Project Updated to…DMITS

July 24, 2008 at 9:36 am | Posted in Personal | 17 Comments

It’s already been so long since I’ve updated on my progress learning Japanese…I only have one post. It’s from June. It’s been almost a month.

Well, I have a good reason, I haven’t made much progress. So there.

First, I want to thank everyone who offered me advice when I began Project TTDMITS (Which has now been changed to DMITS for Driving Myself Insane This Summer, because there is no more try). I intend to get both Genki I and II, especially since everything I’ve read about Genki has been extremely positive.

Just…you know…waiting until I get money. I was going to ask for one of the textbooks for my birthday, but the place with the lowest price is out right now (crap).

I know there’s torrents, but I don’t want that. I completely lack the ability to read things on the computer for long periods of time. I always do my studying lying on my floor…and I can’t do that with my computer anyway. Just…no.

So, for now I only have two things…since everything else has been returned to the library. They weren’t very useful anyway. What I have just cost ten dollars total, so my parents bought it for me anyway.

I have a Japanese-English/English-Japanese dictionary from Random House. A dictionary is always the most obvious thing to pick up. This one’s been pretty useful. 8/10 times when I go to look something, I find it. Otherwise I just turn here and find it anyway. But using the dictionary is definitely easier and better for when I’m not exactly sure of the romajii.

And for learning Kana, I got this neat little cheap book (it cost $3 because it was on sale). I carry it around in my purse so I can study kana whenever I’m sitting around waiting for my parents someplace (I still don’t have my license…). It’s called Kana Pict-o-Graphix.

Honestly, the “pict-o-graphix” part is a little annoying. Usually it’s more distracting than helpful. The only one I found even useful was the “A” you can see in the hiragana for a (あ), but everyone says to learn a that way anyway.

I only use it on the go because it’s easier to carry around for studying than flash cards. I’m making some flash cards to use at home when I’m bored.

But right now, most of my studying is coming from the same way I’ve learned most of my spoken Japanese. I take out one of my two issues of Nakayoshi, sit down with my two hiragana and katakana print-outs and just translate away.

It takes a long time to translate anything, but the kana sticks in my head easier that way right now. Especially with certain ones that keep showing up.

I’ve only been able to do this about…four times and really only 2-4 pages a time for those four times. But in that time I’ve memorized the hiragana for a (あ), i (い), tsu (つ), ru (る), ro (ろ), ko (こ), no (の), te (て), and shi (し). Not too many, but since I’m learning just from trying to quickly translate some text into romajii, I think it’s okay.

My katakana pretty much is the same as it was before I went into this. It’s just a (ア), i (イ), e (エ), no (ノ), ku (ク), ru (ル), ko (コ), to (ト), and yo (ヨ). Which, as you may be guessing, comes from just me being a Shugo Chara fangirl.

エル (Eru)
イル (Iru)
ヨル (Yoru)
イクト (Ikuto)

I was just used to seeing it. And while it’s on my mind…I’ve always wondered why Ikuto’s and Yoru’s names are in katakana. Not that I have a problem with it, it’s just something I’ve wondered. Iru and Eru I get because their proper spellings are Il and El.

Yes, seriously. Del Rey didn’t get it wrong. Iru and Eru are from Devil and Angel (debiru and angeru), so they actually are supposed to be spelt with the “L”. I’m just used to the “ru” already (and besides, Il looks like two lowers case L’s or two uppercase I’s).

…Well, I guess that’s it. I’ve really only made enough progress to cover less than a week…over a month. Oops.

Hopefully I’ll make more progress at a better rate from now on. That way I can continue to avoid questions about how I learn Japanese by posting my progress (and answering the questions by showing I’ve learned almost nothing).


  1. I learned hiragana then didn’t bother to learn katakana then slowly stopped memorizing kanji and yeah, grammar was confusing (or maybe I was confusing myself).

  2. KYA! You found Eru and Ikuto’s name in…Kanji? SO COOL!!!

    LOL, I SOOOO wanna learn Japanese ><

  3. My friend recommended me the book Japanese for Busy People, it seems pretty good…I’m sure you can find an older version cheap used/new on amazon…I also didn’t use it much before my friend asked for it back for someone else! haha :)

  4. Even after studying Japanese for about a year and a half {and I still am}…I still have trouble with Katakana…”’orz

    Kanji on the other hand, I find it easier to memorize and translate! ^_^’ I don’t know why Katakana won’t stick to my head, and it’s used quite frequently too…>_>

    Well, Good luck on your studies!

  5. Well, I’m not quite sure what to say. On one hand, it’s really good that you made progress and that you’re starting to sort out the two different kana’s. But on the other hand, I learned it in less than two weeks, self-taught. Try this one: Write out each kana out by hand, read it by heart, then start reading simple sentences. It should stick with you more that way and it’s a better use of time.

    Also, イル、エル、 イクト、and ヨル are spelt that way because…that’s what the author wanted and SC is aimed for kids. But Japanese names are surprisingly arbitrary. Like this: KagamiNoKujira, 鏡の鯨、 カガミノクジラ、 かがみのくじら, カガミの鯨、 鏡ノクジラ, or かがみノクジラ。 Funny thing is, they could be 8 different people. You just don’t know unless they tell you.

    Just keep studying whenever you have time and you’ll get it, eventually. Then have fun with kanji. Just don’t threaten or kill anyone out of frustration.

    Also, Angel = エンゼル. Angel =/= アンゲル. It’s written by pronunciation, not spelling. Del Ray got it wrong.

  6. I meant 7 people…

  7. lelangir: Katakana and hiragana seem to be the easiest for me right now. Somehow katakana’s been ever easier. Just how my brain works I guess. But the grammaer’s been confusing me too and that’s really what’s been slowing me down I think.


    lol2728: Well all you have to do is pick up a couple of books or just start memorizing stuff like crazy.


    susieq: Ah. I heard that one before. I think I saw it online somewhere for a pretty decent price. I’d need to try and see what’s actually in it first though. If it’s just basic stuff (like greetings and basic conversation) I probably won’t need it. But I’ll definitely check it out.


    53RG10: Everyone’s been saying that about katakana, but I can’t help but think it’s easy. Kanji on the other hand…my brain works the same way with kanji as it does with math. Meaning it doesn’t. It just shuts down on me basically (*failure*). But thank you.


    kagaminokujira: Yeah. I’m a slow learned with things like…symbols. I’m good with languages, but learning a whole new…sort of alphabet is really hard for me. It’s sort of like I have to readjust the way I think in order to get it. So it might still take me a while.

    Ah…I knew someone would suggest the writing. I…can try it. But…I don’t learn things that way. At least I haven’t up until now. I learn by memorization instead of…doing. But at this point I’m willing to try lmost anything, when I can manage to make it work.

    Oh, I kind of get that about names. I was just wondering why it was katakana in particular instead of hiragana (like Amu’s name). Just…a decision on what seemed best I guess. I get that. I should see how they spell Utau’s name too. I haven’t bothered yet.

    Ah…well I don’t really know about Angel specifically (I never saw it spelt out before), all I know is that Eru is エル and that it’s intended to be for El from Angel. So I’m not sure if that’s Del Rey’s mistake or someone else’s, but El is supposed to be the official spelling. From everything I’ve heard…except from some crazy fans who see “Eru” first and because they saw it that way first it must be right. I hate that.

  8. Nice to hear you’re progressing well. ^^ This means you can put up translations for the SC! chapters soon, rite? lol J/k. J/k. xDD;;;
    I…still can’t tell the difference between hiragana and katakana (wahh~!). I wish I could learn…too busy, tho. *sigh* Heh, but from reading the raws, I can now easily find Amu’s, Ikuto’s, Iru’s and Eru’s name. Oh, and I think I figured out “Arigato”, too. That’s it. xD; Heh…
    I’ve been wondering about why Ikuto’s name is written like that, too (unless it’s just easier to type out or something). Come to think of it…what does his name translates to anyway?
    O.O Rly?! I always thought that Il and El’s names were derived from some European language pronouns or something (I think it’s French but “El” would be spelled differently). Il for the male (lol, rite…), and El for the female. Huh, never realized the devil and the angel bit. Interesting…

  9. Ha…no. Not even close. At most I could do summaries…a year from now.

    Ah, well with hiragana and katakana…katakana is kind of sharper and hiragana is usually curvier. If you know…that makes sense.

    I don’t know arigato yet…the only word I can recognize outside of names is like…”tamago” because of the pages from Shugo Chara I worked on. Oh, and “ano” too, because Amu says that a lot.

    Ikuto’s name…translated to like…nothing. I’ve tried looking it up before in romajii and in katakana. Nothing. Even if you try a google search all you really get is…Ikuto. So…I guess it just means smexy catboy. Mystery solved.

    I thought that at first too! Then I was just sitting around being weird going, “Angeru!” for Eru, then it just clicked. Angeru…Debiru…that’s just too good to be a coincidence.

  10. Is Amu’s name really in Hiragana? Well, if it’s written that way, then that’s how her name is in Japanese. Don’t bother trying to understand why. You’ll just end up with a lot more questions. But like I said before, SC is aimed for kids, so names without kanji are preferable to ones with kanji. It’s easier to read.

    I get what you mean now. Yeah, エル = El since ル is ambiguous. A hard fact is if you have “L” anywhere on the English word, add ル. If you’re not sure, say it out loud with Japanese pronunciation. 4/5 times you’ll get it right. And super, crazy fans are idiots. Don’t listen to them.

    And here’s something for you to translate: 冬メイデン。 Use it when you go to Japanese sites.

  11. God, chinese is confusing enough… I hav no interest in learning Katana or Hiragana… Well, good luck for learning them!!!! ^^

  12. Huh. I guess I should read more on SC instead of believing what every fan says. Just to clear up a tiny mystery on Ikuto’s real name in case someone wanted to figure out what it was (courtesy of

    Tsukiyomi Ikuto = 月詠幾斗

    Their names aren’t written in hiragana or katakana normally. So, have fun with this. Try and read it, if you can.

  13. Actually, she is right, Del Rey did get it right. Check SC Vol.4 (Japanese). Peach-Pit has it right in their book already “Il” and “El”. xP I found it odd myself when reading (Or rather, attempting to read), but then again, Utau’s profile in the same volume is ALREADY in english (WEEEIRD). And yeah, Amu’s name is in Hiragana, her profile in the first pages of every book has it as “日奈森・あむ”, and within the book they always use Hiragana. And Ikuto’s name is in Kanji in the profile at the begining of each book, though it’s written in Kana in the dialog. Weird. xP

    Good luck on your Japanese, I’m trying to learn as well. ;3

  14. Posted for convenience. And for people who don’t have the Japanese copies of SC.

    日奈森亜夢 = Hinamori Amu
    ほしな歌唄 = Hoshino Utau
    辺里唯世 = Hotori Tadase
    相馬空海 = Souma Kukai
    結木やや = Yuiki Yaya
    真城りま = Mashiru Rima
    三条海里 = Sanjo Kairi

    NyaChan: Well, considering the age group SC is aimed towards, I wouldn’t be surprised if all the first name readings were in Hiragana or Katakana just for simplicity’s sake, but they could use furigana if they had to. So it is kind of weird. The only exceptions are the しゅごキャラなり where all their names are in Katakana.

  15. @Kagaminokujira: Well the Kyara-Nari names are in Katakana because it’s, like, english though, right? xD Horribly butchered english (I’ve had to stare at it for a while to figure some out… and I never did figure Kukai’s out until Vol.4 in english LOLIPHAIL), but still english. xP

  16. I know two more katana symbols

    mi (ミ)
    li (リ)
    and if you want to lengthen the pronunciation, add (ー)
    eg. li -> ly
    (リ) -> (リー)

    hope it helps!

  17. I have already learned Hiragana, it is very helpful for the Furigana. Just read raw manga and you have training material (I have Shinkuro volume 10). But I don’t really get the Japanese grammar -> don’t want to learn vocabularies and stuff. I knew probably 40 kanji and that is not much.
    Well, I try to remember the katakana but some of them looks really too much alike, e. g. shi/tsu and so/n, that is kinda weird.
    But even if people say the chara’s names should be pronounced as “Il” and “El”, I think Iru and Eru are used in the anime…
    Good luck on learning!

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