Posts tagged: Kana / Kanji

Update さん

In the last few weeks I’ve been thoroughly learning how to write the all the Kana in the correct stroke order. And looked for a few good website to help me make a start on Kanji.

A good website to make a start (and to learn Japanese in general) is The website offers charts of grade-school Kanji, sorted per grade, including the different meanings, and sheets to practice these on. is also a good place to practice the Japanese grammer and more, be sure to visit!

On Kanji-Step you can find a lot of GIF images showing you the stroke order of some of Kanji. I have no idea why this website hasn’t been updated for since 2003, but that’s the way it is… It still offers some resources, so use them to your advantage.

Another website dedicated to learning Japanese, that offers exactly what it says on the tin! Free lessons for all!

And finally For Dutch visitors of my website; Japanology.

This website is a young website with an already active community of people aspiring to learn 日本語. Take a look if you please. And feel free to sign-up to the website.

Update に


Another great attribute for learning Japanese is the Nintendo DS

My Japanese CoachThe best application available for learning Japanese is an official release called ‘My Japanese Coach‘ by Ubisoft. In this learning tool you learn Japanese step by step in a playful way. The “games” used for learning the language don’t feel pointless, with the exception of “Hit-A-Word”. But so far, I haven’t encountered this mini-game anymore since lesson 6, where you get an introduction to Kana in the form of Hiragana.

What helped me learn Hiragana so fast (In a week! – Ed) is the homebrew application ‘Project JDS‘. A simple yet usefull application based on tutoring the Kana. You can choose to learn Romaji to Katakana, Romaji to Hiragana and Katakana to Hiragana, and all of these in reverse order if one wishes to do so. Project JDS has some nice added features in the form of an audio preview and an animated preview on how to write the Kana, and what order to perform the strokes in.

There are more applications available like ‘Kanji Sonomama Rakubiki Jiten (Kanji Dictionary). But they seem a little to hardcore for me right now. And the above two cover the same ground. Though I must say, I have yet to complete ‘My Japanese Coach’, so I don’t know how far that “game” goes.


My ‘Road to Japan’


Though I’m not exactly what one could call a ‘weeaboo‘ I have always had a fascination with some aspects of the Japanese culture.

My best guess is that seeing movies like Akira and Laputa: Castle in the Sky(not to be pronounced in Spanish) at an early age on the BBC inspired me, along with video-games and the occasional rental of well known Manga movies/series like Ghost in the Shell, Wicked City and Dominion Tank Police. I never went for the Manga magazine’s though. (I was too busy buying vinyls.) I remember there was an Anime on the Dutch TV show: ‘Telekids‘. Though I never found out what it’s name was. (And please, feel free to comment if you do!)

On this page I’ll post updates about my “roadmap to Japan”, as I plan too travel there for my internship for the Academy of Popculture. This plan started with meeting a new friend at school; Leonie Peerboom. A very talented singer. We both like Japanese culture, and her idea for an internship made me think about the possibilities of going there for mine as well. Japan is one of the many countries I want to see, but one of the few countries that are high on my priority list.

As a big added bonus, I always wanted to learn ‘a hard language’. And latin did not do the trick for me… Watashi-wa Nihongo-ga wakarimasen, demo, sukoshi wakarimasu.

That’s a lot more then I can say in most other languages! (I’m already helpless in France, and that’s just a few hundred kilometers away!)

So far, I’ve learned the basic Hiragana (no dakuten or anything fancy yet), some basic sentence structure and a few words to describe people, objects, countries and other ‘stuff’. Though learning the language without romaji is nigh on impossible, I can already say: Start learning Kana early. Hiragana and Katakana are not that hard to learn, but Kanji is best described as; ‘nightmare mode’! (No cheats, little ammo and no save games.) So make the step early, you’ll have a nice advantage once the proverbial feces start hitting the fan.

On this page you’ll read how this plan unfolds…


I noticed something; Katakana is in fact a little harder for me to learn. I could see a lot of resemblance between the different Hiragana. But I see less similarities between Katakana ‘symbols’. I do really like the tight drawing of the kana. I look forward to understanding it, and best off all writing them. I’ve got the basic hiragana covered by now, but I must say; I easily screw-up some similar kana like ‘ne’ ね & ‘re’ れ & ‘wa’ わ, ‘ru’ る & ‘ro’ ろ and ‘nu’ ぬ & ‘me’ め.

To help me learn Japanese I bought the following books:

– “Japanese for Busy People I ” Published by AJALT, available in just about any bookstore, I guess.

– “Random House Japanese-English English-Japanese Dictionary