5 Easy Ways to Learn Japanese From Home

5 Easy Ways to Learn Japanese From Home

There are plenty of ways to learn Japanese from home. The key is to surround yourself with the language, even if you don’t speak or write much at first.

Try to use as many of the following resources as possible, and don’t forget to vary your study activities! Mixing up your study routine will help you learn faster and more efficiently.

1. Online Courses

There are a variety of online Japanese courses to choose from. Many of them are completely immersive and allow students to interact with native speakers in a way that isn’t possible in a classroom. This can expose learners to slang, casual speech and other aspects of the language that may not be found in textbooks.

Some of the most popular options include Babbel, Duolingo and Lingodeer. These all have their strengths and weaknesses, but all are a good place to start for those interested in learning Japanese.

Another option is to use a site like italki to connect with a tutor for one-on-one lessons. This can help learners build their confidence and get the extra practice they need to progress faster.

Another great online option is JapanesePod101, which provides a wide variety of podcasts for learners of all levels. It also has a variety of other useful features, including popup translations and kanji readings.

2. Books

Reading is a great way to practice your Japanese without the pressure of conversation. Pick a book, manga, or blog that matches your level and is interesting to you. Read it as often as possible and take notes when you encounter a word or concept that is difficult. Eventually, this will allow you to read faster and understand more of what is being said.

Invest in a good dictionary and keep it by your side whenever you’re reading. This will allow you to look up words you don’t know and understand their meaning in context. Keeping a journal or trying to write short stories can also be a fun way to practice new vocabulary and grammar.

Pimsleur focuses on learning by listening, providing audios of basic conversations for beginners to repeat as they go about their day. Another great tool is Anki which uses space repetition and flashcards to help you remember kanji. You can also find decks of kanji that are already in the system uploaded by other users so that you don’t have to spend time creating them yourself.

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3. Listening

When learning a new language, it’s important to listen to native speakers. You can find these on YouTube or in podcasts. Listen to them slowly and try to mimic their pronunciation. This will help you pick up the nuances of Japanese and improve your own pronunciation.

Another great way to learn Japanese is through audio lessons. Pimsleur is a good option, and it even has video so you can see what’s being said. It has an excellent system for repeating words and phrases and teaches you grammar as you go. It is also available on mobile and desktop, which makes it easy to use no matter where you are.

Rocket Japanese is a more comprehensive course that offers video and audio lessons, flashcards, quizzes, downloadable PDFs, culture lessons, and much more. It has special reading and writing lessons that teach you hiragana, katakana, and kanji characters. The best part is that it gets you speaking Japanese in minutes! It also has a unique kanji approach that will allow you to skip the grammar section of most beginner textbooks.

4. Subtitles

If you aren’t able to attend a language learning class, consider finding videos online and watching them with Japanese subtitles. This is a great way to improve your listening skills and also to learn new words in context. Plus, it’s fun and engaging!

A subtitle is a line of text displayed over a video, transcribed in the same language as the audio track and displaying onscreen during playback. Subtitles can be used to explain technical aspects of the media such as kanji characters or plot-relevant sounds such as a doorbell chime, phone ringtone or offscreen footsteps. Subtitles can be written by hand or automated by stenographers or computer software. Subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing (SDH) are a special type of subtitle designed specifically for this audience.

If you’re ready to dive into more formal Japanese, try using graded readers – an easy way to practice reading comprehension while learning vocabulary and reviewing grammar rules in a meaningful context. A few good resources are iRigum, MyKikitori and Nihongo Master.

5. Conversation

Ultimately, the best way to learn Japanese is by practicing conversation with native speakers. This isn’t always easy, but it can make a huge difference in your understanding of the language. It’s also a good idea to try to use as much Japanese media as possible, so you get exposure to the pronunciation and vocabulary that is used in everyday conversation.

There are a few good resources for this, including Pimsleur and NHK’s collection of videos that offer practical dialogue scenarios. It’s also worth trying to mimic native speakers, to help you get the feel of the pronunciation and intonation of the language. It may help to watch with English subtitles, until you feel confident enough to switch them off and practice your listening skills without them.

You should also spend some time reviewing kanji, which is the written form of the language. There are many tools that can help with this, but a great place to start is by using Heisig’s book and Anki. AJATT is another good resource that can teach you how to study Kanji by yourself, through the space repetition method.

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