If you are just starting out, or have been studying Japanese for a few years (alguns), you must have tried different ways and methods to learn. Therefore, today we will bring a short list, gathering some points, tips and phrases, to help in your learning.
There are a total of 50 tips, some very obvious, others more distinct and optional, but these are things that must be seen and passed on. We have also added some tools, websites and books that can help you study Japanese.
The Best Methods
Online courses - Those who do not have the skills to study alone, can use an online course. There are dozens of online Japanese courses, among the best we have the Japanese Online Program, Nihongo Premium or Kakumei Club.
RTK method - A fun and interesting way to memorize and learn the ideograms of the Japanese language. It is a method that allows you to assimilate the drawing with the word, even if it originally does not make sense.
Start with Hiragana or the 2 (Katakana and Hiragana). - Many prefer to start with katakana, as it seems easier, but start with hiragana, it is more useful. If you are able to learn the 2 at the same time, you will already understand the difference of each one, and it will be easier to remember.
Buy time. - The first thing you need to keep in mind is to spend as much time as possible studying, make your schedule, get organized, buy as much time as possible, and you can get started.
Be a child again. - You will learn a language from scratch, do not try to play an adult, trying to learn things you do not know, get ready to read handouts and booklets for children in Japanese.
Avoid Rōmaji. - Even if it is sometimes necessary, avoid using the Rōmaji in your study, try to learn hiragana and katakana quickly and just stay there. Learn Kanji with the help of furigana.
Tips for learning by writing
Write. - Kind of obvious as a first tip, but write like never before. It doesn't matter if your handwriting is ugly, focus on the stroke order and write, hiragana, kanji, text and everything. It can be tiring, but go back to kindergarten and spend months writing the alphabet.
Translate texts. – You can translate texts from English to Japanese and vice versa, this will definitely help a lot.
Teach. - One of the best things to learn Japanese is to teach, even if you don't have a lot of knowledge, teach friends, write texts, teach on social networks, by helping people you will be helping yourself.
Tips for Learning Reading
Read a lot. - It's pretty obvious, but reading is the key to everything, even if you don't understand, read! Read a lot, mainly due to the fact that Japanese reads quite quickly, so you should train your reading.
Read Manga. - Unlike books, Manga are very well illustrated, with few texts, besides presenting a less formal language. With images it is easy to understand the text read, and to discover new words, if you do not know them.
Learn slang and abbreviations. - If you want to master 100% of the language, try to study also the slang and the abbreviations of words, always look for if there are ways to abbreviate some word, Japanese people do that a lot.
Tips for Learning by Listening
Listen to everything in Japanese. - If you are at the computer or somewhere, enjoy and put any audio, and listen! Do this a lot, with time you will memorize words, and you will look for their meaning and even understand what you are saying.
Listen to what you understand. -In the same way, listen to audio vocabularies, which translate the word next, so you can increase your knowledge. There are some articles on the site like this.
Listen to Japanese music. - If you are willing to learn the language, you must listen and listen to Japanese music constantly, they are easy to get stuck in your head. Search, translate, enjoy as much of the music as possible.
Tips for learning by watching
Watch anime or drama. - One of the best ways to learn is to live with culture and language, and a good way to do that is by watching. You will learn slang, dialect, different ways to speak and abbreviate words, the tone and the way Japanese speak.
Follow Nico Nico Douga. - Nico Nico is the famous YouTube of Japan. Create your accounts, and follow several videos, live like a Japanese, this site has a great system of comments in real time, and several ways to socialize with the videos and other users.
Watch video lessons. - Video lessons are not lacking on the internet, you find them in droves. Also follow channels on YouTube, download several interesting videos, and always keep your curiosity active.
Tips for Learning Speaking
Repeat object names. -Every object you find, try to remember its name in Japanese, or search, speak its name in Japanese aloud instead of in English.
Don't be afraid to speak. - Even if you are in public, or with people who do not know, do not be afraid to speak what you know in Japanese. Don't be afraid to make mistakes, it's normal.
Sing Karaoke. - Many like it, others don't, some find it difficult, it doesn't matter, sing karaoke. Most karaoke in Japanese has furigana, so it makes it a lot easier, and when you sing, you use another part of the brain, making it easier to read faster.
Train numerical counting. - When you record the numbers, everything is easy. Even so, some find it difficult to understand or speak large numbers, training numbers, and the thousands of ways to tell things, you will gain tremendous speed in understanding and speaking them more accurately.
Look for someone to talk to. – Find a Japanese friend, or someone who speaks the language, and talk! Don't use English, if you don't know any in the city, don't limit yourself, use skype, search for chat rooms, join Facebook groups, etc.
Tips for Learning Absorbing
Use images. - Images are easy to record in your mind, use programs, illustrated dictionaries and try to link Japanese words to images yourself.
Don't be ashamed and study in public. - Go to a square, take friends, or at the mall, some coffee, show people that you are studying a different language. Not to show up, but to show and arouse interest in some people, do so and you can quickly increase your circle of studies, in addition to being in an interesting environment, where you can raise ideas about words and phrases for study.
Tips for learning with tools
Have apps on your phone. - The cell phone or tablet can be a good source of study, it is possible to install thousands of applications, dictionaries, programs that train writing, pronunciation, games and tests.
Use SRS. - They are memorization programs, use them to learn, one of the best known is the ANKI. There are several cell phone apps with the same goal.
Play Visual Novels. - These simulators are very useful, to learn to converse with Japanese, if you are at a basic level, prepare to spend hours looking for some kanji and their meanings.
Play Japanese MMO. - If you are a young man who loses hours of the day playing some MMO but learn Japanese, switch to a Japanese server. It doesn't matter if you are going to get NPC text from the menus, playing on a Japanese server, you learn, this is similar to some young people who say: I learn more English by playing than at school.
SNAS Wanderbar - For anyone who is fascinated by games, this computer program is one of the best resources for studying Japanese! He is a super nintendo emulator or the famous nintendinho and with it you can play some games simultaneously in English and Japanese, and go comparing the languages.
Computer learning tips
Batch your computer of content. - On the internet it is possible to find Terabytes of Japanese study content. There are thousands of videos, handouts in pdf, programs, texts and much more. Create a folder and fill it with content, organize it to your preference, but have this folder on your PC.
Change the language of games and programs. - Going into settings, and region, in the administrative tab it is possible to change the format of non-unicode programs, allowing you to type with Japanese characters in some games and programs, in addition to changing the language of some.
Install the Japanese keyboard. - If you are willing to learn the language, both on your computer and on your cell phone, have a Japanese keyboard, it can be easily installed, you type in Rōmaji and hiragana letters will appear that can be converted with a simple touch of the "space" key.
Join Japanese social networks. -One of the most famous is MIXI, it requires that you be invited or have a Japanese cell phone number, but there you will encounter thousands of Japanese people, socializing with them, it is easier to learn the language, you can use other social networks like Facebook, change his language to Japanese, and have a better experience.
Tips for learning from websites
Use Sites. - Needless to say, there are thousands of websites and blogs that teach Japanese, in several languages and with different content? Ours is one of them. Just follow these sites and you will learn a lot.
Through facebook. - Enjoying pages and joining groups, you can follow various contents, tips, which will help your learning. Facebook is a powerful source of content, where many stay every day, so you should follow content related to Japan and your language. Enjoy and like our page, if you haven’t already.
NHK News Easy - Provides several news in Japanese in a very simplified way, the words on the site are of JLPT N5-N4 level, and the words that are not on those levels, when hovering over the mouse they explain with words of N5-N4 what it means. At the end of each article on the site, he asks if this news was easy to understand and if you managed to understand everything.
One of the really cool things on this site is that it has a button that marks people’s names in green, names of cities, provinces and place names in orange and finally marks the name of companies and organization names in blue. Reading a news story with a dictionary daily is a great way to improve your Japanese!
Wa Tanoshii - A web magazine to introduce everyday things in Japan for people interested in the country and in their language. The more articles you read, the more information you will collect and help improve your Japanese.
You will find that, using relatively simple Japanese words, you can express many things. The articles are written in simple Japanese and are suitable for Japanese students from basic to intermediate levels!
Tips for Learning from Friends
Form study groups. - Ways to socialize and study online have already been mentioned, but try to form groups of people in your city who are interested in studying the language. With many people it is much easier to learn.
Mix with them. - Enter Japanese websites, groups, forums. Even if you don’t know much, you will learn a lot, you will live with them, make friends and break your head trying to understand what is written on these sites.
Mobile messages. - Many messaging apps like whatsapp, line, viber and skype will help to form groups, chat with each other, exchange ideas, files and tips with other students or Japanese.
Use Shiritori. - Shiritori is a Japanese word game, where you speak a word that begins with the last letter of the previous word. There are applications for mobile, PC and even books.
Make an Exchange. - If you are rich, and are able to go to Japan, there is no better way than to study at a Japanese school, and live in an environment full of Japanese.
Care when learning Japanese
Watch out for translators. - The translators can be quite useful, but they don't help most of the time. Japanese words literally translated into English may have absolutely nothing to do with real meaning. So be careful when using these translators, use several, and look up dictionaries.
Forget English. – Forget that you know English, and start focusing only on the Japanese language. Make it as if you only know Japanese, applying some tips already mentioned, such as changing the PC's language, speaking Japanese words in public and many other things.
Learn the difference in dialects. -Take time and study only that, know how many dialects there are, learn basic words of each dialect, so you don’t get lost anywhere. My favorite is the kansai-ben.
Learn English. - Who knows the English language, it is easier, because large parts of the words in Japanese are derived from English and other languages.
Translate Kanji by the radical. - When you come across a kanji that has a lot of features in a magazine, use some programs and search for kanji at radical (indivisible parts of the kanji). So you will learn a lot about the traits, come across similar kanji and evolve a lot.
Don’t forget the formality. - There is a huge difference in Japanese conversations, there are several levels of formality and informality, you should study and keep in mind the types of conversation. When learning a word, try to find it at other levels of speech.
Other Tips for Learning Japanese
Have study materials. - Don’t just stick to online. Have books, dictionaries, quality materials to learn the language. The computer can be a great source for study, but it can get in the way sometimes.
Never give up. - Even if you find it difficult to learn, don’t be discouraged by seeing thousands of kanji with thousands of meanings and different pronunciation forms. Not to mention thousands of identical words. DO NOT GIVE UP! Stay focused, avoid thinking about the difficulty, and study. The above tips will help you to not give up.
Don’t let things get in the way. - People, Facebook, Games, Series, Anime, work and others. All of this can hinder you from learning the language. Don’t let these things get in the way, plan everything in advance, schedules to focus on your studies, don’t let anyone make up your mind or get discouraged, or allow addiction to other things to take your free time.
See your progress. - Take tests, answer questionnaires, see what level your JLPT is. Review everything you've learned and keep your mind active.
Create your environment. - To improve your studies, if you are able, transform your home into a Japanese environment. Make everything easy, buy clothes, accessories, anything with Japanese letters or ideograms, create a perfect environment that helps your studies.
Stay firm and use our website. - It will be a long journey to master 100% of this language. Keep going and learning, without giving up! Just as a child can take up to 6 years to learn English, imagine a completely different language. Whoever is in Brazil will face many difficulties, and sometimes even ridicule from some. But learning this language brings a lot of satisfaction and benefits. So we will continue to create articles for you to study and learn. So always stay firm and follow our website.