What is the best way for me to learn Japanese?

December 29, 2008 by admin · 6 Comments 

I would like to learn to speak, read and write Japanese and I’m wondering where I would start off.
I don’t want to pay huge amounts of money for software like Rosetta Stone but I’d be willing to pay some money for books and/or software.
I come from the UK so it has to be accessible to me and since I know no Japanese at the moment it has to be for a complete beginner.
And please no things for tourists, I’m looking to learn the language and not just some simple tourist-y phrases.

Everyone’s opinion sounds reasonable to me, but if I were you, I would start off with Araújo’s idea. As Freelancer said, Japanese literature is extremely complicated. It’s actually that not hard to run into a Japanese adult that can’t write proper Japanese…

I was speaking to my old college mate who is now in Japan & studying Japanese, but we came to the conclusion that you might be able to master 2~3 different European languages by the time you master Japanese.

Jumping to the conclusion, learning how to speak is the best way to go. You would get sick of it if you start with learning how to read & write. In order to do that, it’s the best make a friend with a Japanese person who can kinda speak English.

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How long does it take to learn the basics of Japanese or Spanish?

December 29, 2008 by admin · 10 Comments 

Hi, I would really like to learn Japanese and Spanish. I was wondering which one it would be better to learn first. I don't want to get them confused or slow my progress in either one, but I'm also impatient and want to study them both. How long do you think it would take to learn enough of Japanese or Spanish that I could begin studying the other without getting too slowed down? Thank you!

It really depends on your motivation, interest and practicality of language use. If you live in an area of the world where Spanish is spoken and you can watch t.v. or listen to Spanish music, then you may want to learn Spanish because it it will be easier to meet native speakers and practice the language. The same would go for Japanese.

English is a combination of Germanic structure and Latin-derived vocabulary. Spanish is a Romance (Latin-based) language, so you will find similarities while learning it. They also use the same alphabet as we do (with the addition of several letters), so learning to read it is not as difficult as say Russian or Greek would be.

Japanese is an Asian language that actually has three writing forms, kanji, katagana and hiragana that each have different characters that need to be memorized that represent different parts of speech (nouns, verbs, etc.). They also use romaji, the Roman alphabet to write Japanese using our alphabet (tsunami, sake, sushi, etc.).

I suggest becoming fluent in one of the two as you can easily get confused if you try the two before you've mastered one, then tackling the third. You might want to do Spanish first, as it will be more similar to English, then Japanese.

Good luck!

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How long does it take to learn japanese if you already know 3 langues?

December 29, 2008 by admin · 9 Comments 

I really wants to learn japanese but I already speak polish, norwegian and english fluently and I wonder how long would it take to learn japanese at a good communication level so I could make a conversation with japanese people and I would know the writing part as well. Do you think that 2years of home learning + 1 year student exchange in tokio would be enought to speak fluently ?

Hmmm.. If you are very good with languages then you have a fair shot at becoming fluent yes. But maybe not in 3 years. Consider a further year student exchange and I’d think you’d be pretty close to it then.

Good luck

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Some Advice When Learning to Speak Japanese

December 19, 2008 by admin · 9 Comments 

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.

Speaking Japanese: Learning the Language and the Cultural Etiquette

December 11, 2008 by admin · Leave a Comment 

The Japanese language is considered by many to be easy to learn. Whether you wish to speak Japanese for personal reasons like travel or for professional reasons, it is important for you to consider that learning Japanese etiquette is as important as learning commonly used words and phrases.

Why is it that learning to speak Japanese is relatively easy? To begin with, there are only 5 vowel sounds:

·A is voiced as “ah,” or the way English speakers pronounce the a in “la;”
·I is pronounced as the English e in words like “need” and “tea;”
·U is vocalized in much the same way as “oo” in words like “cool” and “soon;”
·E is spoken with the same sound of the first e in the word “letter” and the e in “set;”
·O is expressed as it is in the word “told.”

Knowing how each of the vowels sounds phonetically makes speaking the Japanese words less difficult.

In addition, the Japanese language is less complicated than many others because nouns are not tied to gender or number – the same word is used for one tree or many trees – and verb remains the same regardless of the subject. Unlike English, Spanish and French (and other Latin-based languages) in which you must learn different ways to conjugate the verb based on the subject, when learning Japanese, the verb will be either past tense or the present tense (ongoing actions or the suggestion of what may happen in the future are expressed with the present tense verb).

While pronunciations can be simple once you know how the vowels are spoken, and nouns and verbs are relatively easy as well, one way in which you may stumble with the language is word order. While in English sentences are typically in a subject – verb – object format, in Japanese they are presented in the order of subject – object – verb. Of course, just as we have prepositions in English, there are a number of articles in Japanese. One article used often is “ka,” which is used at the end of the sentence to ask a question (which is important because the question mark does not exist in Japanese).

Though challenges like punctuation exist in the written language, learning to speak and understand Japanese can be accomplished. There are many resources available online, books and flashcards, as well as computer software. By finding the one that will be most beneficial to you and practicing often, you will surely be able to learn the language.

Once you have learned the language, and even while you are learning, it is important to keep etiquette in mind because how you act has as much of an impact on how you are received as the words you use to express yourself.

Make sure that you keep the following in mind:

·Unless you are very familiar with the person you are talking with, you should avoid using casual phrasings;
·Avoid being loud to get someone’s attention. It is better to wave or to approach them with a bow and then speak;
·Use a quiet tone when speaking;
·Be cautious with your body language as much of the communication that takes place is unspoken;
·Always show respect for the person with whom you are speaking.

By maintaining respect for the people and cultural etiquette – you will find that beginning to communicate in Japanese is simple and, in time, you will become quite good at it.

Learn Japanese Language – Do You Know That There Are 3 Different Japanese Symbol?

December 1, 2008 by admin · 3 Comments 

Learn Japanese for a real communication for your work, school project, and communicating with your Japanese mate properly.

Many people think that Learning to speak Japanese language is more difficult than learning to write Japanese. But, it is actually vice versa, because there are 3 different Japanese symbol called Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana, if you want to learn to write Japanese.

Normally, many Westerners think that kanji symbol is the only writing form we use in Japanese. It is true that we use kanji symbols more than hiragana or katakana symbols when writing something in Japanese. However, unlike Chinese people who use only Kanji symbols, we mix up all Japanese scripts.

So, when do you have to use which script? The answer is it all depends on a type of sentence used. Generally, the majority of Japanese textbooks says that Hiragana symbol is used when a word cannot be written in Kanji symbol, and Katakana symbol is mainly used to represent foreign words, or names which have adopted into the Japanese writing system.

However, it is always the case.

For example, “Thank you” in Japanese is “A Ri Ga To U”. Normally, you will write this word in Hiragana symbol, but in a formal letter, you should use Kanji symbol. Although it is not wrong to use katakana symbol to write “Thank you” in Japanese, not many Japanese people would do so.

If you travel to Japan, you would see how each Japanese Kanji Symbols, Hiragana and Katakana symbols are used

For example, Japanese Magazine normally use 80% of Kanji symbols, and 10% of Hiragana and Katakana symbols.

Another case is the singboard of the place in a subway. Almost all the sings are written with the Kanji symbols. By the way, we can write numbers in kanji symbols as well, but normally use the numerical sign to represent.

Also, Japanese language is changing everyday. There are new Japanese words in which old Japanese people cannot understand and those words are usually written by Katakana symbol or Hiragana symbol.

Although they are not proper Japanese language, many young Japanese people use such characters nowadays, and those words are normally abbreviated words.

That is why leaning to write Japanese is more difficult than speaking Japanese.

How long should it take to learn Japanese? What should I do?

November 13, 2008 by admin · 5 Comments 

I speak english and was required to take two years of spanish (which I took reluctantly) and can speak a little of that, but I was never really interested. My HS doesn't offer Japanese, and it what I am planning to go to college for, but Id like to get a jump start, so Im not clueless when I get there. How long do you think it'd take for me to learn it, and what do you think I can do to begin learning?

'hiragana' and 'katakana' are easy characters to master. my husband mastered all in less than 2 weeks.

japanese conversation… less than 2 yrs

'kanji' is different…
it takes looooooong time.
normally japanese children learn kanji for more than 12 yrs. (which means highschool degree) some 3,000 kanji characters are in common use in modern japanese, but an asahi shimbun survey says that 94% of written japanese communication is in 1,500 characters

my husband couldn't speak japanese when he came japan.
but he can speak japanese fluently now.

try this one


and make some native friend
japanese love to help people

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Learn Japanese: Mary had a little lamb in Japanese

November 5, 2008 by admin · 25 Comments 

MP3 and Translation at:


Here’s a Japanese song you can learn in 10 minutes. It’s bound to impress your friends!

There are also lots of really useful Japanese phrases in there, for example:

の = no = which means ‘s. For example Madonna’s CD is “Madonna no CD” in Japanese.

All the other words are explained on the GenkiJapan.net page at:


There’s also the mp3 version to buy and listen toon your ipod everyday ( to get it stuck in your head, and to support us making more videos!), and a poster for your wall!


Be genki,

Duration : 0:0:46

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What is the best Learn Japanese audio series?

October 16, 2008 by admin · 1 Comment 

i want to learn Japanese, mainly only to understand and speak conversationally, not to be able to read and write and would prefer something less formal (i want to be able to watch movies and anime in Japanese w/o subtitles). i have some of the Pimsleurs series and really like that. can anyone recommend another series? i saw the Living Language has anyone tried that? i mainly want audiobook cds cuz i like to learn it in the car.

Pimsleur is probably the deepest audio program you’ll find.

I have it, though I prefer learning in a class setting; they tend to skip things like why certain particles are used, but overall it’s good for knowing what to say and when to say it.

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Learn Japanese: Animal Sounds Part 1

October 15, 2008 by admin · 25 Comments 

One Minute Japanese: Animal Sounds Part I

Cat: nya-nya-
Dog: wan wan
Pig: bu-bu-

Duration : 0:1:24

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