Stemming from my interest in Japanese travel (especially Tokyo) and anime, I’ve taken 6 lessons so far to study the difficult にほんご (Japanese language). What a satisfying experience! There are 2 main sets of characters to learn: Hiragana (native Japanese characters) and Katakana (words borrowed from other languages, mostly English). I love Katakana! I wish all Japanese words consisted of only Katakana. Because after memorizing those 46 characters, based on the sounds of the words, I was able to accurately guess the English words they were referring to.
Now I can understand 50% of the content of Japanese magazines, provided I read slowly. Given my understanding of 60% of Kanji, I can understand a grand total of 56%!