Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

View topic - So frustrated; can't learn hiragana.

So frustrated; can't learn hiragana.

Japanese, general discussion on the language

So frustrated; can't learn hiragana.

Postby revolutionary » Tue 08.12.2008 4:28 pm

I've been trying to learn hiragana for a long time now. I've tried three books, mnemonics, repetition, ideo, everything, practicing everyday. I'm using Let's Learn Hiragana (and two others which are lost in my mess of room, and I can't remember the titles of). I picked up spoken Japanese fairly quickly, but I'm getting stuck with my textbooks because I can no longer read them once they transition to hiragana.

I learned French very quickly due to writing French being similar to writing English, but I'm not making any progress with my Japanese. It frustrates me because I know I can learn Japanese. I can't help it, but when I look at the characters, my brain doesn't see something to read, it automatically sees pictures. I know I need to change that, but I can't. I don't want to go forward with learning spoken Japanese without learning to read for fear that I'll end up being illiterate. Has anyone had a similar problem and what worked for you? Maybe I just need a better book or something.
Less perfect, more free
User avatar
revolutionary
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed 09.13.2006 6:49 pm

Re: So frustrated; can't learn hiragana.

Postby clay » Tue 08.12.2008 4:34 pm

Make silly associations and you'll start recognizing kana quickly. Try out our hiragana lessons.
TheJapanShop.com- Japanese language learning materials
Checkout our iPhone apps: TheJapanesePage.com/iPhone
User avatar
clay
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2809
Joined: Fri 01.21.2005 9:39 am
Location: Florida

Re: So frustrated; can't learn hiragana.

Postby revolutionary » Tue 08.12.2008 4:38 pm

Oh, I've looked at those, too. Very nice, but somehow I just can't get them to stick. Your approach is very similar to one of the books I have. I was thinking about making flashcards using the lessons as a guide, maybe. That way I don't have to be on the computer all the time to access them but I don't know...
Less perfect, more free
User avatar
revolutionary
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed 09.13.2006 6:49 pm

Re: So frustrated; can't learn hiragana.

Postby Hyperworm » Tue 08.12.2008 5:04 pm

Have you been practicing writing the hiragana, or have you just been practicing recognition?
Also, have you been memorizing them a few at a time? (Don't overload yourself with information...)
Are you practicing for long enough, and coming back to practice frequently enough?

When you say "automatically sees pictures", are you talking about being unable to see beyond the shapes of the kana themselves, or are you saying you remember picture imagery you've associated with each kana, but are unable to recall the sounds from them?

I learned hiragana over a couple weeks with no mnemonics or anything. The hard part was the very first stage, just being able to write a majority of them from memory. Once that was done, even though it sometimes took me 10 seconds or more to remember how to write a certain character, and even though I had to keep going back to a reference sheet (kept with me, btw) to check the characters I kept forgetting, it was just a case of reading and writing, all the time, slowly, until I became comfortable.
(I spent loads of time writing out gojuuon tables and randomly writing hiragana all over scraps of paper.)
fun translation snippets | need something translated?
BTC@1KMZXgoWiDshQis5Z7feCx8jaiP4QAB2ks
User avatar
Hyperworm
 
Posts: 493
Joined: Tue 11.20.2007 2:26 pm
Native language: English
Gender: Male

Re: So frustrated; can't learn hiragana.

Postby revolutionary » Tue 08.12.2008 5:21 pm

Hyperworm wrote:Have you been practicing writing the hiragana, or have you just been practicing recognition?
Also, have you been memorizing them a few at a time? (Don't overload yourself with information...)
Are you practicing for long enough, and coming back to practice frequently enough?

I practice them in groups, ie, the vowels, then the next like ha-ho, etc. I practice each group until I recognize them and can write them from memory, usually a week on each group, then I move on to the next group. Only thing is I forget the last group by the time I have the new one. I try to write words using the hiragana I learned from the last group with some from the new group. For example, if I learned the vowels last week and the characters sa-to this week the words あさ or うた would be on my practice list. But, it's like every time I learn a new set, it displaces the other.
Hyperworm wrote:When you say "automatically sees pictures", are you talking about being unable to see beyond the shapes of the kana themselves, or are you saying you remember picture imagery you've associated with each kana, but are unable to recall the sounds from them?
The former, not the latter.

Hyperworm wrote:I learned hiragana over a couple weeks with no mnemonics or anything. The hard part was the very first stage, just being able to write a majority of them from memory. Once that was done, even though it sometimes took me 10 seconds or more to remember a character when looking at it, and even though I had to keep going back to a reference sheet (kept with me, btw) to check the characters I kept forgetting, it was just a case of reading and writing, all the time, slowly, until I became comfortable.
(I spent loads of time writing out gojuuon tables and randomly writing hiragana all over scraps of paper.)

Maybe I need to give it more time, but it's been over a year. I have invested loads of time into this already and I'm still trying. Maybe I need to take worksheets and stuff with me to work and use them when I have the time and nothing else to do. I don't mean to sound arrogant, but I'm used to having things like this just come to me, and I get upset when they don't.
Last edited by revolutionary on Tue 08.12.2008 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Less perfect, more free
User avatar
revolutionary
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed 09.13.2006 6:49 pm

Re: So frustrated; can't learn hiragana.

Postby ニッキー » Tue 08.12.2008 5:47 pm

revolutionary wrote:
Hyperworm wrote:Have you been practicing writing the hiragana, or have you just been practicing recognition?
Also, have you been memorizing them a few at a time? (Don't overload yourself with information...)
Are you practicing for long enough, and coming back to practice frequently enough?

I practice them in groups, ie, the vowels, then the next like ha-ho, etc. I practice each group until I recognize them and can write them from memory, usually a week on each group, then I move unto the next group. Only thing is I forget the last group by the time I have the new one. I try to write words using the hiragana I learned from the last group with some from the new group. For example, if I learned the vowels last week and the characters sa-to this week the words あさ or うた would be on my practice list. But, it's like every time I learn a new set, it displaces the other.


Maybe you're spending too long on each row. What I did for each row was to practise each character until it looked ok and I didn't have to look it up, then practise writing the row until I could do it a couple of times without looking it up, then I wrote all the characters so far until I could do it a couple of times without looking them up. Once I could do all the characters so far, I started the next row. Maybe a day or two per row, and always practising what I'd already done. I practised all the time (if there was a piece of paper handy, it was soon covered in hiragana ;)) and like Hyperworm it only took a couple of weeks. I think the key really is to practise as much as you can as often as you can until they stick. However, everyone has different ways of learning, just because a method works really well for some people doesn't mean it'll work really well for you, so don't despair if you try it and it doesn't work. You'll get there eventually!
ニッキー
 
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon 07.28.2008 5:34 am
Location: Europe
Native language: British English
Gender: Female

Re: So frustrated; can't learn hiragana.

Postby Dustin » Tue 08.12.2008 7:01 pm

All I can say is wow, I would love to sit down 1on1 and see exactly what you are doing wrong!

I had both hiragana and katakana down in 5 hours
Some flashcard review shortly for a few minutes a day for the rest of the week and they were in there for good, as long as I continued using them.

I made all my own paper flashcards, and started off in order, in groups, a, i, u, e, o, then ka, ki, ku, ke, ko etc.
I would only do a single row, but found that with some simple mnemonics, i could flip through those 5 and remember them after only a couple of minutes. Next did the next row, and then once I had done the same thing, I reviewed all 10 before moving on to the next row, always making a "trouble pile" if I got them wrong, and then did those until i got them all as well.
Add 5, review all 15 etc.

ALL of my vocabulary flashcards were made initially with hiragana rather than romaji just to reinforce it as well.
Feel free to PM me if you like, and then we could possibly talk further in depth on the subject.
User avatar
Dustin
 
Posts: 589
Joined: Sun 07.13.2008 9:41 pm
Native language: English
Gender: Male

Re: So frustrated; can't learn hiragana.

Postby revolutionary » Tue 08.12.2008 7:51 pm

I think I'll try your flashcard method. It's not a complete disaster for me, as there are a few characters I can remember, even now. If I don't learn anything in about a week, I might take you up on that 1on1 thing lol. Like ニッキー said, maybe I'm just spending too much time on the groups. Thinking too hard or something.

Thanks everyone. I got a new book that focuses on writing words with the hiragana and incorporates all the characters learned previously and I made some flash cards. I'll keep you updated.
Less perfect, more free
User avatar
revolutionary
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed 09.13.2006 6:49 pm

Re: So frustrated; can't learn hiragana.

Postby Ragevx1 » Tue 08.12.2008 9:04 pm

Wow, as Dustin said... I'd like too see how your studying too!

But anyhow... I have 3 suspicion of why you can't learn... 1) No motivation, 2) Studying too hard, 3) Wanting too learn too fast... but then again since it's coming fro me, it is probably 85% inaccurate... anyhow...

I think you should study little at a time... I've started learning Hiragana 13 days ago and I already have all of Hiragana down, just reinforcing them now. I only did a chapter per day (5 symbol) and re-write at least once a day... and then test myself, write them in Romaji then mix, then write in Hiragana, it worked out for me have you tried that?
Ragevx1
 
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed 07.30.2008 12:30 pm

Re: So frustrated; can't learn hiragana.

Postby revolutionary » Tue 08.12.2008 10:46 pm

Ragevx1 wrote:But anyhow... I have 3 suspicion of why you can't learn... 1) No motivation, 2) Studying too hard, 3) Wanting too learn too fast... but then again since it's coming fro me, it is probably 85% inaccurate... anyhow...

I think it's a combination of 2 and 3. I definitely have motivation. I have Japanese cousins who won't talk to our part of the family because we're American and they think they're better than us. It's infantile, but I kind of want to be able to rub it in their faces when I'm finally able to speak Japanese better than they can speak English. Those jerks lol. :wink:

But gosh, I think I learned some! I just did one chapter in my new book. It had the vowels, ka-ko, and sa-so. This book also has little sentences at the end of each chapter, so as I wrote them out, I read them to my mom. Then, I took a break. I came back an hour later and wrote them all out again. I missed three so I practiced writing those, repeating them in my head as I did. Finally, I came back about two hours later and wrote them down again. I got them all right! Yay! I had to think a little on そ but I just kept thinking "I know this, I know this." I don't know what it is, but this book just works for me. It doesn't even use mnemonics. In case you were wondering, the book is Writing Hiragana by Jim Gleeson.

The real test will come when I wake up tomorrow, though. I'm going to try writing them all down as soon as I'm up. Pretty soon, my challenge will be to learn enough vocabulary words so that I can practice reading and writing everyday without getting bored.
Less perfect, more free
User avatar
revolutionary
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed 09.13.2006 6:49 pm

Re: So frustrated; can't learn hiragana.

Postby Dustin » Tue 08.12.2008 11:23 pm

It sounds like that book goes kinda the same way I did on my own.

I did the exact same method, but on my own LOL!
I would also go and slowly build on my blind chart as I went too.

Once I could recognize most of them I was able to write out the entire kana chart from memory as well.
I am glad you are doing better!!
Let us know how it continues to go for you !!
User avatar
Dustin
 
Posts: 589
Joined: Sun 07.13.2008 9:41 pm
Native language: English
Gender: Male

Re: So frustrated; can't learn hiragana.

Postby Ragevx1 » Wed 08.13.2008 9:54 am

Yeah, it is a good method what you are doing, similar or like mine. Introduce the symbols, write them down a dozen of times, remember them, and test yourself twice every 24 hours. Then do the same the next day, but when testing, you test what you learnt the new day + the previous day. I find it very effective, as I'm not using memory to read the symbols anymore... and it's only been 2 weeks!... althought I do have slight trouble with the ten-ten's and the "Y" combos.
Ragevx1
 
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed 07.30.2008 12:30 pm

Re: So frustrated; can't learn hiragana.

Postby revolutionary » Wed 08.13.2008 12:33 pm

Yeah, I plan to do the exact same thing. It's not in the book, but I figure you have to keep using them to learn them. This method seems pretty solid. I'm a bit apprehensive about the combos, but we'll see when I get there. I tested myself this morning and I still knew the chapter from yesterday, so I'm going to do another chapter this morning, test twice, and then again tonight. Maybe I'll do two chapters, but I don't want to get too much at once and overload.

I have what I think is a technical question about hiragana for whoever can answer it, though. Do the shapes of the characters have any relation to the sound they make? That's not exactly what I want to ask, but I don't know how to word it. I mean, look at け, は, and ほ or さ and き. They're similar in shape, but not in sound. I guess what I'm asking is: what characteristics did they consider when assigning a shape to a sound?

Edit: Ah, I see they're developed from kanji, but the question still remains. From what I know about kanji, I could theorize that the kanji the kana were developed from had origins in similar ideas, but that doesn't seem to fit. I'm just confusing myself lol.
Less perfect, more free
User avatar
revolutionary
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed 09.13.2006 6:49 pm

Re: So frustrated; can't learn hiragana.

Postby two_heads_talking » Wed 08.13.2008 1:17 pm

revolutionary wrote:Yeah, I plan to do the exact same thing. It's not in the book, but I figure you have to keep using them to learn them. This method seems pretty solid. I'm a bit apprehensive about the combos, but we'll see when I get there. I tested myself this morning and I still knew the chapter from yesterday, so I'm going to do another chapter this morning, test twice, and then again tonight. Maybe I'll do two chapters, but I don't want to get too much at once and overload.

I have what I think is a technical question about hiragana for whoever can answer it, though. Do the shapes of the characters have any relation to the sound they make? That's not exactly what I want to ask, but I don't know how to word it. I mean, look at け, は, and ほ or さ and き. They're similar in shape, but not in sound. I guess what I'm asking is: what characteristics did they consider when assigning a shape to a sound?

Edit: Ah, I see they're developed from kanji, but the question still remains. From what I know about kanji, I could theorize that the kanji the kana were developed from had origins in similar ideas, but that doesn't seem to fit. I'm just confusing myself lol.


Revolutionary, as you have probably found out, not everyone learns things at the same rate of speed, nor at the same level of comprehension. It's not uncommon at all to find 30 people that learn hiragana at different rates, so you are not unique at all.

As to your hiragana question, if I remember correctly the hiragana was a simplified version of a standard kanji with the same sound as used today.. I might be oversimplifying it, but I believe that's correct.
User avatar
two_heads_talking
 
Posts: 4137
Joined: Thu 04.06.2006 11:03 am
Native language: English

Re: So frustrated; can't learn hiragana.

Postby revolutionary » Wed 08.13.2008 1:26 pm

two_heads_talking wrote:Revolutionary, as you have probably found out, not everyone learns things at the same rate of speed, nor at the same level of comprehension. It's not uncommon at all to find 30 people that learn hiragana at different rates, so you are not unique at all.

That's a relief. I sure would hate to be unique. :wink: It is reassuring, though. From what I read on the boards, it seemed like everyone should have been posting "OMG hiragana is teh eEzee you is dum!!111!!" I don't know why everyone would type like that, but they do in my imagination.

two_heads_talking wrote:As to your hiragana question, if I remember correctly the hiragana was a simplified version of a standard kanji with the same sound as used today.. I might be oversimplifying it, but I believe that's correct.
That seems plausible and reasonable. I don't know why I think about those things, but I always do.
Less perfect, more free
User avatar
revolutionary
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed 09.13.2006 6:49 pm

Next

Return to Japanese General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests