Learn Japanese Now With These Secrets

Don’t be intimidated, it’s very possible for you to learn Japanese now. With focus, commitment, and especially enthusiasm, you’re setting yourself up for a good beginning. Aside from those traits, it is, of course, important to know the basics. Japanese is written using three different writing systems:

* Kanji
* Hiragana
* Katakana

Chinese characters, called Kanji, have been borrowed and incorporated into the language.

More like Western alphabets, but based on Chinese characters, Katakana and Hiragana are syllabic scripts. Kanji and Hiragana, in combination, are the most used writing systems in modern Japanese. Katakana is used chiefly to depict the sounds of borrowed foreign words, or when there is a need to depict other sounds, like the howl of a wolf.

A running joke is that Asians do things backwards; well, Japanese scripts is written vertically, as opposed to the Western horizontal, and from right to left, as opposed to the Western left to right. Though this method is ubiquitous, the Japanese have assumed the Western style for journals or papers of a scientific nature, as well as for computer displays.

Japanese is a subtle language, there are differences in tone and vocabulary indicative of the class of the person speaking or spoken to, and degrees of politeness are also indicated by vocabulary and tone. Even more subtle, the use of vocabulary, grammar, and even tone of voice, can indicate the gender of the person speaking and the gender of the person spoken to.

As expected, the sort of teaching and learning available from certain language schools is always promoted as the easiest and quickest way to pick up another language. Budget, interest level, time you have, these are three important considerations when you set about to determine how and where you’ll take up your language lessons. Every school or method involves a different approach to learning or a different curriculum to learn Japanese now. You need to figure out how skills you may acquire will help you. Do you want to read and write? Will you need to join and converse with the average people on the streets and find your way around easily? Reading and writing is one thing, mastering conversational language is quite another.

To learn Japanese now, the reading and writing is the hard part, whether or not you’re going to pursue that, it’s best to get a handle on the speaking part. Audio files will help you pick up proper pronunciation and wording so find some produced just for that and, of course, employing native speakers. (If you’re planning to learn reading and writing, even lesson books that focus on those skills also include audio CD-ROMs.) A subtle language, Japanese depends on various intonations, listening carefully and imitating them is very important.

Consider the amount of grammar and vocabulary you need to study and ingest. Practice words and phrases that you will use most often so they are easy to recall, you can flesh out your vocabulary as you proceed from there. Learn the bare necessities of grammar, enough to help you construct easy sentences with facility.

Patience and perseverance, remember those two words as you focus on learning the language. While drill exercises, textbooks, and teachers are all important, your personal commitment will see you through. Which classroom is always open? Which classroom can you find almost anywhere you go? Which classroom always has a curriculum suited to your needs? The one you carry with you!

About The Author
Billy Buchanan has studied Japanese since 2000 and enjoys helping other learn Japanese for school, business, and pleasure.

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