Japanese Hiragana & Katakana for Beginners: First Steps to Mastering the Japanese Writing System (CD-ROM Included) - Timothy G. Stout

I am proud to announce that …

I can read and write Hiragana and Katakana!. Something that I considered impossible become a reality with this amazing book. It made learning so easy. It was like learning how to draw. The book has many activities at the end of the lesson, and each one of them was not only helpful, but so much fun to do them. Now, every time I watch animes or TV shows that have something written on screen, I enjoy reading them out loud. Although it is more like this: “Ko… re…o…i…i…shi…de…su…” (like a child would read it). But nevertheless!

It took me around 2 months, but it can be learned in less time. Once I learned Hiragana, Katakana was a lot easier to remember. My two only concerns are: how would I know when to write in Hiragana and when in Katakana? I know that Katakana is used for transcriptions of foreign words, but I’ve seen that both kanas are used in onomatopoeia. Or Japanese names. For example, I know that Haruka is written in Hiragana, but Sunako is written in Katakana. (?)

My other problem is to tell the character シ (tsu) from ツ (shi), and ソ (so) from ン (n) – I guess I just need more practice.

I noticed that some characters are  a bit different in the daily use than from how it is in the book, like the Hiragana for “sa”, for “ki”and for “hu”, to name a few. The images were very helpful; sometimes if I could not remember how to write a character, I turned mentally to the image.

If I have to vote today for my Best Books Read in 2014, this treasure would be in my Top 5, without a doubt.