View Full Version : nihongo wo kakitai no? (so you want to write in Japanese?)

11-06-2006, 09:59 PM
Many learners of Japanese start out by writing in romanji. While this is ok, it is not going to help your Japanese progress. Besides, kanji looks really cool! So, here are some links for helping to type in and read the Japanese characters.

If you have microsoft, get your hands on the IME (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/ie6/downloads/recommended/ime/default.mspx). It's free and it will help you read all of the East Asian languages. I used this when I had an English OS and it worked REALLY well.

This is by far my favorite online Japanese dictionary: by Jim Breen (http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/wwwjdic.html). If you see a character on here that you don't understand, you can paste it in the dictionary and get the meaning.

As with many people, grammar is my weak point. I use JGram (http://www.jgram.org/) to study.

for a good, all-around study page, check out Meguro Learning Center (http://www.mlcjapanese.co.jp/Download.htm)'s resources page. It has everything for all levels. Plus, all the material is free!!

I hope that these helped get you prepared and ready to take over the new Japanese Language forum! If you know of any other sites that will help people see, type, and understand Japanese, let us know!

11-07-2006, 01:50 AM
and if you use the firefox browser, you can install this:
it helps you translate kanji without having to look into your dictionary...
and itīs available in serveral languages ^^

11-07-2006, 02:49 AM
That's sweet. AND it uses Jim Breen's dictionary. Thanks for the tip. I'm downloading it now. :)

11-07-2006, 03:58 AM
Haha, Lava was faster ... anyway, I also use moji from time to time ... but not really for studying jap ... mostly when I'm interested in some special kanji xD
I should seriously consider and start learning jap >_>

11-07-2006, 04:17 AM
It's study materials you want? It's study materials you'll get! :D


Meguro Language School is a Japanese language school in Tokyo (and down the street from where I work. ;) ). This site is based off the JLPT levels, 4 being the easiest and 1 the hardest. I'm studying for the JLPT 2, my fiance is going for 1, and we use this site. The best part is is that all this material is FREEEEEEE. やった!

11-07-2006, 04:50 AM
i use a web translator for my japanese


they also do other langages also

Princess Minako
11-07-2006, 06:00 AM
Didn't anyone read the first post!! No english allowed! :P Its the Japanese language forum!

11-07-2006, 06:29 PM
わかった。でも、いろいろな人は日本語できたい。そして、このポストは便利ですよ!日本語でちょっとむずか しいと思う。

Miss Moonlight
11-07-2006, 06:35 PM
I am not fluent in japanese, but I do translation work and have been studying the language on my own for about 8 years.

I started off learning how to read/write japanese with Hiragana and Katakana charts. I know all of katakana and hiragana now, but i'm still not so good with kanji. I know some, but there is still much more I need to learn.

11-07-2006, 06:42 PM
テスト、 テスト。 この仕事は承諾するか。

11-11-2006, 11:40 AM
I'm 16 and quite interested in learning Japanese. One of my dad's friends is a translator and I always thought that would be fun to do (and Japanese happens to be a really interesting language ^.^).

I have been doing my research and I am er...slightly overwhelmed by the amount of different dialects and systems of writing there are. I'm not having too much trouble wrapping my western mind around the idea of learning a different "alphabet" since I learned Hebrew as a child and that is quite different than English. Unfortunatley I have also realized in my research that, in being 16 already, the window of opportunity to learn a new language with ease is already closed (which angers me because I am forced to take a foreign language in High School. I decided upon spanish since they only offer either Spanish or French and I live in Florida where spanish is pretty much the main language. Its inane! In American schools they teach you only one language as a child and they force another one on you when your capacity to be an "intellectual sponge" is all full up! I'm straying off topic...I'm sure there is another board for this rant.)

In short: what should I learn first? Kana, Hiragana, or some combination of the two, or something else? And where does Kanji fit into all of this? (I sound like such a little newbie *cringe* even though I am).

I was looking up Rosetta Stone and other language learning softwares but I am skeptical and hesitant to buy one because they cost so much. I may just have to wait until college and learn from a professor (which I was planning on doing anyway since learning another language is always easier when you learn it from another human being, as opposed to a website or software, but I wanted to get a jump start now).

Er..any suggestions?

11-11-2006, 07:30 PM
I'd say definitely learn hiragana first, then start with some of the easier kanji (JLPT 4), then work on learning the grammar and everything, then finally learn katakana (since it isn't used nearly as much; I actually haven't memorized all of them yet xD). After that, just perfect your grammar and learn as many words and kanji as you can.

And yes I know my post wasn't in Japanese, but everyone else is doing it ;)

11-11-2006, 08:37 PM
I agree, start with hiragana. Next would be katakana. After that, work kanji in. Kanji IS hard, but if you have a good base of hiragana and katakana, it will work well. Then again, it depends on what you want to use Japanese for. If you are moving to Japan, then hiranana then katakana is best as katakana is much more widely used than some people think.

This thread is allowed to be in English because it is helping people get started. As long as your post is useful, i won't complain. ;) Thanks!

11-12-2006, 12:30 AM
私に言うチャンスを与えなさい 私は日本語およびしかし私で絶対に熟達していないことそれを学ぶことを望む 私はどうしても時間を見つけるようであるできない。

Anyhow, does anybody have any tips that could get me started in the learnin' of the japanese language?

I think this forum is a good idea too.

11-12-2006, 01:51 AM
私に言うチャンスを与えなさい 私は日本語およびしかし私で絶対に熟達していないことそれを学ぶことを望む 私はどうしても時間を見つけるようであるできない。

Anyhow, does anybody have any tips that could get me started in the learnin' of the japanese language?

Erm... yes, a good tip to start learning Japanese is to not go around posting bizarre garbage like what you wrote there. :P Was that machine translated?

11-12-2006, 04:57 AM
Looks machine translated to me!

Anywho, check out http://www.mlcjapanese.co.jp/Download.htm It has information for everyone from beginners to advanced. You would be in level 4.

11-13-2006, 09:35 PM
Erm... yes, a good tip to start learning Japanese is to not go around posting bizarre garbage like what you wrote there. :P Was that machine translated?
Indeed... I apologise.

I haven't any idea how to use a keyboard for Kanji and what not so yeah.

And thank's Mistress, and I apologise again.

11-14-2006, 12:13 AM
Are you sure it's "kakitai"? Wait....ooooh yeah, verb stem, kakimasu > kakitai

My bad. XD

Should the end be no? I would think it either ka or ne. >.>

edit: Whoops!


11-14-2006, 01:33 AM
Should the end be no? I would think it either ka or ne. >.>

A sentence-final "no", particularly when coupled with plain speech, usually indicates a question. See also "doushite na no?"

11-14-2006, 06:29 AM
Sorry, I was speaking in casual speak. Adding a no to the end instead of using masuka form is a casual, feminine way of speech. My Japanese may seem to be a bit sloppy, but I'm more used to speaking everyday Japanese now than I am with speaking textbook Japanese. Hopefully it is still easy to understand. ;) Good question, though!

tet: look up info for IME if you are using a winOS. That will help you type in Japanese. Also, romanji is ok!

11-15-2006, 12:43 PM


11-15-2006, 07:55 PM
Please save this thread for talking about study materials. Thanks!

11-15-2006, 07:55 PM


11-16-2006, 08:38 AM

This is why I think people shouldn't use kanji unless you know the correct kanji for the word. ;)

Anywho, they did mean 難しい (むずかしい) based on context.

11-16-2006, 11:48 AM
Oh no, I didn't mean to use the Kanji! My program for this changes it automatically to Kanji when I use the space bar (force of habit). >< Sorry

私は一年なら日本語を勉強します。私の日本語クラスでGENKI本をつかっています。あまりゆくないね。  じゃ、たくさん勉強しようとおもっています。 いい日本語フォルムがありますか?

11-17-2006, 08:49 AM
2chanは楽しい日本のフォルムですが、2chanべんはめちゃめちゃ面白い。違うかんじとか、ひげんと か。。。

11-17-2006, 07:15 PM
Looks machine translated to me!

Anywho, check out http://www.mlcjapanese.co.jp/Download.htm It has information for everyone from beginners to advanced. You would be in level 4.有難うございます!  ^_^  一人で、日本語は勉強しにくいですね。  でも、レブルをfigur e out? (笑)  すみません、私の日本語はちょっと。。。日本語の練習しなければいけないよ!

11-18-2006, 11:58 AM
"Level Check"というページはここにあります http://www.mlcjapanese.co.jp/LevelCheck/01E.htm

どうぞ~ w

11-19-2006, 12:39 AM
"Level Check"というページはここにあります http://www.mlcjapanese.co.jp/LevelCheck/01E.htm

どうぞ~ w有難うございます!  このぺージはロマンジで書きました...ロマンジは読みにくいです。   0_0 (ひらがなとかたかなのページを見ます。  er, found)

11-21-2006, 11:27 PM
完全な日本語を話すこの糸はよい考えである! 私の大学の私の告ャに私達が実際に日本語を学ぶことができるJ 文化事がある、!

^Was that good enough? Teehee

11-22-2006, 10:51 AM
ok so since my western mind sux i'll lay it out i began to read this and felt i knew what i was doing then got lost so can u just number out what i should learn and in what order just to speak casual japanese not so much "proper"? please?

Naetsu Matsuyama
11-22-2006, 06:30 PM
do you have any programs that will let me see the Japanese characters instead of them being in ???? form?

11-22-2006, 08:47 PM
i have been using the Japanese <-> Dictionary Server (http://dict.regex.info/cgi-bin/j-e/FG=r/dict) for years. i find it helpful, usually. i use it on my homework.

This (http://www.csus.edu/indiv/s/sheaa/projects/genki/index.html) is a website with all the kana, kanji and vocabulary from the Genki text book series. It's the one that my school and many others.

頑張って。 日本語は 易しいと 思う。

11-25-2006, 08:16 AM
Naetsu, which OS are you using? If you are on windows, check out IME. I think I posted some info on pg 1.

TriForce, if you only want to speak it, then you may want to get one of those "learn Japanese in your car" type of things. However, I highly recommend a study book with kana (not romanji after the beginning!) and a CD.

12-03-2006, 09:53 AM
余りに悪い状態は多くの人々できない私達の言うことがわかるには… 日本語はそれらのために時々とても困難である場合もある。 オハイオ州すべてのthesitesおよび他の原料の主婦へのええおよび感謝。 私はたくさん感謝している。

12-03-2006, 11:02 AM
2chanは楽しい日本のフォルムですが、2chanべんはめちゃめちゃ面白い。違うかんじとか、ひげんと か。。。

個人的には2chanにいくと頭が変になりそうです。人の悪口とか怪しいことしか書いてない気が... - _-;; ちなみに、「電車男」って聞いたことありますか?

12-24-2006, 04:32 PM
I find the Windows IME/Language Bar is a pain. It randomly stops responding, switches languages, moves around etc.

Slime Forest Adventure (http://lrnj.com), however, is awesome. I'ma go play it now.

12-24-2006, 11:32 PM
IME can be a bit annoying, but it's really not that bad. I used it for a few years and, as with anything/one, you get used to its quirks. :)

12-30-2006, 04:44 AM
私はコンフォミストと申します。シンガポール人でーす!(笑)日本語の勉強を三年しました。どぞよろしくお 願いします!

01-02-2007, 07:02 PM

I've been learning Japanese for a while now, and I love it! Anyone who is interested, I recommend you definitly commit to it and work hard. The resources I've seen on this forum are excellent for beginners.

To reiterate with those who already suggested how to start with the writing systems, I agree with the ひらがな (Hiragana) > カタカナ (Katakana) > 漢字 (Kanji) order. Hiragana will be essential for proper pronunciation when reading. Katakana is indeed used more than people give it credit. Any anime/manga fan should atleast know that.

Kanji...oh Kanji...the mother of all obstacles in Japanese. You'd be surprised to learn that once you really get into Kanji, they really arn't that hard. It's practice, just plain old practice, that will really help in the end.

For those struggling with Kanji, my suggestion is to study by Grades, not JLPT levels. I say this because when you start off with Grade 1 Kanji, they are the simplest (as far as shape) and easiest to remember. With JLPT 4, however, they are the most common, not the simplest.

Writing Japanese is tons of fun! It really it. But one thing you might not realize is the importance of stroke order. Stroke order can be a real pain sometimes, but believe me, your writing looks waaay better when you follow the right stroke order.

So yea, that's my little contribution to all of you who really want to learn the beautiful Japanese language. I'm sorry I wrote it all in English, but as MistressPookyChan said, some simply can't read Japanese yet. I wish all of you luck in your studies!

01-02-2007, 11:32 PM
It's ok to write in English, especially if it is going to be helpful to people. :)

The other day, I went shopping for a new game for my DS. Lo and behold I found a game that is dedicated to studying for the kanji test. I have a feeling that they don't sell outside of Japan. However, it may be possible to get it over Amazon Japan or on ebay.

It is a fantastic game! Good for beginners to advanced students of Kanji [both myself (intermediate kanji level) and my fiance (kanji obsessive and pro interpreter) love this]. What I really like is that it works on all things of Kanji: readings, writing, kana, meaning, stoke order, and radicals. It also have a training schedule to help you study, practice tests, and games. I highly recommend it if you are serious about studying kanji. It may not be good for true beginners, but a minimal study of kanji is fine.

01-03-2007, 12:31 AM
Wow, that sounds awesome.

Radicals are another thing people don't take into account when they first start learning kanji, but they are so freakin helpful when you're trying to memorize the meaning.

01-06-2007, 01:22 AM
alrighty! well, i've been studying japanese for two years. I get the jist of it, but it's just that i need to improve mai vocab. Besides that, i'm set. If anybody wants to know about any words, i'll assist u in any way! n_n

1. Konnichiwa isn't sumethin u say all the time to say hi.
*Ohayou-good morning polite: ohayou gozaimasu
*konnichiwa-good afternoon
*konbanwa-good evening
*O-yasumi-good night (oyasumi nasai= formal version)

01-06-2007, 02:52 AM
Wow, that sounds awesome.

Radicals are another thing people don't take into account when they first start learning kanji, but they are so freakin helpful when you're trying to memorize the meaning.

exactly! When you know the radical, you can atleast figure out its theme. For example, you can tell if it is water-based, or a bird, or a plant.

01-09-2007, 10:29 AM
thanks for the informa

tion, i really appreciate it!!!:D

01-09-2007, 10:44 AM
We could spend hours talking about the ins and outs of kanji, but for those just starting, the best way to begin is by becoming masters of hiragana and katakana first.

Someone should start a thread on just kanji. I think I will. :)

01-14-2007, 09:13 PM
There are some good links here, although I'm surprised a few good ones are missing. Allow me to add a few more:

This is another Japanese dictionary. (Is it me or does everyone seem to use a different one?) I like this one the best because numerous simular words come up (with kanji) when I type something in.

The best Chinese character dictionary I've found. It also has the Korean and Japanese readings amoung others, etymology, stroke order, and lists of related characters/words. Even if you're not even curious about the Chinese language, you can still copy paste japanese characters there for useful information on word origin. I've been using the IME handwriting tool to draw characters and check for them on both of these websites.

A website that teaches you Japanese. Personally I like the later chapters better, especially the lesson on colors.

On another note, online dictionaries specific to one language seem better than ones with multiple languages. Even so, I still heavilly rely on good 'ole babelfish for quick machine translations.

01-17-2007, 04:44 PM
I have been studding Japanese for 1 year, and I started studding Kanji 3 months ago I already know 120 Kanji.
To be honest I thought that Kanji would be a lot harder but it seems it's not too hard, the only problem I had was mixing up the signs.

Seeing how not everyone here knows Japanese here, here are a few sites that might be helpful for learning (sorry if there are site that have already been posted):


Dictionary download that can work offline.

Simple games in which one can learn hiragana, katakana and Kanji.
Like the name says interesting game.

A great site that has audio lessons as well.

Japanese simple tests
<Registration required>

Teaches grammar.

Teaches to type Japanese.
<Registration required>

Ok I tried the last one, its a rpg in English that teaches the player how to write in Japanese.

03-17-2007, 11:31 PM
Ano... is it easier to learn Japanese with a Chinese base? Because I've known Chinese for about all my life already, but I really want to understand Japanese as well. I think I know some kanji, but when it comes to hiragana and katakana I'm completely clueless!

03-18-2007, 02:01 AM
I took 4 years of Japanese and still don't really feel very good at it... my major problem is that I took high school classes for two years that went way to slow and then I took two years of community college classes that were at the right speed but because I'd already taken Japanese I decided to skip the intro Japanese class which left me actually missing a whole bunch of knowledge I really needed to know (stuff like verb conjugation which I basically just kinda learned by seeing it done so many times and then finally looked up how to do it) plus I was taking a lot of high school classes at the same time and playing sports which didn't leave me tons of time to focus on the Japanese class.

Now that I'm in college I've studied a bunch of languages... programming languages that is (stuff like C, C++, C#, Lua, assembly, DirectX, OpenGL, etc.) and near as I can tell the correlation between learning a language making you better at learning other languages hasn't carried over from programing languages to foreign languages (but it does work from programing language to programing language).

I'm still interested in learning Japanese... but I have a hard time of it because my school schedule is pure chaos (and my college is hyper specialized so it doesn't offer any foreign languages). So I was wondering, because I don't have a lot of knowledge of studying Japanese on my own, if anyone could make a suggestion as to the best way to learn Japanese when you have very little time (Note: I already know hiragana, katakana, and around 100 Kanji)... should I focus on just doing short learning sessions (like maybe 15 minutes) every so often to give my self a break from programming... or would you say that focusing a larger block of time (say like an hour+) all in one shot would be more effective? Also what should I be using to learn from (I basically know how to handle learning Kanji) but should I just try to read and dissect simple Japanese from somewhere or is there some other way someone who is at an intermediate level like me should further their knowledge of Japanese? Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

03-18-2007, 03:42 PM

I don't know chinese, but I have several friends who do. They can read the kanji, althought there are slight alterations in some of them. I think kanji-wise it may help and some words are the same, but there were times when my friends would look at me funny when I would tell them what something meant. So some kanji combinations might be different, but you would already know the concept so it might be easier to memorize. As far as the hiragana, that deals greatly with grammar parts, which I've never figured out how it works in chinese. So if in chinese you don't identify a direct object, indirect object, conjugate the verb, etc. that part might be difficult if you approach it from a chinese base. But like I said, they could usually understand the gist of whatever it was, just not a direct translation. As far as making it easier are more difficult, for kanji it might be easier but for everything else aside from the getting over the "they don't have letters" bit, you'd be as prepared as anyone else knowing two languages.


Whatever time you choose to spend on it I would say frequency is the key. The more often you use it is going to help you remember it and crystallize it much faster than spending a long period on it with a large gap in between sessions. I can also see that about programming languages not helping with Japanese. If you were take another foreign language for a while I think you'd feel differently, but it's the same reason as why going from one programming language to the next is easier. Knowing html helped me read CSS and javascript, not that they are programing languages, but they didn't do a thing to help with my Japanese. Perhaps maybe keep an online journal in Japanese so you are forced to use it and look up the ways you learned to say thing but may have forgotten and learn new vocabulary?

03-18-2007, 04:13 PM
I agree with akiko, 氷の動物. The best way to approach Japanese with limited time is by creating a time in the day that you know you can reserve only for Japanese. Once you establish that time frame, stick to it daily, then weekly, and so on. You'll see that Japanese is all about frequency of use, not so much about technical memorization.
You're lucky that you've already mastered kana and a good chunk of kanji, because now all you need is to build your vocabulary base. Of course there's grammer, but we all hate grammer anyway. ><'
Just keep at it the best you can, and you'll see that dedication pays off.

03-21-2007, 06:24 PM
just thought i'd say this... you can actually install a standard language pack from your windows onto the computer. it's like the language that comes up in the language bar at the bottom. it's easier than IME