More On Hiragana
“On this path effort never goes to waste, and there is no failure. Even a little effort toward spiritual awareness will protect you from the greatest fear.” – Krishna
Hiragana is the first step towards your Japanese education. It may sound like a lot for me to ask you to learn an entire “alphabet” so soon (especially one that has 46 “letters” in it, and that’s not even including the “combination” ones, you’ll learn about these later), but it’s all for the best. Trust me!
We’ll focus a lot on learning hiragana perfectly in as little time as possible. By learning hiragana well now, you’re setting yourself up for better pronunciation and a better understanding of how the Japanese language works. Ask almost anyone who is learning Japanese. Learning hiragana early is the absolute best route to take if you want to save time in the short, medium, or long run.
The big question, however, is how do you learn it?
There are plenty of ways to go about it, and I can’t say one way is right and another is wrong. Really, the best way to learn hiragana is to utilize a variety of resources. The main concern at this point is burn-out. Learning hiragana is boring, and the light at the end of the tunnel is tough to see. It takes a little while to learn, too. The reason you should use multiple resources to learn it is in order to prevent this.
I’m going to take you through everything step by step to hopefully alleviate burn-out and get you through this as quickly as possible. We’ll be using worksheets made specially for TextFugu, as well as some other (free) sites that do a great job drilling hiragana, combining to create a really effective method. Basically, in order to use TextFugu you have to learn hiragana, so I’ll take you most of the way.
This chapter focuses on the first half of hiragana: the pronunciation of it. You don’t need to know how to read anything yet. First, pronunciation and patterns, second is reading the characters. Let’s get started.