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Kanji + hiragana, or just hiragana for beginners?

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Kanji + hiragana, or just hiragana for beginners?

Postby radiowave » Thu 01.21.2010 1:28 pm

Hello all, lately I've been taking my study of the Japanese language very seriously! I've done all the basic research, and I know kanji can be another study entirely, but the program I'm using, Rosetta Stone, has the option to show kanji or hiragana as the character set used in all the lessons.

The question is, should I try to start learning kanji right off the bat, or should I master hiragana first and then learn all my kanji?

Thanks for your time!
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Re: Kanji + hiragana, or just hiragana for beginners?

Postby chikara » Thu 01.21.2010 6:32 pm

TJPへようこそ :)

Learning hiragana shouldn't take you too long and it doesn't hurt to start introducing some kanji early on in your study. I have only had a brief look at Rosetta Stone and can't recall how it uses kanji in the early lessons but I would imagine that it introduces a few basic kanji mixed with hiragana to start with and gradually builds up the use of kanji.

This thread would be better suited to Learning Materials Reviews & Language Learning tips than Grammar Questions and Problems. :)
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Re: Kanji + hiragana, or just hiragana for beginners?

Postby clay » Thu 01.21.2010 6:48 pm

Moved to this forum.

Welcome! As Chikara said, hiragana shouldn't take you long. Learning it well will help you greatly in the future. But it certainly doesn't hurt to start exposing yourself to kanji early on--especially if you are interested in kanji.
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Re: Kanji + hiragana, or just hiragana for beginners?

Postby radiowave » Thu 01.21.2010 6:54 pm

Thanks a lot, guys! I really appreciate the advice. I think I'll stick with just hiragana for now, but I'll definitely be studying some of the beginner kanji lessons on this fine website!
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Re: Kanji + hiragana, or just hiragana for beginners?

Postby nukemarine » Sat 01.23.2010 7:09 am

Radiowave,

When I did Rosetta Stone back in Jan 2007 (disclaimer, I do not recommend Rosetta Stone at all), I made the decision to do the Kanji portion of the sentences. It was difficult, but doable. Problems (more to do with RS than using kanji) was mistaking what a particular word was trying to show. Plus, I did not know how to draw the kanji, so I mimic'd what I could (imagine 飛行機、像、馬、家、跳んで, etc.). Being in Japan helped show that learning the kanji of the words did help a little, but RS was not the way to do it. On the bright side, it made me want to seek out better ways to understand and use Kanji.

With RS, uh, I recommend getting a PDF of the English and Japanese versions of the program. At least then you'll have a better grasp of what the sentence is trying to teach.

PS: I'm of the school of thought that one can learn Kanji early on, but learn Hiragana well first. Hiragana can be learned very fast either the brute force method (write out a lot), pic-to-graph method (use pictures that kind of look like the hiragana and bring on the sound), and the Heisig RTKana method.

I like the RTKana method of breaking down kana into similar components such as the No Sign looking part of あ and の, the つ looking thing in つちらう, the loop thing in なみまはほよむ the N thing in んえ, the dagger or t thing in あおたちな, the C thing in こたに and the Back hook thing in けにはほ. Helped my recognition and fluid writing. The pict-o-graph method which I used at first just wrecked my ability to write and took forever to get over.
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