Lesson 0: Learning to Read and Write Japanese
This lesson is sort of pre-schooling before you start on the real lessons, and deals with learning to read and write the hiragana and katakana scripts. It doesn't really teach any Japanese, but you cannot properly learn a language if you don't know to read and write it (you will learn kanji once you can read and write the phonetic scripts, let's not concern ourselves with complex Chinese characters just yet)
The reason you will be learning this first, is actually very simple: the lessons have been written for people who are serious about learning Japanese, so there will be no romanised Japanese in them, all the words will be written in (at least) Japanese sound script, so if you don't know how to read and write Japanese .. well... let's just say there's no real point in taking lessons then ^^;
There are three parts to this lesson. Firstly, learning the hiragana, which are the "cursive" form of sound script in Japanese. Secondly, learning katakana, which are the "blocky" form of sound script, and last you get to do some practice. If that sounds good, then click on the hiragana link in the top navigation bar and let's get you on your way to learning to read and write Japanese!