If you’re reading this, you might be wondering what is the best way to start learning Japanese. In the classroom or from a textbook may be very popular methods for many people, but those are by no means the only way you can learn a new language. I would like to share some creative ways you can start your study of the Japanese language, that are not only more effective, but much more fun as well.
The first thing to do is usually to check out some Japanese cartoons called “Manga.” Comic books aren’t just for kids in Japan. Sure, Japanese cartoons are made for children but also adults too. You’ll see businessmen read their favorite Manga on their way to the office. It is not uncommon to see a “salaryman” pulling out a copy of his favorite Manga as he rides the subway on the way to work. Manga can improve your casual Japanese and it is full of informal words and slang that you probably won’t find in many textbooks.
Second, go to some Japanese restaurants. By going to a Japanese restaurant, you’ll be able to practice you reading and speaking skills. The menu is usually written in Japanese (and English) and you will be able to test yourself by reading the words in Japanese. Impress your waiter by placing your order in Japanese. You can practice some simple words like “Thank-You” (arigatou) if you aren’t quite fluent enough to place a full order in fluent Japanese. This is by far, the most delicious option.
The third thing to do is to pick up some local Japanese newspapers. There are free Japanese newspapers or magazines in most large cities around the world where there is a Japanese community. These reading materials are aimed at the local Japanese community. You will probably be able to work out what some of the articles and advertisements are about even if you only know a few characters or words. It can be a wonderful experience when you finally start to make sense of words or phrases that are actually geared to Japanese people, and not simply just textbook phrases.
Fourth, learn Japanese using your computer. Using a computer is great because it could help you learn the language and pronunciation fast. You can find programs on free websites where there are games or other methods to help you understand the Japanese language. You can find applications for the iPhone or iPod that can help you learn Japanese. These are excellent because often times you’ll be able to hear actual spoken Japanese. You can repeat the audio as often as you would like to practice your pronunciation or listening skills.
The very last thing and best thing to do is to go to Japan in order for you to experience Japanese language and culture. If you are in the actual country, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you will able to learn the language. Of course, not everyone can afford this option, but it is hugely beneficial. You will pretty much be forced to learn the language in order to deal with everyday situations. This can lead to some humorous misunderstandings, of course, but that is just part of the fun.
You can take a crack at these five ways for learning Japanese. Should you be imaginative, I’m pretty sure you can think of other ways to learn Japanese in a fun day.
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