The influence of the Japanese language has taken the world by storm. From anime to machinery, you will find Nihongo everywhere.
Learning a second language (more so a foreign one) is always beneficial, and with Japanese as an influential language in Asia, it could be very useful.
Before jumping into the pool and reading about the tips for learning Japanese, one must first gain some background information.
How long will it take to learn the language? And, more importantly, are there any shortcuts? Are there any tips and tricks that might come in handy?
Well, in that case, continue reading and see for yourself.
Is It Hard To Learn Japanese?
The answer to this question is multifactorial—the most significant factor being your mother tongue.
If your mother tongue’s script is similar to that of Nihongo, you won’t have a tough time grasping the language.
However, if you are entirely new to the Japanese manuscript, it might take you some to master it.
Most of the hard work is required in learning the two thousand characters in the language (Yes, we’re not kidding you).
But once you have gained a thorough knowledge of these characters, learning the rest of the language is a piece of cake.
The Japanese language doesn’t have articles, making the grammar reasonably straightforward for a newbie.
All in all, the language can be challenging to learn in the beginning, but once you get into the flow, things will start to fall in place.
A fun fact about the language is that it doesn’t have analogs to the letters L and V. So, if you hear a Japanese man mispronounce victory, it is not his fault.
Regardless, if you want to learn the language, you can even do it sitting at home.
You don’t necessarily need to take a class, as you can find many free resources online.
What Should I Know Before Learning Japanese?
The first thing you need to know before learning anything is what you will gain afterward.
You can spend your time learning the language through podcasts and other sources, but what matters is knowing whether or not everything is worth all the effort.
To get things sorted, here are the top three perks you will gain after learning Nihongo:
1. An Insight Into the Japanese Culture
The best possible way to get to know a culture is by learning its language.
The Japanese culture is diverse and engaging, and many desire to understand it better.
The most prevalent gift of Japanese culture is anime, which are visualized artificial animations that may be computerized or hand-drawn.
They are a significant source of worldwide entertainment. Hence, to understand anime better and make full use of it, one must know basic Japanese.
Furthermore, the Japanese language is an ancient one. Just like the old architecture is a part of Japanese history, so is the language.
Therefore, learning Japanese will help you interact with its people, apart from better insight into their culture.
2. Better Understanding of Japanese Technology
No one is a stranger to Japan’s dominance in the technological world.
It has quickly grown to become one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world.
From our offices to our homes, there is a lot of made-in-Japan equipment.
Apart from this, people studying or working in the tech field come across Japan’s creations often.
Hence, if you wish to better understand Japan-made tech, you would benefit from having a grasp of basic Japanese.
The former would also help people from around the globe to learn from Japanese tech specialists.
3. A Gateway to Futuristic Opportunities
Japan is advancing into the future at a faster rate compared to any other country in the world.
Facilities in the country are state-of-the-art, and getting into one requires a decent knowledge of the language.
Besides, there are many business plans and deals that happen on a daily basis with Japan.
Therefore, to make the most out of them, one must learn the language.
Tips For Learning Japanese
So, without further ado, let’s get straight into it and see the tips to learn Japanese that will significantly help one understand the language.
Though it may seem an impossible task at first, after following these learning Japanese tips, mastering Nihongo will be much easier.
1. Focus on Listening
Active listening is by far the best way of learning any new concept.
When talking about tips to learn Japanese, listening becomes even more critical.
Nihongo phonetics are complex. Many sounds may sound similar to a beginner.
Therefore, we cannot stress its importance enough.
So, what should you listen to? We have several options to choose from.
The most obvious choice is watching raw Japanese poems, music videos, and short clips.
The vocab in these songs is relatively easy, and it’s a reliable place to start as a beginner.
Furthermore, listening to podcasts that are bilingual and contain your language too is also a good option.
This will help you polish your Nihongo with the help of your mother tongue.
2. Use Flashcards
Among the many learning Japanese tips you’ll come across, the use of flashcards will make you travel back to kindergarten.
When learning a new language, the vocabulary and the alphabets are the first things anyone remembers.
Flashcards are the most effective method of training concepts.
To do this, make flashcards of the Japanese alphabet yourself, including the pronunciation.
Some may suggest buying ready-made ones, but if you make your own, you’ll learn side by side.
Once you have a good grasp of the alphabet and its phonetics, you can learn basic, day-to-day vocabulary.
And, yes, flashcards are the way to go for learning these new words.
3. Regularly Translate Words
If you use your mother tongue to learn another language, that’s the wisest approach.
You can translate words you already know into Nihongo.
By doing this, you will rapidly and effectively increase your vocabulary. And, as with any new skill, practice makes perfect.
The more you revise the newly learned words, the better you will remember them.
Moreover, you can use the Internet to your advantage.
There are countless tips for learning Japanese available online; you just need to look for it.
To help you out, here are the 400 Japanese phrases that one can learn and use regularly.
Even if you aren’t into tech, you can use an English-Japanese dictionary.
Make it a habit to translate at least 10 words daily for rapid results.
4. Use What You’ve Learned
Similar to learning any new skill, you must use what you have learned every time you get the chance.
Otherwise, it doesn’t take time to forget these new concepts.
There are many ways in which you can utilize your knowledge.
Practically speaking, you can hum the lyrics of Japanese songs and try to find words in there that you learned earlier.
One more thing you can do is converse with someone who knows the language.
Not only can locals point out errors in whatever you’ve learned, but they can also teach you a few new things.
There are plenty of more options, too.
For example, you can write the Japanese variants of the English words you see reported somewhere or translate words on cereal boxes and children’s books.
Those who are enthusiastic about learning can incorporate the learning measures into their daily lives. The possibilities are endless.
5. Focus on Speaking Instead of Writing
The ultimate goal of getting the hang of a language is speaking it fluently.
So, it is wise to focus on the final goal from day one.
Writing Japanese can be a challenging starting point. Some natives can’t even write all 2,000 characters of the language.
Hence, as a beginner, focus on speaking rather than writing.
Take fundamental Japanese books and try to read them as much as you can.
Whatever you find difficult, don’t leave it. Instead, search for that word and improve your vocabulary.
Furthermore, the sentence structure is also different in Japanese and English.
Therefore, it is vital to get hands-on experience to pick up the pattern. If you don’t pick the pattern and translate it word-to-word, you might sound like baby Yoda.
6. Make Use of Free Tutorials
The Internet is filled to the brim with Japanese teaching tutorials for beginners. These videos are beneficial as the instructor is a master of the language.
With these free tutorials, you can learn from a local and pick up things you would never find in a book.
What’s more, for a beginner, learning from point zero without any guidance can be a bit challenging.
Hence, watching tutorials of locals teaching Japanese will help them in two ways.
Firstly, they will quickly pick up patterns of Japanese sentence structure that differs from the English language.
Secondly, they will be doing two things simultaneously (reading and listening), which will help a beginner study more effectively.
7. Go Through a Lot of Anime and Manga
Finally, we are down to the last and perhaps the most efficient tip.
There is a myriad of anime and manga all around the globe. Anime (animated media) can do all the hard work for you.
Anime shows like Naruto and Tokyo Ghoul are very popular. People can watch any of these numerous shows and do two things simultaneously.
They get their daily dose of entertainment and, at the same time, turn on the subtitles and learn Japanese.
We suggest watching anime in their original Japanese soundtrack and turning on subtitles.
Once you develop an interest, they will help you a great deal in learning Nihongo.
The same is the case for manga. Manga is a type of Japanese comics that is quite popular.
To learn Japanese from manga, one can translate the phrases and dialogues into their native languages.
This not only helps increase the vocabulary but also aids in getting an idea of the language’s sentence structure, which is one of the hardest things to learn.
How Can I Teach Myself Japanese?
Now that you know the seven tips to learning Japanese, what’s next?
Continue reading and touch up on how to learn the language yourself.
There isn’t any skill that one cannot learn, and the same goes for learning Japanese.
It is only a matter of hard work and dedication, and you can learn the language in no time.
You can learn Japanese for free from the comfort of your home; the only thing required is your interest in learning it.
Moreover, you need not enroll in a professional institute. There are several courses and tips on learning Japanese online that can help you big time.
These online websites and video tutorials provide you with practical tips on learning Japanese without spending a fortune.
To state it in simple words, yes, you can teach yourself Japanese. All you need is a strong will and the right resources.
How Many Hours a Day Should I Study Japanese?
There cannot be a specific answer to this question, as several factors contribute to this goal.
The primary factor is how urgently do you need to master it.
Obviously, if you want to learn something in fewer days, you need to spend more time learning it.
Similarly, we also need to consider where you stand. For instance, if you are Chinese, it will take you less time to learn the language.
On the other hand, if you are an American, you must increase your hours of study significantly to familiarize and learn the rules of the language.
Is Learning Japanese Worth It?
By now, we hope you have understood how vital the seven tips to learning Japanese are.
With how crucial learning Japanese is and how it significantly influences our daily lives, you have more than enough motivation to learn the language.
But is learning Japanese really worth it? Totally! There’s no harm in knowing another language than your own.
Not only will you have a better grip on their culture and entertainment, but new doors of opportunities will open up for you.
As the world advances, it is vital for us to learn more and more about other nations and their fascinating cultures.
If you stick to the tips mentioned earlier, we are optimistic they will prove useful in helping any beginner eager to learn the language with all their heart.