What are the biggest challenges in learning Japanese?
Japanese is considered to be one of the most difficult languages to learn. There could be many reasons for this. The language learning difficulty usually depends on various factors such as the native language of a person, his/her experience with learning other languages, their innate ability to learn a new language and the time and effort a person can put in. We have tried to mention some of the biggest challenges in learning Japanese here. It is always a good idea to be prepared for challenges that you might face to make the learning process easier.
Let's now see some of the biggest challenges you will encounter while learning Japanese!
The Japanese writing system
The Japanese writing system is quite complex with three different writing systems which are Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji. Hiragana and Katakana are considered to be simpler and comparatively easier to learn, however, Kanji which is based on the Chinese character system is quite complex and you would need to put in a lot of effort to learn them. It is important that you make learning Japanese writing a part of your language learning program to be proficient in the language.
Honorifics or different levels of formality or politeness
Language plays a key role in showing respect towards someone in Japanese culture and this is where honorifics are used. In fact, depending on age, social status, relationship and the way a person would like to show humility the formality level may vary which is in general known as keigo in Japanese. Understanding the culture and learning keigo as a part of Japanese language learning plays a key role in becoming accustomed to this aspect of the Japanese language.
Grammar is an essential element of a language and can also be a very difficult part of learning a language. Verb conjugations in different forms, the absence of definite and indefinite articles and plurals are all different grammatical elements that might be challenging in Japanese.
It might be difficult to learn the pronunciation of each syllable irrespective of whether it is placed at the beginning, middle or end of the word and is pronounced in just one particular way. You are probably thinking that this should in fact make it easy to learn the pronunciation, however, when the syllable sounds are quite complex when compared to English and comparatively limited sounds due to just one particular way of pronunciation for each syllable.
Sometimes, it is not possible to find the exact Japanese translation for a word or sentence in English, which may force you to learn the nuances of Japanese language to be able to express yourself well.
You may also face challenges such as finding enough time to learn the language with your day-to-day responsibilities, staying motivated throughout the learning process or finding the best resources to learn Japanese.
When it comes to the challenges related to the Japanese language, you can overcome them through consistent practice and effort. You can also join a regular or an online course and learn from a teacher in an organized and structured manner. Making use of the best available resources can also help you overcome these challenges to learn the language.
When it comes to other personal challenges, start with a strong reason, schedule your learning on a daily basis and seeking help from an expert can be of help.
Winning above the challenges can be extremely satisfying. Learning Japanese in spite of the challenges can prove to be a very rewarding experience in itself.