I know that learning kanji can seem daunting at first, but after a few years one can learn the 1600–2000 main kanji needed for fluency. Beyond those kanji though, there are 4000+ more kanji that even the average Japanese native might not either know how to write or even be able to read.
Although the JLPT has an illusory monopoly on all aspects of certification and assessment concerning Japanese language comprehension, there are TONS of other tests that are still recognized by the Japanese government and businesses alike.
When learning Japanese and languages in general at the beginning you probably will need a textbook or similar material but after you mastered the basics there are a lot of ways you can continue your Japanese studies that are more entertaining than a textbook dialogue between Mr. Tanaka and Ms. Suzuki.
For me, finding out about a second “hidden” language was like unearthing a hidden shrine in my backyard, and I spent many hours in old libraries and online trying to learn about Akita-ben, the Akita dialect. One thing I learned on my study was that the vocab of Akita is not unified: people use different words in the south and north, but the grammar has consistent traits.
Making mistakes is a great part of learning a new language, but it also helps to not hurt yourself in the process. Here is a language mishap experience I had to encounter so you don't have to.
Before I came to Japan, I heard from my colleagues that Japanese is really difficult to learn, but with the right amount of hard work, I was able to learn to speak and use it well. Japanese is certainly different from English, such as their writing style, sentence structures, grammar, etc. Today, let’s learn a little more about those differences.
It raises an important question for us all to ponder though. Just how difficult is it to learn Japanese, when compared with other languages? After all, Japanese is spoken by more than 130 million people and one of the most popular second languages on earth.
Most textbooks and formal classes do not teach informal expressions or slang. Here are ten funny slang words in Japanese to make you sound more like a native speaker.
Seeing a doctor in Japan is usually not too much trouble, even if you don’t speak Japanese. Here are some useful phrases and words you may need depending on your problem, some common kanji you’ll see at clinics and hospitals, and how to tell the difference between a hospital and a clinic, as well as some additional information.
What with new sounds, grammar that’s entirely different from English, and three writing alphabets that take years to master, Japanese is considered a very hard language to learn. However, it can also be easy in places, and for people interested in visiting or living in the country, speaking it is a valuable skill.
It's also a great opportunity to try and speak a little of the local language; showing your interest and respect for the home culture whilst (usually!) making the eatery staff smile. So let's grab some handy Japanese foodie phrases and hit the soba shop, izakaya, sushi bar and beyond!
Japanese characters: for the first ten months I lived in Japan, I didn’t know how to read any of them. I was illiterate. When I walked the streets, I would look up at the signs on buildings and have no idea what they said.