How long does it take to learn Japanese?

Have you ever wondered how long it takes to learn Japanese? Is it possible to become fluent in Japanese with just a few years of study? What is the time difference between learning Japanese and other languages like English? In this article, we are going to do an in-depth analysis and see what the average time it takes to reach a certain level of the Japanese language.

How soon can I learn Japanese? This is a common question that every Japanese beginner asks, but it is unlikely to have a clear answer. It all depends on what you want to do with your knowledge of Japanese.

Video - How long does it take to become fluent in Japanese?

In case you don't want to read the article completely, we have a video talking about it:

I forgot to clarify in the video that N1 is advanced content, but it is present for those who enter certain areas of college or graduate. I went a little too far in mentioning a doctorate. It's just not something mandatory that all Japanese people know.

How soon will I be able to read or speak Japanese?

Do you like data? I like numbers and data... With that in mind, without further ado, I'll share a quick table of the time I believe it takes to do each thing in Japanese. Throughout the article everything will be explained!

Responsive Table: Scroll the table sideways with your finger >>
I will be able toAdjectiveEm
read mangaN42 years
read novel and gamesN32 years
read websites and blogsN42 years
read light novels and booksN34 years
watch anime and dramasN32 years
simple conversationN51 years
intermediary conversationN42 years
advanced conversationN34 years
type japanese (pc, cel)N52 years
write japanese by handN43 years
read and write 1200 kanjiN25 years
How long does it take to learn Japanese?
Ready to speak?

How long does it take to learn to read in Japanese?

Knowing how to read Japanese should be your priority in studies! Because in this way, you will be able to learn new words as you absorb the language, as well as Japanese grammar and expressions.

If you focus on learning words and reading, over time you will be able to understand ideograms even without studying them in isolation over a period of a year. You will only be able to read fluent Japanese 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 with a more complete language, 4 years may be necessary.

How long does it take to learn Japanese?

The artigo is still half finished, but we recommend opening it to read the following later:

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 may be difficult to understand the pronunciations of the Japanese language, but they are very easy.

Speaking in Japanese is 100x easier than speaking in English, the hardest is dealing with an accent. Japanese phonemes generally do not change, they are fewer syllables than in English and their pronunciation is easy. In less than a year you will be speaking basic phrases.

Pronouncing Japanese can be easy, but speaking grammatically correct sentences can be confusing for someone who has a language with an entirely different grammar. Maybe it takes you about 2 years to get a conversation going in Japanese.

How long does it take to learn 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 this part or leaving it for last, as I can't even remember the last time I wrote something in English on paper.

If you have a basic understanding of the Japanese language, you may be able to write texts by typing on a keyboard in a few years. Even if you don't know all 2000 ideograms, you will have a certain idea of when a word has the correct ideograms.

If you are studying handwriting in the Japanese language, if you study every day, you can achieve this ability in about 3 years. I don't think you should worry about that, nowadays not even native Japanese can write correctly.

How long does it take to learn Japanese?

The time of traditional methods

A Japanese person spends his childhood exposed to the Japanese language and goes to school every day where he is exposed to traditional conversations and exercises. Japanese schools want to teach Japanese the same way they teach a native who spent his childhood exposed to the language. This is practically impossible and very time consuming.

According to research from Adjective, foreigners take exactly this time to reach each level of the Japanese language:

Responsive Table: Scroll the table sideways with your finger >>
LEVELAdjectiveHORASYEARS OLD
1H/D
YEARS OLD
2 H/D
YEARS OLD
3 H/D
HAVE A BASIC UNDERSTANDINGN56001.60.80.5
USE IN DAILY AND EVERYDAYN416004.32.11.4
BE ALMOST FLUENT IN JAPANESEN33300963
BE FLUENT IN JAPANESEN261001685
FOR SCHOOL AND POSTN1800020106.6

Other research says that Asians who already make similar use of ideograms and grammar take half that time. For us Brazilians things can be easier than the Americans, since our syllables and phonemes are similar to those of the Japanese.

According to the table, it can take a foreigner up to 20 years to reach Level 1 by studying one hour a day. It is worth remembering that if the person does not always continue studying, using or reviewing what they learn, they can easily forget. If you study Japanese, make use of it in everyday life.

How long does it take to learn Japanese?
How long does it take to learn Japanese?

The time it takes to learn Japanese

The time you will spend to reach fluency in Japanese will totally depend on you and your immersion in the language. It's 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 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's why these people must expose themselves to the language through books, music, anime, videos, websites and conversations with natives. I've made a table below that shows how each thing can help language learning and the power it has.

Responsive Table: Scroll the table sideways with your finger >>
ABSORBING CONTENT BYRESULTS
LISTEN TO JAPANESE1x
READ JAPANESE2x
WATCH IN JAPANESE1x
CHAT IN JAPANESE2x
MEMORIZATION (Anki)3x
JLPT + GRAMMAR + EXERCISES1x

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 speaking Japanese. People need to know their priority when studying a language, sometimes putting aside the writing that almost no one uses can speed up learning Japanese 100x.

Japanese is not as time consuming to learn as some people think. Sometimes it can even be 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 feel best. I hope you enjoyed this little article. We appreciate the comments and shares.

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