You must devote your time and utmost commitment to learning a new language. Are you wondering how long does it take to learn Japanese? Primarily it depends on the fluency you intend to achieve in that particular language (Japanese, in this case). Let us discuss this further based on how long it takes an average student to learn Japanese.
Why Should I Learn Japanese?
People claim that globalization opens international markets. Therefore, learning Japanese is crucial. One hundred twenty-eight million individuals speak Japanese as their first language in two countries. The language ranks ninth position as the most spoken language globally. Since English does not hold exclusive rights as a communication medium in business, people should start learning other languages to communicate with their clients.
Now, let us look at the variety of benefits of learning Japanese:
- It opens more avenues for international understanding- It is a well-known fact that the Japanese have incredibly nationalistic spirits. Though they might speak and write in other languages, they prefer to have written communication in Japanese. So, accessing information will become easier if the opposite parties know the language. In addition, Japanese fluency enables people to improve communication skills and enhance a deeper understanding of Japanese culture.
- It provides the scope for a better future- Learning Japanese promotes professional value to a great extent. Learning Japanese will help you develop less competition in various opportunities like humanities, science, business, tourism, and journalism. For example, suppose you want to opt for a career as a translator for a language services provider or the government. In this case, you will stand in a better position if you speak Japanese than others who know commonly taught languages.
- It acts as a stepping stone to becoming an English teacher in Japan- Your proficiency in Japanese can help you qualify as an English teacher in Japanese high schools. You can also work in a few local Japanese government organizations. In addition, the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET), an annual program for international students who pass the criteria and review procedures, allows them to stay and teach in the country for an entire year. This program promotes internationalization through mutual understanding among the countries. The objective is to enhance Japanese education in foreign languages.
Is Learning Japanese Difficult?
There is no specific answer to this question. It depends on factors like the individual’s original language and the amount of time and effort you can devote to studying Japanese. The more motivated you are, the faster you will learn. Generally, the best way you can learn Japanese is through language immersion. If you focus on speaking and listening skills, you can work through communication well enough. Then, writing and reading will become much more manageable.
How long does it take to learn Japanese fast?
If you immerse yourself in consistent studying and speaking for around 30 to 60 minutes a day, you can master conversational skills in Japanese in around 3 months. After that, however, you would have to learn kanji to elevate yourself to an advanced level. Only focusing on kanji while learning around 30 a day will help you learn all 2200 jouyou kanji (the “essential” kanji that kids in Japan learn throughout grade school) in around 3 months.
Can I learn Japanese on my own?
Here are a few tips for learning Japanese on your own:
1. Learn to read Hiragana
Learning Japanese can seem daunting for beginners. A fundamental aspect of learning Japanese is learning to read Hiragana, an element of the Japanese writing system. However, it is not difficult to learn. You can utilize YouTube videos to gain familiarity with Hiragana.
2. Gain familiarity with Katakana-
Another component of the Japanese writing system is Katakana. Several katakana games provide learners with lots of practice and entertainment. A typing converter can become a handy resource for beginner Japanese learners. It is an easy-to-use tool. You just have to enter a word, and the converter displays the word with its katakana.
3. Become familiar with Kanji
Various sites are available on the Internet for learning kanji. You can use them to quiz your skills or just for learning.
4. Build a strong vocabulary
One of the most significant aspects while learning Japanese is that you should build a core vocabulary. It is essential for reading, writing, listening, and speaking. You can begin with the extreme basics to develop this core vocabulary.
5. Read Japanese Books
If you attend a Japanese class, you might also use a Japanese book. While most people prefer the book series based on ‘minna no nihongo (Japanese for Everyone), others resort to ‘genki’ (Vigor). The former book is recommended for more dedicated learners.
6. Watch movies with subtitles
This method will help you revise whatever you already know. Perhaps you will get to learn some ways in which the language does not function as you had thought. While this method is not the most efficient one to teach you Japanese, it is an excellent supplement to any other learning method. You need to watch movies that speak real-life Japanese instead of the style used in anime.
7. Start conversations in Japanese
The native speakers of the language will help you converse in Japanese effectively. In addition, having conversations in Japanese will require you to be creative and invent new sentences you were unfamiliar with. Thus, you can test your knowledge and skills.
How Long Does It Take To Learn Kanji?
Kanji is known as “Han Characters” in Japanese, and it is used for writing adverbs, nouns, verbs, and adjectives in Japanese. But you can use Kanji alone to write in Japanese; you will need to learn two other scripts with Kanji, which are called Katakana and Hiragana. To reach the advanced level in the Japanese language, you will need to learn Kanji. If you focus on learning Kanji, then you can learn the essential Kanji, also known as jouyou Kanji, within three months.
To pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test N1, you must know around 10k words and different grammatical patterns of jouyou Kanji. To reach fluency as a native Japanese speaker, you will need to give at least one year of time learning Kanji only when you’re learning Japanese at an intense level. If you are not learning immensely, then it will take you, on average, three to five years.
Conclusion: How Long Does It Take To Learn Japanese
Every language has complexity, and there is no easy way to learn it fast. The required time for learning Japanese varies from individual to individual. However, you must focus on enjoying your learning process despite the time. Only then can you learn the language quickly and retain it in your memory for a longer time.
Learning Japanese is probably more complicated than learning Chinese. The reason is that most Chinese characters have only pronunciations, unlike Japanese characters. Moreover, it requires two syllabic scripts in Japanese.
It is practically impossible to learn proficient Japanese in 6 months. However, you may achieve basic communication skills in Japanese in 6 months.
Becoming fluent in Japanese takes a lot of practice and dedication. You must spend at least 2200 hours or 88 weeks learning Japanese to become fluent in Japanese. You also need to practice whatever you learn on a daily basis to master this language.
Many language learning apps are great for learning Japanese, and some of these are Mondly, Duolingo, Rocket Languages, Pimsleur, Kanji Study, Japanese Pod101, Lingodeer, and FluentU.
Yes, it is quite difficult for English speakers to learn Japanese because it has three different writing systems, and the sentence structure in Japanese is completely opposite to English.
Yes, it is definitely worth learning the Japanese language. You can communicate with more people and will face no problems if you ever visit Japan. You can also become a translator and earn quite a living for yourself.