How can I explain how romaji is not a shortcut to learning Japanese? Plus not a good way to replace learning Kana,Kanji, and Hiragana.
Jul 1, 2015 11:28 PM
Answers · 1
I agree - I think of it like trainer wheels on a bike, or floaties when a child starts learning to swim. For me, learning several different things at the same time just overwhelms my brain. I like to break the learnings down into units and focus on one thing until I have a reasonable grasp and can do it without thinking too hard, then add a second thing and repeat etc. When you teach a child to swim, you don't teach them, simultaneously, how to move their arms, kick their legs, breath, breath on alternating sides, turn at the end of the pool, dive in gracefully, etc. so you give them floaties, keep them in the shallow end and let them get use to feeling the water on their face - anything else and you would overwhelm and scare them so much that they would give up. For me, learning new words, a new way of constructing a sentence, a different way of pronunciation etc AND learning a new writing system, all at the same time, was just too much. So I used romaji to get me going, so I could focus on the non writing parts and at least get started. Then I introduced kana and after a while kanji. Romaji gets you going - but you do have to understand that you need to jettison it pretty quickly if you are going to make progress - after all, you don't see anyone on the Olympic swimming team with floaties and you don't see competitors in the Tour de France with training wheels on! I realise not everyone will agree with me, but frankly I don't care - it worked for me, and that is all I care about. And judging by the terrific feedback I got from my teacher yesterday, I must be doing okay!!
July 2, 2015
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