After the pandemic that still afflicts the whole world, there is no doubt that everyone is now used to studying and learning from home, an advantage that we can at least highlight over the current situation.
But speaking properly of the Japanese language we can not fail to clarify that it is indeed a fairly complex language, not for nothing is it one of those languages that are considered difficult, even many daring to learn it often abandon their learning halfway (or before) because it has several complications both in writing Kanji, as Hiragana and Katakana.
That is why it is of utmost importance to warn those interested in this language that the best thing they can do is to follow a proper line of learning in order not to complicate their learning so much. On the other hand, you should also consider some points that can encourage your interest, for example, it is a language that is currently in fashion, there are more than four million people learning the language and the number continues to rise every day (according to data from The Japan Foundation).
If you are a fan of manga and anime, it is more than necessary that you dedicate yourself to learning the language, on the other hand, Japan has a very different culture and gastronomy; and also in terms of work and academics, Japan has excellent opportunities for foreigners.
Like any language, it is necessary that you take your steps little by little, so start with the basics, so you should familiarize yourself with the two main syllabaries which are hiragana and katakana, so the faster you distinguish each one the faster you will progress in the Japanese language.
To do this, we recommend you to make use of technology, so look for tools and applications where you can learn about these, for example, Hiragana Quest or Dr. Moku (ideal for beginners), Juho, Kanji Study, Hello Talk, Tae Kim, Obenkyo, among others.
There are many free resources online, such as Yoshida’s popular hiragana and katakana charts or the Japan Foundation’s resources; in fact, the Japan Foundation has hiragana and katakana charts and explanations of the stroke order to learn how to write them correctly, even templates to practice.
In order for you not to throw in the towel halfway through, you need to feel motivated, so this will undoubtedly be your great ally to achieve your goal since it is a very complex language.
That is why we recommend you establish objectives and goals with specific times to achieve them.
They say “fun doesn’t feel like fun” and it’s true, so we invite you to find a way to learn in a fun way, so you won’t feel overwhelmed during your learning of this language of the land of the rising sun. For example, you could set a goal to start with a thousand words and test your memory, or play games with flashcards or resources that you can learn through play.
You can learn together with a friend or family member by making use of platforms such as Meet, Zoom, Skype, among others, or through social networks; by joining groups with the same interest to share tips or learning activities.
You can also watch Japanese programs on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or YouTube, so you can learn vocabulary and expressions in the language.
After learning the syllabaries, it is best to start with the study of grammar and for this, we recommend you to use a manual called “Minna no Nihongo”, which is one of the most used to learn the language around the world, although it is not so entertaining, it is the one with the ordered grammar, so you can learn Japanese from scratch without getting lost.
We recommend news sites, among the easiest to access and understand are NHK Yasashii Nihongo no News, NHK Web Easy, Matcha Easy, Rosa’s Daily Life, Hiragana No Megane and to take a Japanese course in Singapore if you can.
Don’t forget organization and discipline, so don’t forget to set up a study routine indicating the date, day, and time of the moments when you will study so that you will feel more committed, but be careful, the study time should be at least one full hour to make it worthwhile and you should consider that during this time you will not have interruptions.
You can also listen to the radio, music, and podcasts in the language, look up Japanese recipes and even learn how to prepare some dishes following the step-by-step; and you can even make new (Japanese) friends through language exchange applications or online forums.