Learning a new language is certainly not an easy task but it's definitely fun to do so. I've been very interested in the Japanese language because since I was a child I often watch their animation. Though what I've watched was dubbed in Cantonese, the company left the opening and ending songs as it's original and often times I would sing along without understanding. Japanese animation has good music all the time and it's so enjoyable to listen to music that are different from western culture sometimes. Japan's manga is also a big factor in why I wanted to pick up the language because I believe the translated ones will have sometimes missed how sentences are suppose to mean to an individual. Reading it in its original language would be much true to the meaning. I also have a dream that someday I will be able to visit Japan without much trouble because of having a bit of knowledge of the language.
I started with a Nintendo DS game that was available and it taught me hiragana gradually and had games to test my knowledge. I then used the internet to print out all the hiragana and bought an exercise book to practice writing in it. I also tried to memorize and identify the letters when I see them on Japanese products, and anime where the subbers will often insert the text into the opening and ending themes. What I like about the DS game is that it gives information about Japan here and there and I love learning more. The games available are also gradually unlocked to harder ones once you proceed to more difficult levels of the game.
It's an interesting way to learn the language besides going to language classes. I also went to the bookstore to grab a dictionary to equip myself better and another book to help on grammar because that is the key to help make sentences. So far it's easy to learn hiragana and I think learning katakana would be easy too. The big challenge will be grammar and also kanji (because kanji has a lot of characters). I hope with more hard work I can at least learn the basics and judging from the game I'm just at pre-schooler level. Below are some pictures of the game, my writing and also both the books that I bought to assist me.