how long does it take to learn Japanese fluently


Do you believe that learning a new language is possible even without professional teachers? This post is all about how to learn Japanese by yourself!

Learning Japanese by yourself seems quite difficult. Not to mention the fact that Japanese was labelled as one of the hardest languages, according to the U.S. Foreign Services Institute. However, did you know that not all people who learned to speak Japanese fluently attended school? So, learning Japanese on your own is still possible. 

Continue reading to find out about the proven and tested tips!

How to Learn Japanese by Yourself: It is Possible and Achievable! 

In this world, nothing is impossible. Therefore, learning Japanese independently is still common. You can learn Japanese on your own. In reality, millions of individuals all around the world engage in it.

Although this requires a lot of effort, you can make progress in learning Japanese alone. You can browse many free classes available online. There are tons of options. Just be sure that you are dedicated enough to take this challenge.

To begin with, the basic stages for learning Japanese on your own are as follows:

Know Your Purpose

Knowing why you want to learn Japanese is the first step for a self-study student. The solution has a clear connection to motivation. And to successfully study Japanese on your own, motivation is the most important requirement!

There won’t be a tutor making resources for you to practice various abilities and providing you with directions. There won’t even be any group projects, homework, or tests! Because you’ll be doing it alone, that is why your purpose will become important.

You need the motivation to look forward to studying Japanese when you get out of bed each morning.  This makes it easier for you to make goals, stick to them, and feel motivated to reach them.  When you’re about to give up, it also helps you remember why you started!

For many people, learning Japanese is strongly motivated by specific objectives like work or studies.  However, a lot of people decide to learn Japanese on their own because they enjoy the sound of it, are passionate about the culture or want a challenge.

Think of something that interests you. Some people’s favorite Japanese dramas, anime, and manga have even motivated them to learn the language for themselves!

Learn the Basics of Japanese Pronunciation

Don’t think that learning Japanese is challenging. Because you already know a little bit about the language and know the basic concepts. The two most popular Japanese greetings that you are already familiar with are Konnichiwa and sayonara. Samurai, sake, karaoke, and tsunami are more terms that you already know. You have previously practiced speaking Japanese, so keep it in mind.

To start with, an excellent pronunciation dictionary is necessary. Any learner of Japanese can benefit from the Forvo pronunciation guide; it is not just for beginners. It covers important subjects like greetings, clothes, and other things in addition to helpful travel terminology. Additionally, using the search bar to discover a particular word is simple. With this website, practicing your pronunciation is simple.

Learners of Japanese at the first level should spend considerable time and effort perfecting their pronunciation.

The guidelines for Japanese pronunciation are laid out on the website called Japanese Professor. Beginning Japanese language learners can gain an understanding of the language through the tables and notes on pitch, spelling, and other important details.

For convenient pronunciation practice on the go, downloading a Japanese app is very recommendable. With the help of apps, learners can pick up a language in their leisure time.

Construct a Core Vocabulary

One of the most crucial things you should do while starting your journey to learn basic Japanese by yourself is to develop your vocabulary.

For speaking, writing, listening, and reading, this basic vocabulary is essential. It is what will enable you to expand on the knowledge of the basic vocabulary that you already have.  This can be done without too much difficulty.

Japanese flashcards are a great tool for learning basic vocabulary. When you set a goal for yourself to pick up a particular number of new words or phrases each day, they might be amusing to use.

Tune in to Japanese Television

Watching Japanese movies is a fun approach to furthering your Japanese language education. You can learn more words (including slang) and find some amusement by watching movies. Even English subtitles are available to aid in plot comprehension.

This is most likely for those of you who have previously acquired some knowledge.  Japanese television consists of talking groups that examine news events, conduct interviews with guests or reporters, and so forth.

The conversations are conducted in rapid-fire daily Japanese because they are aimed at Japanese speakers. For the mere fact that it moves so quickly, it might be trying to manage even if you are already able to understand the language.

But perhaps you genuinely need this to sharpen your listening abilities. Your ability to understand what is being said on talk shows in Japanese indicates that you already have excellent listening abilities.

For learning real Japanese, not just that which comes from a textbook, authentic content like Japanese media is important. There are several slang and idioms that can only be found in native texts.  On the other hand, watching TV might be frustrating and pointless if you don’t have a solid understanding of Japanese. When that occurs, you’ll need more resources and assistance to watch Japanese TV or other media.

There will be something to fit your interests no matter what kind of television series, animations, films, or other videos you would enjoy watching.

Tune in to Japanese Radio

Similar to watching movies, listening to Japanese radio can help you improve your listening skills and expose you to new vocabulary. Look for Japanese talk radio or Japanese music with lyrics.

Use Tools or Apps for Memorization

You might believe that all it takes to memorize a word when learning a new language is to repeatedly write it or recite it. But it is not how human memory functions! It is more effective to repeat the terms you’re trying to learn a few times apart from one another. You will only be reminded in this manner when it is necessary.

The usage of memorizing tools has been by far one of the most successful strategies. There are many tools available to help with spaced repetition, a memorizing method that is very effective for vocabulary growth.

Recognize Hiragana

It may seem like a big step for beginners to learn Japanese, and it is, but it is a beautiful step to take!  Learning to read Hiragana is one of the basic concepts to cover while beginning to learn Japanese. Hiragana is one of the components of the Japanese writing system, so learning it is very important.  The good news is that learning this talent isn’t particularly challenging. For beginners, there are many great materials accessible.

One of the best platforms to learn Hiragana is through watching YouTube tutorials. Getting used to writing Hiragana is a necessary part of learning it. You can practice writing Hiragana by downloading and printing practice sheets, which will aid in your comfort with the writing system.

Educate Yourself about Kanji

For those just learning Japanese, practice is key. Kanji flashcard exercise is an almost guaranteed approach to improve skills when added to a study plan. Learners can access fundamental Kanji through websites like Study Kanji, which is a fantastic service. Use them to test your knowledge (a scorekeeper is located directly on the page) or simply to learn. Either approach is beneficial!

Again, YouTube has some fantastic materials for anyone learning Japanese for the first time. 

Gain More knowledge about Katakana

Another element of the Japanese writing system, Katakana, needs to be covered in a course for beginners. Additionally, there are some great tutorials on YouTube for this subject. The fundamentals, such as the right pens and paper to use to make the procedure simple, are covered in the opening chapter of “How to Read and Write the Katakana Alphabet.” It slowly demonstrates each character’s strokes so that students can follow along.

A useful tool for newcomers to Japanese is a typing converter. Simply type a word into the converter, and it will display the word and its katakana. It’s a fantastic tool! Also, when games are involved, learning seems to be more engaging. There are katakana games to keep students entertained and offer them practice.

Read Several Japanese Books

You are probably already using one of these books if you are taking a Japanese lesson. Both books are generally regarded as being quite good, but if you are serious about learning Japanese and are willing to dedicate a significant amount of time each day, Minna no Nihongo is the book for you. It is a fantastic resource for the Japanese language, even if you choose not to study it.

Minna no Nihongo is quite detailed. You learn how to apply its principles in a variety of situations, including unusual or unexpected ones.

There’s another book called Genki. Although the book still lacks to satisfy all of your Japanese curiosity. Because the answer is always more likely to be in Minna no Nihongo if you are wondering about some strange application of Japanese grammar.

In light of this, Genki can be the right book for you if you lack the time to dedicate to self-directed learning. The exercises are simpler and shorter. It requires very few hours each week and teaches you the basics of the Japanese language. With Genki, maintaining motivation can be simpler.

Begin a Japanese Discussion

Your primary method of practice should turn into having conversations in Japanese. This may have previously been done in class. If not, start doing it yourself right away. This is crucial since learning to speak Japanese forces you to use your imagination. You are inspired to create new sentences that you were not previously aware of!

Native speakers of the language will make the finest teachers for you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and make sure to keep track of the context so you can recollect it afterward.

The ability to put your language skills to the test is another reason why it is so important to study this way. It is simple to understand why using your language creatively will make it simpler for you to remember words and sentences. Humans have always found it simpler to recall information when it is applied to a situation that would benefit them. When you use a word well to communicate a concept, you’ll notice that it sticks and becomes simpler to recall.

The suggestions listed above can help you learn Japanese more quickly if you’re passionate about doing so. Don’t let these steps discourage you; with patience and commitment, you will speak Japanese in no time.

How Long Does It Usually Take to Learn Japanese?

When it comes to learning how to speak Japanese, there are several different things. You may learn to speak Japanese in conversation in as little as three months, though, if you have the appropriate study habits, good time management, and persistent dedication. You might speak at a conversational level in Japanese after three months of rigorous study and speaking for 30 to an hour every day.

It all comes down to utilizing the proper approach, and repeating it: talk right away! You might immediately begin speaking Japanese. I urge you to do it. Your rate of learning Japanese will increase as you practice speaking more. These are the measures to suggest to take in learning Japanese quickly.

The Advantages of Learning Japanese by Yourself

There are many advantages to this. When you are learning in a classroom, you have a group of peers with whom to practice. Additionally, you essentially receive the entire product. You get to learn some literature as well as spoken and written Japanese. However, the problem with this is that you can only follow one program if you only learn in a classroom. What if your teacher is teaching you something that you already understand? Unlike if you study on your own, you can study what is beneficial to you. You can research anything you want.

Check out the reasons why self-learning Japanese can benefit you in the long run in the list below.

Learn About What Matters To You

The main benefit of learning on your own would be this. You’ll feel as though there is a specific skill you wish to acquire.  You can either choose materials that concentrate on specific Japanese for your needs or create a personal goal that you want to accomplish using the standard tools at your disposal.

You may want to learn Japanese for travel or business, in which case you must concentrate on particular terminology and phrases. Even if you don’t have very precise needs, it’s still a good idea to have the choice of focusing on the Japanese that you will need to know the most in your particular set of circumstances.

Keep encouraged

Too many language students forget their language skills when they leave the classroom. Some people believe they can simply acquire a language. Just by sitting in a classroom and not using it outside of class time. But every student makes this error to some extent. This is not the purpose of learning Japanese.

Feeling the benefits of hard work is what keeps you motivated when learning a new skill. If you live in Japan, it will become increasingly obvious that you are understanding more of the local tongue. Nothing compares to the moment you will unexpectedly realize you can already speak something you never knew you could.

Take Things at Your Own Time

It’s common to waste time in a classroom without learning anything. This is particularly true when your Japanese improves because it is less likely that the class you are enrolling in will be appropriate for your level.

Or you might discover that the class is moving more than you anticipated, and you’re lagging.  By learning, you can prevent these issues. When you need more time to think about a subject, you can stay on it longer. When you can think about a subject more, you can move on to it.

Since every learner is unique, a personalized approach enables you to advance more. You might finally find yourself attempting to think in Japanese after all your effort. One day you might realize that you’ve been trying to express yourself in Japanese.

Congratulate yourself since this is when you can tell you’re applying yourself.

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