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A couple of questions..

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Jul 6, 2014
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Konnichiwa :)
I have a couple of questions if you would be kind enough to help me.

1. Why is は (ha) sometimes pronounced as わ (wa) ?

2. I studied Hiragana and can now read and write them, the problem is when it comes to reading, i do it very slowly like a child learning to read for the first time.. Any advice to help me?

3. Is learning Hiragana and Katakana enough to be able to read? I know Kanji is used a lot but i mean as a starting point, are there any simple books that can be read without any knowledge of Kanji?

4. Is the Genki text book and it's exercise book any good? I'm thinking of getting them...

PS: i'm learning Japanese all by my self, no course or tutoring of any kind.

And sorry for the lengthy post :sorry:
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
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は serves double duty. Sometimes it just indicates the sound "ha" in a word. Other times it serves as a grammatical marker (a "particle") and is pronounced "wa". Similarly, へ is sometimes pronounced "he" and sometimes pronounced "e" (as a particle in the case of "e").

You just learned them; of course you read slowly. We all did. You'll get better.

You have a lot of grammar and vocabulary to learn before you should even think about tackling books. If you're thinking children's books would be easy, just realize that children need thematically simple books, not linguistically simple books. Finding level-appropriate practice reading materials has always been a problem for beginning students of Japanese.

Genki should be fine. Get the audio materials and workbook as well. Pay careful attention to pronunciation; you don't want any bad habits that will get harder and harder to correct the longer they go on.
 
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1) It's a historical artefact. When kana spelling was modernised, some things weren't changed. は is only "wa" when it's the particle.

2) Practice, practice, practice! Don't worry, it will improve with time.

3) There are things that contain no kanji, but lack of the right grammar and vocab are what will stop you reading. Children's books are something a lot of people try but they really aren't good for beginners. You do sometimes see "graded readers" meant for Japanese learners but probably the best thing is to get a textbook which will have some reading passages for you.

For just practising katakana you can always try to sound out a few things on Japanese websites. I'm literally talking about just going onto Amazon or googling メニュー (guess what that word is) and seeing how many words you can recognise/work out. Not all katakana words are from English of course, but quite a few will be. Plus a lot of general words on websites - look for ログイン ヘルプ etc.

4) Genki is used by a number of universities and is generally highly regarded. If you've just learnt your kana it would be a good next step.
 
Joined
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First of all, thank you for the replies. I wasn't expecting them this good :)

Second, for the books reading and the lack of vocabulary and grammar apprehension thing, I was thinking if there are any simple books or magazines or maybe manga that only contain Hiragana and Katakana that i can read, for improving my reading speed and proficiency, and learning new words and getting used to the way Japanese language is made up. After all, English isn't my mother tongue and I've learned it all by myself, and i thought i could do the same with Japanese :p

As for the pronunciation, I usually tend to be good at it, but i'll pay extra attention.

Oh and for Genki, I'll get it and start with it today. Wish me luck :)

ありがとうございますみなさん
 
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Good luck!
I did the Genki series myself too and it's really a great series to start learning Japanese.

I was thinking if there are any simple books or magazines or maybe manga that only contain Hiragana and Katakana that i can read, for improving my reading speed and proficiency, and learning new words and getting used to the way Japanese language is made up.
Umm, for practice you can try White Rabbit Press - Japanese Graded Readers or this super easy manga Chi's Sweet Home - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
These are mostly in Furigana but still very difficult to understand, it would be better if you stick to a proper textbook first. :)
 
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If you want to look at manga etc, look somewhere like Jコミ or kids sites like this one. However, many learners attempt to read these sort of materials and don't get much out of it. It's not their fault - it's just that this is a very inefficient way of trying to pick up vocab and grammar (particularly if you're reading material aimed at five year olds).

You can have a go if you like - here's a short bit from one of those websites summarising one of their stories:

ケーキが だいすきなマッチンくん。
ママにないしょで ケーキをたべちゃった!
どうしよう!?

マッチンくんからの おねがい
もしも、いけないことを しちゃったら、
すぐにゴメンなさいしよう!
A textbook will give you a better way of starting yourself off with grammar and vocab. You should also be learning kanji (Genki will introduce you at least some). Once you have that grounding, you can start thinking about reading practice.
 

migurushii

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About your third point, it would be helpful to get very comfortable with katakana & hiragana as soon as possible, as in just becoming able to easily recognize & pronounce them. It makes studying & reading a whole a lot easier & quicker.

If you want to do that, I know the japanese versions of the Pokemon games are entirely in HIragana & Katakana. You don't have to understand the dialogue, you can simply play through it and practice reading as you go. Maybe do that for a while each day until you notice your speed getting significantly better.

You can easily find one by searching "Pocket monsters sapphire rom" or whatever. & you can play it on your computer using no$GBA. But you didn't hear it from me :souka:
 
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Okay everyone thank you very much for your great answers, ありがとうございます
Those links you guys posted are tempting and really good. I'll spend sometime on them. And i'll try Pokemon for sure (migurushii don't worry, i didn't hear it from you.. )
But all in all, i think your answers gave me the impression that i should stick with Genki for the time being, and not try to "read" but it's okay to try reading without fully understanding just to get used to recognizing kana and getting comfortable with it.
Thank you again, you couldn't be more helpful. :thumbsup:
 
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Good luck!
I did the Genki series myself too and it's really a great series to start learning Japanese.



Umm, for practice you can try White Rabbit Press - Japanese Graded Readers or this super easy manga Chi's Sweet Home - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
These are mostly in Furigana but still very difficult to understand, it would be better if you stick to a proper textbook first. :)
abhisheksan
i'm interested in your reference to chi's sweet home. do you have a link to an example or perhaps a japanese online version?
よろしくお願いします
 
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