Best order for learning Japanese?

Q: I am learning Spanish in school, but I’m teaching myself Japanese at home. In Spanish class, they teach the students progressively. Meaning alphabet, then greetings, then numbers and colors, basic grammar, and getting harder as you go a long. When you’re learning Japanese, is there a specific order that you would recommend? (like katakana and hiragana first, then numbers and colors, etc?) – Hannah

A: What a very good question!  When I first started the Genki Japan Learning Japanese website I didn’t really think about doing them in any particular order because I never thought it would be so popular.  But it probably is time to think about putting the things into some sort of curriculum order and filling in any holes where I need to make more materials for you.

With just one exception it sounds like your Spanish system is just about perfect, greetings, numbers, colours, basic grammar, etc. etc.   The only exception I would say, and this applies just as much to Spanish as to Japanese, is to keep the alphabet(s) until you have learnt quite a bit of spoken Japanese.  If you do the alphabets (or worse still romaji) too early you run the risk of sounding very foreign when you speak!

So looking at the Genki Japan themes we have so far, the best order for those would probably be:

  1. Disco Warm Up (best way to start!)
  2. Self Introduction
  3. Left & Right
  4. Where from?
  5. Numbers 1-20
  6. Months
  7. How much?
  8. Colors
  9. Learn Japanese cool, useful words and phrases.
  10. Who,what,why?
  11. Hot, Cold Song
  12. Weather
  13. Counters & Samurai
  14. Mary san’s sheep
  15. Katakana Song
  16. Hiragana Song
  17. Days of the week (good for basic kanji!)

How does that sound?

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