Who else is enjoying the new course? I'm loving it so far! Any tips on how to remember the characters? Good luck on your Japanese! ^_^
I just make mental associations with things I already know :P The symbol for 'mu' kind of looks like an animal, 'o' has an 'o' pattern in it (the ring at the bottom) whereas 'a' is similar but has the extra stroke for like "I'm #1!". lol i'm weird -___- Repetition is probably the best key.
Yes, i am loving the way they are working through the individual characters first - so much easier than the russian way of diving in With words - i still get confused on that course. As for remembering i am making mental pictures if i can and repeating all the individual lessons several times.
Writing it out tends to help me remember, as well as the mental association swingbeatnik7 mentioned (my favourites are:
ぬ(nu) - chopsticks holding NOOdles (noodles being the swirl).
め (me) - now that it doesnt have a swirl you've dropped the noodles and have a MEss. な (na) - a nun kneeling infront of a cross.
ひ (hi) - a smiling face laughing "hihihihi". If you do write out the characters, i'd also recommend googling the stroke order of them.
I didn't use any tricks to learn hiragana or katakana. I took a Japanese course in university, and we just practiced reading and writing hiragana in class and for homework. I learned all hiragana in a week, and was able to read it fairly well within two weeks. Katakana we had to work on by ourselves. But the best way to learn it is to write it, and write it over and over again. That was 20 years ago I did this. I ended up living in Japan for 11 years, and my constant exposure to the language allowed me to become pretty quick at reading hiragana and katakana. Kanji was another matter, but I can read around 400.