There’s many reasons to try and learn Japanese. From trying to gain a deeper understanding of your favorite manga to having dreams of visiting or even moving to Japan, the list goes on and on. Whether you’re studying casually or you have a goal in mind, here are some types of practice you can incorporate into your daily life to make the most of your learning!
- Japanese Content
This is one of the most common methods people turn to to develop their Japanese, and for good reason! From anime and manga to video games, youtube videos, podcasts and more, there’s no shortage of ways to gain exposure to language in a way that’s fun.
That being said, while it’s tempting to throw on a movie with english subtitles on and leave it at that, there are ways you can take a more active approach to learning through content. First, when you come across new words that could be helpful to remember, you can write it down for later review. For instance, if you’re a fan of Japanese cuisine you can note down what foods show up so you can try them out later, while also adding their names to your vocabulary.
You can also keep track of some of the words and phrases you do recognize, which serves both as a great way to continue practicing and also as a form of motivation, since you’ll be able to recognize more and more as time goes on.
Writing is a great way to get a better understanding of both vocabulary and grammar. It doesn’t have to be a lot, even just a few sentences a day works. Whether you use the lines to practice a new concept or just to write about how your day went, getting in the habit can go a long way towards getting more used to creating your own original sentences.
It’s also important to consider how you’re writing. You might want to consider occasionally typing some of your sentences to train the skill. With an internet search, you can find how to get to the language options of your computer or phone keyboard, then practice using it.
- Speaking Practice
Gaining practice speaking is an important part of learning any language, and Japanese is not an exception. An easy way to begin is by speaking aloud as you learn to get used to the sounds of the language, even if you’re just beginning to learn how to write characters. You can take things a step further by practicing with language learning apps, or just educational youtube videos.
A fun way to practice if you find yourself nervous to speak aloud is by finding songs to sing along to. You can search up the lyrics and even slow down the song if need be so that you can go at your own pace.
When it comes down to it, having actual conversations is incredibly helpful. Whether it’s with a friend who already speaks the language or others who are also learning, try reaching out to those around you for practice. Some city community centers and libraries hold times where those trying to learn languages can gather and have practice conversations, so make sure to check out what’s available near you. Some apps and websites have communities that offer similar opportunities, where you can speak in your target language with a native speaker and offer help in your native language in exchange.
No matter what form of practice works best for you, good luck in your studies!
Writer: Nina Moothedath