Fastest ways to learn Japanese
So you want to learn how to speak the Japanese Language? If you’re an English speaker or whatever language you speak, you may have faced difficulties while learning Japanese, since its one of the toughest languages to learn.
Is it really possible to learn Japanese fast? well, the answer is, yes!
Learning Japanese has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. since I’ve started learning Japanese now I have a totally different perspective and knowledge about this culture, Understanding the Japanese language has allowed me to explore the culture in ways that I never could, from anime, manga or reading about it online.
Japanese is considered one of the most difficult languages to learn. Because it has a different writing system than English and any other languages, and different grammar structure, in my point of view most of it mainly focuses on culture
It does take efforts, not only the Japanese language but any other languages you learn.
I’ve listed some steps so you’ll know how to learn the Japanese language having the least difficulties possible.
Whether you’re learning it to work in japan or just as a personal interest Here are all the steps for the beginners out there.
1. Build your passion and Interest in it
My first question is, Are you really interested in learning Japanese? what is your motive behind it? what made you wanna learn Japanese, It could be anything
You want to travel to Japan and enjoy the culture, You have family or friends who speak Japanese and you want to have conversations with them, You want to study abroad and work in Japan, You want to enjoy Japanese entertainment, art, etc. You want to watch anime and manga without the subtitles or,
Maybe your dream is to go to Japan (That’s seriously my dream) Whatever your reason is, Find it. You should have a reason and passion for it.
Without this, you may lack your confidence in the future, Figure out why you’re passionate about only Japanese specifically. Start making notes and keep reminding yourself every single day.
2. Surround yourself in a Japanese environment
You don’t need to go to Japan to learn Japanese. however, later you might of course! The best way to learn any language is to surround yourself with it. where you can’t help but be exposed to the language and culture.
At first, it can be hard to do this. But it gets easier once you know what to use and what to do.
Here are some tips for you
You can switch the language settings on your phone to the Japanese. You can do this on your computer or laptop as well. If it seems too hard for you to do, Try to download some Japanese language apps or games, etc.
Start watching Japanese shows, movies, anime, documentaries, etc. More often
Listen to Japanese podcasts, music, and radio stations. You can listen to Japanese news. Or, try this amazing language learning podcast like JapanesePod101. they have been very helpful to me, Listen to Japanese music artists like One Ok Rock (One of my Favorite Bands) or any other music artists you discover or like. YouTube is also a great platform for tons of Japanese music. You can also read Japanese articles and blogs.
3: Find Native Speakers and start speaking
As I talked earlier about surrounding yourself in the environment, there may be a community of Japanese speakers in your area that you don’t even know about. Find someone with whom you can talk to in Japanese, friends, and teachers in your Japanese class (if you go to any) and start speaking. This is the most important, and productive step you can take to learn.
From my experience, I hardly learned anything until I started speaking it
Even if you can’t find a language partner in your area, don’t let that stop you from speaking. There are many ways you can find, talk to people online, make some Japanese friends.
4: Focus on the Easy Parts First
You probably already know some Japanese greetings like ‘Konnichiwa‘ and ‘Sayonara‘. You also know karaoke, samurai, and so on. Think about it a little, you have already been speaking Japanese without even trying
Japanese is actually easy to learn because it has no gendered words, Unlike Spanish or other similar languages,
Kanji actually help you when you’re stuck. Kanji represent whole words in English. Start with Hiragana, then Hop to Katakana and later you can keep learning kanji.
Japanese is not tonal. Unlike Chinese, you will rarely use pitch to differentiate a word. That’s why this makes it so much easier to pick up proper pronunciation and understand others when listening.
5: Don’t Avoid Kanji and Kana
Don’t avoid writing systems. there are three (hiragana, katakana, and kanji). Yes, there are 2,000 ‘essential’ kanji and they take some time to learn. But hiragana and katakana are easiest, you can learn them in a very short amount of time. They’re just the Japanese alphabet, bit similar to Hindi & English
And as for kanji, Learn the kanji that go with your 80/20 vocabulary. Around 100 kanji, enough to pass the beginner level of the ‘Japanese Language Proficiency Test’ (JLPT). Then, you can use Anki to learn the rest.
Take the time to learn the basics. And don’t give up, eventually, you will improve.