Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Watching anime and learning Japanese

So you've decided to pick up the beautiful language of Japanese. But are you jumping in for the right reasons? Let me tell you, anime is great - but just because you watched 50 episodes of Naruto does not suddenly mean you understand Japanese. I know because I did this too, unfortunately.

Learning Japanese takes a lot of time, but it can be fun - and certainly, Japanese animations can help you learn. But if you want to learn Japanese solely for the purpose of understanding anime - well, good luck with that. Learning Japanese and being able to fluently participate in a conversation will take years of work. Fortunately, I have a FOOL PROOF PLAN THAT WILL MAKE YOU FLUENT IN 30 DAYS OR LESS!

Just kidding. There's no foolproof program that will suddenly improve your Japanese, but I do have a lot of tips to share with you guys:

Tips for studying and coping with elementary Japanese:

1. Learn Hiragana and Katakana - and be able  to read it well

2. Use visual mnemonics to memorize Kanji  

(I would recommend this simple Hiragana/Katakana program)

3. Buy a good textbook that is user friendly - you will be writing a LOT

4. The only way to improve your speaking is to speak!

5. Watch a butt-load of anime. It helps in the long run! You'll learn a lot of useless vocabulary on the way... I mean, who says "Death God" in everyday conversation, right?

Another good way to learn Japanese is through online programs that have an online component. Don't get fooled by these "Learn Japanese Fast" e-books. You actually need someone to talk to, someone you can ask questions, not just an e-book and a couple programs. Rocket Japanese is the real deal. It has interactive video lessons, free LIFETIME technical support for all of your Japanese questions, and a robust e-book filled with audio, video, and games. In fact, this program is worth it even if they took out all the audio and video; you have a private Japanese tutor on call, 24/7 - all for 100 bucks. Come on, I had to pay thousands of dollars to take 4 hours a week of University level Japanese courses...

Anyway, that's all for today. See you next time.



  1. I tried to learn japanese but i got so frustrated when nit came to hiragana/katakana that i kinda gave up .. :( But you inspired me to try again :)

  2. ... I can't really learn such thing... It's really hard! 3 languages is really tough.

  3. Ratio of influence vs difficulty just does not work for me. I'll go for my personal favorite русский

  4. I find listening to Japanese music to be a good way to study. I wrote about it in my blog, too.