Best ways to learn Japanese (or other languages)
Why should you learn Japanese?
– Work / Communicate with others
– Understand others, gain new insights, and understand culture
– Bragging rights
Work and Communication
One of the most important reasons to learn another language is to use it for work or to communicate with others. Knowing an additional language more than others can give you a slight advantage when it comes to your resume. In addition, language is a transferable skill. This means that you can use your language skills in areas other than work. You will also be able to talk to natives, which brings me to my second point.
Gaining Insights and Understanding Culture
Knowledge is power, and knowledge is hidden in every corner of the world. Just by understanding a language, you gain access to the library of knowledge of that language. Learning Japanese allows you to gain knowledge of Japan’s history and culture. However, you might say, “well, translation tools exist, so why bother?” The last point will answer this question.
That’s right. You can brag about knowing an additional language compared to your friends, and impress them. You will be able to hold casual conversations with natives. If they talk behind you and your friend’s back, you shall be enlightened.
List of ways to learn Japanese:
– Outsource / Online
– Make friends
– Anime / Japanese television programmes
Outsourcing or Online
The first method I used was outsourcing for Japanese learning materials online. I recommend using the app, Memrise, to learn Hiragana and Katakana, as well as other simple phrases and sentences. Other applications I recommend include Duolingo (similar to Memrise), Learn Japanese (Vocabulary), Obenkyo (Tests for Hiragana, Katakana, vocabulary, particles and grammar), and Japanese Conjugation City (Tests on Conjugations).
You could also search for online tutors and Japanese YouTubers that teach Japanese.
Chances are, your institute may already provide subsidized Japanese Language lessons. Do be sure to check if your institute provides such lessons. This was my second method used in learning Japanese Language. By learning the Hiragana and Katana before enrolling the course, it made my time in the modules easier.
The reason why you should enroll into Japanese Language lessons held in your institute is because of credibility and efficiency. Your school would hire qualified tutors to teach, and the content you will learn will definitely be correct. You can also get to participate in group activities to train your language skills and make new friends. The tests and teaching styles will most likely make you learn faster than solely relying on self-studies.
Practice makes permanence. By practicing your Japanese Language skills more, you will familiarize yourself with the language. Having a friend that can help correct your grammatical errors will help you improve. Remember that practicing does not mean that you become “perfect” at Japanese, rather, you become used to using it. If you were to constantly make mistakes during practices and do not realize it, those errors would become permanent in your mind.
Anime and Japanese Television Programmes
Again, Practice makes permanence. If you do not have a teacher or friend to practice your Japanese language skills with, these Japanese media can help you practice while providing great quality entertainment. You could watch anime with subtitles to learn vocabulary, and listen to the conversations to learn sentence structure and grammar. However, I would recommend you to watch less of the action genres as most of the phrases there will not be used often in real life. Instead, I would recommend genres like slice of life, where you are more likely to learn stuff more commonly used in real life.
Last but not least, watching Japanese V-Tubers can greatly improve your Japanese Language skills. This is because they do not have subtitles, and thus force you to listen attentively to the V-Tubers. V-Tubers stand for Virtual YouTubers. Some popular V-Tubers include Kizuna Ai, the members of Hololive Corporation, the members of Nijisanji and many more. There are many V-Tubers today, so you can definitely find one who you can understand and enjoy watching.