Want to learn Japanese faster? Japanese is an East Asian language spoken by about 128 million people, primarily in Japan, where it is the national language.
But, in recent years it has gained a lot of popularity outside of Japan and so many enthusiastic learners want to learn Japanese.
What comes to your mind when you think of Japan or Japanese? What is your motivation to learn Japanese? The majority of people would say anime and manga have inspired them to learn about Japanese culture and language. And that is true, Japanese anime is the best in the world today, Hayao Miyazaki’s animated films are extremely popular overseas such as “Spirited Away”, which won an American Academy Award.
It is a very interesting language and to make learning it a bit more interesting, we have something to share with you.
Here are some tips and tricks suggested by experts in the language that can be used to master the language-
Hiragana is Japan’s version of the alphabet. It is one of three Japanese writing systems you need to learn to be able to read. The other two are katakana and kanji, but hiragana is where everything starts. The ability to read hiragana is going to be a prerequisite for most beginner Japanese textbooks and resources. It’s the first thing you learn in a traditional classroom. Good pronunciation starts with hiragana. While hiragana alone won’t teach you everything, it is the key to understanding how and why Japanese words sound the way they do. It will also help you get the foundation you need for a native-sounding accent. At the very least, hiragana will get you 80% of the way there.
Katakana is a series of characters used to stand for loan words or non-Japanese words (such as hot dog or internet). You will want to learn the Katakana terms for English words you are likely to use.
Kanji are typographic Chinese symbols that are used to stand for basic words and phrases in Japanese. Whereas Hiragana symbols are more like English letters (depicting simple sounds), Kanji symbols are used to depict complete words. Knowing some basic Kanji will enable you to understand and speak basic Japanese.
Romaji is a system of using English letters to spell Japanese words. Romaji can be useful for learning initial key phrases, or for online communications. If you rely too much on Romaji, however, you will never move on to a genuine grasp of the language. Focus your study on Hiragana, Katakana, and some Kanji.
To learn Japanese grammar, you’ll need to try to forget everything you already know about grammar. Don’t apply the rules and concepts of your native language to Japanese. Instead, try to take the rules of Japanese grammar at face value. Obtain a Japanese grammar workbook and begin following the lessons.
Some good choices include “Practice Makes Perfect: Basic Japanese” and “A Guide to Japanese Grammar” by Tae. Locate free online resources (such as Duolingo) to study Japanese grammar.
Learning a few key phrases will allow you to begin practicing, and also allow you to enjoy casual conversation with a Japanese speaker. Although Romaji should not be relied upon, using Romaji to learn these basic phrases can work as a good jumping-off point.
- Hello – Kon’nichiwa
- Goodbye – Sayonara
- I’m fine, thanks – Watashiwa genki desu. Arigato.
- Nice to meet you – Hajime mash’te
This is a great way to learn Japanese and chances are this is one of the reasons you came here in the first place. You love Japanese anime, games, and shows, right? Well, there is no better way than to learn with the help of these. You can also start listening to podcasts and various audio courses available.
The most fun part of learning any language is immersing yourself in it, learning the history of the language, knowing its culture, and making learning a fun process. If you want to learn Japanese, talk it, read it, dream it, speak it or even sing it. You can look up songs in Japanese and sing them. Experiment with different things with the language and immerse yourself in it. Because that’s the only great way to learn it and master it.
This will help you get accustomed to all common words and help you learn faster. Sounds complex? It is proven to be useful. Try it.
To sum it up, learning Japanese is a lot of fun, so don’t take it too seriously but be consistent. You’ve probably heard this a lot of times now, ‘be consistent, follow a schedule’; well, this is right, without consistency it is impossible to learn Japanese. You have to be regular in learning. Set clear goals for every day and make it a habit to practice Japanese daily.