Personality Cafe banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,962 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to memorize the hiragana.

I'm too broke to even get a ride to a book store where I can get hiragana workbooks.. [don't ask] so I bought a bunch of computer paper and have been going to websites that have the worksheets and I've been planning on just writing down the letters by looking at the screen.

The problem is.. I'm struggling to get the letters right. :blushed:

I remember when I was learning the english letters I started with letters on worksheets, tracing, and I was able to commit the "strokes" to memory that way..

I can't get the letters right so that I can actually trace them over and over again..
or at least have something on paper to go by..

I used my mouse to draw the symbol I keep writing "a" into google translate's draw thingy, and it got it wrong! O_O
I have no idea how to go about this.. other than.. if someone got on skype with me and saw me drawing the letters and told me that I drew the letter properly.. or maybe there's some kind of free software I can use to draw the symbol into a "draw box" and the software will be able to tell if I drew the letter properly.

Does anyone know what I can do about this situation or have any software recommendations? :unsure:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,180 Posts
Stroke order is VERY important to getting a character right. Even more so when you get to kanji.

I'd start by looking up stroke order so you can be sure you're drawing each part in the correct order.

(On a side note, I can read, write, and speak fluently so if you like you can add or PM me and I'll do my best to answer any questions!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,962 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Stroke order is VERY important to getting a character right. Even more so when you get to kanji.

I'd start by looking up stroke order so you can be sure you're drawing each part in the correct order.

(On a side note, I can read, write, and speak fluently so if you like you can add or PM me and I'll do my best to answer any questions!)
Ok! Thank you! :happy:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
206 Posts
Learn Japanese Online - Learn How to Write Hiragana Maybe this will help with stroke order? Your best bet is really to just copy the stroke order as much as possible as you see written there. And you should feel free to message me if you need any help or "homework check" as well. :) I've helped some of my friends learn kana over skype, and if you have a scanner or camera available, I can also help check over what you've written that way, too.

And even if you can't get a hold of textbooks, there are lots of free apps and programs online, so don't give up with the searching. Do you have a tumblr? There are some really great daily kana and grammar blogs.
 

·
Plumcot
Joined
·
2,186 Posts
Hello.
What I did to learn the hiragana/katakana/some Kanji was simply buying some flashcards and studying five a day. I set a reasonable goal for how long I wanted to study every day and how much I wanted to study.
I think you're doing a good job so far, with writing them down over and over again until you carve them into memory.

After doing some googling, I found a site that appears to have free worksheets you can print off, also, you said how you can't get the strokes right. These pages have the stroke orders.

Free Hiragana Worksheets

Best of luck.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,856 Posts
Stroke order is VERY important to getting a character right. Even more so when you get to kanji.

I'd start by looking up stroke order so you can be sure you're drawing each part in the correct order.

(On a side note, I can read, write, and speak fluently so if you like you can add or PM me and I'll do my best to answer any questions!)
For kanji, I get it. But for hiragana, other than to have a software program recognize what you're writing, I struggle to see the supreme importance or stroke order.

Granted, it's not a rule that begs to be broken. But I've never experienced any issues when breaking it for expediency. If it looks the same when done either way.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SalvinaZerelda

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,180 Posts
For kanji, I get it. But for hiragana, other than to have a software program recognize what you're writing, I struggle to see the supreme importance or stroke order.

Granted, it's not a rule that begs to be broken. But I've never experienced any issues when breaking it for expediency. If it looks the same when done either way.
For hiragana it's not as important, but when Japanese kids are learning to write they're taught the "correct" stroke order so by the time they get to kanji it's ingrained in their heads and not a problem.

Using the intended stroke order, though, does make it easier to get the balance of the character correct. Like I said, it's not as important for basic kana but once you get to kanji it becomes more so.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
206 Posts
It's probably just better practice to have a standardized stroke order for kana because it builds upon other things, and as zanah0dia said, it helps with creating the correct balance. But I think it's also important to remember than most of the katakana is built into kanji later, so knowing the stroke order as well as the correct connections/number of strokes can be very important. Not only for memorization and balance, but also if you are trying to look up kanji in dictionaries, it's often done by stroke order, which can be confusing if you haven't already built that standard in your kana.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
For learning hiragana I'd suggest Tae Kim guide to Japanese as it has hiragana and katakana stroke order and grammar from basic to intermediate and for writing it down, I'd suggest if you can find one to get one down the road possibly a small white board as that as helped me a lot when having to write to remember stroke order
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
951 Posts
@Rune, I did it through basically doing a lot of reading practice. Going against the common school of thought that you need to learn how to write out the characters correctly, everything is on computer now so my main priority was reading Japanese text and typing in Japanese, and as soon as I realised that I realised that learning to write by hand, while a nice thing to do eventually, was just slowing me down in the early stages. Definitely get your computer set up for typing Japanese if you haven't done already.

I would strongly advise avoiding using learning resources that use rōmaji (or making notes in rōmaji), because taking away that safety net forces your brain to remember the characters much quicker because you have literally nothing else to work with.

For kanji I did use some computer-based flash cards (I used one called Anki but it was a few years ago and I have no idea if that's the best). My criteria for being able to pass a card was to be able to type the character in a word (therefore confirming that I knew at least one reading of it as well), again, no writing it out, it just slows you down. Learning the kanji early on as well I think is a very good idea, I learnt it as I learnt the vocabulary, which may be throwing you in at the deep end but I found can actually assist memorising, and while difficult, it's not as bad as you'd think.

Tae Kim's grammar guide is a good resource to start with (if you've not discovered it yet, it's free online), because it doesn't use rōmaji, introduces kanji straight away, and teaches grammar starting with the basics (as opposed to a lot of textbooks which focus on easily translatable phrases without much understanding of how they're constructed). But I think using a variety of resources and techniques is ultimately the best so you don't get bored.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
206 Posts
@ALongTime See, I feel like I should respectfully disagree with you on not focusing on learning how to write the kana. I can understand your point, and I do think it would help with conversational comprehension much faster, and I definitely would say yes on setting up your computer to type in Japanese ASAP. But I feel like learning how to write the kana by hand and focusing on stroke order, etc., not only gives you a better cultural appreciation (through all the tears and eraser smudgemarks) but also would, simply put, boost your reading comprehension exponentially. I think that often in educational systems, there is too much emphasis on some quite unnecessary elements, when really what you want is probably to be able to speak to a native or understand a conversation. And you will definitely be able to learn to read that way (sans writing by hand) but I think it would make the learning curve for reading those characters last longer. Also, most of the online aids that will be found for learning kana, and even those that have been posted(I believe, correct me if I'm wrong), only show how to write computerized kana "script." For instance, きand さ typed always have that connecting curve which attaches the upper and lower portion. That is how the computerized font works. However, in the case that you have to read a non-computerized font (say, handwritten or special signs) then you may see this

...with the top and bottom sections being disconnected. In my experience, newcomers to writing/reading hiragana usually get a little thrown by this while trying to read, and it slows them down until it is explained that this is handwritten style, and they learn to recognize it. It seems pretty straightforward, looking at them side-by-side, but I have known a few people who are frustrated by such things, especially early on.

Of course, just like in English, everyone's handwriting is a little different, and I will definitely agree that for most purposes and uses, you will do perfectly fine without bothering to learn how to write. I'm just saying that in my experience, it can cause confusion from time to time unless you have a basic understanding.

I will, however, totally 100% agree with you on trying to find learning sources that do not rely on romaji for very long. In the first couple of weeks, it's understandable that you will need romaji to learn how to form coherent words. But it definitely will turn into a crutch, and a safety net that is basically unneeded. I have heard Japanese say, "Romaji is not Japanese." And this holds true, in my opinion. Even my American friends who have studied Japanese only in the last few years will have a very difficult, awkward time reading romaji, because the translation just does not work quite right. There is no one standardization on how to translate Japanese sounds into English letters, and it's best to avoid that. ^o^

Kanji...Kanji is just a big muddled mess, in general. And I'm a little more grey on the hows and whys to go about learning it best, unfortunately. It's something that I definitely struggle with, personally.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
951 Posts
@MaskedNicci - I guess it depends on your priorities. Admittedly, my biases are, I did have several aborted attempts to learn Japanese before then, in which I did write some characters and picked up some of the stroke-order rules but made no other noticable progress, so I didn't exactly go from a standing start. Maybe I underestimate what I learnt from that. But it was only when I took the approach that I described that I actually made real progress with the language as a whole and got to an intermediate level where I stopped being afraid of kanji (I had to put it on hold after that due to other priorities, unfortunately). If reading handwriting is a priority then finding some handwriting to practise reading would be a good approach, I think, without having to necessarily write anything... but I think people need to find what's easiest for them and take away anything that slows you down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
530 Posts
I'm trying to memorize the hiragana.

I'm too broke to even get a ride to a book store where I can get hiragana workbooks.. [don't ask] so I bought a bunch of computer paper and have been going to websites that have the worksheets and I've been planning on just writing down the letters by looking at the screen.

The problem is.. I'm struggling to get the letters right. :blushed:

I remember when I was learning the english letters I started with letters on worksheets, tracing, and I was able to commit the "strokes" to memory that way..

I can't get the letters right so that I can actually trace them over and over again..
or at least have something on paper to go by..

I used my mouse to draw the symbol I keep writing "a" into google translate's draw thingy, and it got it wrong! O_O
I have no idea how to go about this.. other than.. if someone got on skype with me and saw me drawing the letters and told me that I drew the letter properly.. or maybe there's some kind of free software I can use to draw the symbol into a "draw box" and the software will be able to tell if I drew the letter properly.

Does anyone know what I can do about this situation or have any software recommendations? :unsure:

HUMAN JAPANESE. I believe its on iOS(Apple), windows and Android. It will actually TEACH you Japanese. The first thing you start off with is Hiragana, I can write and read Japanese with no problem, and I started with zero knowledge in the language. The first 8 chapters (which are lengthy) are free, but all 48 chapters are only 10 dollars. And you don't have to buy it again, even if you install it on a different device. I could not recommend it enough. Yes, it has stroke order, phonetics, everything. I'm currently starting on kanji, finished katakana and hiragana :D Please look it up! It is definitely worth your time and 100x better than Rosetta Stone.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
206 Posts
@ALongTime I would completely agree. It really differs depending on what you are looking to accomplish, and also your learning style. One of the things that makes languages so hard is that it's difficult to address each different learning style and individual needs. ^^;; I'm glad what you found has been working for you so well.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top