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How to Learn Japanese Fluently

The first thing that you need is motivation. If you are unsure about learning
Japanese you may as well not read the rest of this article. I do not believe in the
myth that learning is something that is always done most effectively in a formal
class setting. The internet is may go to guide for almost everything in this article.

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Steps

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1 Master Hiragana and Katakana after/while learning the basics of
Japanese grammar. A large number of Japanese language learning
materials for foreigners use romaji (roman script) as a pronunciation aid. This is
effective only to a point---written Japanese almost never uses romaji; rather, it
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uses a mix of hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Knowing the first two will open your
doors into knowing the third, build your literacy skills in Japanese, and enable
you to take the JLPT.

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2 Learn Kanji (Chinese characters). If your goal is total written and spoken
fluency in Japanese, you need to know a minimum of 1,500 to 3,000 Kanji
for functional literacy. The best way to learn these is through graded formal
lessons, flash cards, and extensive practice.
Well educated and well read Japanese may know as many as 10,000 Kanji.
Kanji represent loan words from Chinese into Japanese, they are used to
distinguish homonyms and synonyms, they are used in names, in
grammatical functions, and specialized vocabulary.
Japanese Kanji often differ in meaning and usage from Chinese characters
as used in contemporary Chinese as well as Korean. Learning how to read
Chinese won't necessarily help you with Japanese.

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3 Try to expand your vocabulary. Different methods work for different
people: flashcards, textbooks, memorize, Manga, etc. Check what's
available to you.

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4 Listen to as much Japanese as possible. Volunteer at your local
Japanese Community Centre, befriend Japanese people, watch Japanese
television, films, theatre, anime, and YouTube clips, listen to Japanese music---
both modern and traditional. If you have access to English subtitles, make use
of them, but try not to depend on them as your Japanese advances.

5 Understand politeness levels. In Japanese, the words or phrases you say


may change depending on who you're talking to. For example, "How are
you?" can be said as "Genki?" or "O genki des ka?" depending on how polite
you are being.

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6 Hire a Japanese tutor and/or take formal language classes. The best
way to absorb the language and culture is by interacting with native (trained)
speakers who know how to walk you through the thinking, dos, do nots, and
subtitles within Japanese.

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7 Don't get stuck on the slang. Japanese has many spoken dialects and
city-specific slang spanning Hokkaido to Okinawa. Work with what you know
and expand gradually from there. Almost all textbooks and learning resources
teach you Standard Japanese, which is universally spoken and understood
across Japan and is an effective base for building upon your knowledge.
The above said, learning a colloquial Japanese dialect will prove useful
depending on where in Japan you live and how natural you want to sound.
Dialects contain a lot of regional colour that Standard Japanese can lack.

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8 Spend time in Japan, if you can. If total fluency is still your goal, you have

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8 to live Japanese in order to master Japanese, which means that you should
travel to and spend time in Japan. Japan has many job and study opportunities
for foreigners, you simply have to find, target, and aim for it.
Be well aware of the necessary paperwork and customs you are expected to
abide by in Japan. Furthermore, naturalization into becoming a Japanese
citizen is not easy. Do your homework and ask questions.

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9 Take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT or
). The JLPT is an international, graded, five level Japanese proficiency
exam hosted by the Japan Educational Exchanges and Services (JEES) and
the Japan Foundation that is designed to assess and evaluate your Japanese-
language proficiency. It will grade you on kanji and vocabulary, listening
comprehension, and reading comprehension and grammar. N5 is lowest level of
the exam available, N1 is the highest (near-native) level. The JLPT can be taken
almost anywhere in the world, usually through universities and Japanese Cultural
Centres. Take each exam when you feel you that your language skills are good
enough to.
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JLPT practice materials and tutors are available in many major international
cities and through iPod apps! Again, do your homework and see what works
for you!

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Community Q&A

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How could I start to learn Japanese a little more quickly?
Answered by wikiHow Contributor

Immersion is one of the most important aspects. However, since actually going to
Japan and staying there for awhile can be pricey, watch different shows, listen to
Japanese music, and try reading books in Japanese.
4 1

How do I learn Japanese for free?


Answered by wikiHow Contributor

Well, you could download an app for your phone, buy a CD for your PC, watch
Anime, or take online YouTube courses.
5 4

What is the best way to learn Japanese?


Answered by wikiHow Contributor
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Answered by wikiHow Contributor

Usually formal teachings by a Japanese native or native-level speaker are the


most common route.
2 2

Is there any kind of translation books to help learn Japanese?


Answer

Show more unanswered questions

Ask a Question

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Tips

Make sure you have plenty of resources to study over. Books are great for
helping you learn new topics and the more you read the more you'll know
about the language. The more you learn about the language, the easier it is to
make connections and memorize the language.
Helpful?

Practice! Whether its flashcards, study games, or even just saying it out loud;
you should do it. There is a saying that practice makes adequate. The best
kind of practice is the kind you can make into a game; that way you can be
more excited about studying.
Helpful?

Ty to stay positive through it all. Learning a new language isn't easy, but
remember that you should never give up on yourself. Learning new things is all
about never giving up and trying your best no matter what. So try to be
positive because the more open minded you are about something the more
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you're going to get done.
Helpful?

Set your own goals one step at a time. Learning all of Japanese is a big goal
goal and can be an overwhelming thought, so you should try to set short term
goals like memorizing the vowels in katakana. Its easier to take your time and
do one short term goal at a time.
Helpful?

Don't rush yourself. Everyone has their own learning styles and each person
learns differently. Make sure you know your own time and learning style.
Helpful?

Know a good tip? Add it. Add

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Categories: Pages Needing Attention | Japanese

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