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    (Original post by JamesR1993)
    You will be fine for ages then haha, i've just finished my first year of university (and with it hiragan and katakana for the rest of the class), and apparently we don't start kanji until the third if that's anything to go by then you should be fine for a couple of years
    Oh really? Did they tell you when you began what sort of level you would be at by the end of the three years? Yeah, i'd have no excuse not to get good grades then!
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    (Original post by Cll_ws)
    Oh really? Did they tell you when you began what sort of level you would be at by the end of the three years? Yeah, i'd have no excuse not to get good grades then!
    it's more geared towards conversational/real life situations as opposed to reading kanji i'm afraid. Whilst it's useful being able to understand conversation (even with only 1 Japanese person in the room as the teacher) i can't help but feel it's not 'proper' Japanese, as i won't be able to read the kanji haha
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    (Original post by JamesR1993)
    it's more geared towards conversational/real life situations as opposed to reading kanji i'm afraid. Whilst it's useful being able to understand conversation (even with only 1 Japanese person in the room as the teacher) i can't help but feel it's not 'proper' Japanese, as i won't be able to read the kanji haha
    Ah right. I guess it's still pretty useful. I've probably done the opposite up until now and focused less on speaking and more on reading and writing, just because I don't have anybody to practice the speaking with. I don't know too much about what my classes will be like, or what the focus is on. It's not a degree in Japanese, the foreign language is just one part of the course. Either way i'm excited to get to started!
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    Hi guys! I'm an Indonesian-born Chinese but I absolutely love Japan!
    i went there two summers ago and omg it was so awesome and i want to go back to japan
    some people say i look japanese but when I went to japan and saw the girls they look nothing like me
    i'm a huge pokemon gamer and i've watched a couple anime series. i self-studied a little bit of japanese lol
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    (Original post by tiffanycallysta)
    Hi guys! I'm an Indonesian-born Chinese but I absolutely love Japan!
    i went there two summers ago and omg it was so awesome and i want to go back to japan
    some people say i look japanese but when I went to japan and saw the girls they look nothing like me
    i'm a huge pokemon gamer and i've watched a couple anime series. i self-studied a little bit of japanese lol
    Have you seen naruto or bleach or fairy tail or code geass?
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    (Original post by blueray)
    Have you seen naruto or bleach or fairy tail or code geass?
    omg i've seen naruto up until the very very VERY last shippuden episode and all of the movies
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    Hey guys, I speak Mongolian and I learn French, German, and I just started Russian. I'd like to learn Japanese - how should I start? Books or courses?
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    (Original post by nombo)
    Hey guys, I speak Mongolian and I learn French, German, and I just started Russian. I'd like to learn Japanese - how should I start? Books or courses?
    The basics are pretty easy to learn from things you can find online. You could start out by learning Hiragana and Katakana, just find a chart of the characters online and start writing them out and revising them until you know them. That was my first step anyway.
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    (Original post by Cll_ws)
    The basics are pretty easy to learn from things you can find online. You could start out by learning Hiragana and Katakana, just find a chart of the characters online and start writing them out and revising them until you know them. That was my first step anyway.
    What's the difference between Hiragana, Katakana, and Hanji? Thank you! I will do this.
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    Hiragana are the building blocks of Japanese - they can be used to spell anything and everything (and in childrens' books etc. it is often solely hiragana.) Particles are always written in hiragana, along with a few more things that I can't recall right now...
    As someone develops in Japanese, words in hiragana can be replaced with kanji (Chinese characters used in Japanese, sometimes - but now always! - with similar meanings and pronunciation as Chinese.) Words can be a mix of kanji and hiragana too.

    Katakana is used primarily to spell loan words, such as non-Japanese names, cognates (words from other languages like ice cream, coffee, tennis... the list is endless!) Katakana is also increasingly used for stylistic reasons, so proper Japanese words that are usually written in hiragana/kanji are written in katakana. I've seen this a lot in shops, adverts etc.

    Hope that helps - I can give examples if you want when I get to my laptop (it's ridiculously difficult to type in Japanese on my phone!)

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    (Original post by nombo)
    What's the difference between Hiragana, Katakana, and Hanji? Thank you! I will do this.
    Let me have a go answering this...

    First of all Hiragana and Katakana are syllibaries, made up of around 50(?) letters each. They represent sounds: a, i, u, e, o, ka, ki, ku, ke, ko... etc.

    Kanji, contain an element of meaning not just sound. There are ~2000 kanji designated as "Daily-use kanji" by the Japanese government, though many more are in use.

    Now what are they used for?

    Hiragana = Most often used for the grammatical elements of the language like showing the conjugation of verbs/adjectives. Also used to write some words, auxiliary verbs, etc.
    Example:
    着る = kiru = to wear
    着ない = kinai =not wear (negative)
    着なかった = kinakatta = did not wear (negative past)
    In this case the kanji 着 (ki) at the start doesn't change but the hiragana following it does.

    Katakana = Most often used for writing loan words of non-chinese origin and foreign names. Also used for emphasis (kinda like italics in English), some onomatopoeia, scientific names, to write some words which have rare kanji or when you've forgotten the kanji, etc
    Appropriate example :
    グローバリゼーション = gulōbalizēshon = globalisation, from the English word.

    Kanji = Used for the start of most verbs/adjectives, and most nouns including a lot of Chinese loan words. Also used for most personal and place names.

    There's other things like sometimes spelling the same word out in hiragana can give a softer tone, as opposed to using the Kanji which would give it a more formal tone.
    Think ありがとうございます vs 有難う御座います (= arigatō gozaimasu = thank you)

    Hope I haven't missed anything important!
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    (Original post by Ash S)
    Let me have a go answering this...

    First of all Hiragana and Katakana are syllibaries, made up of around 50(?) letters each. They represent sounds: a, i, u, e, o, ka, ki, ku, ke, ko... etc.

    Kanji, contain an element of meaning not just sound. There are ~2000 kanji designated as "Daily-use kanji" by the Japanese government, though many more are in use.

    Now what are they used for?

    Hiragana = Most often used for the grammatical elements of the language like showing the conjugation of verbs/adjectives. Also used to write some words, auxiliary verbs, etc.
    Example:
    着る = kiru = to wear
    着ない = kinai =not wear (negative)
    着なかった = kinakatta = did not wear (negative past)
    In this case the kanji 着 (ki) at the start doesn't change but the hiragana following it does.

    Katakana = Most often used for writing loan words of non-chinese origin and foreign names. Also used for emphasis (kinda like italics in English), some onomatopoeia, scientific names, to write some words which have rare kanji or when you've forgotten the kanji, etc
    Appropriate example :
    グローバリゼーション = gulōbalizēshon = globalisation, from the English word.

    Kanji = Used for the start of most verbs/adjectives, and most nouns including a lot of Chinese loan words. Also used for most personal and place names.

    There's other things like sometimes spelling the same word out in hiragana can give a softer tone, as opposed to using the Kanji which would give it a more formal tone.
    Think ありがとうございます vs 有難う御座います (= arigatō gozaimasu = thank you)

    Hope I haven't missed anything important!
    Wow, thank you and Paramore <3 so much for this!
    I think I understand. So really I ought to learn the Kirikana first, because they're the essential ones? Gosh, isn't it quite hard then, because you have to learn all three?!
    Again, thank you so much for your extremely helpful replies!
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    (Original post by nombo)
    Wow, thank you and Paramore <3 so much for this!
    I think I understand. So really I ought to learn the Kirikana first, because they're the essential ones? Gosh, isn't it quite hard then, because you have to learn all three?!
    Again, thank you so much for your extremely helpful replies!
    Yeah, you'll have to learn all three in the end, but most people learn hiragana and katakana first since they represent sounds and there's way less of them than kanji. As Paramore says, every Japanese word can be spelled out in kana (lots of childrens books don't use kanji), so if you learn kana first you can use them write any word before you learn the kanji for the word.

    Learning hiragana/katakana is a 1 or 2 day thing. Learning Kanji takes considerably longer xD

    As far as learning the kanji go, everyone has their own favourite method, but what personally worked for me was Heisig's Remembering the Kanji
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    (Original post by Ash S)
    Yeah, you'll have to learn all three in the end, but most people learn hiragana and katakana first since they represent sounds and there's way less of them than kanji. As Paramore says, every Japanese word can be spelled out in kana (lots of childrens books don't use kanji), so if you learn kana first you can use them write any word before you learn the kanji for the word.

    Learning hiragana/katakana is a 1 or 2 day thing. Learning Kanji takes considerably longer xD

    As far as learning the kanji go, everyone has their own favourite method, but what personally worked for me was Heisig's Remembering the Kanji
    I see. That's what I'll do then! Thank you so much!
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    (Original post by tiffanycallysta)
    omg i've seen naruto up until the very very VERY last shippuden episode and all of the movies
    Ah cool Do you read the manga? I don't no spoilers!
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    (Original post by blueray)
    Ah cool Do you read the manga? I don't no spoilers!
    lol no, the only manga i've read is nodame cantabile
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    What are people studying at the moment? I'm going over the different readings of the n5 kanji right now
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    I just passed JLPT N3 and slowing my studies down since returning from Japan. Currently studying N2 level kanji compounds! Hoping to find some native speakers when I begin uni in September.
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    (Original post by Azimuth)
    Can't remember if I knew that already, but anyway, congratulations!
    Thanks! But like I said, I'm not sure it's that much of an achievement. I don't feel prepared to live in Japan.
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    Hi!
    I'm Olimpia, Polish living in UK from June this year. I'm interested in Japan and that's why I jointed this group.
    At the beginning, when I came to UK, I wanted to earn money for the course (Japanese naturally ) at one of universities in Poland but when I read about universities in UK, my plans collapsed - but in positive way! I'd like to be admitted to study here (I thought about University of Leeds). It's one of my dreams. Here I have capabilities to do the things, which I wouldn't be able to do with other university. It's incredible!
    Can you give me some advices, warnings or something about studying here?

    I'm in UK completely alone, so it would be nice to meet somebody with who I can talk ^^

    Best wishes!
 
 
 
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