みなさん、こんにちは! (Mina-san konnichiwa!) Alright! So, you’ve decided to learn Japanese. You may have heard that this language takes a long time to master. But some learners are on a tight schedule, and others are just impatient! This raises an important question: how can you learn Japanese quickly? If you’re wondering how to learn Japanese fast, you’re in luck! Our Japanese instructor Sarah has put together a list of 7 important tips to help you learn to write (and speak, read, and understand!) Japanese in no time.
The Japanese language has a reputation for being difficult and time-consuming to learn. This is often credited to its complex writing system and its various levels of formality. You might think that it’ll take you years to be able to speak Japanese. Fortunately, that’s not necessarily true.
If you’re wondering how to learn Japanese faster, keep reading for our 7 best tips to keep things running smoothly. Let’s get started! 始めましょう！(Hajimemashō)
To start off, define why it is that you’re learning this language. The stronger and more solid your reasons, the easier it will be to stay motivated throughout the process.
Pinpoint the specific reasons that you’re excited about learning Japanese.
- Are you learning Japanese because you’re planning a trip and want to have a deeper understanding of the culture?
- Do you want to experience Japanese art, literature, films, theater, or music in a more authentic way?
- Are you going to be studying or working in Japan in the near future?
No matter what your reasons are, find them, visualize them, write them down, and post them somewhere you’ll see them often. Remind yourself of these goals at the beginning of your study sessions. Keeping your objectives in sight will help you keep your motivation strong over the long term. It will also help you find Japanese resources that align with your interests.
The Japanese writing system is very rich and complex. It actually includes three different types of writing: hiragana, katakana, and kanji. But don’t worry, you don’t have to learn everything, especially all at once.
In the beginning, focus on the kana (hiragana & katakana). You’ll start to see progress early on, which is always good for morale! It’s very important for Japanese learners to have a good foundation of these two types in order to move toward fluency.
The hiragana and katakana each contain 46 syllables, and learning them is an important prerequisite to learning Japanese. Why? Because as you learn the hiragana, you’ll also be learning the basics of Japanese pronunciation. Knowing them will also enable you to use other Japanese learning resources.
Later, you’ll be able to start adding in kanji. There’s no need to learn them all, but being familiar with several is a quick way to learn Japanese and to improve your reading comprehension.
Japanese learners often have a great reason for learning the language, which helps them to establish a strong connection with Japan itself. These reasons could be love for Japanese films, manga, artwork, history, food, music, ninjas, samurai, and much more!
So, a word of advice: use your interests to help you learn! These passions can be a huge source of inspiration and motivation as you learn.
Find a YouTube channel or a podcast on your favorite subject. This is a great opportunity to expose yourself to your target language, while also deepening your knowledge of a subject you enjoy. You’ll also learn important vocabulary related to the topic!
Good news: we can help!
More good news: you can get started for free! With your free trial, you can test drive the most effective way to learn Japanese for the next 15 days!
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Today, lots of people have access to Japanese culture through manga. In Japan, this literary genre isn’t simply for entertainment – it can also be educational. It seems like there’s a manga out there for just about any subject you can think of: nature, technology, even wine!
The advantage of reading manga? You’ll be able to understand them even if you haven’t started learning kanji yet. Most manga texts are accompanied by furigana, which are hiragana transcriptions of kanji. This way, you’ll still be able to figure out the pronunciation!
Take every opportunity you can to listen to spoken Japanese, but make sure you’re not only listening to cartoons. Of course, these are a great way to have fun and learn at the same time, but it’s important to be aware that the language used in Japanese cartoons is very different from everyday spoken Japanese. Often, characters use mannerisms and speak in ways that are actually quite different from what you’ll hear in reality!
So, in addition to watching cartoons, we recommend listening to the news in Japanese. NHK is probably the easiest channel to access around the world.
There are tons of ways to find native Japanese speakers to chat with. It doesn’t matter if your native language is English, French, Spanish, or Russian. I guarantee you won’t have any trouble finding a Japanese speaker who’s learning your language. To learn more, check out our article on how to find conversation partners online.
And finally, the fastest way to learn Japanese is to dive in! Anytime you have a few minutes – whether you’re waiting for the bus or sitting in a doctor’s office – grab your phone, open your MosaLingua app, and learn a few new flashcards!
You can also learn about all of Sarah’s Japanese hacks in this video she made. It’s in English, but subtitles are available in French, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, German, and of course English. Just click on the gear in the bottom right corner. You can also click the gear to change the playback speed.
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