When I first started learning Japanese (日本語) I only learned how to speak it. Move forward 10 years… and I have forgotten everything that I learned. Not everything really but a lot. This go around I am learning differently… so what steps am I using to prevent my memory loss?
My most important tool learning Japanese.
My wife. Hands down! She is also learning. She is relying on my a good bit too. I give her all of my secrets. It makes her learn faster. I HAVE to learn, or else she will pass me. There is nothing quite like competition to help you learn.
My son! Whoever said, “I can’t learn a second language,” are not being completely honest with themselves. My six year old started learning a second language. He is also learning to read it… not just speak it. I really wasn’t sure if he was learning, or just pressing buttons… then he told me no in Japanese when I asked him to do something. It was a proud moment, and also annoying all at the same time.
The other tools I am using to learn Japanese.
Our motivation for learning is communication with each other, but also we all want to go to Japan. However, we have quickly discovered it isn’t as simple as using a book and learning (although that is a good place to start).
Start with your phone. It is easy to use. Although it can be annoying. Keep up the daily momentum.
Plus there is a gamification aspect to it… as you can see my son destroyed me last week.
Get on YouTube
I searched for learn Japanese. I found this. Then I discovered about a billion other videos teaching Japanese. Even if you don’t want to use an app… who doesn’t want to learn via video?
Genki 1 was recommended by a few people… so I got it to try out. I recommend it. It is basically the same methodology you used to learn English.
I didn’t understand Hiragana and Katakana… so I searched for guides. I found a ton of them. Then I printed the few I liked the best off, and now I am an expert (read beginner) in the Japanese “alphabet.”
If you want to go with me on this journey… just reach out to me via email and let me know. I would love to have others so that we can help each other learn.
Thanks for reading,