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How to Learn Japanese While Travelling Japan

How to Learn Japanese While Travelling Japan - Mt Fuji © Thanapat Pirmphol / Pixabay

First of all, this article is for those who have just started learning Japanese classes online. Especially for you, we have collected many tips that will help you “grab” Japanese and not let it go. Let’s face it: there will be difficulties! They will begin after the first few days. But this material will help you deal with them.

The article will be helpful for those who have already reached the Intermediate level and above. Here you will find resources that will be useful for replenishing vocabulary, learning hieroglyphs and grammar, and practicing listening and pronunciation.

Learn the Language Comprehensively

It means practicing all aspects of the language. Learn grammar, read, listen, and speak. This way, you will remember new material better and use the language. In the case of this language, at the beginning of learning, it’s better to type a small database of words and hieroglyphs to improve grammar and other sections. Some resources advise learning 300 characters before mastering the grammar, but we recommend trying at least 50-100 first.

Learn Interesting

Sincere interest is the best fuel for learning. Think about what you like about the Japanese language and Japanese culture the most. If it’s anime, watch your favorite titles with Japanese subtitles; if music, translate the lyrics of your favorite songs. Maybe you are fond of kendo or ikebana, and then you can read specialized texts about these classes in the original.

How to Learn Japanese While Travelling Japan – Osaka at night © Masashi Wakui / Pixabay

Learn a Language Every Day

Constant repetition is the key to mastering a language. You can find time to learn even on the busiest days – study on the subway, during your lunch break, or fifteen minutes before bed. Apps like Duolingo, Memrise, or Quizlet will help you with this.

Proceed in Small Steps

Remember the rule: before you take on something new, you should already know 80% of the material. Do not try to jump over your head and immediately take on advanced grammar and complex texts. So you will waste most of your time. Proceed gradually, with side steps.

Some modern manuals completely abandon traditional copybooks and immediately proceed to enter characters on a computer. It is explained that situations when we have to write by hand happen less and less. Japanese typing is effortless, and you can get it in about an hour. It is enough to install the Japanese layout on your computer, and then you can enter Japanese characters using Latin readings. If you face any difficulties, you should refer to the detailed instructions.

But learning how to write hiragana is still worth it – without this, you will have a hard time with kanji. Yes, and if you go to Japan, especially to study, you can’t avoid this: until now, the main instruments of the Japanese bureaucracy are paper and pen.

How to Learn Japanese While Travelling Japan © Shell Ghostcage / Pixabay

Learn the Basics on Apps

Having dealt with the basics, you can start learning kanji. It is necessary to memorize the spelling and meanings of hieroglyphs and their reading and the words in which they are included. So the kanji will stay in your head for a long time.

The scope of work is up to you. A good pace is 20-30 kanji and 100 words per week, but ten kanji would be fine. How exactly you memorize hieroglyphs – writing in a notebook or saving in the application – is not so important. The main thing is to do it. From personal experience, we can say that hieroglyphs written by hand are remembered better.

Often kanji begin to learn later, a few months after classes start. However, learning kanji early has one significant advantage: once you get your head around the grammar, you’ll already have an excellent vocabulary to build sentences and practice. You’ll be able to read straight away what’s written in the beginner’s textbook, so you don’t often have to be distracted by unfamiliar words.

Learn the Vocabulary

Having typed a minimum vocabulary, you can begin to study grammar. You probably already know something about word order and cases. Tutorials will help you delve into the theme. All the material in them is built by a well-built program so that the level of complexity will increase gradually. The disadvantage of textbooks is that most are designed for classes with a teacher, so they do not explain many things.

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