Dragon27 wrote:Whatever justification you're making up for yourself to put aside the aural aspect of the language for later, you should start working with it from the very beginning (after all, speech is the essence of the language).
I admit may sound strange to not care about the spoken language, but different people do have different language goals. For example, some people's goal is to just be able to understand anime, and for that you don't really need to learn how to read or even speak. Enjoying all the content is reward enough. And likewise, if someone's dream is just to be able to read novels, I can imagine they similarly wouldn't need to learn how to speak or listen. It's just a different goal.
I think it's an interesting question as to whether this will hinder any later attempt to learn how to speak. Personally, I don't think it would hinder you at all. Knowing the Kanji first before learning the spoken language would be a bit like a Chinese person picking up Japanese, already having a head start on the writing system, and just having to pick up the pronunciation.
I think the original post raises an interesting point about whether speech really is the essence of language when it is not necessarily true for deaf people. What is a deaf person hearing or subvocalising when they read Kanji? Can you argue that a native Japanese deaf person who can read fluently did not really learn the true Japanese language because the essence of the language is speech? It's a very thought provoking question.