How to learn Japanese

How to learn Japanese: The thing you need is motivation. If you are not sure whether you want to learn Japanese it is best not to read the entire article.

Baka means "fool"
Hiragana and Katakana foreign Japanese textbooks use Roman characters

How to learn Japanese:

How to learn Japanese

The first factor you wish for is motivation. If you’re unsure whether or not you would like to be told how to learn Japanese, it’s best to not browse the whole article.

1.Once you have mastered the basics of Japanese grammar , you will master Hiragana and Katakana. Many foreign Japanese textbooks use Roman characters (Latin) as pronunciation aids. This only applies to Japanese at the time, and Roman characters are rarely used; instead, a combination of hiragana, katakana, and kanji is used. Once you know the first two, you can study the third, improve your Japanese, and take the JLPT exam.

2.Learning Chinese Characters (Chinese Characters): If your goal is complete Japanese oral and written knowledge, you must have at least 1500-3000 Chinese characters to be able to read and write functionally. The best way to learn this is through formal graded instruction, index cards, and extensive exercises. The educated and well-read Japanese can recognize up to 10,000 hieroglyphs. Chinese characters represent words borrowed from Chinese, used to distinguish homophones, and used for names, grammatical functions, and special vocabulary. The meaning and usage of Japanese characters are usually different from the Chinese characters used in modern Chinese and Korean. Learning Chinese may not help you how to learn Japanese.

3.Try to expand your vocabulary. Different people use different methods: flashcards, textbooks, recitations, comics, etc.

4.Listen to Japanese as much as possible. Volunteer at the local Japanese community center, make friends with Japanese people, watch Japanese TV, movies, dramas, anime, and YouTube videos, and listen to modern and traditional Japanese music. If you can use English subtitles, please use them, but as Japanese develops, try not to rely on them.

5.Understand the level of politeness. In Japanese, the words or phrases you speak may vary depending on who you are speaking to. For example, "How are you? Can you say something like “Genki”? Or "O Genki des ka? It depends on how polite you are.

6.Hire a Japanese teacher and/or take a formal language course. The best way to internalize language and culture is to interact with a native (trained) person who knows how to instruct you to do and don’t and (how to learn Japanese) Japanese subtitles.

7.Don’t stick to the jargon . From Hokkaido to Okinawa, the Japanese have a lot of slang and urban slang. Use your knowledge and gradually expand it. In almost all textbooks and learning materials, you will learn standard Japanese, which is commonly used throughout Japan and is an effective basis for developing knowledge. In other words, learning spoken Japanese will come in handy, depending on where you live in Japan and how natural you want it to sound. Dialects contain many local features that standard Japanese may lack.

8.If you can, please spend time in Japan. If your destination is still fluent, you need to live in Japanese to speak fluent Japanese, which means you need to travel and kill time in Japan. Japan provides many work and study opportunities for foreigners. All you have to do is find it, arrange it, and aim. Think about the necessary procedures and customs to follow in Japan. In addition, naturalization as a Japanese citizen is not easy. Do your homework and ask questions.

9. Take the Japanese test (JLPT or Japanese Language ( how to learn Japanese)Proficiency Test). JLPT is an international five-level and five-level Japanese test organized by Japan Educational Exchange and Services (JEES) and the Japan Foundation. It is designed to assess your Japanese proficiency. It tests your Chinese characters and vocabulary, listening and reading comprehension, and grammar. N5 is the lowest test level available, and N1 is the highest level (close to a native language). Usually through Japanese universities and cultural centers. If you think your language skills are good enough, please take each exam. JLPT practice materials and tutors are available through the iPod app in many major cities around the world.

How tough is it to learn the Japanese language?

Many English speakers find that Japanese is the most difficult to learn. Three independent writing systems, a sentence structure opposite to English, and complicated levels of politeness are difficult. How difficult is it to learn Japanese? Read on to understand what makes Japanese so difficult.

Japanese writing system.

First of all, there are three writing systems: Katakana, Hiragana, and Kanji; Hiragana and Katakana-Pinyin letters; unlike English, which handles vowels and consonants separately (using multiple pronunciations for many letters), Pinyin letters are always specified Ways of writing and pronunciation.

Hiragana and Katakana:
For hiragana and katakana, the vowels a, i, u, e, and o are best displayed in five lines, and consonants are added at the top to create a grid (the table below shows the corresponding vowels in the distance ) Side. right, because(how to learn Japanese) Japanese is read vertically from right to left). Hiragana is the first Japanese writing system taught to children; it is the simplest writing system in Japan. In the above table, Hiragana is easy to spot because the shape of the alphabet is more rounded (appearing on the left side of each square). On the other hand, it looks clearer (displayed on the right side of each square).

Contrary to Hiragana and Katakana, Kanji is pictographic; each character or symbol represents a concept, not a sound; for example, in the table above, you can see Chinese characters one, two, three (1,2 3. These characters can have multiple pronunciations or meanings. Chinese characters can be pronounced as ichi or milestone, but the meaning) remains the same.

Japanese grammar:

Japanese grammar

Generally speaking, Japanese grammar is one of the most difficult things for English speakers to understand. In Japanese, verbs appear at the end of sentences, which instinctively seems wrong to English speakers. The word order in the SubjectVerbObject. Example: I went to the store. However, in Japanese, the word order is SubjectObjectVerb. Example: I went shopping (before). The Japanese form is easier to conjugate, and there are no plural words here. Need to get used to changing shapes between animate and inanimate objects. The Japanese only have the past tense and the present tense. Although each tense has many forms, it is much faster and more efficient than English. Japanese also depends to a large extent on the context, so many things are taken for granted and need to be explained in English.

Sentence structure:
In Japanese, word order is divided into subject and verb. Compared with many Indo-European languages, the only strict word order rule is that the verb must appear at the end of the sentence (the auxiliary word can be at the end of the sentence). Because the components of Japanese orders are marked with auxiliary words that describe their conventional roles. The basic structure of the sentence is the subject of review. For example, Kochira wa Tanakasan desu (こ ち ら は 田中さんで Koch) Kochira (“this”) is the subject of the sentence and is represented by wa. The verb aru (desu is an abbreviation for the educated form of arimasu) is usually translated as “to be” or “to be” (although there are other verbs that can be translated as “to be”), although it does not matter technically. Deyu is "polite.

In summary, Tanaka-san desu is a commentary. The literal meaning of this sentence is: "About this person, Mr./Ms. Tanaka. Like several other Asian styles, Japanese is often pointed to as the principal language in technological phases, which means that there is a strong tendency to separate topics from topics, and the two languages ​​do not always match. Ga Nagai (如は鼻が长い) means: "Elephant (s) (nose) is very long (s). The problem is zō “elephant”, and the title is Hans’s organ. As you can see from the context, it is not necessary a bit. It is often shortened for this grammatical freedom; Japanese users tend to skip pronouns. In theory, they are inherited from the previous one.

In the earlier example, Nagai Canada indicates " nostrils are very long", and Nagai itself indicates “[they] is very large” Sentence: Yatta! (やった!) "[I/we/sie/wait] I did [this]!Since articles in Japanese sentences can form words (see below), articles can be whole sentences: Urayamaschii! (恩ましし!)

Although some words in the language are usually translated as pronouns, they are not as often used as pronouns in some Indo-European languages ​​and have different functions. Special verb forms and auxiliary verbs Used to indicate the direction of benefit: “down” refers to the outer group that benefits the inner group, and “up” refers to the inner group that benefits from the outer group. The inner group here includes speakers. But it is not an outer group, and its limitations depend on the context, For example, oshiete moratta (教えてもらった) (literally means “explain” by an external group for the benefit of the group) means “[him/her/her] [explain to us]”. , oshi eteageta (教えて)あげた) (literally means “explanation” is good from the inside) means "[我/我们] [explain] this for you. "The functions of these particles are similar to those of pronouns and prepositions in Indo-European languages. Languages ​​because they represent the performer and receiver of actions.

The use of Japanese “pronouns” is also distinct from most maximum current Indo-European pronouns (more like nouns) because they can use transformers like any other noun. For example, in English, they would not say “run into the street surprised” (the grammar of the pronoun insertion is wrong). But in Japanese, you can say the same grammar: いいた彼は道oo走っていった. Transliteration: Odoroita Kare wa Michi or Hachette itta. (Грамматическиправильно) Этоотчастипотому, чтоэтисловасвязаныскими “ты” (jun “сэр”) “сты” (jun “сэр”) аната “ты скимса” (servant" аната “ты” (servant" аната “ты” (servant" саната “сэр”) аната “тыльно”) "). For this reason, some linguists classify Japanese “pronouns” as reference nouns, not pronouns, but reference nouns, similar to Spanish tú (port tu Gracia, “tu [(more flattering的)plural] grace”) or Portuguese or Mr. Japanese personal pronouns are usually used only when it is necessary to emphasize who is doing what. The choice of words used as pronouns depends on the gender of the speaker and the personal social pronunciation: male and female.

On formal occasions, they usually call themselves Watashi (private “private”) or Watakushi (also known as private), while men are more inclined to use minerals (my “me”, “me”) or Boku Or more private communications. Similarly, different words such as anata, Kimi, and omae (previously more formal “the one in front of me”) can refer to the listener, depending on the relative society of the listener Status and familiarity with each other. “Listen”, the same word can be positive (intimate or respectful) or negative (distanced).

Gender differences:

Although there are very obvious gender differences in the Japanese language, many of them are gradually becoming smaller. Today, many linguists call the difference between “female” and “male” rough. These language differences are categorized according to endings and politeness: for example, the approximate form may end in ~ っ ぜ (ze), which is a rough ending, rather than ~ わ (wa), which is a more complex sound. (Important for Keigo discussed below) So it is much less relevant; but in daily communication, it is important to understand this.


In Japan, politeness is the number one rule; rude means not only committing a crime on a personal level but also on a cultural level. Although most foreigners and expats will forgive the accuracy of Keigo, deliberate courtesy can impress your colleagues and managers. And create bridges within your district. This kind of politeness establishes a system that values ​​humility rather than openness, and consciously raises the audience, and puts oneself in a lower position. The ending becomes longer, from ~です (desu) to ~でございます (dehozaimasu). Still not sure what this means? If you live in Japan, please take some time to listen to the department store staff, because their Japanese can be confusing. The customers there are very respected. Although it is difficult to learn at first, some common phrases will become second nature to you at some point.


There are many local dialects, although they may teach you the standard version of Tokyo. The most famous dialect is called Kansai-based or Kansai dialect. The Kansai region includes two other major centers of Japan: Kyoto and Osaka. As we all know, Kansai is more informal, and dialects have become an important part of comedy shows because Osaka is one of the country’s most famous entertainment capitals. As a result, even the most experienced Japanese-speaking foreigners will feel out of place when traveling outside of Tokyo. Some dialects, such as Okinawa and Hokkaido, even contain remnants of the indigenous words of the indigenous people of Ryukyu and Ainu. From Japan.

Business Japanese:

Due to Keigo’s complicated ranking rules, it is not surprising that business Japanese takes a long time to adapt. In this regard, we can classify Keigo from other adults in the business environment. Keigo is divided into three areas: Teineigo, Sonkeigo, and Kenjougo. Teineigo: Teineigo is the simplest. This is the type of Keigo you learn in class, where all the verbs are conjugated in an orderly way, and the verbs you talk to are the same/better than you. This is the standard Japanese form you use at work (yes, it includes Nomikai business gatherings).

Sonkeigo: Sonkeigo is the most polite form. It is used by lower-level employees when it comes to CEOs or when there is a large status gap. However, never get used to talking about things that belong to you or your team, because talking about yourself and Kenjogo in this awe is.

counterproductive: Kenjogo is the hardest part, and when you do it right, the most impressive. This is a very specific way of talking about yourself and your accomplishments, consciously making you lower than the others around you. You don’t have to use it with the people you interact with every day, but you should use it to talk to your audience, whether it’s customers, customers, or people outside your circle.

Ancient Japanese:

Ancient Japanese
Later reconstructions of ancient Japanese showed striking similarities with Southeast Asian languages, especially Austronesian languages. Ancient Japanese does not have /h/, but /ɸ/ (stored in modern fu, //), which has been reconstructed. Man’yōgana also has a symbol /je/, which merges with /e/ until the end of this period. Several fossils of ancient Japanese grammatical elements have survived modern languages: the genitive particle tsu (replaced by modern no) is preserved in words like matsuge (“eyelashes”, literally “hair in the eyes”). ; Modern mieru (“seen”) and kikoeru (“hearing”) may retain the intermediate passive suffix yu (ru) (kikoyu→kikoyuru (a form of attributive that gradually replaced simple forms in the late Heian period)> kikoeru (like All Simonidan verbs in modern Japanese are the same)); the genitive particle ha is reserved in the deliberately ancient.

Middle-early Japanese:
The middle-early Japanese is Japanese from 794 to 1185 in the Heian period. In the middle and early Japanese, it was believed that Chinese had a significant influence on the phonetic system of the language: the difference in length became the phonemes of consonants and vowels and some words. Add labial (e. Kwa) and palatalized consonants (kya). [Citation needed] Intervowel / ɸ / merged with / w / in the 11th century. The end of early Medieval Japanese marked the beginning of change, as the attributive form (rentaikei) slowly replaced the unbound form (shūshikei) with two verbs with different verbs.

Mid-late Japan:
Mid-late Japan spans the period from 1185 to 1600 and is usually divided into two parts roughly corresponding to the Kamakura period and the Muromachi period. The middle and late Japanese forms are first described by non-native sources, in this case, Jesuits and Franciscan missionaries; therefore, the phonology of the middle and late Japanese forms is better than the earlier forms (such as Arte da Lingoa Yapama) recording. In other voice changes, the sequence / au / is merged with / ɔː /, in contrast to / oː /; /p / is re-entered from Chinese; and /us/ is merged with/once/. Various forms are more familiar to modern Japanese users: consecutive endings are shortened to verbs (e.yonde means before yomite), and the k in the last syllable of adjectives. Refusal (previously white for Guang); and in some forms, standard modern Japanese retains the previous form (e.hayaku> hayau> hayɔɔ, of which modern Japanese only has hayaku, although the alternative form remains in the standard ohayō gozaimasu "morning “Good” greeting; also found in omedet “Congratulations”, from Medetaku). There are the earliest European loanwords in the late Middle Ages; the words used by the Japanese at the time were pan (“bread”) and tabako (“tobacco”, now “cigarette”), both of which came from Portuguese.

Old contemporary Japanese:
Non to be linked with new Japanese. Beginning modern Japanese was a language used next to the Meiji Restoration. Because the two languages ​​are very similar, early modern Japanese is often called modern Japanese Advanced Japanese in the 19th era. It was not until 1945, shortly after World War II, that modern Japanese became the standard language and was used in most official communications. In this period, the Japanese used traditional Chinese characters in addition to katakana and hiragana, which later evolved into Chinese characters, a type of writing that expresses ideas in Japanese. And the Chinese.

Modern Japanese:

Modern Japanese is believed to have originated in the Edo period (1603-1867). Since the ancient Japanese era, the de facto standard Japanese is the Kansai dialect, especially the Kyoto dialect. However, in the Edo period, Edo (now Tokyo) became the largest city in Japan, and the dialects of the Edo region became the standard Japanese. After Japan ended its self-isolation in 1853, the loan flow of European languages ​​increased significantly. Other languages, such as German, Portuguese, and English. Many foreign words in English refer to technology, for example: For a large number of English loan words, modern Japanese has distinguished [tɕi] and [ti] and [dʑi] and [di], the latter only appearing in each pair of foreign words Word.


Literacy was introduced to Japan in the form of the Chinese writing system, and it was not passed through Baekje until the 5th century. In 478 AD, the King of Japan used this language to request Emperor Liu Songshun. Japan’s Baekje invited Chinese scholars to learn more about the Chinese writing system. The emperor of Japan granted official titles to Chinese scholars (Zhou Shouyan/Sahongge/[b][c]袁晋卿[d]), which expanded the use of Chinese characters from the 7th to the 8th century. First of all, the Japanese write in classical Chinese and the names of Japanese people are represented by symbols instead of their pronunciation. Later, in the 7th century AD, the Chinese voiced phoneme principle was used. Write pure Japanese poetry and prose, but some Japanese words still use hieroglyphs to express their meaning, rather than the original Chinese voice. It was then that the independent history of Japanese as a written language began. Ryukyu language is very different from the Ryukyu language.

An instance of this different way is Kojiki recorded in 712 AD. Then they began to write Japanese in Manyoyan style using Chinese characters, which is a syllable that does tones in Chinese letters to decipher words into Japanese syllables. The writing system has evolved over time. Kanji is used to write Chinese or Japanese words with the same or similar meaning. Chinese characters are also used to write grammatical elements. They are simplified and eventually evolved into two-syllable letters: Hiragana and Katakana. Yoshinori Kobayashi and Alexander Vovin believe that Japanese katakana comes from the Gugyol writing system used in the Silla era. Hiragana and Katakana were the first to simplify Chinese characters, and Hiragana appeared around the 9th century and was mainly used by women. It is regarded as an informal language, while katakana and kanji are regarded as more formal and are usually used by men on informal occasions. However, due to the emergence of Hiragana, more and more people are beginning to use it. Used by everyone. Modern Japanese has a mixture of three main systems: Kanji, Kanji, which are used to express Chinese borrowed words and various Japanese native morphemes in Japanese; and two-syllable words: Hiragana and Katakana. Latin letters (or Roman characters in Japanese) are used to some extent, for example for entering abbreviations and deciphering Japanese names, and in other situations where non-Japanese people need to know how to pronounce it (for example, “ramen” in a restaurant).

Arabic numerals are more common than Chinese characters in counting, but Chinese numerals are still used for compound words, such as unified tōitsu (“joint”). Historically, attempts to restrict the use of Chinese characters began in the mid-19th century, but it was not until Japan was defeated in World War II that it became the target of government intervention. Considered abolishing Chinese characters completely and using only Roman characters. As a compromise solution, the Joyo Kanji scheme (“commonly used Chinese characters”, originally called Choyo Kanji [general Kanji]) was created. Learn Chinese characters from the first grade of elementary school. In a guide developed by the Japanese Ministry of Education, the Kyoku Kanji (“education kanji”, a subset of Joyo Kanji) list defines 1,006 simple characters that children must learn. In school, children continue to learn more than 1,130 Chinese characters. In high school, there are a total of 2136 outstanding Chinese characters.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1: Is it difficult to learn Japanese?

A: Many English speakers find that Japanese is the most difficult to learn. Three independent writing systems, sentence structures opposite to English, and complicated polite levels. Please keep reading to find out why Japanese is so difficult.

Q2: Can you really learn Japanese from anime?

A: Japanese. Yes, people can learn something by watching anime! Although it may be difficult at times, you can learn and enjoy Japanese at the same time.

Q3: Is Japanese easy to learn?

A: Contrary to popular belief, linguists agree that oral Japanese is relatively easy to learn compared to other languages, partly because it has only 5 vowels and 13 consonants. On the opposite hand, English has 12 vowels and 24 consonants. Japanese writing is the main difficulty.

Q4: Can I learn Japanese in three months?

A: I can speak Japanese for one hour a day for about three months. This is about the right way, I repeat it: start talking from the first day! You can start speaking Japanese immediately. I suggest you do this.

Q5: Is it worth learning Japanese?

A: Even if you don’t plan to learn Japanese, some basic and everyday words and phrases are worth learning. There are certain phrases that are definitely music to all Japanese ears.

Q6: How good is Duolingo Japanese 2020?

A: 4 reasons why Duolingo is great for beginners. The course contains selected vocabulary and grammar. It is enjoyable with all the different gamification elements. Various exercises make it interesting. It’s super cute. With owl mascot and colorful.

Q7: Can I learn Japanese within one year?

A: Original answer: Can I learn Japanese in one year? If you are in a completely immersive atmosphere, only speaking and listening to Japanese, and working hard, you can definitely go from zero to speak within a year.

Q8: Do I need to learn Japanese to like anime?

A: Yes, yes, yes! Even if you learn Japanese words, hearing the words originally spoken by the voice actor will improve your animation score. Every holiday language lesson you study will deepen your understanding.

Q9: What does Baka mean?

A: Baka (red deer in hiragana, ばか or バカ in katakana) means “fool” or (as a noun-adjective) “fool”, and is the most common derogatory term in Japanese. This Baka word has a long history, its etymology is vague (may come from Sanskrit or classical Chinese), and its language is complicated.

Q10: Why is Japanese so difficult?

A: pronunciation. The reason why Japanese speakers find it difficult to pronounce foreign languages ​​is because their own language only has a range of about 100 “voices”.In addition, the language is very plain, so you will not have any problems when using different intonations such as Mandarin or Cantonese.


The official Joyos list of Chinese characters has been revised several times, but the total number of officially allowed characters has remained basically unchanged. Using Chinese characters as names is a bit complicated. Joyō-Kanji and jinmeiyō-Kanji (applications with additional name characters). It is not possible to register names with unapproved characters; however, as with the Excellent Chinese Character List, the inclusion criteria are usually arbitrary, resulting in the rejection of many common and popular characters. The Shenmingyang Chinese Character List has been significantly expanded from 92 in 1951 (the year it was first published) to 983 in 2004 because the court order prohibits the deletion of commonly used characters. The old form can still be used.