case.

Honestly reading is the hardest part in Japanese, though more all-ages games like Pokemon will be easier, more adult-focused like, say, Catherine is going to presume adult-level literacy (games in-between, like, say, Final Fantasy, will be more middling in terms of vocabulary).

Really, i should say "reading aloud" is the hardest part in Japanese. There are a LOT of Kanji that i recognize, and so can patch together the meaning of a word, but would have no idea how to pronounce.

For reading, though, i'd buy myself a textbook and keep with that. Watch a lot of subtitled anime, too, as that gets you word recognition off the words that you're seeing (and some others).



Monster Hunter: pissing me off since 2010.