Get out of my class.

Perhaps you’ve begun to study Japanese without planning to learn the writing system. Maybe you never plan to do so under the pretense that you’ll learn the language through speech alone. If so, I cannot help you. Frankly, I’m not sure why one with no desire to study another language through text would ever bother reading a blog about it, but… oh well.

l begin with these thoughts out of both frustration and concern. I am not a professional nor have I even attended college, but I have had very real experience tutoring and developing the minds of others in language arts. Time and time again, students acknowledge the importance of –yet fail to devote themselves to– the timeless practice of rudiments. Whether it be times tables, conjugation charts or lists of helping verbs, any language has fundamental groups of things to be memorized. Today’s learner, conditioned by instant gratification, is simply unwilling to entertain this fact and is thereby unfit to learn. Honestly, I believe those of us left unswayed by this should abandon the pursuit of language altogether.

Ultimatums and underlying themes aside, l simply believe the writing system and phonetics of a language should be given the most attention from the beginner. I mean, if you can only read romaji and you understand this phrase:

hyotto suru to watashi to onaji gobyou wa ugokeru no ni ugokenai furi wo shiteiru no darou ka?

Just leave. Get out because you need to write your own blog or book on how to do that. For the rest of us, I will focus on techniques I used to master kana in four 10 hour days. Yes, I learned kana while at work –talking to customers in a call center– in just four days.


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