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Let me take you on a journey, friends. PROBLY NO ONE GONN' READ THIS LOL
*ahem* Anyway, I've decided that learning Japanese is a brilliant idea, and I'm going to write here about the absolute trainwreck that is about to occur. I also decided that I'd make a little headway before I started. So, at time of writing, I've pretty much got around Hiragana (Japanese alphabet #1, for Japanese words) and have started taking my first steps into Katakana (Japaneses alphabet #2, for non-Japanese words). Bad things will happen when I hit Kanji (Japanese alphabet #3, Chinese characters that represent entire words). I can't type the characters here, but I can ramble about them.
I have no idea how long Kanji (or a decent amount, at least, there's over 2000 characters D:) is going to take, so I'm going to make sure I've got Hiragana/Katakana down before I start. I know a few right now, the ones for 'I' and 'he/she' and a couple more ('dog', for some reason, is one of them) but I'm stopping and attacking Katakana the same way I attacked Hiragana.
Most places I've looked don't recommend doing it this way, but if I've learned anything it's 'if it works for you, go ahead and do it.' I learned Hiragana by downloading a Hiragana chart PDF thing, and using my 3DS. I started with the first 3 characters, (a, ka, ga), drawing them again and again in my 3DS notes thing, and calling it a night. The next day, I did the same with the next three (sa, za, ta) and incorporating the first three into it. Then rinse-repeat. Eventually, I went a little bit further and went for 6 or 7 a night with the last few groups of letters (by vowel, I started with the As). Not counting a weekend I had off for a college trip, I learned Hiragana in 3 weeks.
Grouping the characters works nicely. 'ka' and 'ga' are identical, except 'ga' has two little apostrophe things next to it. Same with 'sa/za', 'ta/da', and for the most part 'ha/ba/pa' ('pa' has a little circle rather than apostrophe things). That's the same across all the vowel groups, so 'ke/ge' are identical expect for the apostrophes. Grouping them like that almost halves the time you take to learn it - you don't have to learn two separate characters, just consider one the 'base' form and the other the 'apostrophe/circle' form.
At time of writing, I should be starting my Es in Katakana tonight. I'mma try and update this every time I learn something, but this is here more for Kanji when it happens.
And if anyone is wondering why I'm doing this, here's why. You know the Ace Attorney series? With Phoenix Wright and the pointing and the objections and such? There's 6 games out right now, 7th on the way, except the 6th ones probably not gonna be localised. 7th probably will, the 5th and 6th are kind off a spin-off. Anyway, I want to play the 6th one.
Yes. That is my only reason. Haterz gon' hate.