Alright, here we go. It’s the end of March and you have no idea what I have been challenging myself to do this month. I’m not going to lie – I did get started a little late on this one, but that doesn’t mean I have abandoned this project before a third of the year is over. That would just be sad.
In case any of you were wondering how my February challenge turned out, follow this link or see below this post. As a reminder, every week I watched a different documentary film from the last four decades and wrote down my thoughts, impressions, and probably overly-invested feelings about each one. I’m done being a critic (for now), so for March I decided to develop a skill rather than continue being the world’s loneliest peanut gallery from my living room couch.
I feel that it is necessary to provide some context for the skill I selected to develop this month. My boyfriend has been learning the Japanese language for 1.5 years, and can speak and write at a 3rd grade level (yay, him!). For everyone that has tried to learn a language, you know it’s not something that happens overnight. He’s worked long and hard to achieve that level of proficiency, so I’m definitely not suggesting that I’m going to spend this month learning Japanese so that I can be his conversational partner. That would be nice, but who am I kidding – I’d be lucky if in a year I could write “I love you” or “can you stop yelling at your video game, I’m trying to read” in Japanese’s THREE types of scripts.
Domestic annoyances aside, being able to participate in even a portion of my boyfriend’s Japanese language journey would be special. Over the course of his study, he has introduced me to various scripts, grammar rules, and verb conjugations, all of which I have found to be very logical. One of the Japanese scripts – hiragana – caught my eye. It is essentially the Japanese alphabet, composed of various consonants and vowels. The combinations of these sounds are limited, and would actually be a realistic thing to learn in a about a months’ time. Actually, as I write this, I’m almost through learning all of the sounds and strokes – stay tuned for how this month’s challenge ends!
How Did I Do?
I was successful in learning the Hiragana “alphabet”! I am a visual learner, and found the grid below to be very helpful during my study. I also learn well when I have to explain concepts, rules, and techniques out loud, so I recorded a video of myself walking through the sounds and scripts of Hiragana. Even though I made a couple of minor mistakes, I think this tutorial could be useful to anyone who wants to learn the basics of Hiragana. Enjoy!