Japan Zone:

Japan travel guide, information on Japan and Japanese culture.

Japan Zone contents

Today's: Entertainment | News | Weather | Currencies

New to Japan
General
Visas | Accommodation | Health & Welfare | Transport | Local Transport | Mobile Phones | Money | Etiquette | Meeting People
Language
Learn Japanese | Alphabets | Kanji | Useful Expressions | New Japanese
Employment
Working | Teaching | Find a Job

Japan Store
JZ Originals | Accessories | Apparel | Electronics | Interior | Toys & Games

Cultural Japan
Entertainment
Kabuki | Noh | Bunraku | Geisha | Instruments
Arts
Tea Ceremony | Kodo | Ukiyoe | Ikebana | Bonsai | Origami | Literature | Modern Literature

Greentea Design


Dining Tables | Kitchen Cabinets | TV Stands

Royalty
Imperial Family | Imperial Family Members
Calendar
Festivals | Annual Events | Four Seasons | Cherry Blossoms | Valentine's/White Day
Costume
Kimono | Footwear
Food & Drink
Basics | Dishes | Alcohol | Drinking Out

Modern Japan
Entertainment
Movies | Movie Posters | Anime | Anime Movies | TV Anime | TV Comedy | Manga | Pop Music | Takarazuka | Pachinko | The Gaming Industry | Game Developers
Famous people
Directors | Actors | TV Stars | Comedians | Musicians | Sports Stars | Designers | Politicians
Japan Inc
Economy | Global 500 | Companies A - F | G - L | M | N | O - S | T - Z

Japan Omnibus
Geography
Facts & Figures | Regions & Cities | Climate
Sightseeing
Tokyo | Kyoto | Hokkaido | Tohoku | Kanto | Chubu | Kinki | Chugoku | Shikoku | Kyushu | Okinawa | Onsen | Scuba Diving
Sports
Baseball | Soccer | Sumo | Martial Arts | Others
History
Early | Medieval | Modern
Religion
Shinto | Buddhism | Others | Superstitions | Shrines | Temples | Zen Gardens
Politics
Government | Parties | Prime Ministers

Cultural JapanModern JapanNew to JapanJapan OmnibusJapan ForumJapan GalleryJapan Store

Learn Japanese

Japanese is the world's hardest language!

It's quite possible that someone, somewhere told you this. Is it true? No, not really.

Japanese is a challenging language, no doubt about it. You have to learn a whole new writing system, three of them in fact! Kanji, for the core meanings of words and for names; hiragana, which in simple terms are the threads that link the kanji together, that make them work as a communication tool; and katakana, used mainly to represent foreign words and names.The only people with an advantage being Chinese as their language is also based on kanji, though they are often different and usually pronounced quite differently.

There are 46 basic hiragana and katakana - though some new combinations have come into use recently - and they can be mastered in a matter of days if you're a serious student, otherwise a few weeks. But learning kanji is the one challenge that separates the men from the boys, so to speak. There are almost 2,000 of them in everyday use, and you need to know them inside out if you want to enter a Japanese university, for example. A given kanji can have several, even dozens of different readings, and each kanji has its own stroke order. And remember, this is just the writing systems...

In Japanese, grammar and pronunciation are actually easier to get a grip on than they are in English, though you need to learn to think in a new way. Verbs come at the end of a sentence rather than near the beginning, for example. Something like "To the station I go" rather than "I go to the station". And a sentence often leaves certain things unsaid, having no subject, for example. Pronunciation is phonetically regular, meaning you read it as it's written, unlike English where you have words like "cough", "bough" and "though". There are regional dialects that can confuse even a native Japanese person, but you can get by with hyojungo (standard Japanese) everywhere.

So, where to begin?
Hiragana and katakana | Kanji | Useful Expressions | "New" Japanese

We have a selection of the best Japanese-English
electronic dictionaries in our Japan Store

Links Top



Google search


Japan Zone Web


Japan Zone is on Facebook


Over 3,000,000 Members
• 1,000,000+ Photos
• 230+ Countries
• IM, Voice & Video Calls
• Join Now, FREE!
Come
Join Us!!
Meet Friends
in Japan
username :
password :

Today's Profiles

Like the Japan Zone? -- Vote for us in the Topsites Japan RankingsVote for us at Topsites Japan!

Home | Cultural Japan | Modern Japan | New to Japan | Japan Omnibus | Japan Forum | Japan Gallery | Japan Store | Japan Chat
About us | Advertising | Site Map | Links | Terms of Use | Article 1 | Article 2 | Article 3 | Comments on the site? © 1999-2014 Japan Zone