Japan is the leader in many sectors starting from automobiles, animation, consumer electronics, computers, optical media, shipbuilding, infrastructure, and the list goes on. The tag line ‘Made in Japan’ is synonymous with high-quality and technologically-advanced products. Prominent Japanese brands like Sony, Hitachi, Nikon, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Suzuki- have infiltrated the Indian economy for the past few decades. Hence, it gets rather clear that by speaking in Japanese you can make a niche for yourself among potential clients, customers, and MNCs. You must have heard the phrase- ‘all roads lead to heaven’, so yes there are several ways to learn Japanese given the fast-paced life we are all leading. So let me suggest the best ways that will lead you to your ‘heaven’ (read Japanese)!
Online education may not be all that great for little children
Lottery tickets for English speakers-
English speakers get a head start, the reason being there are loads of loan words in Japanese from English. You do need to learn the pronunciation in Japanese; however, the understanding of the meaning becomes easier.
- “mic” → maiku (マイク)
- “table” → teeburu (テーブル)
- “Internet” → intaanetto (インターネット)
- “romantic” → romanchikku (ロマンチック)
- “driveshaft” → doraibushafuto (ドライブシャフト)
When we started learning English during childhood, we first learned alphabets right? The same goes for the Japanese. I strongly recommend Learning Katakana and Hiragana. These are the two phonetic scripts used alongside Kanji (Japanese Characters). You may think of downloading the free app of ‘Duolingo’, from where you can learn grammatical phrases, sentences, etc. In fact, there are two free apps, called Memrise and Anki. Both these apps use flashcards to teach the basic alphabets in Japanese. Being a language teacher, I have always felt that there is no substitute for catching hold of a pocket dictionary and start writing Kanji every day in your notebook. I know this is a time-consuming process, however, the results will be for you to see.
Invest in a Trainer-
Purpose and achievement- are two aspects that go hand in hand as far as language learning is concerned. Hence, I said that hiring a trainer is an ‘investment’ as it has long-standing effects. Multibhashi is one such platform where you can hire a personal trainer depending on your purpose of learning Japanese, be it career or hobby. In fact, Multibhashi can also design a personalized curriculum for the trainee which remains with you throughout. The best part is you can also take a demo before committing money or time for your chosen trainer.
Familiar with the culture-
Once you start picking up the words, start familiarizing yourself with the overall culture of Japan. It is one of those countries, which takes humility and politeness very seriously, especially if your job profile requires you to deal with clients on a regular basis. You may initially proceed with greeting techniques and join a club or a community on Facebook. If you can find a Native speaker, it would be ideal to practice these greeting phrases with them and brush your Basics!
I am a foodie so when I think about a country, I start learning names of famous cuisines and also food joints. Japanese cuisine like Sushi, Yakitori, or Tempura- is not unknown to anyone. Japan is also famous for its breathtaking sights, drama, and music. It would be a great idea to immerse yourself in Japanese by checking stuff related to your ‘place of interest’. You can not enhance your vocabulary but also end up getting a host of knowledge regarding the company you are planning to work with.
Role of parents:
That’s where the role of parents comes in. In the current scenario, due to covid-19, it is not possible to go to offline classes hence online learning is the only solution. So, parents have to give more focus to their children and see whether they are comprehending the lessons properly or not.
They also have to ensure that their child is getting proper exercise and is active throughout the day with getting proper amounts of sunlight to ensure vitamin D.
It is the parent’s responsibility to care for their loved ones and ensure that they are getting everything they need.
The best-case scenario to learn would be a mix of online and offline learning but only after the covid-19 pandemic is over so that there’s no risk to the health of children. What are your opinions about this? Do mention in the comments below!