So you’ve decided to learn Japanese, eh? Or maybe you’re just considering it. Either way, you have to admit, Japanese is probably the coolest sounding language you’ve ever heard!
To some, just hearing the sounds of Japanese is very gratifying because of its unique cadence and expression.
Japanese is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Even outside of Japan, pockets of Japanese speakers flourish in places such as the United States, Brazil, China and Canada.
Japan is also one of the most powerful industrial nations on Earth and learning Japanese can exert a PROFOUND effect on your business life. It’s one thing to learn Spanish or French, which bear a resemblance to English and share many parallel structures (i.e. freebies!). But to learn a language COMPLETELY unrelated to your own shows great courage, mental capacity, determination and curiosity on the part of the learner.
Imagine meeting with Japanese contacts, businessmen or potential clients and being able to communicate with them in their own native language! Not only would they be shocked that you can interact in such a vastly different tongue, but they would also feel an instant respect for you as a human being. That would then make it much more likely that they would want to work together, buy from you, etc.
To learn Japanese means to learn about the Japanese people. And the improvement in social life is perhaps one of the greatest benefits of learning another language.
The reason most language courses fail to produce any results is because there’s no emotional connection to the material. That’s why I always recommend that you DATE a Japanese if you want to learn Japanese. Just think about how much more relevant and interesting the whole process will become once somebody you care about and are interested in becomes involved! You’ll also be able to make new Japanese friends and see life from a different point of view.
You probably think that learning languages is super hard, don’t ya? The reason most people in the States believe that is because of the way that we learn languages in high school and college. I mean, language learning is supposed to be this amazing experience, rife with powerful emotions and new world views. Instead, we’re cooped up inside a classroom learning Japanese Vocabulary and Japanese verbs till the Kobe Beef comes home. No wonder we think language learning is a boring, tedious task!
The BEST way to learn Japanese is to simply hop on a plane and go live in Japan! This is your best bet and the absolute fastest way to learn the language. There is nothing more powerful and motivating than being immersed in a completely foreign culture and being forced to find your way around, buy food and make important decisions. Such pressure forces you to learn and to learn quick!
If that’s not an option for you, the next best thing is to use language learning software such the Rocket Languages Rocket Japanese course or something similar. This way, you SIMULATE immersion in your home environment. Start by surrounding yourself with as many Japanese as possible and begin watching Japanese movies and TV shows to get the language in your ear. Go to Japanese restaurants and Japanese events.
If you continue this way, by the time you actually GO to Japan, you will have learned a tremendous amount of the language and all that will be left is to polish it up and learn the local slang. Keep learning, working hard and practicing, and eventually you will be a fluent Japanese Speaker!
Eugene Astrovsky is a linguistics professor in Southern California and an avid language learner. He writes Rocket Languages Review articles and also reviews Rocket Japanese [http://www.rocketlanguagesreview.com]