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Newbie with a Question!

イ リ ニ

Hello everyone,

Today I began the Rocket Japanese course and completed module 1, 1.0.  I'm an absolute beginner, starting with zero experience in Japanese and will be studying around 3-4 hours a day.  Love, love, love it :-)  But I have a question!  Is everyone who is a beginner like me also studying how to read/write Japanese too?  Is that how I should be learning?  My initial assumption was that I'd be learning how to speak the language first, then focus on reading and writing.  It feels a bit overwhelming to think about doing both.

I'd love some feedback from people on what they are doing with regarding to learning how to speak it first vs. learning how to speak, read, and write at the same time.

Thanks guys!


I would STRONGLY recommend learning hiragana and katakana (Writing Lessons Module 1-4) right away, even if you've just started module 1.0. Reading/writing only romaji will become a disadvantage the longer you study.


As someone who had a head start by learning it at high school, I would say it is extremely important to learn the alphabet. If you can get your hands on physical books that teach and instruct stroke order for hiragana and katakana then you will be in business. You also need to learn the pronunciation of their alphabet to be able to speak and understand it and even read it.

You should continue with this course online at the exact same time. It will have immense benefit. However you really do need to learn the alphabet as it is the most important first step in learning Japanese. No formal educational course, institution, school would ever teach anyone Japanese without first teaching the alphabet as the very first step. Without the alphabet namely hiragana and katakana, it makes Japanese almost next to impossible to learn for a whole variety of reasons.


Free, practice-sheet resource for hiragana:

イ リ ニ

Thanks very much for the advice guys.  I'll do just that.  And thank you for the practice writing sheets - how helpful, and with lots of practice space, too!

We are visiting Japan in the autumn and I'm very excited to see how far I can get by then!


Here's the katakana practice-sheet:


イ リ ニ

THANK YOU!  I just found it prior to your post when saving the hiragana PDF - what a great website, too.  I'm going to use it in conjunction with this one.


I'm glad you found it. I meant to post it last night, but it had been a long day and my brain was sending back 404 errors. (笑)


Also, you can see the written language on the screen with the conversations.  Pay attention to those after you learn hiragana and katakana.  That will help you learn to read and write.  Then you can use the writing practice in each lesson.

イ リ ニ

I will, thank you :-)


How is it that no one has mentioned the BEST reason to learn ひらがな? Once you've learned it  - and it doesn't take that long! - you flip that "Show Romanization" switch to OFF and you can STILL READ the phrases. ( すみません Removed bad joke in poor taste about カタカナ inserted here.) What a head rush!

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