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Basic Japanese

Learn basic Japanese with Rosetta Stone’s award-winning program.

by Rosetta Stone

If you have decided you want to take on the challenge of learning Japanese , you may be wondering where to start. Your first step will be to find a quality language learning program that you can trust to help you start with basic Japanese.

One of the first steps in basic Japanese will be to get familiar with the alphabet. You may be surprised to learn that Japanese has three basic writing systems: hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Hiragana and katakana are the phonetic alphabets that you will need to learn to speak Japanese, and are fairly straightforward to learn as most characters have only one pronunciation. Hiragana is primarily used for native Japanese words, while foreign words are represented by katakana. Therefore, your best strategy is to focus on hiragana first.

After you have learned the basic Japanese sounds and had some practice speaking Japanese, kanji is a natural next step to your language learning journey. Kanji is the Japanese written system of characters, and is adapted from Chinese. If you want to read and write Japanese, you’ll need to learn this system. Practicing even a little of this adapted writing system can help you learn Japanese vocabulary faster. And although kanji is not always as simple as breaking each character into smaller parts, once you get a feel for Japanese you can see connections between components of written words.

As an example:

  • 今日 is the kanji character for “today”
  • The radical in the second part of the character, 日, means “sun” or “day”
  • This same radical also turns up in phrases like “good afternoon” 今日は.

Learn Basic Japanese Phrases

Rosetta Stone can help you learn a new language whether it’s basic Japanese, or you are looking to advance your skills in any language. We have over 25 years of language learning knowledge, and vast experience with designing the most effective programs that help you build skills and confidence. The most proven way to learn Japanese is to surround yourself with it, and Rosetta Stone’s Dynamic Immersion® method is designed to do exactly that.

Learning a new language is most effective if lessons are both practical and fun. Our lessons are designed to fit into your life, whenever you are. The lessons are highly structured and designed to teach patterns in all languages through 5 different levels. Your progression will take you through these levels starting at Level 1 with basic Japanese. As you reach level 5, you will have developed enough language skills to confidently interact with native speakers of Japanese. As the lessons are available using our award-winning mobile app, you will be able to fit them into your daily practice regardless of where you are.

To ensure correct pronunciation, Rosetta Stone embeds a patented speech-recognition engine , called TruAccent, into every lesson. This gives new language learners feedback they can use immediately to make corrections. With this real-time feedback in hand, you will be able to align your accent with that of native speakers. It is a truly powerful tool to help you understand and be understood in Japanese.

Whether you are a beginning language learner working on basic Japanese, or an intermediate speaker, we are here to help you with your Japanese language goals!

Try Our Award-Winning App

Surround yourself with Japanese whenever, wherever with the Rosetta Stone app .

Download a unit and knock it out on the train or a flight. Select a 5-10 minute lesson and sneak it in while you wait in line or for your ride to show up. And explore dynamic features, like Seek and Speak, where you can point at an object in the real world and get a translation .

The best part? You don’t have to choose between app or desktop. Both come with your subscription and sync, so you can switch between devices seamlessly.

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