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Questions on the japanese course

Hello, i'm new, i'm gonna travel to japan for 2 months this summer so i would have liked to learn just the basics. So here are the questions: - Do i really need to know both hiragana and katagana? - How complete is the course if i want to have a conversation with someone? - When i'll complete the course, where can i improve more? thank you ^^

March 20, 2018



Do learn both hiragana and katakana. If you have free time, it should take a day to learn each of them. After learning them, do use duolingo, but also search for other resources as well.

I recently found out about the website minato-jf.jp/ which is a really nice place. It offers courses for 5 different proficiency levels, with an expected 48 hours of study in each course. If you cram through them, you could finish most of them before you travel. You can also use YouTubers/YTVideos to study, etc.

As the other person said here already, learning survival phrases might also be really useful. Even more so than learning Kanji, or studying the language thoroughly (considering how little time you have left).


thanks! i'm gonna definitely follow your tips


"Do i really need to know both hiragana and katagana?"

Yes. Hiragana is used more, but both are important (and not that hard to learn). If you don't have a lot of time, I wouldn't worry about learning all the kanji, however. There are too many.

"How complete is the course if i want to have a conversation with someone? "

Not complete enough. The course is still in beta and will not get you that far on its own. You will need to expand your learning to other resources.

"When i'll complete the course, where can i improve more?"

Check the language resource sticky on this forum and the many, many other discussions of this same topic. Since you only have a short time to learn, I would recommend focusing on "survival phrases" instead of aiming for true conversational skills.

Learn how to ask important questions and polite ways to greet people or thank them for helping you.

JapanesePod101 as a good place to start - they have a course that is specifically tailored to an absolute beginner who needs basic phrases when visiting Japan for the first time. There are many other resources out there, if you look for them.


I second using JapanesePod101. They have videos on youtube, but if you sign up for their website you get a week free trial membership that opens up audio, grammar hints, flashcards and downloadable pdfs for their lessons along with their videos. (After the free trial is over you will only see the free youtube videos on the site unless you choose to pay so take advantage of it as much as possible)

Their absolute beginner course covers everything from introducing yourself to hotels, restaurants and airports. It's a great place to start if you need to learn basic survival conversations quickly.


thank you guys! ^^ it was only the first impact, by now i've already memorized most katagana and hiragana characters (basically the ones that are more recognizable) Anyway, when i'll finish this course i'm gonna follow your tips, thanks again!

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