Aug 4, 2017
5 ways to study Japanese
Studing a language is a big challenge for everyone, especially if you are not a language genius it can be very tough. Also Japanese is a totally different language comparing to western languages like English, German or Spanish. If you can speak Chinese it might not be so difficult, because Japanese and Chinese has many things in common like the writing system. I already tried out many ways to study Japanese. Here is my list of 5 ways to study a language and also my experience:
• Language school
Languages schools offer different classes to study Japanese. In my home country those classes were hold mostly 1-2 times a week in small groups. It takes very long time to get a good knowledge of the language. Language schools in Japan are a little bit different. Often you can choose between different kind of courses. For example the 1-2 years intensive course where you really study every day very intensive Japanese (listing, writing, speaking). It is very similar to a normal school. The chance that you are fluent in Japanese after that time is very high, but all depends on your effort.
If you can speak already Japanese you can also join a university preparation class or a JLPT preparation class.
If you want to focus more on your conversations skills, you can visit a conversation class. Usually those classes are for a few hours every afternoon and really focus only on speaking.
I joined a normal Japanese course in my home country and a conversation course in Japan for a half year. For me a language course at a school was very good for learning the basics of the language especially for the right pronunciation.
• Language exchange
A language exchange is a good opportunity to work on your language skills. Usually you will meet with a person who want to learn your language at a café or park. Each of you have the chance to learn from each other then. A popular website to find a language exchange partner is hellosensei.com.
That style is recommended if you can already speak a little bit the language otherwise it might be very difficult to communicate.
• Private teacher
A private language teacher is very good if you can´t study well in a class or at home. Many language schools offer private lessons but you can also find teacher at the internet. Studing with a private teacher is very intensive and a very fast way to learn the language. The bad side is that they are often very expensive, that´s why I would recommend a teacher only if you already have a good basic level of Japanese. I used a private teacher mostly to work on my conversations skills, to sound more natural.
• Self studing
If you don´t have much time and don´t want to spend so much money on language schools it is a good way to study at home. There are many good language books like:
- Basic Kanji Book (Bonjinsha Co. LTD)
- Nihongo challenge
- Unicom 日本語能力試験対策
Also I would recommend to watch many Japanese dramas, Anime or TV shows to work on your listing skills.
For reading practice you can start with kid books (only Hiragana) or special story books like Japanese grated readers.
• Daily life
The best way to work on your language skills will be in your daily life. Try it out have some small talk at the supermarket, post office or in a park. No worries nobody expect that you are fluent. Just give it a try!
I´m a german girl living in the center of Tokyo. I love traveling (especially hiking), taking photos and handcraft.