Knowing any Japanese can be helpful in a lot of real-world situations, especially if you plan to travel or if you live in a tourist area.
At first glance, learning this unique language can be somewhat intimidating. You’ll need to learn not one but three new alphabets, and some of those characters look pretty complicated. The Japanese sentence structure is also a lot different from English, and adjusting to this can be somewhat difficult.
When it comes to learning new skills, the Internet is full of opportunities. With the proper resources and a little patience, learning to speak Japanese might be easier than you think.
Find An Online Class
If you try to learn a language alone, you’ll be struggling a lot more than you need to. There are certain nuances to the Japanese language that you simply can’t get from a textbook alone.
Fortunately, whether you don’t have money to spare or you’re willing to spend a few dollars, there are endless free and paid Japanese classes available here on Amphy.
When you learn Japanese from someone with experience, they can help you out if you ever get stuck. Hearing the language from a native speaker or someone who’s fluent will also help you improve your pronunciation.
More importantly, if you sign up for a scheduled online class, it will help keep you motivated and ensure that you don’t neglect your studies.
Practice Outside of Class
Though finding the right class is an important step towards learning a new language, it’s important to practice outside of class, too.
Here are a few tips to keep you motivated outside of your class meetings:
1)Keep a notebook for your Japanese studies. If you want to challenge yourself, avoid writing any English (or whatever your native language is) in this notebook.
2)Set aside a set time of day to practice writing the characters, especially the more difficult ones like kanji.
3)Watch Japanese shows with subtitles. Pay close attention to the spoken dialogue and take note of the words you recognize.
4)Download some Japanese apps on your phone. There are hundreds of apps available that you can use to practice writing characters or memorize vocabulary.
Appreciate the Culture
When you’re learning a new language, it’s important to understand the culture from which it originates. The Japanese culture and language are intertwined, so if you only know one, you’re going to struggle with the other.
Spend some time researching Japanese traditions and customs online. You should try to understand their social norms and etiquette, too. Some phrases or behaviors that are common in your home country may come off as rude or confusing in Japanese, so it’s important to be aware of this.
You could also pick up some Japanese-related hobbies. Learning how to cook Japanese foods or fold origami is a great way to gain a better understanding of Japan in your spare time. Even watching anime and reading manga can help you become more familiar with Japanese culture.
By learning to appreciate this culture, you’ll become more passionate about learning the Japanese language. You might even absorb some new vocabulary in the process.
Use Online Translators, But Sparingly
Online translators such as Google Translate can be helpful, but they are by no means a way of learning a new language.
Because translators aren’t human, it’s very easy for them to give you inappropriate translations. For example, if you type in the word “bass” and you’re thinking of the fish, the translator might give you the Japanese word for the instrument instead.
If you type an entire sentence into a translator, they will also sometimes translate that sentence word-for-word without regard to how Japanese sentence structure works.
Overall, translators can sometimes be good for translating individual words, but they should not be your main source of information.
Practice With Others
Practicing your Japanese with other people is one of the best ways you can improve your skills.
Fortunately, the internet is full of opportunities to practice your Japanese. If possible, keep in touch with the other students in your online classes. They might be interested in practicing with you!
You can also find online communities for people who are learning Japanese. This section of Reddit, for instance, is for people of all skill levels. You can find people to study with, share resources, ask for advice, and even talk about your progress and goals.
Utilizing Your Japanese Skills
As you work towards learning this amazing language, remember to be patient with yourself. Becoming fluent will likely take years, even with the help of our live classes, but you can still utilize your Japanese skills in the meantime.
Whether it’s translating simple phrases for tourists or teaching your friends how to write their names in katakana, your knowledge of Japanese will be valuable regardless of how far along you may be.