Practical Tips to Improve Your Japanese Quickly!
Japanese is a historically difficult language to learn.
Early European priests who came to Japan to convert the Japanese to Christianity called their language “the Devil’s tongue.”
After spending nearly 10 years living in Japan and studying the language, I can understand their sentiment.
Today, I would like to share the methods you can use to learn Japanese more quickly.
Listening to music is not the most effective way to improve your listening skill but it can still be a great tool in language study.
All of the people I have met who have great pronunciation in a second language that they are studying are singers.
A lot of linguistic studies show that there is an intrinsic link between music and speech.
Some even believe that language evolved from singing, rather than the other way around.
So singing along to your favorite songs is not only fun, but it will also markedly improve your pronunciation.
Read for Fun
I think that one of the most important ways to maintain your language skills, improve your grammar, and learn more vocabulary is to read for fun.
There is an incredible amount of evidence that shows that reading often for your own enjoyment has incredible results on your language skills.
However, if your reading material is too difficult, you are just wasting your time.
Many years ago, I bought the Japanese translation of Harry Potter.
I love Harry Potter and I have read the books close to 5 or 6 times each, so I figured that reading it in Japanese would not be so tough.
I read one chapter and threw the book away.
It took me one week to read as I had to look up the vocabulary and Kanji every few moments.
By the time I figured out what the meaning was, I forgot what I was reading.
In that one week, I learned absolutely nothing.
After throwing the book away, I went to my wife’s manga collection and saw that she had the entire series of Rurouni Kenshin (Samurai X in English).
I was a big fan of the anime so I figured I’d give the manga a try.
I read the entire series in about a week.
I recommend reading manga in Japanese.
There are a few Kanji characters and they are not super difficult.
And because there are illustrations, you can generally follow the story even if you do not understand what you're reading 100 percent.
Bonus: Don’t Worry About Kanji Too Much
One last piece of advice – don’t spend so much time on Kanji.
Once again, this depends on your purpose for studying.
If you just want to communicate with people and build relationships, you don’t really need much Kanji.
You will pick up most of what you need just in daily life!