Jumpstart Japanese



  1. Writing Japanese #1: Hiragana

    01/07/14

    Hiragana is the Japanese syllabic writing system, used for many different purposes, such as how to read kanji (chinese writing system), some full words, and grammatical uses. There are a total of 48 hiragana in common usage in Japan. When learning Japanese, quickly learning hiragana will speed up your progress, and allow you to read and write simple Japanese. Though my lessosn will also have romaji (Japanese written in the roman alphabet), I would seriously recommend you to learn hiragana.

    The basic set of hiragana are:

    a あ i い u う e え o お

    ka か ki き ku く ke け ko こ

    sa さ shi し su す se せ so そ

    ta た chi ち tsu つ te て to と

    na な ni に nu ぬ ne ね no の

    ha は hi ひ fu ふ he へ ho ほ

    ma ま mi み mu む me め mo も

    ya や     yu ゆ      yo よ

    ra ら ri り ru る re れ ro ろ 

    wa わ wo を 

    n ん

    Some of this can be taken and changed using either too small dashes in the upper right, such as ぎ gi, or with a small circle in the upper right, as in ぷ pu. These symbols can be used with the t, s k and h lines, as follows:

    ga が gi ぎ gu ぐ ge げ go ご

    za ざ ji じ zu ず ze ぜ zo ぞ

    da だ           de で do ど

    ba ば bi び bu ぶ be べ bo ぼ

    pa ぱ pi ぴ pu ぷ pe ぺ po ぽ

    There are also some hiragana that can be changed using smaller versions of the y line: ゅ、ゃ、ょ as follows:

    kya  きゃ  kyu  きゅ  kyo  きょ

    sha  しゃ  shu  しゅ  sho  しょ

    cha  ちゃ  chu  ちゅ  cho  ちょ

    nya  にゃ  nyu  にゅ  nyo  にょ

    hya  ひゃ  hyu  ひゅ  hyo  ひょ

    mya  みゃ  myu  みゅ  myo  みょ

    rya  りゃ  ryu  りゅ  ryo  りょ

    gya  ぎゃ  gyu  ぎゅ  gyo  ぎょ

    jya  じゃ  jyu  じゅ  jyo  じょ

    bya  びゃ  byu  びゅ  byo  びょ

    pya  ぴゃ  pyu  ぴゅ  pyo  ぴょ

    And there you have it, all the hiragana. So learn them, remember them, and start reading and writing Japanese!

    Next time: katakana

     


  2. I have 2 questions for all of you:

    jumpstartjapanese:

    Which is your favourite Japan blog here on tumblr?

    and

    Why do you want to learn Japanese?

     


  3. I have 2 questions for all of you:

    Which is your favourite Japan blog here on tumblr?

    and

    Why do you want to learn Japanese?

     


  4. Anonymous said: And why is that for the word "big" (大きい), why is it suddenly not pronounced as "dai" anymore, but as "o" now?

    Hi anon, thanks for the question. This one slipped by me, so it’s been a while since you asked.

    Many Japanese kanji have 2 readings, on’yomi and kun’yomi. The on’yomi are Chinese readings, while the kun’yomi are the Japanese readings. You don’t really need to know the difference, but that’s where it comes from.

    For the kanji 大, the kun’yomi is おお/oo, as in 大き/いおおきい/ookii and 大阪/おおさか/oosaka, meaning big (adjective) and Osaka respectively.

    The on’yomi is だい/dai, as in 大学/だいがく/daigaku, university (literally big school).

     


  5. Anonymous said: Hello! I'm wondering how important giseigo and gitaigo are in typical Japanese conversation? How frequently are they used, and so on? Thank you!

    Hi anon, thanks for your question.

    Ill be honest and admit that I had to look up those words before I could answer this question. For everyone else that, like me, don’t know, they are the two kinds of onomatopoeia used in Japanese.

    To answer your question, yes they are quite commonly used, but you don’t really need them to speak Japanese. You will notice that as you learn more vocabulary, you will pick then up.
    For example ゴロゴロ/gorogoro, it the sound of rolling, and is used for lazy.
    ベロベロ/berobero, though the sound of licking, is used for being drunk.

     


  6. Also, to help you’re Japanese learning, here are some useful tools

    jisho.org - my preferred online Japanese dictionary

    The Ultra Handy Japanese Verb Conjugator - a useful tool to quickly conjugate almost any Japanese verb

    Kana Invaders - a fun game to help you learn hiragana and katakana

     


  7. Here’s the schedule for the new lessons that will be coming out soon:

    1. XはYです: X is Y
    2. ~か?: questions
    3. noun1のnoun2 : Noun 2 belongs to noun 1
    4. Japanese names 
    5. Numbers
    6. Time (numbers practice)
    7. Age (numbers practice)
    8. これ それ あれ どれ : this, that, that (over there), which?
    9. この その あの どの + noun : this item, that item, that item (over there), which item
    10. ここ そこ あそこ どこ : here, there, over there, where?
    11. だれのnoun : whose?
    12. noun も : too/also
    13. nounじゃないです : Is not noun
    14. ~ね/~よ

    So those are the first fourteen grammar points that I will be covering. If you’re a long time follower of the blog, you’ll notice that some of these are the same, while some are new and different. I hope that you will enjoy the lessons, and that together we can learn Japanese!

    And please remember to keep sharing the word about Jumpstart Japanese. We are so close to 2,000 followers now!

     


  8. With the coming of the reboot, I will be starting lessons from the beginning once again

    The original lessons will remain, but now I hope to have a more organised progression into Japanese.

    I ask you all again to spread the word about this page in the meantime.

    ありがとうございました

     


  9. 久しぶり Long Time No See

    jumpstartjapanese:

    Hi guys. I’ve been regrettably inactive on this blog for quite a while now. Living in Japan has given me much less free time than I expected. And yet everyday, I’m happy to see that this blog gain more and more new followers. Thank you for sticking with me.

    As we are about to hit 2,000 followers, I intend to get back into making lessons again.

    I want to make more lessons, better lessons and more diverse lessons than ever before.

    So in the lead up, while I prepare for the next round of Jumpstart Japanese lessons, I would like you all to start sharing this blog like crazy, send your asks about any aspect of learning Japanese or living in Japan. I want to see this community grow into something where you can share your questions with each other, not simply with me.

    Thank you for staying with me this far, and together, let’s make this blog bigger and better than ever before!

     


  10. Anonymous said: Hi there! I was wondering if you had any good ideas about learning vocabulary and kanji? I know this is not a "there's a secret to doing this" kind of thing, but I was just wondering if you had any tips that could help me. My Japanese grammar is pretty good but my vocab is absolutely horrid. ありがとう!

    Hi anon, thanks for the questions.

    You are right in that there is no “secret method” to learning vocabulary and kanji, but here are some things that help me learn.

    For both:

    • Set yourself boundaries. Choose a certain number to learn each week, and keep with those. Even if you know them all, keep at them until the net week. For example, 20-30 a week. Most textbooks already have vocab separated by chapter.
    • Review. Even once you know them, unless you have a chance to use them regularly, you should go over them again in the future.

    For vocabulary:

    • Find a way to remember the word, even if it is silly. A good example is 考える/かんがえる/kangaeru, meaning to consider. The word sounds like kangaroo, so I “consider the kangaroo”. I know many people rememer 大丈夫/だいじょうぶ/daijoubu as “touch your boobs”.

    For kanji:

    • If it looks like the thing, remember it that way 雨/あめ/ame, meaning rain, looks like rain in a window. 傘/かさ/kasa, meaning umbrella, looks like rain under an umbrella.
    • Learn the meaning of radicals. For examples, the three strokes we see on the left of these kanji: 酒、汁、汗, all relate to water. These kanji mean alcohol, juice and sweat. Even if you don;t learn the whole kanji or how to read it, it will help you to decipher kanji.
     


  11. 久しぶり Long Time No See

    Hi guys. I’ve been regrettably inactive on this blog for quite a while now. Living in Japan has given me much less free time than I expected. And yet everyday, I’m happy to see that this blog gain more and more new followers. Thank you for sticking with me.

    As we are about to hit 2,000 followers, I intend to get back into making lessons again.

    I want to make more lessons, better lessons and more diverse lessons than ever before.

    So in the lead up, while I prepare for the next round of Jumpstart Japanese lessons, I would like you all to start sharing this blog like crazy, send your asks about any aspect of learning Japanese or living in Japan. I want to see this community grow into something where you can share your questions with each other, not simply with me.

    Thank you for staying with me this far, and together, let’s make this blog bigger and better than ever before!

     


  12. ileftmyheartintokyo said: Hey! Writing to let you know that you have been picked for the second phase of my BOTM! Congrats. You can find the poll on my blog, and you can ask your followers/friends to vote. Good Luck! <33

    Thanks,

    So you heaerd her guys, go vote for me!

     


  13. ileftmyheartintokyo:

    So, I’ve decided to hold a blog of the month contest! If everything goes well, this will turn into a monthly contest :)

    Why would you want to be my botm?

    • you’ll get promoted to 34000+ followers
    • I will follow you back, if I am not following you already
    • you’ll have a link to your blog…
     


  14.  


  15. Want to see what I’m doing in Japan?