How hard is it to learn japanese?

Many believe that the Japanese language is very difficult to learn. And it really scares because of its thousands of ideograms. However, the reality is that the Japanese language is very simple, in this article I will try to show in what sense the Japanese language is very simple and easy to learn.

It is worth making it clear that all languages require dedication and patience to learn. I personally believe that the fact that we speak Portuguese makes the process of learning Japanese a little more difficult. All this because Portuguese is a very complicated language, full of grammatical rules and has a different structure. Enough of the rambling and let's understand why learn japanese It might be easier than we think.

Simplicity in grammar and verbs

Unlike Portuguese, Japanese does not have thousands of verb conjugations or pronouns. While Portuguese has 10 verb tenses in the indicative and 6 in the subjunctive, Japanese has only 2 the present and past. In Japanese, verbs do not conjugate according to the subject.

The example below shows how many different variations there are of the verb Go in English and how little it is in Japanese:

  • Portuguese – Ir – vou, vais, vai, ides, vain, went, went, ia, ias, ia, iam, íeis, iam, outside, fôramos, fôreis, gone, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go go, go, go, go;
  • Japanese 行く - go - iki(masu), ikou, ike(nai), itte, itta, ika;

Only iku is already capable of being used most of the times. These variations shown above are just to add an ending that changes the sentence to past, present, negative or to give politeness, condition, emphasis, etc. (masu, mashita, nai, tte, ta, nda, zo.)

Japanese too has no gender (masculine and feminine) in the nouns and not plural. Also, there is no definite article or indefinite article in the Japanese language.

Is the Japanese language difficult?

Japanese pronunciation and syllables

Because we speak Portuguese, learning Japanese pronunciation is very easy. Unlike English, Japanese syllables are similar to Portuguese, so pronunciation is not a problem. Not to mention that Japanese has fewer syllables than most languages (109) and they don't change tonality (words).

Another thing that makes learning Japanese easier is that although there are 109 syllables, there are only 46 kana (letter type) that represent the syllables. Japanese uses 2 composite alphabets of 46 kana that form 71 different sounds. This is possible because some kanas have a different pronunciation because of 2 dots or a ball that is placed on top of them. See some examples below:


ok

ki

there is

ba

hey

ga

gi

gu

shovel

foot

Mastering these 46 kana (hiragana and katakana) and the 71 sounds, you are able to speak and read any Japanese word and text that does not have ideograms, or uses furigana (kana on top of ideograms).

Is the Japanese language difficult?

Japanese word formation

Another proof that Japanese is an easy language is the fact that many words originated from the language English It's from Portuguese. Many nouns such as objects, animal names and even some verbs have their origin in another language or have a foreign version. These foreign source words are written using katakana.

Although many are afraid of ideograms (kanji), the reality is that they are very useful. Japanese becomes much easier and more understandable when you start to understand the characters and see that they bring the words to life. Some ideograms are composed of elements and shapes that make perfect sense, as if we were seeing the meaning of the word. Like German, we can easily see that many Japanese words are junctions of other words as in the examples below:

  • (hand) + (paper) = 手紙 (letter). Junction of 2 ideograms forming a word;
  • (tree) = (wood) = (forest). All this with a single ideogram;
  • (tree) + (table) = (desk). 2 different ideograms became one ideogram;
Is the Japanese language difficult?

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Conclusion

Japanese is a super simple and easy language, its difficulty is memorizing the ideograms and writing them. Grammar, despite being simple, can be complicated because it is different from Portuguese, so it takes a long time to get used to not changing word orders. Japanese can also become quite complex because of its variations, dialects, formality, and politeness. Not to mention the countless ways of counting and other elements that can make you break your head a little.

Therefore, I find it much easier to learn the Japanese language, although it takes a longer time and a lot of dedication to master the ideograms. What do you think of the Japanese language? Do you think it's easy? Leave your opinion in the comments.

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