How long does it take to learn Japanese?

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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 time does it difference to learn Japanese and other languages like English? In this article we will do a thorough analysis and see what average time it spends to reach a certain level of the Japanese language.

How long can I learn Japanese? That’s a common question that every Japanese beginner makes, but it’s hardly going to get a clear answer. Everything will depend on what you want to do with your knowledge in Japanese. Below we will list some possibilities and then explain in detail:

I’ll be able toJLPTIn
read mangaN42 years
read novel and gamesN32 years old
read websites and blogsN42 years old
read light novel and booksN34 years old
watch animes and doramasN32 years old
simple conversationN51 years old
intermediary conversationN42 years old
advanced conversationN34 years old
Japanese type (pc, cel)N52 years old
japanese hand writingN43 years old
read and write 1200 kanjiN25 years old

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 advanced content, but this gift for those who join certain areas of college or graduate school. I went a little far away in mentioning a doctorate. It’s just not something mandatory that all Japanese know.

The time of traditional methods

A Japanese woman lives 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 in the same way they teach a native, who spent his childhood exposed to the language. This is virtually impossible and too time-consuming.

According to JLPT surveys, foreigners take exactly this time to reach each level of the Japanese language:

NÌvelJLPT, New StateHoursYears
1H/D
Years
2 H/D
Years
3 H/D
HAVE A BASIC UNDERSTANDINGN5, New Year6001.60.80.5
USE ON A DAY-TO-DAY AND EVERYDAY LIFEN4, New Year16004.32.11.4
BE ALMOST FLUENT IN JAPANESEN3, New Year3300963
BE FLUENT IN JAPANESEN2, New Year61001685
FOR COLLEGE AND POSTN1, New Year800020106.6

Other research states 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, a foreigner can take up to 20 years to reach Level 1 studying one hour a day. It is worth remembering that if the person does not always continue studying, using or reviewing what he learns, they may end up easily forgetting. If you study Japanese, make use of it on a daily basis.

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 get the fluency of the Japanese will depend entirely on you and your immersion in the language. It is not enough to take only 30 minutes a day to study Japanese and not expose yourself to the language at other times. You would take more than 20 years to learn Japanese or any other language studying less than 1 hour a day.

Of course, not everyone can take two or three hours to study Japanese every day. That’s why these people should expose themselves to the language through books, music, anime, videos, websites, and conversations with natives. I did a table below that shows how every thing can help in learning the language and the power it has.

ABSORBING CONTENT BY ABSORBING CONTENT BYRESLTADOS
LISTEN TO JAPANESE1x
READ JAPANESE2x
WATCH IN JAPANESE1x
CHAT IN JAPANESE2x
MEMORIZATION (Anki)3 x
JLPT + GRAMMAR + EXERCISES1x

The table shows that studying the traditional method with grammar, kanji, and exercises may be less effective than using spaced memorization programs or even reading and chatting Japanese. People need to know their priority when studying a language, sometimes leave writing that almost no one uses aside can accelerate 100x learning Japanese.

Japanese is not time consuming to learn as some think. Sometimes it can be even easier than English and other languages because of 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 think it’s best. I hope you enjoyed this little article. We appreciate the comments and shares.

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