Japanese Progress

I’ve completed learning hiragana and katakana, but I’m finding some kana in katakana to be a little similar and confusing. Kanas like シ (shi) and ツ (tsu), or ソ (so) and ン (n) have very subtle differences — the brush strokes are different, but depending on the font type (or if it was written), don’t know if I’ll be able to tell the difference, unless in context. And other kana have similar appearances, like ウ (u), ス (su), ヌ (nu), フ (fu), ラ (ra), ワ (wa), and ヲ (wo). I probably need to spend another 20-30 hours of drilling and writing to get the strokes right.

The other subtle problem I’m having is recalling the right appearance of the kana when given the romanji. Recalling (n) in hiragana is easy, katakana is a little harder… but will just take time & practice. The other issue I’ll have, until I become better a listening, is the difference between short and long vowel sounds — a word like famous, 有名, or ゆうめい. There’s a subtle long (u), that if someone said the word, I’d accidentally omit it.

I need to start learning some vocabulary words next. I don’t feel like I’m at the point of sentence construction or verb conjugation… And with speaking, I find certain sounds to be difficult to say…to go from one sound to other certain sounds doesn’t feel natural yet.