Sunday, May 12, 2013

What's the secret to learning Japanese?

In the age of 30-day, quick-fix, sexy abs flashy programmes that promise you the world for a small fee of all your money per month, a lot of people want to know about the next big thing in terms of being able to do this or do that. 

A lot of people see someone with decent Japanese and ask, 

"Woah... How can I become that good at Japanese? What's their secret?"


So, you want to know the secret to getting good at Japanese? 

Here it is... 





Wait for it....





It's coming....








USE IT!


I kid you not. The secret to getting good at Japanese is to use it. This applies to listening, speaking, reading and writing. 

If you want to improve your Japanese listening skills...

USE YOUR EARS and listen to Japanese radio, listen in on the conversations between your Japanese friends and listen to Japanese music. Get a conversation exchange partner and make sure you take notes about what they say and how they say it. 


If you want to improve your Japanese speaking skills...

USE YOUR MOUTH and speak Japanese as much as you can, wherever you can, whenever you can. If you have Japanese friends, speak Japanese to them as much as you can without irritating them. If you have kind and patient friends, they might even correct your Japanese. Even if your Japanese friends don't want to speak Japanese to you, go online and find a conversation exchange partner. If that fails, just speak to yourself in Japanese! I speak to myself in Japanese all the time and I sing Japanese songs in the shower. 



If you want to improve your Japanese reading skills...

Yep... you guessed it.. USE YOUR EYES!

I'm sorry if you didn't get the memo.. but we have this new thing called the internet. Go to one of the many Japanese news websites or even just go to Yahoo Japan and read one of the news stories in the middle of the screen. Obviously you might not understand all (or any) of what is displayed on the screen, but that's a natural result of you not reading anything. If you don't like reading news articles, how about playing video games? Everybody loves video games, right? You could play one of the many online Japanese MMOs directly from your browser, or you could buy Japanese games from places like Play-Asia


Finally... if you want to improve your Japanese writing skills...

USE YOUR HANDS and write in Japanese whenever you can. You could keep a diary of your Japanese studies in Japanese, you could get a penpal to exchange letters. If you're a student of any kind, why not try re-writing your Biology class notes in Japanese? Writing about Biology in Japanese isn't hard, it's just that you haven't done it before

The reason I  highlighted write in bright red is that you will absolutely forget how to write kanji if you type in Japanese all the time as opposed to physically writing it out. We probably don't have this issue in English because once you know the 26 letters of the alphabet, you can't go wrong. 


So there you have it.

It turns out that, in fact, there isn't any secret to learning Japanese. Some methods of doing certain things are more efficient than others, but there's no magic potion to automatically make you good at Japanese. If you use your eyes, ears, mouth and hands to improve your Japanese on all four fronts, they will reinforce each other and you will see much quicker results than if you just focus on one. 

If you see anything like "Learn to speak Japanese in 90-days!", just be aware that you are not going to be anywhere near a level that could be regarded by anyone as fluent. 

Learning a language takes time!

While some people probably are naturally better than others at learning languages due to some long-winded biological predisposition, for most people it takes years to truly have a good command of the language. I've been learning Japanese for over 3 years now but I wouldn't say that I'm anywhere near mastering the language. Even my English is passable on the best of days... 

If I had to sum up my advice to you as a Japanese language learner, it would be this:

USE IT OR LOSE IT

K THANKS BYE ;]

8 comments:

  1. Awesome entry, I really liked it, mostly because I've fallen in love with japanese language and find amazing how it is composed. This will help me to get thru the hardest days. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there Czar!
      Thanks for checking out my site and thanks for commenting!
      I've actually just started a new job (using Japanese) and I'm planning to get more involved with Totally Japan again and hope to have more posts soon!

      Spread the word!

      Delete
  2. You lie. You say, but you lie. You say more post, but you say lie. I say you say more post, but I say you say lie.

    Just kidding, my English is perfectly okay, I just thought I'd knock you for a loop. Where new post?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry Nick! I'm currently writing some new stuff! My job became a lot busier and I spent my business trip doing business rather than being able to do a lot of blogging-stuff :( I promise to have some new stuff up this weekend :) Thanks for sticking around it means a lot to me!

      Delete
  3. The three are said to have attained salvation by these devotions to Shiva. japanese magic method article

    ReplyDelete
  4. Awesome entry, I really liked it, mostly because I've fallen in love with japanese language and find amazing how it is composed. This will help me to get thru the hardest days. Thanks!
    tư vấn du học nhật bản,tuyển sinh du học nhật bản,du học nhật bản giá rẻ,

    ReplyDelete
  5. Awesome entry, I really liked it, mostly because I've fallen in love with japanese language and find amazing how it is composed. This will help me to get thru the hardest days. Thanks!
    tư vấn du học nhật bản,tuyển sinh du học nhật bản,du học nhật bản giá rẻ,

    ReplyDelete
  6. You have narrated it right! There are many ways to learn Japanese online. Online Japanese Course are also available to help you learn it.

    ReplyDelete

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