Knowledge of languages is the doorway to wisdom - Anonymous
Learning any new language - English or Japanese - requires time, hard work, and dedication. Just like learning a new skill, picking up a new language is equally difficult as well as rewarding at the same time. As long as you make time and put effort into learning the Japanese language, the task may not be as daunting as it may seem at first.
For a beginner or someone completely unware of the language, an SOP to improve Japanese fluency will appear absolutely alien and intimidating at first. The words are completely different from the English or any other Indian language. They almost appear as art. Reading the Japanese alphabets can make your head spin at first. Having a conversation in spoken Japanese would require a different level of expertise altogether.
But is it the Japanese language that difficult? Well. Maybe not. In fact, learning the language can be highly rewarding if you can stick it out during the learning process and through practice and more practice over a period of time. Because, believe it or not, the Japanese language is one the most popular languages in the world. Japan, as a country, is rich in its heritage and culture, which is why so many people don the learning hat and make their way spoken Japanese classes either in their own country or in Japan to study the language in depth. Learning a new language also brings you closer to the culture of that region associated with it.
If you can learn Japanese pronunciation and improve Japanese speaking, it will open up the door to other opportunities. Japan is one of the most economically safe place to live with innumerable career opportunities and a rich source of culture and entertainment.
So, if you want to improve Japanese fluency, you need to start with the kanji or the first words Japanese children learn in school. You need to empty your cup before you embark on this learning journey.
History of Spoken Japanese
The Japanese language belongs to a language family that has originated in Japan, called the Japonic. This language family is made of multiple Japanese dialects that are spoken in different Japanese regions. The dialects mainly differ in their grammar and conjugation of verbs.
Origin of the Japanese Language
The history of the Japanese language dates back to many centuries. The original Japanese language had its genesis thousands of years ago. If you study its history, you will find that the Japanese had no written language until the 5th Century AD when they became familiar with the Chinese language. That is when modern Japanese language was born.
In the early days, only those who were educated could read, study, and speak the Chinese language. They then started using some of the Chinese characters to create their own Japanese scripts and to express them in a written form. Some historians call this the beginning of the Japanese language development. This was definitely what influenced Japanese language as we know it today.
Many call the Japanese language an isolated language because they have little or no similarities with other world languages. This does not, however, mean that there is no influence of other languages on Japanese though the direct linguistic connections maybe very few. In fact, the Japanese have borrowed many words from other languages such as English. For example, in Japanese, ペン is used to denote the word pen.
Easy Ways to Improve Japanese Speaking
There are three great tips to how you can improve Japanese speaking.
Active vs Passive Learning
The first thing about learning a new language that you need to understand is that it takes a different approach than your first language. You have to immerse yourself in the language to pick it up more naturally. As adults, your capacity to learn a new language is significantly reduced because of prejudices and biases. Some of those even tell you that there is probably no need to learn a new language. Just like a child needs constant support from parents and caregivers, a new learner needs guidance and attention from a Japanese private teacher in order to put together a full sentence in Japanese language or to even say one word.
Fortunately. adults can learn much faster by leveraging some of the things they already know about learning new things.
Japanese Grammar vs Vocabulary
If you want to study the Japanese language, focus on the grammar, not vocabulary. Unlike the English language where students must memorize huge amounts of English vocabulary, as a student of the Japanese language, you don't have to do that. Vocabulary is useful only when you are working to improve Japanese fluency. But grammatical concepts are the crux of learning any new language. They help you put words together in a sentence to say something.
Ni vs De
In the Japanese language, the particle is all important. If you don't understand which particle is appropriate for which situation, then all your efforts at learning the language will be futile. The ni and de pair is especially confusing. They both relate to location and can be translated into at, in, or, on in English. Here is the key differentiator-
- De denotes the place of action.
- Ni denotes the destination where a movement is involved.
Learn Japanese Pronunciation to Speak Like A Native
To learn Japanese pronunciation, you have to start with the basics of Japanese language.
What is Kanji?
Kanji is one of the three pillars of Japanese language script. They are a group of characters adopted directly from the Chinese script and are used to form the Japanese hiragana and katakana characters. While you have to study multiple kanji, you don't have to master all of them to improve your Japanese pronunciation. Kanji is one of the first elements that Japanese children are made to understand about the language and culture.
You would be glad to know that even native Japanese speakers forget kanji characters at times. And to learn it there are language apps to help you out.
Another important element of spoken Japanese is politeness. The Japanese nature is to be polite and show humility while speaking to another and that transfers into their choice of words. Sometimes, people refrain from using a certain word so as not to hurt another's feeling. This might come across to be a vague sentence to those who do not understand the nuances of the Japanese language and culture.
The Japanese have set out different standards for native and non-native speakers of the language. So, you would be forgiven if you come across as apparently impolite since it is assumed that you are not well-versed with the culture and social norms. This means that it is perfectly alright to make mistakes while you're working to improve Japanese speaking.
Is Spoken Japanese Hard to Master?
A new language is a new life - Anonymous
A Japanese private tutor is a great guide to teach you the language, the culture and history of the country. But if you don't have access to a private tutor, you can get one on Superprof and start your lessons in the Japanese language. To improve Japanese fluency, as a student you must remember a few important learning processes:
Give it Time
The Japanese language is a huge repository of knowledge. You can't be expected to learn everything in too little time. Take it slow, but keep challenging yourself. Don't try to learn too much too fast. To improve Japanese speaking, you first need to master the basics. Believe in the power of repetition and persistence. And don't forget to enjoy the process as you learn new things.
Emphasize Speaking & Listening
Find people in your immediate community who speak Japanese. Exchange conversations with them to improve Japanese fluency and learn Japanese pronunciation. Native Japanese are the best people to give you constructive feedback on your progress.
Approach Kanji Conservatively
Kanji is the essence of the Japanese language. Don't try to overcome that hurdle in the very first leg of your journey. Focus on picking up hiragana or katakana before you're ready to take on kanji. This will give you the necessary morale boost to tackle the beast.
A lot of learners and teachers emphasize this. But it is a myth to believe that movies and other entertainment sources can actually teach you languages. Yes they can. But only if you have cleared the beginner stage and know the basics of the language. You need to have conceptual clarity before you can engage in practical learning.
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