Have you ever wondered how long it takes to learn Japanese? Is it possible to be fluent in Japanese with a few years of study? What is the time difference for learning Japanese and other languages like English? In this article we will do an in-depth analysis and see what the average time it takes to reach a certain level of the Japanese language.
How long can I learn Japanese? This is a common question that every Japanese beginner asks, but it is unlikely to have a clear answer. Everything will depend on what you want to do with your knowledge of Japanese.
Video - How long does it take to become fluent in Japanese?
If you don't want to read the article completely, we have a video talking about it:
I forgot to clarify in the video that the N1 is an advanced content, but it is present for those who enter certain areas of college or graduate. I went a bit far in mentioning doctorate. It just isn't mandatory that all Japanese know.
How soon will I be able to read or speak Japanese?
Do you like data? I like numbers and data ... Thinking about it, without further ado, I will share a quick table of the time that I believe is necessary to do each thing in Japanese. Throughout the article everything will be explained!
|I will be able to||JLPT||In|
|read sleeves||N4||2 years|
|read novel and games||N3||2 years|
|read websites and blogs||N4||2 years|
|read light novels and books||N3||Four years|
|watch anime and dramas||N3||2 years|
|simple conversation||N5||1 year|
|intermediate conversation||N4||2 years|
|advanced conversation||N3||Four years|
|type Japanese (pc, cel)||N5||2 years|
|write japanese by hand||N4||3 years|
|read and write 1200 kanji||N2||5 years|
How long does it take to learn to read Japanese?
Knowing how to read Japanese should be your priority in your studies! Because in this way, it will allow you to learn new words, also Japanese grammar and expressions, throughout the absorption of the language.
If you focus on learning words and reading, you will be able to understand ideograms over time without even studying them in isolation over a year. You will only be able to read Japanese fluently with at least three years of study.
Some materials may be easier to read such as children's books, internet articles and manga. You can achieve these skills in two years, but if you want to read newspapers, light novels and other books in a more complete language, 4 years may be necessary.
How long does it take to learn to speak Japanese
Speaking Japanese should be the second most important step in your learning. Always read aloud to practice your pronunciation. At first it can be difficult to understand Japanese pronunciations, but they are very easy.
Speaking in Japanese is 100x easier than speaking in English, the hardest is dealing with accent. Japanese phonemes generally do not change, they are less syllable than in Portuguese and their pronunciations are easy. In less than a year you will already be speaking basic phrases.
Pronouncing Japanese can be easy, but speaking grammatically correct sentences can be confusing for those who have a completely different grammar language. You may spend about 2 years to be able to have a conversation in Japanese.
How long does it take to learn to write in Japanese?
This is perhaps the most time-consuming process in learning Japanese. Writing is not so essential today, so we always recommend ignoring that part or leaving it last, since I don't even remember the last time I wrote something in Portuguese on paper.
If you have a basic understanding of the Japanese language, you may be able to write text by typing on a keyboard in a few years. Even if you don't know all 2000 ideograms, you will get a sense of when a word has the correct ideograms.
If you are studying Japanese handwriting, if you study every day you can achieve this ability in about 3 years. I don't think you should worry about that, not even native Japanese can write right now.
The time of traditional methods
A Japanese man lives his childhood exposed to the Japanese language and goes to school every day where he is exposed to traditional conversation and exercises. Japanese schools want to teach Japanese the same way they teach a native speaker, who spent his childhood exposed to the language. This is practically impossible and too long.
According to research by JLPT, foreigners take exactly that time to reach each level of the Japanese language:
1H / D
2 H / D
3 H / D
|HAVE A BASIC NOTION||N5||600||1.6||0.8||0.5|
|DAILY AND EVERYDAY USE||N4||1600||4.3||2.1||1.4|
|BE ALMOST FLUENT IN JAPANESE||N3||3300||9||6||3|
|BE FLUENT IN JAPANESE||N2||6100||16||8||5|
|FOR COLLEGE AND POST||N1||8000||20||10||6.6|
Other research claims that Asians who already make similar use of ideograms and grammar take half that time. For us Brazilians, things can be easier than Americans, since our syllables and phonemes are similar to those of the Japanese.
According to the table, it may take up to 20 years for a foreigner to reach Level 1 by studying for an hour a day. It is worth remembering that if the person does not always continue to study, use or review what he learns, he may end up forgetting easily. If you study Japanese, make use of it on a daily basis.
The time it takes to learn Japanese
The time you will spend to achieve fluency in Japanese will depend entirely on you and your immersion in the language. It is not enough to take just 30 minutes a day to study Japanese and not expose yourself to the language at other times. It would take you over 20 years to learn Japanese or any other language by studying less than 1 hour a day.
Of course, not everyone can take 2 or 3 hours to study Japanese every day. That is why these people should expose themselves to the language through books, music, anime, videos, websites and conversations with natives. I made a table below that shows how each thing can help in learning the language and the power it has.
|ABSORBING CONTENT TO THE||RESULTS|
|LISTEN TO JAPANESE||1x|
|WATCH IN JAPANESE||1x|
|CONVERSATE IN JAPANESE||2x|
|JLPT + GRAMMAR + EXERCISES||1x|
The table shows that studying the traditional method with grammar, kanji and exercises can be less effective than using spaced memorization programs or even reading and talking Japanese. People need to know their priority when studying a language, sometimes leaving aside the writing that almost nobody uses can speed up Japanese learning 100x.
Japanese does not take long to learn as some think. Sometimes it can be even easier than English and other languages because of the pronunciation. Everything will depend on the dedication, motivation and ability of each student!
With that in mind, don't worry about time and focus on learning Japanese the way you want and find it best. I hope you enjoyed this short article. We appreciate comments and shares.