Travel, Teach, Live in Japan
You may need to learn the Japanese language because you are traveling to Japan and want to become familiar with popular Japanese words and phrases. Or you might have taken a class to learn Japanese years before and are now looking for a refresher course. Perhaps you have a great interest in learning to speak Japanese simply because you love the Japanese language.
Whatever the reasons you desire to learn to speak Japanese, you will want to be sure to keep the following advice in mind.
There are many aspects of the Japanese language that you might be considering learning. If you are interested in learning essential Japanese words and phrases to get through a few conversations with those who speak Japanese fluently, then beginning with the basics is the best place to start.
Learn popular words and phrases such as “hello”, “how are you?” and “thank you” first. Then practice using them in your daily conversations with those who speak Japanese. If you do not know anyone who speaks Japanese, keep practicing and speaking your words and phrases daily anyway - practice makes perfect.
If you want to learn Japanese so that you can better understand Japanese etiquette and culture, it is probably best to immerse yourself in conversational Japanese language studies. Learning Japanese this way can be beneficial because you will understand the body language, intonation and communication styles of those who speak Japanese fluently.
Listen to conversational audio, observe fluent speakers interacting with each other, and even try to watch and comprehend Japanese news or other real-life Japanese shows on TV. When listening to others speak Japanese, you still want to try to pick up on basic Japanese words and phrases. However, in learning conversational Japanese, it would be to your advantage to focus on situational phrases and even Japanese slang or expressions as well.
Understanding and using these types of colloquialisms is what helps you to become fluent in the Japanese language. Instead of focusing on basic phrases like “hello” and “good morning”, you will want to focus on how to begin interactions by asking questions like “what is your name?” or “what do you do for a living?”. Japanese etiquette plays a role in conversation, so take notice of the phrases and intonations that younger people use when speaking to their elders or that employees use to speak to their superiors.
It can be very difficult learning a new language. You want to try your best to stay motivated. When learning the Japanese language, you are not only learning to speak new words, you are also learning to read and interpret a different type of writing. Languages such as French and Spanish contain the same letters as the English language, but used in slightly different ways. The Japanese language will be a totally new way of reading and writing for you.
Do not be afraid of making mistakes with reading, writing or speaking Japanese, instead try to learn from your mistakes. Record yourself while you practice speaking Japanese so that you are aware of your mistakes in pronunciation and intonation. Being able to identify your weaknesses as you learn Japanese is the best way to improve.