The best way to begin learning Japanese (or just learing
about the japanese language) is to learn the basics of Japanese writing.
This is because there is a relatively small set of japanese characters
that are used to represent the sounds used in the spoken language. If
you can learn to say the sounds of this character set, you know how to
say any word or sentence in Japanese. The nice thing about Japanese is
that, unlike English, there aren't numerous different ways to say "letter"
combinations. In English "a" can represent the "ah"
sound (father), the "ay" sound (day), that other
sound (map), etc. In Japanese "a" is just "ah".
Introduction to Japanese by Shinji Takasugi
Take the time to go through the pages of this excellent introduction,
and you will learn all you need to know about the Japanese "alphabet"
(called hiragana; the symbols for all the sounds found in Japanese). You
can start at the beginning using the link above, or start right with the
hiragana characters by clicking here.
to Japanese Language (Nihongo Learning with Speech)
This site can be a little slow to load because it's hosted in Japan (especially
if you're trying to get the sound files), but the characters are presented
in a clear, straight-forward way.
To get a sense of the characters and sounds used
in Japanese, take a look at this song transcription.
Writing Japanese using English letters is called
tool is a very good dictionary that allows you to enter a Japanese
word in Romanji and get a definition. [Jim Breen's WWWJDIC
Server ; http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/cgi-bin/cgiwrap/jwb/wwwjdic?1C
Your Japanese phrase
of the day (one phrase for each day of the year; from about.com)
: This is one of the coolest tools out there: it can translate Japanese
pages into English (and vice versa). No wonder they call themselves "nifty".
Not a perfect translation, of course, but it can give you an idea of what
the page is about.
To translate a Japanese web page to English, chose the
(Nihongo to Eigo) option, and paste in the URL. [similar
Babelfish can also translate Japanese web pages... But note that Babblefish
is just a front for www.systransoft.com.
A Kid's japanese search engine
that will add furigana to retrieved pages:
A 2001 page of
Japanese learning resources (links)
If you are learning Hiragana and Katakana, I highly recommend the
[home page: Concentration
Games for Yookoso ]