How to Learn another Language 101 (Japanese)

I have been studying Japanese for 3 years or more but only this year that I passed JLPT N5. I took it in 2016 but I was out of focus and rarely had a good review prior to having the exam so I failed. Good thing I was able to turn the situation around and found my motivation again to review and learn Japanese. I know my progress was slow but after passing the JLPT N5 exam, I am more focused than ever. I want to pass N3 this year that’s why I am devoting my free time in study. I think having no job was a plus too coz I only have my studies to worry. Let’s just say that since I was jobless, I made sure I am enriching myself with something else. I may not have that monthly salary anymore but I gained another bragging right! 😂

Actually, I am writing this to help those Japanese beginner or aspiring Japanese learner to learn quick because I did a trial and error with myself and now I know which one worked and which did not. So take note of these, kids!

1. Learn Hiragana and Katakana including strokes of course. Do not jump to Kanji right away. Be patient.

2. Study the beginner phrases and words before studying Kanji. Your JLPT exam is composed of sentences. You need to understand first the arimasu, arimasen or imasu, imasen before getting to Kanji.

3. Once you are familiar with the phrases, start your Kanji. Study at least 5-6 kanjis everyday. Find a book that will help you remember them. As for me, the Unko books are very helpful because they are systematically arranged. So it helped me connect one kanji to another. As you progress with Kanji study, your brain will get familiar in reading it as radicals rather than strokes. Believe me it will happen.

4. Set a deadline on when you will finish the book and what’s next on your study. After getting the results of JLPT, I was aware that listening is my weakest so I am focusing on that more.

5. Find a Japanese friend even online where you can practice speaking. Use apps like Italki and Hellotalk. Be careful though because sometimes Japanese students are naughty haha!

6. In my own opinion, Anime did not help me. It’s awesome to watch anime, yes! But please note that the language they use is informal so it might confuse you as a learner. However, reading Manga helped me improve my Kanji drills. It’s amazing! I think it’s up to the person basically.

7. Take a rest. Sometimes, I pushed myself too far that I was already writing the wrong meaning of the Kanji or I cannot write them properly. It’s best to take a rest in between and reward yourself from time to time.

Are you learning another language? Let me know what’s the most effective way for you!

A.

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