I seriously LOLed when I got to this screen in my Japanese Rosetta Stone. Having used Rosetta Stone for Hebrew, too, I knew of course what it was going to be doing… it basically uses the same stock photos for all its languages. So it needs to be inclusive in that way. But still, the image still made me laugh.
I know there are a lot of opinions out there concerning Rosetta Stone. I know it’s limitations well, of course. So I don’t mind using it. I guess the people who hate on it are basically people who expected more (like the ability to for example write the N5 JLPT exam after going through just the three units). I know it won’t get me there. But it appeals particularly to my style of learning, which isn’t necessarily the visual aspect of it. But the repetativeness – actually not just the repetition, but the kind of repetition… Specifically, spaced repetition.
Since I have a background in music, I find I appeal to this a lot. And even back when I was doing Biblical Hebrew and NT Greek, I was essentially doing the same thing, except without the computer program, I was using physical flash cards that I made myself.
Anyway, all that to say, I really like Rosetta Stone. But I’m not relying on it alone. Having said that, just a little update on my Hiragana learning. I’ve got the first thirty down, pretty well I think. But I forgot the last 2 sheets in my office, so I’m going to have to wait until I get back in the office tomorrow to get it. But for sure it looks like by Friday or so, I can finish that up, and I can move on in the various programs that I’m using.
I was messaging my friends today that I realized I’ve come to a watershed moment in my otaku-ness… I am officially watching an anime that I first read as a manga. LOL. It’s coming on two years now since I started to regularly watch anime. And here are some stats according to My Anime List….
I have completed 92 anime series… although this does is not representative of separate series, as in, individual anime that have multiple season. The way My Anime List keeps track is it separates out anime with multiple seasons, and even OVAs that a series has. So for example, I watched the 2 seasons and 1 OVA of Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu, and they’re counted as 3 separate entries. Same goes for Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai, which has 2 seasons, and 2 sets of OVAs. So it’s listed as 4 different entries in my list. I’m too lazy to count how many unique series I’ve actually watched. So I’ll leave it at that. It’s proably closer to 80 than 90, though.
Anyway, that is 1,572 separate episodes. And in total, it’s about 29.29 days worth of watching. Currently, I’m watching 15 different anime. With another 4 that have already stopped airing from other seasons that I’m trying to find the time to finish.
Meh. Anyway… All that to say, this is why I’m learning Japanese. I want to be able to watch all this anime and read these manga in its original Japanese…
And on I go with practising my Hiragana. Unfortunately, it seems that my handwriting is ugly no matter what language I write in. Never mind, I’m doing this for memory, not for prettier handwriting… Although maybe later on I’ll try for that. I have to have good writing with at least one language huh?
Anyway, I am memorizing the first 10 hiragana characters now… In Romaji, they are: a, i, u, e, o, ka, ki, ku, ke, and ko. I figure if I do these crazy exercises (there’s 1000+ in each group of sheets, and I have 5 groups each for each of the 5 groupings of Hiragana I have… (1-10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-38, 39-46). In other words, I have 25,000+ ID to get me through Hiragana… Most likely I’ll use it for the Katakana as well.so 50,000+ ID questions. Wow, I’d better learn this!
Alright, this will come easy for me since I’m not exactly completely brand new to learning Japanese. This lesson in TextFugu had to do with the various ways to write Japanese.. I cringe to think of it as “Alphabets” because I studied Ancient Greek and Hebrew and I know where the word “Alphabet” actually came from. But I suppose it’s a good way of easing people into what’s happening.
But no, Japanese does not actually have an “Alphabet” except for Romaji, in which it uses the English Alphabet to write out Japanese words. I pretty much agree with TextFugu in that I won’t be learning Romaji, because it’s basically useless.
So what does Japanese have? It has 2 Syllabaries, which are basically representations of various Syllables found in the Japanese language. These two are Hiragana and Katakana. Hiragana is by far the more common of the two, and the one I’m going to be putting the most focus on over the next few days. Beyond its other important uses, it’s actually used in Japanese grammar. So I figure that’s really important. Katakana is used for things like writing out foreign words into Japanese, writing out onomatopoeia etc.
Finally, there’s Kanji, which is derived from Chinese characters that were brought to Japan. It’s crazy frikin hard. And I’ve actually got a separate system going on to learn it. We’ll see how that goes…
Bleh. Anyway, I’m gonna spend a bunch of time on Hiragana because I’ve tried before, and failed to learn it. I don’t know why, because I didn’t have the same problems with Greek and Hebrew. But then again, this is a Syllabary, and not alphabets that you can recite and stuff…
Alright, I’m going to give this another go… Work on learning Japanese. I gave it a try about 2 years ago, before I started working as a Pastor. But pretty much soon after I started this job, I could hardly do anything else. Now I’m a year in and I’m feeling more confident. And on top of that, I finished my Thesis, finally! So here’s my chance again to learn this well…
So I’m using TextFugu, and one of the things they want us to do there is publish why we want to learn Japanese… The image above is of that purpose written in my official Japanese language notebook. A nice A4 sized Moleskine notebook (that likely won’t hold up to my fountain pens).
I’m going to be using more than TextFugu. I’ll also be going through Pimsleur’s oral lessons, as well as Rosetta Stone. I’m determined this time! I visited Japan in January of this year, an when I visit again next year, I want to be able to talk to people, and buy Manga that I like, and search for CDs that I want to buy!
Anyway, having said all this… off I go to learn. Yaaayyy!