If you are going to get started on learning this awesome language, this is the place to look.
There are probably few languages that you can strive to learn as difficult as this one. Japanese is a language used in an ages old country, with an ages old culture. Deciding to take that giant step and start diving into it is a though choice, one that requires dedication, but that can yield a great sense of accomplishment!
Why do people strive to learn something as difficult as Japanese? Well, most of its success is probably due to all the popular cultural products Japan has to offer, such as mangas, animes, etc… Some may need it for business. But for any needs, there is one place I strongly suggest where you can find the ideal ->free<- lessons.
Otaku Project is a website with a dedicated community that strive to bring people closer to that illusive language that is japanese. With lots of worksheets and tests, learning the three japanese alphabets has never been easier.
As you may or may not know, japanese language uses three alphabets. Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji.
While the first two are based on sounds and are more closely related to the way the ocidental languages work, Kanji is the though part, with over two thousand characters to learn. As such I would strongly recomend starting with Hiragana, moving your way to Katakana. When you have finally dominated these two, start learning some vocabulary while at the same time trying to master a few basic Kanji.
Of course, all the process requires lots of practice. It’s useless to learn a new language if you’re not going to give it any use. Fortunately, with the internet having such a large reach, you’re not gonna have too hard of a time trying to find conversation partners to practice.
Another tip I can give you is, use online translators for vocabulary, if you need, but don’t rely too heavily on them. Chances are their literal translations won’t reflect the correct ways to write. Still, you can use them for some single words and for pronountiation.
Anyway, at the end of the day, there’s only one tool you need to be successfull at mastering the language: Your own determination and dedication!
Good luck fellow otakus!