Tips for Japanese Language Learning
Japan is a beautiful country with a mixture of traditional and modern cultural assets. The island nation breathes the idea of self-sustainability and accountability. Japan has slowly been taking over the modern world by inventing riveting pieces of equipment and cultural phenomenon. The nation, along with its unique features attracts an overwhelming amount of tourists every year. In fact according to The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017, Japan is ranked 4th out of 141 countries. This number may be soon to change with the upcoming 2020 Olympics. This is excluding its high scores in various aspects such as health and hygiene, safety and security and cultural resources.
It goes without saying that Japanese language is a must learn for any devoted Japan/Japanese enthusiast. So, here are some tips how you can learn Japanese in a quick and effective way in order to kick start your adventure to the Land of The Rising Sun.
Make a habit of listening to Japanese- It is said that listening can make a lot of difference. If you make the habit of listening to Japanese regularly, then you can surely make an impact to your skill level, which is in the least, noticeable. Audio learning is considered to be one of the best forms of learning. This method has been found effective in many cases. Even if you have no idea of what you are hearing, you will become familiar to some of the words eventually. Your brain needs time to set up the neural pathways that you are being exposed to; there is a reason why an unseasoned language hobbyist may mistake one language for another if they are closely related. Fluent Forever gives an incredible illustration of how this process works (highly recommend reading it.) At first, obviously, nothing would make any sense, but you will get accustomed.
STORY TIME: When I began my Japanese Studies in college (the year 2014 to be exact), everything I heard was just noise, the Japanese language shied away from my ears, and I only heard the muddles of gibberish that my brain made me believe was Japanese. Then I studied abroad in the Fall 2016; upon arrival I was almost deterred from the language because of how fast everyone was speaking. If you thought listening to your American professor speak Japanese at what seems to be fast pace was bad…you have literally heard nothing yet. END STORY
This is why listening is so important; learners who have adopted this idea have developed the capability of responding to rapid fire Japanese. Listening teaches you to slow things down in an instant and pick out what you need. Over time you will become a natural when it comes to every day conversations listening is 80% of the battle. If you need good listening material, YOUTUBE (live feeds of Japanese news) or JapanesePod101 helps tremendously when it comes to improving your listening skills
TURN OFF THE LIGHTS, CLOSE YOUR EYES, ENTER THE VOID, AND LISTEN (Good Meditation Exercise)
- Get hold of daily news- When you are interested in knowing about a language, it is essential to get hold of the daily news from a particular source. There are many kinds of sites on the Internet where you would find such news; NHK EASY Japanese, <a href="http://Learn Japanese Online” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>LingQ, Beelingua app…etc. By keeping a close eye on the news in Japan, your knowledge on certain topics would expand itself, thus giving you more access to conversation topics. Nobody wants to hear 「天気はいいですね」 every time they bump into you. Rather how about a decent conversation starter like 「命の意味は何と思うか？ニュースでは、彼らと言った「神様は存在がいない、今どうするか」。 Do not mind me…I am in my feelings right now….
- Going to a school is not an option- Okay I MEAN SUUUREEE IT ISSSSSS….but let’s face reality, if all you do is sit in a class room for 1-2 hours, 3 days a week and don’t study outside of class or expose yourself to the language… YOU WILL NOT LEARN…at least to any decent level. In any kind of learning, the most important thing is self-learning. Even if you spend a lot of money in going to language schools, nothing can help if you don’t learn it yourself. You have to immerse yourself in the process entirely. No book, course, or even teacher can make you understand the complexities of a language unless you try your own process and methods. Better option is to not opt for any school and going for self-taught lessons.
- Relax and enjoy the process- We all remember how painful it was for us to pay attention to all those subjects taught at school. Do not make Japanese language learning feel like a capital punishment. Learn the language so that you can relax and enjoy learning it.