“How to learn basic Japanese?”
We have two general choices
- Go for a formal Japanese language education.
- Spend time studying the language using self-help books.
I go for self-study. The schedule’s flexible and it leaves me enough time to do other works (like writing).
Regardless of your choice for your mode of learning, there are things you can do to make your Japanese language education fun and stress-free.
Today, I’ll be sharing 5 tips that can help you increase your motivation and drive away those negative vibes lurking around the corners!
Grab a pen and paper (or anything you’re comfortable to take notes on) and feel free to list down the following:
1. Watch an episode or two of an anime series.
This is absolutely my favorite so I had it written down first. I’ve been watching anime since I was a kid so it’s easy to accuse that my love for the Japanese language has been greatly influenced by anime. And in fact, it is.
So if it’s something that influential, then why not use it to your advantage?
When it comes to studying Japanese (language), it’s important to condition your mind and watching anime is a great conditioning process. You focus on how the language is spoken, take notes of some useful expressions and even mimic how it’s spoken.
Never underestimate what mindful anime watching can do. When done right, anime can even help you sharpen your brain.
So before you take today’s lesson, watch anime and condition yourself!
2. Create a study desk (or a working desk or however you want to name it)
You don’t have to stay in your room or in a library or in a classroom (aside for formal study where you have to) to create a study desk for yourself.
The general requirement is this: A place where you can freely sprawl down your writing materials, books and other references.
Your study desk can be your bedside table, couch or in front of your PC (preferably turned off). In my case it’s the kitchen or the floor. Both can work for me depending on my preference for that day.
Then you can add all the things you’ll need and want to have on your study desk. My study area consists of these things:
- Multi-colored pens (black, blue, red, lilac and skyblue)
- Dermatograph (my preferred highighter)
- Basic Japanese books
- My random anime vocabulary collection notebook
- Cup of milk (or coffee)
- A novel (any)
- Clean sheets of paper
3. Keep a journal.
I know right. It sounds cliched. But it works, so it’s totally cool. Your study journal is not the one where you pour out your rants and complains and hurts about the world.
This journal will contain your daily learnings, and things you find difficult and confusing on your day’s study.
Forget about the format. You can go for variety. You can have it in narrative, tables, graphs, and even symbols (as long as you can recognize it later on).
This journal will serve as your reference. Before you start your study the next day, take time to review the entry you’ve written on the previous session. This way, you’ll keep track of where you’re at even after a week of absence to your study.
4. Invite a friend to sit down and study with you.
It’s more than just because two heads are better than one.
Inviting a friend to study with you is not only constructive but also refreshing. You get to conduct dialogue exercises and written tests where you let each other check your works.
It will be a plus factor if the friend you invite is interested in Japanese. It will make your study easier. Plus, limit your invites to 2 persons in maximum (3 including you). More than that can already be distracting.
5. Recite Japanese words and sentences you’ve learned for the day (and have it recorded)
Learning how to write Hiragana, Katakana and basic Kanji is one. Speaking the language is another thing.
Other than focusing your study on Japanese grammar and characters, you must also strike a balance and practice your articulation.
If you’ve been enjoying Tip no.1 , then this shouldn’t be new. You’ve heard how the language is spoken. Now is your turn to see if how well you sound.
Grab your phone or recorder and record your own voice while reciting few Japanese greetings or sentences. Listen to it afterwards. Your should be able to evaluate how you sound.
How well are you doing with your Japanese language study? Any tip you want to share?
Write them down on the comments!