I was in the bookstore yesterday, when a guy struck up a conversation with me. At some point he mentioned reading manga, which he pronounced correctly, so I said that I was learning Japanese, and he said that he was, too.
But here we ran into a difference in philosophy.
My first step was learning to read the hiragana and katakana and recognize the daily use Kanji.
His first step, which was still in progress, was learning to write the hiragana, katakana and daily use Kanji.
Now, I do intend to learn to write hiragana and katakana and then begin to tackle writing Kanji, perhaps beginning in a year or so, depending on how I’m doing with the language at that time, but I deliberately put off writing to focus on speaking and reading.
He has deliberately put off speaking and reading to focus on writing the Kanji.
I can’t even say that one of us is right and one of us is wrong. Hopefully, we both end up in the same place ultimately, but I feel like my method is more useful in the beginning. Maybe I’m wrong about that, but, to be honest, the three months I spend learning to recognize and remember all those Kanji was a grind. It was absolutely useful and has helped me tremendously learning to read.
But, as I say, it was a bit of a grind. In fact, I started this blog to help keep myself motivated during that effort. I can’t imagine grinding through learning to write without learning to speak the language at the same time.
I’m not saying it’s wasted effort, but I don’t think it would work for me.
Well, to each his own, right?