Since Japanese is unrelated to English, learning it is a big job. You will want to learn the three writing systems: hiragana (ひらがな), katakana (カタカナ), and kanji (漢字), the characters imported from China. Japanese has imported thousands of words from English; many of them have been adapted and will at first be unfamiliar (e.g. terebi comes from "television"), but you'll soon begin to recognize them.
There is good news, though! You don't have to worry about whether nouns are masculine or feminine. Pronunciation is not too difficult: there are only five vowels, all of which sound familiar to English speakers, and almost all of the consonants are similar to English sounds. Unlike in Chinese, you don't need to worry too much about tones.
Studying in one of our small group classes, you can easily make a lot of progress. Our enthusiastic and patient Japanese teachers will guide you through this fascinating language, while also teaching you about Japanese culture and traditions.
Group Japanese Courses in Toronto
Hansa offers three levels of group Japanese classes. These eight-week programs are held Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Books and materials are included in the course fee. Payment and registration must be received before the registration deadline.
Our introductory Japanese course is ideal for students without any prior knowledge of the language. Units 1 through 3 of Japanese for Busy People I (by AJALT) will be used to guide the course. You will acquire a solid foundation in hiragana and katakana. You will learn introductions and greetings. Plain and polite language will be discussed, and you will learn to make negative sentences and questions. Other topics include particles, numbers, money, position and direction. You will also learn expressions for use in restaurants, stores and hotels.
The second course begins with a review of level one, and will proceed to cover units 4 to 7 of Japanese for Busy People I. You will improve your proficiency in reading hiragana and katakana, and you'll also learn some of the most important kanji. You will begin to learn fundamental regular and irregular verbs, and have more practice using common sentence structures. You will acquire more advanced vocabulary for describing people, places and things. Other topics include tourism, location, everyday life, eating out, visiting a Japanese home, exchanging presents, complimenting people, making phone calls, making plans and invitations, accepting and rejecting offers, and visiting festivals.
The third level begins with a review of levels one and two, and will proceed to cover units 8 to 11 of Japanese for Busy People I. There will be more practice with hiragana and katakana, and you will learn more kanji. You will study more polite expressions and have more practice conjugating verbs, making questions and forming negative sentences. More vocabulary, including particles, will be taught. Other topics include making plans, discussing schedules, giving directions, visiting museums, using public transportation, giving permission and warnings, describing activities in progress, and socializing.
The fourth level begins with a review of the topics covered in previous levels and will proceed to the first unit (lessons 1-3) of Japanese for Busy People II. There will be a complete review of simple clauses, and you will learn to ask people's opinions, get information and advice, make comparisons (comparative and superlative forms), connect sentences, indicate purpose, state preference, and describe characteristics of a variety of items. Each unit includes: target dialogue, grammar and pattern practice, reading, kanji practice and conversation practice.
Please note: material will be covered at the pace of the class; some of the above topics may not be covered, as the course will be geared towards the needs of the class as a whole. Some of the curriculum may be modified at the instructor's discretion.
Comments from former students:
"We could ask anything…good atmosphere"
"We got to speak a lot"
"I really liked how much we were submerged into the language"
"I liked the teacher the most. She was incredibly patient with us, and she was able to make learning such a complex language an absolute pleasure"
Private Japanese Language Programs:
Please note: All Japanese lessons are held at Hansa's 2160 Yonge Street campus. For private classes held off campus, within Toronto, an additional 35% surcharge will be added to the course fee.