So, at some point yesterday evening, I decided to finally get over myself and start studying Japanese. I mean, how hard could it be, right? This isn't my first go at it, but it's certainly my fiercest go of it. It began when I found myself looking at http://www.learn-japanese.info and then spiralled out of control. I've long known the basics of pronunciation and, over my various short lived attempts, managed to pick up a few bits of the grammar and even a handful of words... but on this day, I decided that wasn't enough. Ignoring the site's advice to learn the syllabarys (syllabaries?) Hiragana and Katakana, I jumped right into the lessons available. After all, they do provide the terms in Romaji (Japanese words with English letters), so why not just jump right in?
I got through 12 lessons this way, stopping at prepositions (postpositions?) as it introduced a little too much at once but I felt like I was making real progress. At this point, I started looking around for more learning resources, and found a few useful thing, but all signs seemed to point in one, very scary, direction: Learn Hiragana. Truth told, this hurdle always seemed to be the bridge too far; "There's so many characters", "The symbols are so complicated", "It'll take too much time/effort" my most common excuses. But this time... this time, I was determined and I stumbled on this wonderful post: http://www.tofugu.com/2010/10/13/hiragana-guide/