The Purpose of This Guide
The purpose of this guide is to teach you everything in the Japanese language in 36 hours.
No, I'm kidding.
That would be impossible.
At first glance, it might seem like this course is just about learning hiragana (ひらがな) and katakana (かたかな), the Japanese "alphabet," so to speak.
On a much deeper level, though, this course is about pronunciation. Therefore, I'd like to propose that:
The purpose of this guide is to build (or rebuild) a solid foundation for pronouncing (and therefore speaking and reading) Japanese.
If you've been studying Japanese longer than a month or so, I know what you're thinking:
Learning to pronounce Japanese only takes a few minutes.
I might have even said this myself at some point.
But I'd like to rephrase it, if that's all right:
Learning to poorly pronounce Japanese only takes a few minutes.
To really sound like a Japanese person takes a solid amount of effort. Everyone wants to start learning a language as quickly as possible. Usually, this is because we don't have faith that we'll really be able to learn whatever language we're dealing with. Worse, us humans tend to be pretty bad at sticking to the work required to achieve our dreadful goals.
The more experienced I get at learning languages, the more I realize that a slow, methodical exploration of pronunciation is the best entry point into a new language.
So that's what we're looking at here. We'll just happen to learn some Japanese characters while we're at it.
Trust me―If you read this guide, you will learn Japanese faster than other people. Also, you'll have better pronunciation than 99% of all foreign speakers of Japanese.
So yeah, that's the purpose of this guide.
Next, let's look at the purpose of your life...