Japanese (ab initio)

In the Japanese ab initio course you will study the 3 writing systems of the language — kanji (the Chinese characters), hiragana (cursive kana used for verbs and many adjectives) and katakana (angular kana used mainly for foreign words). However at first you may see romaji, a Romanized version of Japanese, which aids pronunciation of a beginner.   

The grammar is on the whole quite simple. There are no plurals, no genders, and no future tense (it is the same as the present tense). Of course there are some more complex grammar points, but they still have a set structure with very few irregulars.   

A variety of topics is covered over the 2 years from eating & drinking, transport, leisure and festivals, all forming part of the 5 prescribed themes: identities, experiences, human ingenuity, social organisation and sharing the planet. 

For the Japanese ab initio exam there are 3 sections: 

  1. A writing assessment.

  2. A reading and listening assessment.

  3. Oral assessment.

By Phoebe, Year 12 Student

Latest News from the Japanese Department

“Japanese is an incredibly fun and interesting language that is so different to the other languages offered. It is challenging at the start but the grammar is actually quite simple (no genders, few irregulars etc). In addition, the kanji means you can read some Chinese, so it’s like two languages in one.”
— Katie, Year 12