Friday, July 24, 2009

Study Break: Japanese Comics

Reading literature, listening to music, eating the food are great ways to learn about the culture of a country you're learning about. One of the most fun ways to learn about Japan is to read their comics. To learn more about Japanese comics, look at the audio slide show below.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Study Break: Chatmonchy is a cute all-girl rock group

Take a study break and check out an awesome band, Chatmonchy. They are an all-girl rock group from Tokushima, Japan. Check out Nippop to learn more about the group. Renai Spirits is the title of the song the band is singing below.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lesson 1a: Greeting

You see Utada Hikaru walking by and you have to introduce yourself.

Hitori Nakamura wa nihojin desu. kireide, shinsetsu desu. - Hitori is japanese. She is pretty and nice.

You want to meet her. Well, of course you want to impress herself by introducing yourself in Japanese and then asking her what her name is. Here's the respectful way to do it.

You walk up to the person and then begin.

You: Hajimemashite. Your name desu. O-namae wa?
Hitori: Hitori desu. Hajimemashite.

Hajimemashite can be a polite way of asking - how do you do. Just respectful. O-namae wa is a colloquial style of asking what is your name? It is short for O namae wa nan desu ka?

Memorize the conversation, but this is what you should remember:

  1. O namae wa nan desu ka - what is your name?

  2. Hajimemashite. ____ desu. O-namae wa?

Here's a list of some cool vocabulary words on this website that go with today's lesson. Get on it. Since this is a simple lesson you should have no problem memorizing this.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Lesson 1: katakana and Hiragana

Hiragana and Katakana are the writing systems for the Japanese. Back in the old days of Japan, Hiragana was used by women and only men used Katakana. Now Hiragana is used most commonly, and Katakana is used for words adopted into the Japanese language. You'll mostly see American words written in Katakana.

For each sound, there is character. Memorize the characters with their sounds. The Japanese spell America, Amerika in Katakana. Look at the charts below and guess how that should be written.

a me ri ka

It took me a month to learn katakana and hiragana!

This is how I did it. I made flash cards and reviewed a row a day. I would review the flash cards for at least 30 minutes and then practice writing the characters. Then I was tested on them. I did this in a class room setting, but you really don't need to be in a class room to learn katakana and hiragana. All you need is the desire. So focus on a row a day. At the end of the week, quiz yourself by forcing yourself to go through that whole row. Then at the end of the month give yourself an exam. Treat yourself to something big for acing the exam as well.

This is Hiragana:

This is katakana:

So get writing!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Wow Me Japan: Introduction

Welcome! This is the place for you if you want to learn Japanese. I will post weekly lesson updates. If you work hard, you will be writing love letters to that onnanokata to otokonokata (man or woman) soon enough. I learned how to read and write hiragana and katakana within a month believe it or not. Miracles do happen. Also, not only will you get some lesson updates, but you will also get to see how Japanese culture is influenceing American culture everyday and vice versa. I'll post my analysis up on current movies, manga, whatever is Japanese that is out there. After all, who studies the language and doesn't learn what's happening with the culture?
Now a little about me. I am a current University of Florida student studying Advertising. University of Florida is home to the awesome Gators. Not only that, it also has a great Japanese language program. I chose to be apart of that program because I was influenced a lot by Japanese culture when I was growing up. Now I want to share my love for Japanese with you.

Here is another great resource for learning japanese incase you didn't know. It is Japanesepod101.