Guide to learning Japanese

Introduction

I've been teaching myself Japanese for far too long now, and have tried many different approaches and methodologies with little results. As far as my Japanese goes, I've wasted a lot of time jumping from one thing to another hoping to find that one complete "system" that'll take me through everything. In short, that system does not exist. Through this journey however, I've learned so much about my own learning style and preferences, and have come to a conclusion on a system that has helped me learn a ton in a reasonable amount of time using a few different resources.

At the end of the day, the number one rule you should follow is to find something and stick with it. There is no "perfect" approach or solution to learning your second language. I do have some opinions on things to avoid that will save you time in the long run, but if you come across something that works better for you or that you'd like to incorporate in -- add it!

Hiragana, Katakana, and Pronunciation

Learning hiragana and then katakana will be your first milestone in your Japanese learning journey. Do not waste your time with romaji. There are 46 base characters that make up both hiragana and katakana. Hiragana and katakana are both kana systems in the Japanese writing system and are made up of:

  • 5 singular vowels
  • 40 consonant-vowel unions
  • 1 singular consonant

Each syllable in the Japanese language is represented by one character. Learning kana will also has the added benefit of teaching you how to properly pronounce Japanese. Two birds, one stone.

Kanji

TODO

Grammar & Sentences

TODO

Reading

TODO

Writing

TODO

JLPT

TODO

Additional Resources