Learning Japanese #5 Giving up? Sumimasen! and Jisho?!?!

Hello WordPress! Over the past few months this entire learning Japanese thing has been an interesting journey. To start with I started a blog, every view means a lot and encourages me to keep going and especially now I need it because Japanese just got difficult! Well ok it didn’t just get difficult but after a busy week I have very much hit the point where I am asking myself why I am doing this, after all I am learning a language spoken by one country I doubt I will ever live in and I will probably only visit once if I’m lucky. But, then again shut up brain! I refuse to give in at this or any other point and I encourage anyone at the same point as me to do the same!

So the bit of Japanese I have focused on this week is mainly words and this is where I found a degree of difficulty. If you, like me, use Japanese.about.com then you should know it’s not perfect and it doesn’t explain some very important aspects of the language. For example it clearly states that (Sumimasen) すみません means excuse me, however by sheer luck I found out it also means sorry as well. Now this was very confusing, I had to question how two such different meanings could both come from the exact same word, but indeed this is the way it is. This site also doesn’t explain what (Gozaimasu) ございます means, what it is or how to use it and with this I still aren’t sure as far as I can tell it is used to make certain words or phrases more polite without really meaning a great deal, if this is its use then this is extremely confusing to me as we have nothing like this in English! So if you are using this site to learn, and I believe it is the best site of its kind out there, then make sure to regularly check some of the words to make sure you don’t get anything wrong.

I also found some more free sites for those fellow frugal language learners, Japanesepod101 I will not link this site as I don’t think it can be trusted, upon registration it tried to get me to download something to my computer and after that it has been constantly trying to get me to buy things, the site looks professional but I just will not trust it. I would however recommend Jisho.org, this site is an online English to Japanese dictionary that works better then the few other dictionaries I have seen. Not just this but it is also incredibly user friendly unlike the majority of sites I have found whilst on this learning journey.

Thanks for reading! Any comments are welcomed and I will respond to all of them! J

Japanese.about.com- http://japanese.about.com/

Jisho- http://jisho.org/

My Twitter- https://twitter.com/LayedBackMitch

Learning Japanese #3 Katakana and struggling with phrases!

Hey WordPress! Now in this blog ill talk about learning Katakana but first I will say that I am thinking about writing movie reviews on top of what I do already so please let me know what you think down below. Anyway having spent most of the week really nailing down the Hiragana I felt confident enough to start learning Katakana, used for onomatopoeia and foreign words. However it isn’t sticking in my head as easy as Hiragana did, this could be for many reasons such as I keep getting Hiragana and Katakana  characters confused however after remembering that Katakana uses more straight lines and Hiragana curves more. I think the reason is because I’ve slacked off learning the associated pictures and/or phrases that goes along with them; this shows just how important it is to do the word or picture association along with all the characters.  The stroke order however is easy and it is something any learner must learn as there is a stigma attached to people with bad hand writing in Japan as they assume you didn’t learn the stroke orders correct, so stroke order becomes vital. However Katakana isn’t too important when it comes to learning everyday Japanese phrases.

I also thought I would try learning some basic Japanese words and phrases and it really isn’t going too well! If anyone reading knows any good way to learning Japanese then please let me know because I am struggling, they just aren’t sticking at all in my head and I can hardly use any kind of word association with entire words. I have however found two interesting websites that could really help me and I will be sure to link below one of them is essentially one guys journey through living in different countries trying to learning there way of living and it is a good read. The other is a free site that helps you learn Japanese, while the first example might not be able to directly teach me Japanese it could teach me certain ‘life hacks’ which might help me learn quicker. And while the latter is a great site considering it is free, there are certain things it doesn’t teach you however I would certainly recommend you fellow language learners who are also on a budget.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to share my blogs and help me build up a kind of following J

Make sure to follow me on twitter @LayedBackMitch and make sure to follow my blog for weekly updates.

Katakana mnemonics- http://englishwilleasy.com/japanese/hiragana-katakana-mnemonics/

Stroke order- http://www.123japanese.com/index.php?cmd=kana&menu=katakana_chart

Check this out- http://www.fluentin3months.com/

A decent free site-  http://japanese.about.com/

Blog number #1 and so it begins!

So while at a loose end I decided I wanted to create a blog, you see I am one of those people who doesn’t do a awful lot with their time instead just opting to kick back and relax so I decided hey! Let’s write about it, after all my English skills leave a lot to be desired. Anyway seen as though I have a lot of free time and after having a rather heated debate with a friend about just how awesome the internet it, it’s pretty friken awesome right?!?! I decided to embark on a journey where I attempt to teach myself things using the internet; for example, I want to somehow teach myself a new language using free internet sources so I can write about it. I will write a new blog within a week or two about starting learning my language of choice and well if I can do this then I guess the internet is pretty damn awesome. Hopefully as I get better at this these blogs will become less boring and you never know someone might come to enjoy them other then my mum!

Thanks for reading, Mitch

https://twitter.com/LayedBackMitch