Language Lab – Japanese Class Week 1: Pronunciation and Common Phrases

Hajimemashite! If you've ever been interested in learning to speak, read, and write Japanese, then this is the class for you. Over the course of this class, I'll be releasing recorded lessons each Wednesday, each of which will teach you something new about the Japanese language.

There are a few things you should know before starting this class. First, while I took Japanese for four years in college and lived in Wakayama City, Japan for a year, I am by no means an expert on the language. Think of this class as an introduction to Japanese, not an in-depth study of the language. And of course, if you hear a native Japanese speaker or a certified Japanese language instructor contradict anything I say in my lessons, always defer to them. Please also keep in mind that while I try to mind my pronunciation, it may not always be on point. Supplementing these lessons with other resources, such as Mango Languages, opens a new window or the library's collection of Japanese language-learning materials, opens a new window, might be a good idea.

Second, these lessons will be broken into two types: speaking and writing. Speaking lessons will cover grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. Writing lessons will cover the three Japanese alphabets: hiragana, katakana, and kanji. As a side node, please ignore me saying that I won't cover kanji in some of my early lessons. I ended up changing my mind on this. Some future blog posts may include a link to one lesson of each type, or two lessons of the same type.

Now that that's out of the way, this week we'll have two speaking lessons. The first one will cover the basics of Japanese pronunciation. 

The second will introduce some common Japanese phrases.