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How to Learn Japanese Language?

2020-08-21

Why you cannot learn Japanese Language?

 

#1: Don’t Focus Too Much on Writing.

Learning how to write the Japanese characters is important, but you don’t have to practice drills to make it perfect.

The order and direction of strokes is only important when writing the characters using traditional brush and ink. But modern conversations involve mostly electronic texts, so you don’t necessarily need to focus too much on how to write.

Of course, writing the characters yourself will improve memory retention. So don’t completely ignore writing drills as well. Japanese alphabet hiragana is difficult for complete beginners. Therefore, I don´t recommend to study on your own but find an experienced tutor.

With tutor you will make the whole process easier. When I studied Japanese, I found an experienced Japanese tutor. Lessons were interesting and helpful but my experience is subjective.

 

#2: Get the Latest Textbooks.

One thing that stays true about language: it constantly evolves. Words and phrases that meant one thing a decade ago might have different connotations in the present.

Take the English language, for example. The word “slay” has a new, safer slang meaning. As a Japanese example, kisama is a word you might have come across in anime and manga. It’s often used nowadays as a rude or brusque way to say “you”. But in feudal Japan around 300 years ago, kisama is actually the honorific way to say “you”.

If you want to study the language and be current, get the most updated version of the learning materials you want.

 

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#3: Read and Watch Manga, Anime, and Japanese Dorama.

It’s to learn Japanese language from textbooks. But you might be surprised when less than half of what you’ve learned from books is used in everyday speech. Most Japanese textbooks focus on the formal, polite forms. However, formal forms are rarely used in an ordinary setting.

Reading manga and watching anime and Japanese dramas will give you an idea of what informal or casual Japanese language is like. It’s the kind of speech you’ll use with friends and family, which will be more than half the time.

 

#4: Find Yourself a Conversation Partner Early on.

The best way to learn any skill is to practice it constantly. And the only way to practice a language is to use it.

Having someone converse with you in Japanese will improve your memory, diction, and pronunciation. It’ll also train your brain to think in Japanese.

There are apps and online sites that offer this service for free. Normally, you can ask a native Japanese speaker to converse with you in Japanese, in exchange for you to converse to them in English.

 

#5: Immerse Yourself (If You Can).

If practicing a language is the best way to learn it, then the best way to practice a language is to immerse yourself in its native country.

This is obviously an expensive journey to take by yourself. However, many colleges and summer camps offer immersion programs. Be sure to check the program and how “immersive” the experience can be (some programs absolutely forbid the use of English, so choose wisely based on your proficiency level).

 

Conclusion

There are many ways for you to learn Japanese language. The method that worked well for others might not work for you. Don’t be discouraged if you’re learning at a slower pace than others. The important thing is that you’re learning!