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Japanese: kana or not?


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So when I teach Japanese, I like people to learn a lot of vocabulary BEFORE they learn hiragana. 

Firstly, vocabulary is an essential aspect of language learning, and the more words and phrases a learner knows, the better they will be able to understand and communicate in the language. By introducing learners to a variety of Japanese words and phrases before they learn hiragana, the person I'm teaching can start building a foundation of vocabulary knowledge that will be useful when they start reading and writing in the language.

Secondly, hiragana is a writing system used in Japanese to represent syllables and phonetic sounds. It consists of 46 basic characters and is usually taught to beginners after learning basic vocabulary. However, for learners who are new to the language, hiragana can be a daunting and overwhelming task to learn. By focusing on vocabulary first, learners can ease into the language and gradually familiarize themselves with the sounds and patterns of the language before diving into the complex writing system of hiragana.

Furthermore, teaching vocabulary before hiragana can help learners to associate words with their meanings and pronunciation, making it easier to remember them.


The biggest reason I think is that vocabulary is more fun to learn and more sticky memory-wise than a bunch of unfamiliar characters.

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