How to start Japanese

I have been wanting to learn Japanese for some time now but I am unsure how to go about this.

What writing type is used on LingQ?
What writing type should I learn first?
Is there a specific way to write the “symbols”?

Also, any comments about the language would be helpful.


Two of the famous people from the United States who are very proficient in the Japanese language are:
Patrick Harlan ( Patrick Harlan - Wikipedia)
Donald Keene (

Hiragana and Katakana are Japanese alphabets. It’s better to learn reading and writing Hiragana and Katanaka first. You can find many free learning Japanese site on the internet. Here is the one of them.

You can find many good Hiragana and Katakana lessons on Youtube.

I like this video! Watch it and sing it 100 times!

Here is the hint how to type in Japanese.

At LingQ, be a student of excellent Japanese tutor - emma00.
And ask Cakypa how to learn Japanese at LingQ. She started learning Japanese last December, she can communicate with me on the forum in Japansese! She is a excellent learner.

Good Luck!

Hi, it is easy to learn Japanese in Romaji. There are some beginner lessons provided in Romaji on LingQ. However, as Nobuo said, it is better to learn Hiragana and Katakana as soon as possible. It makes you read Japanese much more easily. No Japanese write in Romaji. Japanese usually write in Hiranaga using some Kanji.

You can find Hiragana and Katakana lessons in the LingQ library too:

Some lessons for beginners:

I also recommend you to use Firefox add-on called “rikaichan (” It is a very helpful tool to learn Japanese :slight_smile:


I forgot to say… “Enjoy learning Japanese!”

you also forgot to say “ganbatte” :))

I, too, recommend learning the Hiragana early. Remembering the Hiragana by Heisig worked great for me.

This is my personal experience: I tried as many of you the HIragana but since I was starting from nothing, it seemed a bit hard for me. So what I did is I bought me a japanese phrase book first at one of those book stores and started learning a few words and phrases. I started going to places where people would speak japanese like shushi bars and restaurants and started practicing what I had learned the day before. It was amazing how in a few months I knew over one hundred phrases enough to communicate with basic expressions. That interested me in now moving into learning Hiragana to complement what I already know. This makes it (at least for me) more interesting and fun. For me is easier when you have a base or foundation to get you started. Of course, everybody learns differently and with different methods, yet, mine works and I encourgage you or anybody to try it at least once.

I am working through all the Japanese beginner lessons on LingQ. Where they exist, I have the Romaji, Hiragana and Kanji versions open side by side, and I create the LingQs, first from the Kanji version (the Kanji usually has fewer multiple meanings than the Hiragana, and Romaji dictionaries aren’t generally much good), then the Hiragana and the Romaji versions. In each hint (assuming I can be bothered, it gets time-consuming) I cross-reference the Hiragana (and/or Katakana) and Romaji and Kanji. Then in my vocabulary list I have: Kanji, Hiragana / Katakana, Romaji and English for each word, and I can use any of them for the sort and look-up functions. It also means I score 3 times over for each new word I learn :wink:

You don’t need to dedicate time to learning Hiragana or Katakana or the basic Kanji if you use this method, you will pick them up as you organise your LingQs.

Be prepared to create a lot of LingQs before you can read Japanese comfortably, but it will come!

romaji lessons can be found at library under the “romaji” type –
hiragana lessons can be found under the “hiragana” type –

very good suggestions, someone should sticky this for future students!

who get a good methodto learn the kanji?

You can find some good kanji lesson videoes in Youtube. You can see how to write each basic kanji.

First you watch these video and try to write each kanji on the paper many times, at least ten times each. Please follow the stroke order.
Please learn and practice one or two new kanji every day and don’t forget to review the learned kanji.

Japanese first grader kids learn about 80 basic kanji in a year. Don’t give up kanji learning at least 80 kanji !

At the same time you learn how to write and read kanji, learn kanji prases as well.
山 yama (mountain)
大きい ookii (big)
大きい山 ookii yama (big mountain)
石 ishi (stone)
大きい石 ookii ishi (big stone)

Here is the good Japanese kanji learning site (for Japanese student). I think it’s good for non Japanese learners.

You can see many kanji drills. Try to click some of the picture of the kanji drill. It’s PDF file and you can print it out! There are a lot of kanji drill, reading, writing, how to use kanji in a sentense and a stroke order. I believe this is a good web site for Japanese parents who have elementary students.

Many Japanese members are here in LingQ. We will be happy to help Japanese learners here.
Gambatte ne!

thank you nabuo ,yes i will try with this site web .