How hard is it really to learn Nihongo


My students ask me this all the time..”How hard is it really to learn Japanese?” Thought of trying out a second language can be a little overwhelming. But don’t worry..there are many other languages that will make us overwhelmed with complex writing systems and grammars full of exceptions. But IT IS NOT THE CASE WITH JAPANESE! ^-^ I know that you may say that I am biased because I am from Japan so of course Japanese should be easy. But I am basing my opinions on my other students that I had tutored for a long time and they said Japanese language wasn’t really that hard compared to French, Russian and Italian.

Because of Kanji, non-Japanese speakers are intimidated by the strange characters but the reality is that Japanese is a fairly easy language to learn and you can become somewhat conversationally fluent in six months or so if you put time and effort into mastering the language.

And another thing that I learned from my teaching experience is that Japanese language follow regular rules of conjugation, for example, verbs have very specific rules. And it’s not always the case for any other languages such as English and Russian! I always tell my beginning students not to worry because once they become familiar with basic sentence structures, they will realize that Japanese grammar is more structured and there are not many exceptions.

I don’t think I can say enough to convince you that Japanese is an easy language to learn so just try going to your local Japanese conversation school or get a book like Genki series and try to study the first few chapters. You will soon realize how straightforward Japanese grammars are and pronunciation is also straight forward so you will have fun learning the language with the right teacher and resources! Good luck.

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