Japanese (Nihongo) にほんご Learning Session

This post is old, so what you see here may not reflect my current opinion and mindset, certain information may be outdated, and links may be broken.

Around July 19, I finally decided to get off my lazy butt and do something I’ve been meaning to do for years: learn how to read and write Japanese. Last year, I bought My Japanese Coach for the DS, and I noticed it really wasn’t helping me memorise Hiragana. I went to this site and compiled a booklet that I printed out and carried with me. Each day, I learned how to write the characters, focusing on the stroke order and all.

Now after doing it for three weeks, I think I finally memorised most of the Hiragana except for the contracted ones — though I think I recognise じゅ (jyu) and きゅ (kyu) now. Now that I know the majority of the characters, I went back to My Japanese Coach and have been doing the “Write Cards” game to help me remember what I’ve tried so hard to memorise. Only thing is I discovered the stroke order they use for some of the characters do not match what I found at the site. AUGH.

It’s really interesting, looking back the last few weeks. See, Japanese characters daunted me from learning it. To me, they all look the same, and I didn’t think I’d ever be able to distinguish them. I can with the Hiragana, but soon I will move onto Katakana, and those scare me even more. But I will prod through it! I have no idea where this motivation came from (I mean, writing Hiragana at least fifty times a day is repetitively torturous), nor do I know why I wasn’t this dedicated to my school-work, but regardless, I will succeed!

— てら-ちゃん です。
— Tara-Chan desu.

ETA: I know my name is spelled TARA, but I pronounce it like TERRA, hence the “wrong” Japanese spelling. :D


  1. Aw thanks, I’m delighted that you like my banner. :) You should definitely visit Disneyworld or Disneyland one day. It’s a really fun place, too bad it’s seriously overpriced.

    You should just take a course to learn Japanese instead of struggling to learn it on your own!

  2. That is such a great idea to learn Japanese! I hope that you are successful with it!!

  3. Wow, nice. I know some Chinese and quite a few Chinese characters but Japanese just makes my head hurt. So confusing! The grammar is just so wonky.

    This is an amazing accomplishment! You totally win.

  4. Yeah I’m so excited that I don’t have school anymore but I’m going to have it again..soon. :( Sigh!

  5. i’ve nearly taken japanese language for co-co back in uni but resorted to mandarin in the end heh. all the best in your japanese though! :)

  6. Oooh that is awesome! I wish I had the knack for picking up Asian languages but I really don’t! I tried studying Japanese by myself for a little bit but got nowhere with it. For some reason, I’m a lot better at picking up Romantic languages like French, Spanish, Italian, etc. I find it a lot easier to remember the words and it helps that I don’t have to remember symbols or anything like that.

    Anyway, good luck with your Japanese! :)

  7. How exciting!! I applaud you for taking the initiative to learn a language on your own. It’s really useful! I wish I would have done the same… or at least take some time to study Spanish because I’ve forgotten a lot of the stuff I’ve already learned.

  8. Whoa! Nice! I’ve been trying to learn to read hiragana for years, but just couldn’t get around to memorizing it. Hahaha. Those flash cards are a brilliant idea! I shall try that. Thanks for the link! :)

  9. え?! I’ve been calling you タラ in my brain all this time, タ…テラさん. XD

  10. Congrats on your determination!! You’ll get katakana I know it! Plus it’s great b/c katakana is the easiest to read & figure out b/c mostly they’re used to just spell English words, mwahahaha!

  11. oh is that what it looks like? that’s pretty impressive. It’s pretty cool how you got yourself to learn it… I’m never that motivated to do anything haha

  12. Kimberly on

    Oh yeah, forgot to mention but your name (since it’s a foreign, non-Japanese name) would be written in katakana as Vickie said. So it’d be テラちゃん です。:3 I don’t really like kana much though. I still have trouble remembering a few of the characters and I’ve taken a year of Japanese.

  13. Every year (well these past two years that I have been in Uni) I have been thinking about taking japanese lessons. But the courses are always on weird times and overlap with my more “important” courses. Oh well, maybe I will study japanese during my retirement days :D

  14. わあああい、日本語を勉強をするのは面白いだね。頑張って下さい!!! Studying Japanese is fun isn’t it? Goodluck! I should really practice my kanji this summer. Don’t forget katakana, it’s next to hiragana very import. You can practice hiragana by writing & reading it a lot (words & scentences) same goes for katakana. Take your time to study ;) learning kanji is the good stuff !!!

  15. GOOD LUCK! This is something that i always wanted to do , learn japanese ;(
    I have no probs reading kana, hiragana and some basic kanjis, just lazy to learn words and grammar D:!

    Is that DS game nice to learn something or i should just avoid it and buy a book ?

  16. c h l o e on

    woah keep practicing!! you can do it! i tried that ds game and it never helped me that much~ so i am going to try rosetta stone soon lol! and i really want to sign up for a class too!

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