Some Advice When Learning to Speak Japanese

December 19, 2008 by admin 

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.

Comments

9 Responses to “Some Advice When Learning to Speak Japanese”

  1. bella_bambina248 on January 5th, 2009 8:43 pm

    Should i give up on learning japanese? please advice?
    i started learning japanese on my own but the language is to complicated, i already know arabic and english, and i have a back ground in french and itlian,, i am thinking about giving up japanese although i like it and learning french and itlian (since i have a back ground ), this way i will be able to include them in my cv and be good at them by the time i gradute, but if i pursued japanese i wont be able to be good at it.
    i also though that i might learn to speak japanese but not right it bec it's the hardest part.

    by the way i am antive arabic speaker,i learn some italian and french before but i can't remember any now so i will have to study them again

    so what is better for my carrer? and in general?

  2. Aeternus on January 5th, 2009 8:45 pm

    If you live in the US or UK, you probably won't use very much Japanese unless your career guides you in that direction. So, I'd say if you think you can learn Italian or French well, it would probably be better to learn one of those, since you'll probably encounter those languages more often. But if you don't live in the UK or US, I don't know how I can help you.
    References :

  3. John D on January 5th, 2009 8:47 pm

    just learn what this means…kuso shite shinezo
    References :

  4. Hektor on January 5th, 2009 8:49 pm

    Yes, Japanese is an ugly language. You come from an Italian background and maybe you don't have as much pride and sense of culture in that as you should. Italian is a beautiful and graceful language that is much older than Japanese, and much more useful.

    French I don't find a very good language either, but Italian is a true gem of a tongue.
    References :

  5. Abnormality on January 5th, 2009 8:51 pm

    Honestly, even if you speak ONE OTHER LANGUAGE, you're set for life! lol

    I think learning a language should be fun and even though it's challanging, it STILL should be fun for you to learn.

    The fact that you are learning it ON YOUR OWN may be the problem. Learning Japanese is pretty hard to learn by yourself without someone clearning things up for you a bit every step of the way. So if you like the language, but just can't grasp it well enough, try taking classes, or get better books, or find a tutor, etc. Japan is a good BUSINESS country.

    Italian and French are both good languages to know- and both are very pretty! If you think you can learn these languages well enough to help you with your career, then I think you should go with these. That way you'll know English, Arabic, Italian, and French. Instead of just English, Arabic, and Japanese.

    I think you should learn Italian and French at the moment, and maybe pick up Japanese again later on.

    Whatever you choose, all are good languages to learn, and dropping even one won't do you any harm. I know that French is an international language. It's good for business, and so is Japanese. Italian …hmm… I don't really know. I've never really thought about it. But in a way, if you learn Italian, you can pick up Spanish and Portuguese really easily!

    =)
    References :

  6. FRESH on January 5th, 2009 8:53 pm

    ya learn something easier and more useful. eg. Spanish
    References :

  7. Mustafa B on January 5th, 2009 8:55 pm

    For me, I'm already addicted to learning Japanese Language.
    What if you are already learning Italian and French and have to give up again just like giving up Japanese now.

    However, I think it would be much easier if you have a tutor for any language you want to learn.

    Career wise, it depends of which field you are pursuing and which language does it mainly use.

    General wise, follow your interest. What do you enjoy more among those languages.
    References :
    Language Background:
    Malay
    English
    Japanese
    Arabic

  8. Lewis( l'uomo da Italia) on January 5th, 2009 8:57 pm

    No, I am a native speaker of French and Italian but I must say that no language compares in the beauty of Japanese. Also, Japan is a great buisness country and is a very diverse and unique language. Yes, Japanese may only be spoken in one country, but face it so is Italian, and French, unless you have a burning desire to go to Quebec, French Guiana, or parts of Africa, it's only spoken in one country also, AND, both of these countries only have half of the size population as Japan. Plus, just do it to do it. It is great to know an asian language, for most non-asian people do not learn it.
    You should try learning them at the same time as one another. Thats how i learned English and Spanish.
    References :
    Currently studying Japanese.
    Im good at it and enjoy the sound and writing.

  9. askawow 47 on January 5th, 2009 8:59 pm

    the difference between english and japanese are writing system.
    english alphabet is phonogram.
    which means speaking language and spelling are almost same.
    japanese characters are ideogram. we have letters as well. but most important element in the sentence are all in characters. (noun, verb, adj)
    we ask 'how to write in characters?' a lot in daily conv.

    so what im saying is
    you can learn just spoken japanese if you dont want to learn how to write. but you do need writing skill if you want to count japanese language as your career in the future.
    characters are really important in japanese language even when we're just talking.
    References :
    majored in japanese literature

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