How To Learn Japanese: 7 Essential Tips

10 years ago by in Travel Tagged:

Learning Japanese is a process and before you start it is important to think about how you are going to learn and acquire this new skill. Languages, particularly Japanese, are unique ways of thinking and it is very helpful to come up with a few basic strategies for success. After you finish reading, remember to check out kawaiijapanese.com for cute and fun videos to further help you on your way towards learning Japanese.

#1) Forget Everything

Languages, Japanese included, are ways of thinking and each one is different. Excited? Learning Japanese is not just a great way to improve your business and meet cute girls, but also learn about yourself and your own culture. While it is fun, remember to forget your own language and assumptions.

Ex) In Japanese you say "Asobou" to mean "lets hang out," but the literally translated this means "lets play."

#2) Make Mistakes

What is the best way to learn? Make mistakes. Get in the ring and take your punches. The good news is that people love somebody who is willing to go out there and make a mistake and smile about it. Remember it is fun and have a good laugh.

#3) Think in Japanese

Speaking a language is like playing a sport. It doesn`t require much high-level thought, but is a reaction. You see a situation and you react. When learning new words or grammar, think of how you will use them. Visualize and see yourself speaking the words, who you are talking to, and in what situation. When are you actually there and using the Japanese you learned with Kawaii Japanese, it will come out naturally.

#4) Language in Use

Forget about studying vocab or grammar, learn patterns. Language is defined by how people in the real world are using it in context. At one time the dictionary definition of "cool" had only to do with temperature. Through common use, the definition of "cool" has changed, and will continue to change. Don`t worry about remembering individual parts of Japanese, but concentrate on actual pieces of the language put together and how you will use them now.

#5) Pronunciation

Unlike English, Japanese words have only one possible pronunciation. The rules for pronunciation are well defined and once you have a basic understanding of their alphabet (presented in "free lessons") you can pronounce any Japanese word like a native speaker. No tonality differences, no odd rules, its just simple.

#6) Grammar

Japanese grammar is, well, backwards. Take an English sentence, reverse the word order and presto! Japanese grammar. The great news is that while Japanese grammar in written communication can be difficult, spoken Japanese with people you know is very informal and simple. In terms of speaking to friends in Japanese, nothing could be easier.

#7) 80% Fluent

Here is something most language sites don`t want you to know: you are almost there already! Research has shown that up to 80% of communication is gestures and tonality. Most of what you communicate is done simply by how you say the words, not what you say. Smile and kick-back because you are on your way. Just remember, be very expressive in your communications.