Do you want to get better at learning Japanese? We’ll show you how Japanese immersion can help you learn the language better and faster!
Japanese immersion is one beneficial way to adapt yourself to the Japanese language. Having an immersive environment means integrating the target language into your everyday life. This makes it simpler to learn and recall new words and phrases. The goal is to incorporate the language in everything you see, hear, read, and say daily. Hence, combining immersion learning with regular study will accelerate your learning process.
So, without further ado, let’s now explore Japanese immersion and achieve fluency!
Setting up a Japanese Immersion Learning Environment: Where to Begin?
The answer to building a good Japanese immersion is setting up the right environment at home. It is as easy as diving headfirst into your language. Don’t worry about other programs; we’ll focus on making your house and surroundings as much of a learning experience as possible.
Start with electronics. Cellphones, laptops, keyboard input, television, and practically any other digital electronic device that uses words can generally change their language to one of the world’s most popular languages.
This is a major step for those of us who are attached to our phones, and it will undoubtedly take some getting used to, but isn’t that the point? When things get tough, resist the impulse to return to your native tongue and trust the process.
Using a Japanese Dictionary
There are various ways to learn Japanese. You may attend classes, watch anime or other Japanese videos, travel to Japan to study, communicate with Japanese people online, or do anything you wish. But if you’re just starting to get the hang of it, start with the basic. Reading the dictionary is one of the ways to start widening your Japanese vocabulary.
A dictionary is a highly vital tool for anyone learning a new language. As a result, a Japanese-English dictionary is essential for Japanese learners. The ideal dictionary for your needs must also be chosen. In addition, you must be able to swiftly discover what you are searching for, be certain that you have found what you are seeking, and, most importantly, know when to utilize your dictionary.
Although you can use Google Translate, it is highly recommended to use a dedicated Japanese dictionary app or website. Takoboto, Jsho, and Aedict3 are some top-rated apps you can use. A specialized app or website is beneficial for a variety of reasons. You may look for words by kana (hiragana or katakana) and romaji (the English alphabet equivalent). If you search by kana or romaji, you’ll also get a list of terms with the same pronunciation as Google’s best estimate.
Music and Movie preference
It’s no surprise that these entertainment products are a wonderful method to learn a language, but if you want to create an immersive atmosphere, you’ll need to focus on expanding your collection of foreign language goods.
Netflix has just begun to extend its international film choices, particularly in Spanish, and is a good place to start. We’d recommend checking out foreign films for a huge range of new and classic films. The website allows you to search by nation and then takes you to Netflix, if it offers it, or Amazon, where you can purchase a broad variety.
When it comes to locating foreign language music, we also recommend starting with YouTube. It’s free, it’s worldwide, and you can find practically anything. It’s a terrific way to discover new bands and artists without paying for albums you might or might not like. After you’ve chosen an artist, you should have no trouble finding their material on iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, Amazon, or their own websites.
Continue the journey of your Japanese immersion by listening to Japanese music and watching Japanese movies. That way, you’ll also start to adapt to the overall language and the culture behind it.
How does playing video games sound? This is quite improbable, but it may be a good approach to learning a new language! If gaming takes up a substantial portion of your free time, altering the language of your games might be a valuable – though occasionally annoying – technique for boosting your language studies.
Sadly, most games do not support a large range of languages, although the most popular ones I’ve encountered are German, Spanish, French, Russian, and Japanese. Certain games, particularly those created outside of the United States or the United Kingdom, will include complete audio support in these languages.
Yet, practically all games offer subtitles and in-game tooltips. If you’re a console player, you should change the language on your systems just as you would on your other devices and keyboards. For the majority of systems, finding instructions on how to accomplish this is simple enough.
Books and Novels
If you’ve ever been to one of the major American bookstore chains, such as Barnes & Noble, you’ve definitely noticed that the foreign language area, to put it mildly, stinks. It’s generally one small shelf featuring a few of the most popular titles, such as The Hunger Games, A Song of Ice and Fire, Twilight, and Harry Potter.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather read something new.
Meanwhile, you can visit Amazon to find the books for your Japanese immersion journey. The key to locating foreign language books on Amazon is to use the phrase “edition” in your search. That may seem apparent, but searching for “Japanese language books” returns textbooks rather than reading stuff. Excellent, but not precisely what you’re looking for.
In addition, Kindle owners may be interested to hear that a large selection of classics is accessible for free download. Once more, be sure you utilize the term “[language] edition” in your search.
Help From Your Peers and Family
When your relatives or companions are on board with your endeavor, creating an immersion setting will be most successful. In fact, having more than one student will be preferable.
Nevertheless, as I’m sure most of us have discovered, not everyone will share your enthusiasm for studying languages. That can be especially challenging when it’s your husband, sister, or roommate, but you just have to do your best in the absence of the ideal atmosphere.
If you are able to collaborate with another individual, this may be a fantastic chance to use the swear jar. It’s a terrific method to keep yourself focused on solely utilizing your new language – especially if you’re not studying alone.
Listening to Japanese Podcasts and Radio
You must have access to the Internet if you’re reading this. That means there is no reason not to start listening to your target language right now!
In practically every language on the planet, there is an abundance of entirely free information. Applications like TuneIn Radio allow you to access thousands of worldwide radio stations for free, no matter where you are. You may filter by language or country to locate anything to listen to.
By doing this, you are letting yourself be familiarized with common Japanese expressions and phrases. It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand things completely at first. As you immerse yourself in the language daily, you will eventually see the good results of Japanese immersion through podcasts and radio.
It’s all about having fun. Think about what you like doing in your native language and begin to replace it with your target language. If reading dry textbooks or dull newspapers doesn’t interest you, don’t push yourself to do so. Learning a language is a long-term undertaking, therefore, enjoy it and incorporate it into your life as much as possible.
Japanese Immersion: Tips to remember
The most important advice for learning a new language through immersion is to stay on top of your studies. Encourage yourself, make it your routine, and add additional time each week to expand your learning. These processes can help you accelerate your progress.
Moreover, you can practice what you’re learning by speaking with your peers or family in Japanese and going out and trying to meet Japanese people. Use the language skills you have learned in real-life scenarios like eating at a restaurant, taking a taxi, asking for directions, trying on clothes, etc.
Finally, don’t forget to pause and let your brain rest. Spend a few days adjusting to English. In the worst-case scenario, you may become so frustrated that you pack it all in. All things must be in moderation!
Obstacles you might encounter through Japanese Immersion
It’s easy to become caught in images of people trekking to foreign lands, eager to immerse themselves, but this is only sometimes a true representation of the experience. Instead, eager language learners may experience culture shock when they realize how tough immersion may be. These are only a handful of the many challenges they confront.
One of the most significant barriers to learning a new language is humiliation. Some people are afraid of making a mistake when speaking a language that is not their native tongue. Indeed, we have learned everything since infancy by failing until we got it right. The same is true for languages. So, let’s look at some potential roadblocks you may encounter in Japanese immersion!
1. You must push through tiredness
Learning a language takes time and effort. It’s no different than putting in long hours of education, marathon training, learning to play an instrument, creative writing, and so on. Many individuals overlook this. Instead, they believe they can slog through hours of language acquisition without stopping. But that is not the case. You will eventually become weary and need to rest your brain.
You’ll be working against nature. Learning a new language alters your brain’s physiology. So you’re essentially creating new portals for storing knowledge. This will take time. As a result, there are restrictions on how much you can learn in a single day. Pushing that limit will only irritate and tire you, leading to burnout.
2. You must learn to accept discomfort
Moving to a new nation to learn a new language is difficult. There will be various challenges to conquer along the road. You must become acquainted with the nation, culture, customs, and people. And, while every activity might feel like an adventure, you may miss the comfort of home at some point.
You’ll have to consistently push yourself beyond your comfort zone. Talking to strangers, fumbling with discussions, and making blunders will become the norm. It can be difficult for many individuals, so they refrain from speaking when learning a foreign language. However, you must embrace an immersion program to get the most out.
3. You must resist continual temptation
There will always be the urge to meet up with ex-pats and converse in English. Make no mistake: learning a language via immersion is difficult. It is more of a learning experience than a holiday. It might seem like a mental marathon. Attempting to converse with someone in an unfamiliar language might leave you exhausted and needing a break.
Expat communities are the ideal place to “get away.” They can, however, be a seductive diversion, causing you to spend more time with your own culture and language and less time focused on foreign language immersion.
4. You must be in the appropriate frame of mind
Brains are extremely picky organs. To study, you must be in the appropriate frame of mind. When you’re nervous, unhappy, hungry, or stressed out, it’s far more difficult to learn anything, let alone a new language.
People with the finest language learning immersion experiences are generally highly confident in their language abilities before going. The challenge of pushing oneself and trying new words and phrases remains when they arrive, but they are not beginning from zero.
Arriving in a new place with a limited understanding of the language may backfire by making you feel alone, irritated, and stressed whenever you urgently attempt to speak with someone else. In that sense, there are better places to practice your new language skills.
REMEMBER: Our Brains Are Cheaters
The fact that our brains discover methods to trick the system is maybe the most harmful to an immersive language-learning experience. We look for shortcuts instead of listening, deciphering, and learning. It’s not always on purpose. You spend little money to go to a foreign country, live there, and learn the language to intentionally undermine your efforts.
Instead, it is frequently more subtle. Stress inhibits learning. You can only study if you are at ease and comfortable. Language acquisition through immersion is also challenging. When you move to a new nation, you are learning. As a result, your brain will seek strategies to assist you in quickly acclimatizing to your surroundings to lessen worry.
You will also learn “little tricks” to speed up comprehension. One frequent method is to skim input for keywords and rapidly mix them to understand what’s being said. While you may be able to get by, you are not pushing yourself to completely understand and speak a language. That needs to be fluency.
Japanese Immersion Technique: Final Thoughts
It’s time to start steadily building up your knowledge once you’ve found something at your level to immerse yourself in. Reading (or listening) may be frightening initially, but the best approach to becoming comfortable with it is simply doing it. Begin by simply reading a section or a page without looking it up. In this manner, you begin to rely on your own knowledge rather than a dictionary. This will help improve your language fluency over time.
It is critical to study these new topics so that you may begin to expand your knowledge. You don’t have to memorize everything before going on to the next area, but you should study as much as you feel comfortable with. Balancing fresh information study with immersion reading is essential for steadily expanding your knowledge.
The key to swiftly and effectively progressing from beginner to intermediate is a combination of study and immersion. Studying is necessary; nevertheless, studying consistently and intensely can lead to burnout. If you need to help to immerse yourself in anything, see whether it’s too challenging. If you lose motivation because you’re not having fun, leave it and find something you do! When something drains your motivation, replace it with something that will re-energize it.
There are several additional methods to immerse yourself at home; these are just a few examples of how you might get in some extra practice without devoting too much time or effort.
We understand how annoying immersion may be, especially in Japanese immersion. If you’ve ever sat with a group of individuals speaking a language you didn’t understand, you’ll recall that it was at least a little annoying. Continue to do so. Tell yourself that feeling frustrated is okay and this isn’t easy. The benefits of immersing oneself will be well worth it!