Saturday, May 3, 2014

Learning Japanese

The language my daughters want to learn is Japanese.  I'm OK with that.  So we got Rosetta Stone and I'm liking it.  You are totally immersed in the language.  I mean they don't even Romanize the sounds of the words, you just get it in how it would be normally written in Japanese.

By the end of the lesson one activities, I already knew a few phrases and words that I had not picked up from manga or anime.  Which is really cool.  My oldest daughter though is passing the rest of us by and is well into lesson 2 while her younger sister and I go back through the stuff we missed in lesson 1.

Now the big thing about Japanese is that there are 3 main alphabets in use currently: 

Hiragana--which is a phonetic alphabet for Japanese words
Katana--which is a phonetic alphabet for foreign words
Kanji--which is Chinese letters

Most kids in elementary school learn the first two alphabets and more than 1,000 kanji characters.  You need to be able to read over 2,100 to read a newspaper in Japan.  Which most kids master by the end of junior high school. 

Over the summer we're sticking with Rosetta Stone and then in the fall we will start working with Genki Elementary Japanese and the White Rabbit Kanji flashcards.  My hope is that they can at least try to get through the 5-3rd Japanese Language Proficiency Tests before they go to college.  But we'll see.

I mean I dreamed but never really thought my oldest daughter would be taking Algebra II her ninth grade year but that is our reality.  So who knows where we will go in the future.

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