“One is not born a genius. One becomes a genius.” – Simone de Beauvoir

At the beginning of each chapter, I like to ask “why?”

Why is this helpful? For one, it tells you why you’re doing something. Nothing is more terrible than a teacher who answers all your questions with “because that’s the way it is, okay?” This will also give you some idea as to where you’re going and where you came from (and makes it so you know what you need to work on). The other thing, though, is that it actually makes sure that I’m staying on track as well. If I can’t explain why you’re learning something, then maybe it’s not time for you to learn that thing. So, it helps both of us, though in the end it mostly helps you. So why this chapter right now?

This chapter is all about the Japanese “alphabets.” You’re about to learn what they are, but the reason why you’re learning them is because you’ll need to be able to differentiate between them moving forward (as you learn them). You’re going to start by learning hiragana (starting next chapter) so it’s important to know what hiragana is and when it’s used in comparison to the other “alphabets” you’ll be learning later.

So, in this chapter you should focus on learning to differentiate the “alphabets.” You don’t need to learn them or anything like that right now (that would be impossible) – you just need to learn the characteristics of them, and how they’re different from each other. Ready to get started? Okay, move on:

Start →