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How to Learn Japanese When You Don’t Know Where to Start


Learning Japanese is hard because this language is one of the oldest and most complex. Its composition and structure are fundamentally different from European languages ??and English. Due to the peculiarities of writing, it will not be possible to learn it in a month – most likely, and it will take at least a year and a half. Several recommendations will make the learning process more effective and efficient.

Hieroglyphic languages ??are complex in that spoken language and writing must be studied separately. And in the Japanese language, there are as many as three writing systems. Two of them – hiragana and katakana – are syllabaries. With the help of hiragana, grammatical relations between words are conveyed, and katakana is needed to report foreign and borrowed words. To denote the basis of the word, kanji are used – hieroglyphs that have passed into Japanese from Chinese. If you forget which character the desired word stands for, you can also use hiragana.

Tips for Self-learners of the Japanese Language

?earning is a long process, and it is essential to make sure that it does not become tedious and, at the same time, remains compelling. The following recommendations will help with this: 

  • You need to do it every day! Languages ??with hieroglyphic writing are forgotten quickly, so you should not take breaks. Lessons can be varied. For example, in the morning, we write hieroglyphs in a notebook. In the afternoon, we watch a movie in Japanese with subtitles or listen to Japanese music. In the evening, we try to read the news on Japanese sites. 
  • For learning a language, all means are suitable. Many apps have been created for smartphone owners that allow you to understand the vocabulary effortlessly. They include hieroglyphics, listening and pronunciation control, and dialogues. This method is suitable for those who do not have time to study the language since it only takes 5 minutes a day. 
  • The main thing is regularity. To memorize hieroglyphs, some applications allow you to download decks of flashcards. For example, looking at cards every day in the Android application, we mark the degree of memorability for each character, and the program itself regulates how often they are displayed on the screen. You need to learn words not separately but as part of expressions or sentences.
  • If you make several phrases with each word, it will be remembered more easily. It’s just great if there is an opportunity to communicate with a native speaker, if not in person, then at least via Skype. It will allow you to develop spontaneity and consolidate the knowledge gained. The best option is to live in the country of the language being studied. 
  • Learning Japanese is difficult, but not impossible. Two main components are necessary for successful classes – powerful motivation and iron discipline. There are many ways to learn a language, and the best result can be achieved by combining them all.
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You can find manga in Japanese and read, for example, a page a day. It is a great way to learn Japanese from scratch at home. Don’t start hard. Take manga for kids and read it to get used to it. And as you get involved, take what is interesting. It is an excellent opportunity to practice the grammar you already know. In addition, you may come across familiar words, and you can expand your vocabulary by translating a new language.

Japan is also very popular with anime and cinema. You can watch movies, anime, and dramas in original or with subtitles. If you want to learn Japanese from scratch, you should not watch anime in English. Strive to immerse yourself in Japanese speech from the very beginning of learning. While watching, try to catch familiar words or find them using Japanese subtitles. Do not worry that you do not fully understand the text, and you will soon notice progress.

In addition to regular activities, try to surround yourself with Japanese:

  • Listen to Japanese radio and songs.
  • Watch Japanese broadcasts.
  • Read Japanese texts, articles, and websites.
  • Find a pen pal or Skype friend to talk to.

All this, combined with classes with a teacher, will significantly advance you in learning Japanese, and the question “How to learn Japanese from scratch?” won’t bother you anymore.

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