Did anyone else start learning a new or new-ish language during quarantine? Why not set 10 minutes aside to play Duolingo and put your weeb power to good use by practicing beginner’s Japanese with me!
In case you’re wondering if I’m one of those Japanophiles, let me defend myself by saying that, besides French, Japanese is the only foreign language I have picked up — mainly from watching anime and other Japanese content for as long as I can remember.
I want to become more familiar with the language and culture to understand my anime better LOL. For real, though.
This is the same reason I am interested in learning Korean! I love K-Dramas.
There. I said it.
Additionally, I’ve studied French for 12+ years throughout grade school, and minored in it at college.
My major was English: Language Arts, in case you were wondering. I am also American, and a native English-speaker, but only learned a secondary language because it was a school requirement forever.
We weren’t given a choice of learning French from a college student aide in elementary school, but that led me to stick with French for the entirety of my academic career afterward.
Regardless, I rarely practice my French on Duolingo because it has been so long since I have spoken, read, or listened to it.
I am also so unconfident with French, I preferred to study Japanese and Korean diligently instead.
Whatever. I think if I knew more French media then I would be more interested in, and therefore better at, French.
For some reason I have a better ear for Japanese and that may or may not have anything to do with anime babes.
I find that learning Korean is very hard, even from watching many K-shows and attempting an undisclosed amount of K-Pop dance routines. K-Metal is vibes, too. 🙂 I will just have to learn this language mostly from scratch.
Do you ever get languages mixed up in your head when you’re studying more than one?
IT IS HARD LEARNING THREE LANGUAGES AT ONCE.
I have decided to use French as a refresher, practice Japanese, and learn beginner’s Korean for now. Three languages is plenty to try and master.
There are so many more languages I want to know, but my tiny brain should only work with these three at the moment for maximum retention.
You can apply my tips to any language you are learning, really.
- Practice Duolingo lessons every day.
- Or that owl will come for your family.
- Read everything aloud as you play.
- Take notes! Especially if there are particular things you keep getting incorrect.
- Watch Japanese anime, drama, and horror in original Japanese audio with English subtitles.
- Watch Terrace House and repeat words and phrases aloud that are often said by the guests or panel.
- Such as: こんばんは – Konbanwa. Good evening!
- Download a Japanese keyboard to your phone.
- Actually learn how to use it! It’s so complicated for a noob like me.
- Read books, manga, and menus translated from Japanese and memorize words and phrases that are not (or could not be) translated into English.
- This works well with Japanese food!
- The ends of some manga and anime explain why a joke was changed in translation, or what the joke means in Japanese language/culture. (Azumanga Daioh is the first example to come to mind.)
- Watch YouTube videos about Japanese culture/cooking/entertainment to pick up colloquialisms and references that could help you understand what is going on in other Japanese media.
- Put on Japanese-language docu-series before bed and absorb the information and power in your sleep!
- Don’t get into an omelet du fromage situation.
- Listen to Japanese music!
- Practice Japanese karaoke at home. Surprise all of your friends at the first karaoke outting after quarantine ends.
- Practice the phrases you know aloud, and often.
- Even if your friends, family, co-workers, lovers, and roommates make fun of you. (Cause they probably will.)
- If you are not traveling, learn the language for yourself, at your own pace.
- A little practice a day is all it takes to start understanding words and phrases from your favorite shows, music, and movies.
- Be sensitive when learning a foreign language.
- We want to learn, not overstep boundaries that might make others feel uncomfortable.
- Likewise, be sensitive to those who are learning a language that you already know!
- Practice reading the words printed on boxes of Japanese food and candy.
- Plus, it is an excuse to buy sexy expensive imported candy, duh!
- Write down the words or characters you don’t understand.
- Sing-a-long to the Sailor Moon theme song, or other children’s anime with simple lyrics written on-screen.
- You will be surprised at how much pronunciation you’ll get right.
- If you’re brave as heck, change your phone’s language to Japanese.
- I am not quite there yet, but I did this for French in college and it helped me a lot!
I got so excited about this self-help post that I didn’t follow my self-help tip about sleeping at a decent hour. 😭
おやすみなさい! – OYASUMINASAI! Good night!
Is that correct?