Travel and Leisure

Learning Japanese Well – What It Really Takes

January 11, 2011 by drewloupsen · Leave a Comment 

Are you going to Japan for japan jobs or to enjoy the sights and sounds of the country? Whatever your plans are, learning Japanese well is a crucial key to an enjoyable stay. There are some solid steps you can take to make sure you get the language right.

Step 1: Learn from courses supplemented by films.

While you’re still in your country, you should already be in the process of completing a course. This might be the only learning option you have at present. You can use search engines to find courses for the Japanese language that are organized according to difficulty.

You can’t just rely on courses though. To be able to clearly remember ideas, memorize rules and identify correct honorifics, you need to pattern after a model. If you can’t find a native speaker who can serve as a model, the next best options are Japanese films in their original form. Although movies aren’t always accurate in presenting situations, you can be sure that the appropriate use of language is fairly intact.

There are a couple of notable directors to check out but no one is as well known as Akira Kurosawa. Get your hands on copies of Rashomon and The Seven Samurai to begin learning. There are copies out there that come with subtitles so you can find it easier to see how Japanese is translated in English.

Step 2: Go to Japan and learn there.

The tip to study japanese in japan may not seem to be a very practical one but it is a very good idea. You can’t beat learning a language while you are living right in the very heart of the culture that gave birth to it. With sufficient exposure and immersion, you get the benefit of learning the contextual use of Japanese.

You don’t have to spend so much for a learning trip. You can take advantage of special working holiday visa programs if you are a citizen of Denmark, New Zealand, Germany, Ireland and Australia. A specific special visa will let you work in Japan while on a vacation. This is the best spot you will ever find yourself into as a language learner because you get to experience the language as it is applied in formal and informal speech. This is especially important if you want to master keigo or honorifics which are a great part of learning Japanese.

Step 3: Take a course right in Japan.

The highest phase of learning is to enroll in a local school to learn the language. You don’t have to do this considering that all you may need is enough proficiency to communicate with co-workers and customers. If you’re serious about becoming an expert speaker though, you need the help of a qualified local language teacher. Among the things you can learn from a native teacher are the finer distinctions or levels of polite speech, specific counters for group categories, different terms for borrowed words and proper use of honorific titles. Local schools can charge above 200,000 yen for premium lessons.

Clearly, learning Japanese is not the easiest challenge you will face. The steps outlined above however should be more than enough to give your learning attempts greater structure.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!