12 hours later and already I felt the need to post. When I write I normally forget to double-check for spelling errors or typos before I upload. Also, I don’t have good structure in terms of Introduction, body and ending, which I just separate with an extra line.
Of course, I did not tell you my whole background info, but I also withheld some info regarding my Japaneez skills. I started about a year ago, when I met Eika, a girl who was born and raised in Japan, by both English and Japanese parents. The ideal person to know for language immersion! I’d asked her to write all the hiragana and later on katakana for me. It took quite some time to get everything nice and in order, but a day later I had cut out some pieces of paper and started writing flashcards. It took me 4-5 days.
For those who don’t know what hiragana or katakana are, let me explain briefly:
Hiragana (ひらがな) are the original phonetic writings, consisting of 46 characters which can be altered for different pronounciation and writing. For example;
さ = sa.
ざ = za
As you’ve probably noticed, the only difference is the small ” on the top-right of the character. This can be applied to a large part of the characters. Most of them are applied in the same manner, S becomes Z, while H becomes B and K sounds become G’s (note: this is NOT a proper rule, but just for explanation’s sake). There are tons of charts on the interwebs with all characters. I am not going to include them here.
Katakana (カタカナ) are the same sounds, just different (more straight lines and sharp corners) and mostly used for names and words borrowed from other languages.
Finally, there’s Kanji 漢字! These are the more complex characters, originally chinese, that can mean entire words or expressions. They have 2 (on- and kun-)readings/pronounciations or even more(!). These badboys are the beauty of Japanese. They consist of smaller, simpler characters which also eventually are made up of primitives (according to Heisig). This way, every word has roots that you can trace back to in order to understand the character and meaning more easily. for instance:
少 = few/small/little
石 = stone
砂 = Sand!
You can see the character for stone included on the left-hand side and the character for small on the right-hand side. Knowing both will make a lot more sense for understanding the meaning of the kanji for sand!
Maybe tonight I will post again to actually show my progress and findings on the internet.