Why, when you get to Intro, and Katagana, does it get a lot harder all of a sudden?
I've been thinking about starting the Japanese course lately but the idea of a completely different character set really scares me.
A few friends have said the Tiny Cards decks helped them study for their Japanese exams.
Honestly, the hiragana and katakana charactors are not that bad. It takes a little while to learn them all, but the majority of the characters are distinct in appearance and the sounds are not too difficult. It's actually pretty cool to know how to read hiragana/katakana, like reading coded messages using a substitution cypher.
The real tricky part is kanji. There are just so many characters AND multiple readings AND multiple meanings. It is too much information. With kanji, you basically need to treat the characters like extra vocabulary and learn them a little at a time as you improve your japanese. There's no way to learn them all at once in a few days or weeks, like the kanas.
I can read kanji because I know Chinese, but I cannot remember the pronunciations.