Sample Kanji

One of my longtime goals is to learn Japanese. I find it a very interesting language and it's quite fun to say things in it, maybe simply because it's so outlandish for English speakers. I also particularly enjoy their alphabet - kanji - and how there is a symbol for every idea.

Some time ago, I thought about starting up some Japanese lessons online on DuoLingo, but unfortunately, they didn't have Japanese available. Thus I settled on the idea of leaving it for later.

However, after discovering the Memrise platform via a friend streaming it on, the idea of learning Japanese came back to the foreground and to my great pleasure, they offer a Japanese course on Memrise. Around the beginning of February 2017, I started the Japanese course and am proud to say I can already say quite a few things. As a tourist, I would probably not get absolutely lost!

Since then, I've changed learning platforms - Memrise seems to have a few mistakes, the phone app is very limited (for example... no way to report mistakes on the Android version and no way to add friends on the iOS version - really silly if you ask me), and I realized Japanese only goes up to Japanese 3. As a result, I got Anki, an open-source SRS flashcard program whose decks you can customize. I've downloaded a couple of shared decks - one for Katakana and one for James W. Heisig's Remembering The Kanji, so I can learn Kanji - and I created a deck of flashcards for "vocabulary". More recently, I also got a "Core 6k" words deck for vocabulary to replace my own deck.

Japanese has quite a few homophones. For example, the word for "to wear (below waist)" and "to vomit" is the exact same - the only difference is in writing (one uses one Kanji and the other uses another). With the Core 6k deck I think I have enough information on the flashcards to tell these homophones apart and be able to learn vocabulary better than with my old vocabulary deck.

Obviously, I can't forget about grammar. I started studying it through Tae Kim's notes on grammar online, and then I switched to a "compendium" website called My progress is listed in my profile. I'm now switching methods again, though I'm not sure yet what it is that I'll do for this facet of the language.