It’s not as hard as it looks. When I first came to Japan almost 2 years ago I didn’t know anything and Japanese culture never interested me that. Wow, have things changed! Asia is great, and Japan is pretty sweet. Everybody learns differently and some may learn faster or slower than other people, but here’s my experience. When I first started to study I learned Hiragana in about 2 weeks, then Katakana in 1 week following. Here’s how I did it.
- I studied about 1-2 hours a day on average.
- I broke it down into sections and focused on a section each day.
- I studied the book Kana Pict-o-Graphix by Michael Rowley (Preview the book here)
- I also printed out worksheets from Benri Nihongo and practiced writing every day (Download practice sheet here).
- I read the Pict-o-Graphix book before falling asleep each night.
And there you have it! I basically used two tools. Then I started reading everything I saw in Japan even though I didn’t know what it meant. It’s good practice. As a side note, I did only 10 hiragana from the red “Let’s learn Hiragana” book.
When you study katakana, I think the hardest is シ “shi” vs ツ”tsu” and ソ”so” vs ン”n” so you’ll have to come up with the best way for you to remember these. Good luck!