Want to learn Japanese but not sure how? Here’s the best way to learn Japanese. Check it out!
When I first started learning Japanese, I was looking out everywhere for some sort of guidance. I kept trying to surf the internet or ask other learners of Japanese and also talked to some native Japanese speakers about the complexities and ways of learning the language.
In all my time trying to decipher the ins and outs of learning Japanese, I have found out some of the best ways to learn Japanese. Let me tell you there is no overnight magic of learning the language; this means that there are no shortcuts.
The Japanese language is extremely vast and difficult to learn and so it will take you quite a long time to learn everything about it. However, do not feel discouraged. I have found out some pretty useful tips that you can apply to accelerate your learning process and to make learning a very enjoyable task.
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Best Way To Learn Japanese
Take a Japanese Class or Online Course
If you have absolutely no idea about the Japanese language, the best way to begin is by enrolling yourself in a structured class. You can find teachers around your area or you can also sign up for Japanese classes at your local college or university.
If you cannot go for classes, you can also use a language learning program to help you grasp the basics of Japanese. There are different language programs that you can choose from, however, I would highly recommend that you go for Pimsleur, which is an audio language program.
This program really helps you get and build the basic foundation of the Japanese language.
Listen to Japanese Language Podcasts
I understand that when you are not fluent in the language, hearing podcasts can be quite disheartening. However, from personal experience, I can tell you that listening to podcasts is actually one of the best ways of learning new words and understanding sentence structures.
When I was learning Japanese, I used to listen to podcasts whenever possible. It helped me learn so much quicker. There are several Japanese podcasts available online and they all range from beginner to advanced level.
If you want the best results, I highly recommend that you make podcasts a part of your daily routine.
Watch Japanese TV with English Subtitles
I love watching Japanese movies and anime. I make sure that I watch them with English subtitles. Doing this can really help you understand the words and the language. In movies and anime, you keep repeatedly hearing the same words, which makes sure that your vocabulary is already strong.
If there is any word you don’t know, write them down and use a translation app to find out the meaning. I did that a lot and believe me, my treasure trove of vocabulary was literally overflowing.
Learn Hiragana and Katakana
You cannot learn the complexities of the Japanese language if you are not clear with the basics. So, the basic thing that you must definitely learn include hiragana and katakana which are two basic thirty letter Japanese alphabets.
These help you in understanding the two ways of writing the same sounds. Hiragana is the general alphabet that is used. Katakana, on the other hand, is used for words that are derived from foreign sources.
You must definitely learn these two alphabets before you move on to learning the Kanji characters.
Read Manga or Children’s Books
When learning a language, we almost always want to jump to extreme levels. But believe me, you need to start right from the beginning. By this, I mean that you need to read books that are meant for little kids who are just starting out on speaking and writing the language.
I highly recommend that you read children’s books as well as Manga to help understand the Kanji characters as well as the different words.
Get a Workbook
Another great way you can learn Japanese is by using kanji workbooks. I use them and they really taught me how to properly write Kanji characters and understand the meaning. Make sure that you are dedicating at least a short amount of time every day to practice these workbooks.
Another great way to memorize Kanji characters is by using Flashcards. You can easily make your own Flashcards or you can also use any website to help you out. I would highly recommend the WaniKani app that provides excellent Flashcards for Kanji memorization.
Sing a Japanese Karaoke Song
Do you want to make learning Japanese fun and enjoyable? If so, learn some Japanese songs. I did that and I made sure that I focused on the pronunciation and meaning of the song. I also ensured that I was listening to the song multiple times because it really does help you memorize it.
You can even bring along a few friends who are also trying to learn Japanese and make your own Japanese-style karaoke joint. As using, What’s the subtitles as well so that you know the meaning.
You can also find several Japanese karaoke places that have private rooms for small groups to rent. You can go there with your gang and practice without any embarrassment.
Use Japanese Subtitles
Using Japanese subtitles is for when you are kind of comfortable with Japanese and you start understanding it. So when you watch TV, try switching the English subtitles to Japanese subtitles. Doing this can help you read Japanese as well.
When I started my journey, I got pretty good at speaking Japanese but my reading was not very good. So when I tried this method of switching the English subtitles to Japanese subtitles, I could start connecting the spoken words with the Japanese characters.
This may prove to be a little challenging at first but once you keep up to it it gets easier.
Get a Tutor
If you want regular help and practice, I would recommend that you get a Japanese tutor. The tutor can help you to understand the language as well as help you practice speaking it in regular daily situations.
Join a Group
You will find that there are many cities that have groups for Japanese speakers. If you are just starting out, you can join a group that can help you. You will also be able to listen to other Japanese speakers.
Joining a group is a great way at enhancing your language learning skills and abilities. Be proficient in the language and then become friends with people who speak Japanese.
You can go to the language group at least once a week to get better at speaking and conversing with people in Japanese. The more you practice the better you become. Making friends and talking to them in Japanese can really make learning a very fun process.
How long does it take to learn Japanese?
This is quite a complex question that has no definite answer. The amount of time that you take to learn Japanese depends on several factors such as how many hours you are willing to put into it per week, your prior knowledge of the language, your prior learning experience, and your goals.
In other words, the amount of time that it takes to learn Japanese depends on how much Japanese you want to learn and how proficient you want to get.
Is it hard to learn Japanese?
The Japanese language is considered to be one of the most difficult languages to learn. The language is very complex and quite deep with three separate writing systems as well as a sentence structure that is completely different from English.
However, with the right tools and right methods you can easily get the hang of the language. I would recommend you to start from the basics and begin where toddlers begin.
Start by reading children’s books and mangas as well as learning the alphabet before proceeding on to Kanji. You can then start working on your speaking and writing skills. I would, however, like to warn you that learning Japanese is a very time-consuming and long process. There are no shortcuts to this.
Learn Japanese the best way!
When I started learning Japanese, I went through months of hard work and toil. In all of these months, I basically only focused on building a strong foundation by clearing out all the basics.
Without having a stronghold on the basics of the language, you cannot move forward. However, while I was learning the basics, I also made sure that I was incorporating the language into my daily life.
For this, I would spend my time watching Japanese movies or anime with English subtitles. This made sure that I was almost always connected to the Japanese language and I was hearing it. Listening to the language and reading the subtitles helped me connect the word to its meaning.
Then I started several apps, books, and other methods that I have enlisted here to make sure that I was learning every aspect of the language.
If you are serious about learning Japanese I would recommend that you check out these ways that I have included here to make your learning process faster.