This class was tough.
Any language is difficult to learn in college- after all, the brain loses a lot of linguistic flexibility over time so that we can master a native language. Japanese is really tough. That being said, it's so much fun! It's easy to bond with other students who are taking the class with you, and it's quite fulfilling to learn how to write all the beautiful characters. It also helps that I had a great teacher from Japan at the U (Twin Cities). Because I'm in CLA, a language class was required for me, but I think that if you're considering a language class, Japanese is great no matter if it's a requirement.
Beginner's Japanese teaches you how to write all of the hiragana characters, which are used to write words that are already in the Japanese language such as dad, pencil, or Japanese names. You also learn all of the katakana characters, which are used to write non-native names and words such as coffee. Over the course of the year, about 100 or so kanji are studied and used as well. Kanji are Chinese characters used in the Japanese language, and have a pretty similar meaning to their Chinese counterpart. Basic grammar is learned, and by the end of the year, you can get a grasp on using adjectives, formal and informal speech, and properly conjugating verbs. Both oral and written Japanese are given thorough attention.
Hours per week:
Advice for students:
Study. Do not procrastinate on homework, put your effort into actually learning, not just short-term memorization, and ask a lot of questions. That's how I got through the class.