The Best Way to Learn Japanese

What’s the best way to learn Japanese? Most traditional ways to learn Japanese are not efficient and is just a waste of your time. I’ve always wanted to know the BEST way to study and master Japanese.

After years of studying Japanese, getting advice from native speakers, and tons of experimenting, I believe that I found the best way to learn Japanese. This guide will show you how to master Japanese in the fastest and most efficient way possible. We’ll show you what to study at each level, the best way to study it, and the best resources to improve your Japanese.

We’ll also cover topics that very few resources even mention. Things like motivation, how to keep going when you’re frustrated (or feel like you’re not improving), what to do if you’re shy, and even go over common questions, concerns, and myths about the Japanese language.  My goal was to make this the most detailed guide teaching you the best way to learn Japanese.  I hope this guide will help you on your journey to learn Japanese.

 

What’s in This Guide?

The best way to learn Japanese guide contains 5 chapters:

Chapter I: The Best Way to Learn Japanese – The Learning Japanese Formula

This simple formula shows you the best way to learn Japanese.  While this formula is simple, it shows you how to learn Japanese in the most efficient way possible. We’ll go into detail about why active learning, speaking, making mistakes, and having fun are so important for your success.

 

Chapter II: What to Should I Study? Where Should I Start?

Chapter II of this guide will show what to study at each level of Japanese (from absolute beginner to advanced). Knowing the best way to learn Japanese also means that you need to know where to start studying.   If you don’t know where to start, this is chapter will lead you in the right direction. We’ll also discuss the best methods and techniques that are most effective for learning the material.

 

Chapter III: How to Reach Your Language Goals – Techniques to Achieve Success

Other resources that talk about the best way to learn Japanese just teaches you basic tips about learning.  There’s more to learning Japanese than just studying.  You need to be focused and set yourself up for success.  Chapter III will give you a step-by-step plan to achieve all of your language goals. These techniques will show you how to be successful learning Japanese or any other language.

 

Chapter IV: Troubleshooting

Answering the Most Common Problems and Frustrations you’ll have when learning Japanese.

What if you’re too shy to speak Japanese with anyone? What if you can’t find native speakers to practice with? What if you feel like no matter how much you’re studying, you aren’t improving? All of these questions and much more are answered here.

 

Chapter V: The Best Way to Learn Japanese Resources

A reference for the best resources for learning Japanese.

 

What’s NOT in This Guide

The best way to learn Japanese is by taking your time to master the material you learn.  If you’re expecting to become fluent in Japanese in a week or want some magical way to learn Japanese without putting in time and effort, you’re looking in the wrong place. In fact, you’re looking for something that doesn’t even exist.

Learning Japanese takes time, effort, and persistence…PERIOD. There’s no way around this. Either you put in the work, or you don’t. If you put in the work, you will be 100% successful in learning Japanese. However, there are ways to learn Japanese faster and better than traditional methods. The best way to learn Japanese guide will show you the tips and techniques that will give you the best results in the least amount of time.

Challenge yourself, and one day you’ll be having interesting conversations with native Japanese speakers, watching movies and anime without subtitles, and even read thousands of kanji like a pro.

Best Way to Learn Japanese - No Magic Formula

Learning Japanese has changed my life. By using Japanese, I have met so many wonderful people that have become my best friends and colleagues. I also got the opportunity to live in Japan and explore all of the amazing food, culture, movies, history, and so much more…all of which was possible by taking on the challenge to learn Japanese. All you need to do is take the first step and keep with it.

 

Chapter 1: The Best Way to Learn Japanese FormulaBest Way to Learn Japanese Formula

The best way to learn Japanese is quite simple. In fact, mastering Japanese is done with 3 simple steps.

For beginning to intermediate level students of Japanese, the formula is this:

  1. Focused & Active Studying + Speaking = Mistakes
  2. Mistakes + Reflection = Learning
  3. Learning + Persistent Action = Mastery

For advanced students, you’ll add both reading and writing to the first step:

  1. Focused & Active Studying + Speaking/Reading/Writing = Mistakes
  2. Step 2 and 3 are the same as above

There is one thing that is not written in the formula but is very important for learning any language. Fun! That’s right. If you have fun and enjoy what you’re studying, learning becomes automatic. We’ll talk about ways to have fun and enjoy learning Japanese later in this guide.

What about the formula? Why is this the best way to study Japanese? What does focused and active studying mean? Can I learn Japanese without speaking?

Let’s take a more detailed look at each part of this formula to see how it works.

 

The Best Way to Learn Japanese: A Basic Overview

1. Focused StudyingBest Way to Learn Japanese Focus

Focused studying is exactly what it sounds like. You are focusing on only ONE thing at a time. The best way to learn Japanese, especially when you are beginning, is to focus on learning one thing at a time, and mastering it before you move on to something new.

First of all, use only ONE type of study material per skill (reading, writing, listening, speaking). This means that you should only use ONE book for reading and writing and ONE audio/video resource for listening and speaking. If you use a language program that has audio/video lessons and written material, then just use that one program and nothing else.

So many people try to study 3 different books while doing audio lessons and a computer program at the same time.

For beginning to intermediate level students, you should only use 1 book and audio or video lessons so you can hear the correct pronunciation and intonation of words or sentences. When you get to a more advanced level, you can start to branch out and use multiple resources to study at the same time. However, it is always better to finish one book or lesson before moving on to something else.

When you focus on one thing at a time, your brain has time to process all of the information you are studying and will remember things much easier. Using a lot of books or programs will hold you back. You’ll end up taking a lot of time trying to remember everything and end up forgetting it all, or not being able to remember it in the first place.

The way you become fluent in Japanese is by mastering one thing at a time. So focus on one resource. When you master all of the material, then you can move on to another.

 

What Are the Best Resources to Use to Learn Japanese?

What are the best materials for studying Japanese? Most people just buy a book with an audio CD to learn Japanese. This is NOT effective at all. It’s possible to learn Japanese with just a book and a CD, but…learning Japanese this way is very difficult, and more importantly, it’s very BORING.The Best Way to Learn Japanese Best Resources

If you want to learn Japanese fast and efficiently on your own, you need to use good video and/or audio lessons. These lessons need to be fun, easy to understand, detailed, and above all, teach useful Japanese.

If you are at a beginning to low advanced level, I highly recommend Japanesepod101. It is the best resource I have used to improve my Japanese. It’s fun to study and has a ton of lessons available (absolute beginner to advanced). If you’re just getting started or at a intermediate level of Japanese, their lessons are the best way to learn Japanese.  However, if your Japanese is at a very advanced level, Japanesepod101 won’t be of much use to you.

In addition to this, I highly recommend you get a private tutor/teacher when you reach a high beginner to intermediate level of Japanese.
At this level, you should be able to put together short sentences and know enough words to start expressing your ideas.

A teacher can help you with your pronunciation, naturalness, and teach you useful Japanese. A great way to find a qualified tutor is online though italki or Verbling.

If you’re shy or just don’t want to spend money on a private tutor, the lessons on Japanesepod101 will get you to a low-advanced level for grammar, vocabulary, writing, and reading, but you’ll need to practice speaking on your own.

 

Here’s a List of the Materials You’ll Need to Learn Japanese Quickly and Efficiently

1. Good Audio/Video lessons that teach useful Japanese.

2. A good book: Books are structured, and give detailed explanations of grammar or vocabulary that audio or video lessons often leave out. Don’t buy more than one book though. If you use Japanesepod101, you don’t need any books since they PDF files for you to use.

For an absolute beginner, Japanese from Zero 1 is an awesome book.

If you already know how to read hiragana and some basic vocabulary and grammar, I would go with Genki I.

For a full list of book recommendations, check out our best Japanese books page.

3. A notebook and/or flashcards : To take notes and study

4. A Japanese-English / English -Japanese dictionary: If you have a smartphone, get Japanese by Renzo. It’s the best I have used and right now it’s free!

5. A tape or video recorder: Optional, but very useful if you use it to record yourself speaking.

6. A private tutor/teacher: Probably the best resource to use, but it takes time to find a good tutor and it costs a lot of money if you take a lot of lessons. You should also wait until you can say simple sentences and know a few hundred vocabulary words before hiring a private teacher. This way, you’ll be able to start speaking, which is how you can improve very quickly. If you have the money and time, this is the way to go. If not, use the other 5 materials listed above.

 

2. Active StudyingThe Best Way to Learn Japanese Active Learning

Active studying means you are putting effort into LEARNING. This means that you are not just reading a book trying to memorize the material. It also doesn’t mean that you’re listening to audio or video lessons and just sitting there doing nothing. No!

Most people are passive learners. They just open up a book, read the material, and then try to remember as many facts as they can. This is the absolutely worst way to study, especially if you’re learning another language.

Active studying consists of two steps. The first is putting effort into your study by using your whole body to remember the material. You do this by not only reading, but by speaking, using gestures, and creating stories.

The second step is reviewing what you studied with a spaced repetition system. You do this by either making flash cards or using an app like Anki. Let’s take a look at both of these steps.

Putting Real Effort into LearningThe Best Way to Learn Japanese Imagination

Most people think that the best way to learn Japanese is by studying all of the grammar and vocabulary over the course of many years.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Languages are living, breathing things. It is just like art. You can’t learn how to paint a masterpiece by just reading a book or listening to someone teach it. You need to take action and FEEL the art by practicing, making mistakes, and improving.

Learning Japanese is the same. You need to engage as many of your senses as possible to get a feel for the language. This means that you are not only reading or listening passively, but are also writing, speaking, and using your imagination together when you’re studying.

Let’s say you’re studying vocabulary words. Don’t just read them passively, like you were reading a novel. Read them first, then say them out loud, and then write them down. Then you would repeat this sequence a few times. Last, but definitely not least, you need to use your imagination. You need to find and create ways to relate the material to you.

Where can you use this word you are studying? Who can you use it with? Could this word be useful for asking someone out on a date?

Allow yourself to daydream and create amazing or crazy stories.

For example, the Japanese word “nageru” means “to throw”. Sure, you could remember this word by just reading it over a few times. But how long will it be before you forget it? 1 hour? 1 day? 1 week?

No! Say the word out loud several times to practice speaking. Write the word down in your notebook along with its meaning. Make a throwing gesture while saying the word too. It sounds ridiculous, but doing all of this will help you to learn.

Most importantly though, you need to imagine yourself using this word in a crazy or silly situation or by creating a story around it.

Maybe you’re in Japan at the Tokyo Dome and you’re going to “nageru (throw)” the first pitch of the game. You heard the roar of the crowd while you’re preparing yourself. You wind up and “nageru” the ball with all of your might, but it only makes it half way. The crowd starts laughing and you feel embarrassed. You then get mad and rush into the crowd and start throwing the spectators onto the field while shouting “nageru!”

The more fun and crazier your stories are, the stronger your emotions you will feel, which will make remembering the material easier.

This does take a lot more effort and time than just reading words in a book. However, this will actually save you time and help you to learn more efficiently. It might take you 5x longer to remember one word this way than by just reading it. However, you’ll remember the word easier, and have a deeper understanding of it.

 

Repetition and ReviewingThe Best Way to Learn Japanese Repetition

The only true way to master something is by repetition. Repetition and reviewing are the ONLY ways to master a skill like Japanese.

Let me say that again.

Repetition and reviewing are the ONLY ways to master a skill like Japanese.

That’s right. There are no special techniques that can make your brain remember things better than good ol’ fashioned repetition. You become what you constantly do. So if you want to become fluent in Japanese, you will constantly have to review the material until you master it.

However, thanks to technology, there are easier and faster ways to review material than traditional methods.

 

Spaced Repetition Systems:  The Best Way to Remember JapaneseBest Way to Learn Japanese Spaced Repetition Systems

SRS, or spaced repetition systems, are a great way to review and master what you study. Basically, SRS are smart flashcards. This system will show you certain flashcards depending on if you get it right or wrong.

When a flashcard comes on the screen, you can either click on of 3 buttons. A “yes” button that means you remember the word. A “no” button if you forget what that word means, and a “maybe” button for anything in between. If you have no problems remembering a word, it won’t show you that card until days or even weeks later.

However, if you have trouble remembering a certain word, it will show you that word again within minutes, and repeat it more often. It will do this until you can remember that word.

It’s very basic but very effective. The best program I have used is the popular “Anki” app. It’s free to use on a PC, but it costs money to buy the app for your smartphone. I used the app version a lot in Japan while riding the train.

After you start to get a feel for the material you are studying, you need to use that creativity and imagination again. Think about situations or times where you can use the material that you just learned.

If you studied vocabulary about food, maybe you can see yourself talking to Japanese friends about this topic. Or you might see yourself ordering food in a Japanese restaurant using the material you just studied. Doing this will prepare you to start applying what you learn, which is the key to mastering any language.

 

Active Learning Summary

  • Read, speak, write, and use gestures while studying
  • Use your imagination and creativity to create stories and emotion to help you remember the material
  • Use a SRS flashcard system to study and review
  • Think of situations where you can use what you just learned

 

3.  Speaking

The Best Way to Learn Japanese Speaking

You must practice speaking! Speaking is the by far the best way to learn Japanese for high beginner to low-advanced students.  Even speaking to yourself can work wonders. Saying Japanese out loud and even having conversations with yourself can improve your speaking and listening ability. But if you want to improve your Japanese fast and efficiently, speaking with a native speaker is the best way to do this. Just make sure that you find a private tutor or teacher to talk to instead of a casual friend.

A teacher will be able to correct your mistakes and teach you natural expressions and words.

This is by far the best way to learn Japanese at a intermediate level. Your goal should be to start speaking to native speakers as soon as possible. When you study Japanese, all of the vocabulary and grammar you learn are separate pieces of material that is scattered throughout your brain. It’s just random bits of knowledge that’s floating around in your mind.

When you try to speak in Japanese, your brain starts to process and organize all of this random information. It also uses creativity to start putting all of the pieces of information together to form a single idea.

Everything that you studied will start to make sense on a deeper level. You will also start to gain a “feel” for the language, and understand which words are used for different situations. Basically, you start to learn how to speak Japanese.

Best Way to Learn Japanese Practice Speaking

But it doesn’t stop there. Speaking Japanese also improves your listening, reading and writing skills. Obviously, your listening skills will improve as you listen to other people speak. But you’ll also notice that you’ll start to read Japanese faster, easier, and smoother. When writing, you’ll find that it’s easier to put together sentences and to be creative with words.

If you think about it, reading and writing is the same thing as speaking. The only difference is you’re speaking it silently in your mind.

Unfortunately, most people who learn Japanese don’t speak when the opportunity presents itself. This is usually due to some sort of fear.

We all have a fear of saying the wrong thing, or not being able to say anything at all. In fact, this will happen all the time when you’re first learning Japanese. Making mistakes and not knowing what to say to express yourself is 100% natural, and an essential step in the growing process. But how can you do this? How can you get over the fear of making mistakes and talking to many people in Japanese?

 

4.  Mistakes and ReflectionThe Best Way to Learn Japanese Making Mistakes

This is probably the most important section in this guide. Making mistakes, reflecting on those mistakes, and then correcting them is by far the best way to learn Japanese.  Making mistakes is the key to be successful at anything.  However, the fear of making mistakes is probably the biggest thing that holds people back from learning Japanese.

No one likes to make mistakes. But do you know who makes the most mistakes in this world?

Successful people.

That’s right. The most successful people in this world are also the ones who make the most mistakes.

There is only one difference between a successful person and someone who’s not. The successful person STICKS WITH IT and doesn’t give up.

Successful people take their mistakes, reflect on them, and learn something new each time. They never give up, and keep pushing forward. Their mistakes became their greatest secret to success.
This is because they realize that “mistakes” ARE NOT failures.

They believe that every mistake they make pushes them one step forward, whereas a person who never succeeds believes that every mistake is pulling them one step back. Most people see a mistake as a failure. Successful people see mistakes as lessons to learn something new.

You see, a mistake is only a failure if you BELEIVE that it is. If you believe that a mistake is here to teach you something and you keep pushing forward, you will be successful.

The truth is, you will make tons of mistakes learning Japanese.

TONS.

It’s the nature of learning a new language. So what will you do when you make a mistake? Will you feel embarrassed and give up? Or will you laugh it off, reflect on what can be improved, and find success? This choice is 100% under your control.

The fear of making mistakes is probably the biggest reason why people don’t improve their Japanese skills. Even though they want to learn Japanese, they are afraid to even say a single sentence to someone.The Best Way to Learn Japanese Mistakes

The truth is, you can learn Japanese without ever speaking to a native speaker. If you use good audio or video lessons, good books, and speak to yourself (by repeating and drilling the material, and even having conversations with yourself), you can become very good at Japanese.

Your listening and speaking can get really good too. I know some people who even passed the JLPT N1 and could speak well without ever practicing with native speakers.

However, since they didn’t speak with others, they had a hard time trying to find the right thing to say when they did speak in Japanese. They also could only stick to set grammar patterns and sentences that they were comfortable with. They could not express themselves as easily as people who have practiced talking with native speakers. They also used words that were not very natural or even older words that aren’t used today.

If you practice speaking with a native Japanese teacher, you will improve much faster and learn more than someone who doesn’t.
If you really are against talking with native speakers, take a look at our guide on how to practice speaking Japanese on your own.

Making mistakes is your greatest teacher, and it the best way to learn Japanese.  The more mistakes you make, the quicker you will learn.

 

5. ReadingThe Best Way to Learn Japanese Reading

When you get to an intermediate level of Japanese and know around 500-1,000 kanji, you should put effort into reading. Sure, even as a beginner, you should be studying material that uses hiragana, katakana, and some kanji, with very little or no romaji. Using English is fine if you’re reading translations of sentences or the meaning of vocabulary words.

However, when you get to the point where you have mastered reading hiragana, katakaka, and know a few hundred kanji, it’s time to challenge yourself. Don’t just read sentences or short stories in the books you are studying. Those example stories are there to help you understand grammar or vocabulary, but it’s often not very interesting.

The Best Way to Learn Japanese Reading Practice

For intermediate to advanced students, reading is the best way to learn Japanese. You should challenge yourself and start reading anything and everything that you are interested in. The best way to do this is by buying books that are written in Japanese. This costs money though, and it’s hard to find one that is at the right level for you.

At an intermediate level, books for babies are too easy, but most non-fiction books, long novels, and textbooks are often too difficult. I did say to challenge yourself, but if you have to look up every single kanji on every single page, that gets boring REALLY fast. You should buy a book that has many kanji and words you don’t know, but for the most part, you can understand most of the sentences.

Instead, I would buy a magazine about a topic you are interested it. More often than not, magazines contain lots of pictures with short captions. This makes it easy to read. The language used also varies. There can be professionally written articles in formal speech and have a more casually written article on the next page.

Another great way to do this is by looking for websites or blogs about things that interest you. This is free, and there are so many different blogs online that there is something for everyone. You will probably have to search Google in Japanese, but the choices are endless. If you’re lucky, you might even find a blog of someone who is bilingual and writes their posts in both English and Japanese.

The only drawback to this method is that most blogs are written by individuals. There are no editors or people who check over their work. So the posts that they write could contain grammar, spelling, or other mistakes that you might not catch. So there is a possibility of you reading something that isn’t grammatically correct.

Most blogs (especially by famous actors, musicians, etc) usually have very few mistakes in them. When in doubt, just search for something better.

While speaking helps your brain to put all of the language pieces together to form ideas, reading can super charge this process. It can take your language skills to a whole new level. You’ll learn new vocabulary, grammar, and creative ways to use the language. However, the most important thing that reading does is that it shows you HOW to use the language.The Best Way to Learn Japanese Read Anything

Instead of seeing random example sentences in textbooks that you can’t relate to at all, a reading books shows you exactly how a certain word or grammar point is used naturally. Of course, this depends on the book. If you choose a book that was written in the 1700’s, the grammar and words might not be used at all today.

Books also don’t teach you anything by explaining…they SHOW you how something works. You’ll get to experience first-hand how certain words are used to bring ideas to life. You begin to feel the language instead of just thinking about it.

Reading also helps you to learn kanji quickly. This is especially true if you study kanji using the Heisig method. With this method, you know the meaning of a kanji, but you don’t know the reading. Whenever you come across a kanji you don’t know how to read, look it up in a kanji dictionary. You’ll find that you can remember the readings of the kanji much easier when you read material that interests you.

Check out chapter V for free resources to practice reading Japanese.

 

6. WritingThe Best Way to Learn Japanese Writing

Just like with speaking and reading, you should practice writing Japanese as soon as you can. However, at the beginning and intermediate levels, it’s much better to concentrate on speaking to learn all of the basics, and then back that up with reading.

When you get to a very high level in your studies, the best way to learn Japanese is by challenging yourself to start writing.

Reading books allows you to understand and feel someone else’s thoughts, emotions, and ideas. Now that you are at an advanced level of Japanese, it’s time for you to express your thoughts, ideas, and emotions.

If you have time, you can start your own blog. Or if you want to be more private, start a daily journal. At the very least, jot down your daily thoughts in a notebook in Japanese.The Best Way to Learn Japanese Writing a Blog

There used to be free websites where you could get native Japanese speakers to correct your work. However, there aren’t really any good, free ones anymore. Even if was still available today, I still wouldn’t recommend it. The person that checks your work might not be that skilled in Japanese, so it could do more harm than good.

Also, some sites worked with a give-and-take type of system. You had to check someone else’s work to earn points. You can then use these points to request someone to check your work. This just takes up too much time.

Just like with speaking, I recommend you hire a private tutor/teacher to correct your work. Not only will they do a much better job than the average Joe, but they will be able to explain to you they “why” behind their corrections. Also, a good teacher can tell you better, more natural ways to say what you want to say, and help you to rewrite it. Sure, it costs a few bucks to do this, but you save a lot of time and hassle by hiring a good teacher. Besides, finding a good teacher online is easy, and it doesn’t cost that much these days.

The Best Way to Learn Japanese Writing Practice

I’m going to be honest here. Writing can really suck in the beginning. Unless you have already mastered all 2,136 jouyou kanji and love writing, this will be a real challenge. When you first start to write, you might have no idea what to write about. Or you might have a ton of ideas, but you’re not sure how to express it in Japanese. It will take a lot of effort to get past this.

Remember this though. The beginning is by far the hardest. The more you do it, the easier it becomes, and the more awesome your Japanese gets. My advice is that when you first begin, you just start writing.

Don’t over think things and try to make each sentence perfect. JUST START WRITING. Even if you know it’s full of mistakes, keep writing anyway.

Even if it is full of mistakes, it will be great for learning. After you’re done, you can read it over and then revise it. You’ll probably think of new ways to say something just by reading over what you wrote.
The good news is that if you don’t give up and keep writing, you get better each time you do it. It doesn’t take much time for you to get used to writing. The very act of writing will help you to improve your Japanese.

While writing in Japanese is the hardest thing to do, it also provides you with amazing benefits. Not only will your speaking and reading skills improve, your creativity and ability to express ideas will increase. Writing can provide you with a way to iron out all of the little wrinkles you have in your Japanese arsenal.

Writing can make someone who is good in Japanese into someone who is amazing in Japanese. With writing, you can even take your skills up to a native speaker’s level. So keep with it and have fun with it! If you have your tutor read it over for you, try to write interesting things that will make them look forward to reading your work.

Check out chapter V for our best resources for learning kanji.

 

How to Make Learning Japanese FunThe Best Way to Learn Japanese Having Fun

The best way to learn Japanese and make learning easy is by having fun. This is especially true when you’re learning a new language. If you have fun learning a new language, you’re already on the road to success. But for many of us, even though we want to learn Japanese, it isn’t what we would call fun.

So how do you make learning Japanese fun?

There are many different ways that we can do this, but we’ll go over 3 of the best ways to do that here.

 

1. Using What You LearnThe Best Way to Learn Japanese Using What you Learn

This seems like it’s common sense, and it is. However, most people don’t realize that when you use what you learn by speaking, reading, or writing, it is one of the best ways to enjoy the language and to keep motivated. Knowledge is not power. It is only potential power. True power is when you apply your knowledge.

If you meet someone from Japan and say just one or two words to them in Japanese, you’ll feel amazing. Seriously. You’ll even impress yourself. You’re speaking in a totally different language! If you feel shy, or even afraid of speaking in Japanese to people, don’t worry, we’ll talk about how to get over this in the next step.

However, if you don’t want to or can’t find native Japanese speakers, another great way to enjoy Japanese is through a hobby or interest.
If you have a hobby related to Japanese, that’s perfect. Many of you love anime and manga.

Watching your favorite anime and trying to figure out what they are saying without subtitles is fun and great for learning. You can pick out a few words you don’t understand, and then look them up in a dictionary. Write them down in your notebook and then watch that part again. It’s so simple but it’s very rewarding. You can understand something you couldn’t just a few minutes ago.

No matter what you’re into, there is most likely some videos on it on YouTube. Or you can search for Japanese blogs about your interest. You can practice reading and studying kanji by using those blogs. Or maybe you favorite Japanese actor or musician has their own personal blog. Find something that interests you and use that as a way to supplement your studies.

 

 

2. Working TogetherThe Best Way to Learn Japanese Work Together

Study groups can be really helpful when learning Japanese. The only problem is that it’s hard to find the right people to create a good group. For me, whenever I got together with my friends to “study” Japanese, we would just talk and joke around. 4 hours later, we didn’t even open our books yet. If this happens to you, be sure to set mini goals each time you meet. For example, try to all remember a set of vocabulary words or understand a couple of grammar points. Test each other and work together to find ways to remember the material better.

Since making mistakes is the best way to learn Japanese, having a group you can make tons of “mistakes” with can really improve your Japanese quickly.  Study groups can also be very helpful when learning new material, but the main thing is that it studying with friends is just plain fun.

A good website to check is meetup.com. Depending on your area, you might find groups that are Japanese related.

Or even better, you can start your own group by creating a Facebook page and even have study sessions on Skype.

 

3. Connecting with Native Japanese SpeakersThe Best Way to Learn Japanese Meet Japanese People

This seems like the most obvious way to have fun learning Japanese, but it’s also the hardest to accomplish. It can be difficult to meet Japanese people that you can click with.

Here’s a few problems you might run into when trying to meet native Japanese speakers.

 

1. Lack of Japanese People in Your AreaThe Best Way to Learn Japanese Can't Find Friends

A good place to find native Japanese speakers is at university or local community college. Depending on where you live, there could be lots of Japanese students there. Of course, some of your live in towns with no colleges around.

Whatever the case may be, I think the internet is still the best option. It’s easy, a lot less creepy, and you can meet people even if you’re shy.

However, this comes with problems of its own. Which leads into problem #2.

 

2. Difficulty RelatingThe Best Way to Learn Japanese Difficulty Connecting

Even though there are thousands of Japanese people online looking to become friends with people too, it’s not that easy to find someone that you click with.

Truth be told, even if you message a lot of people, you’ll probably only get a few responses back. Out of these replies, maybe 1 or 2 people might have the same interests as you. But on top of that, many Japanese people online can’t speak very good English.

So unless you already can speak or write Japanese very well, you will have trouble communicating. It takes a lot of messages and time to find just the right person. Someone who shares the same interests as you, and can speak English. The lower your Japanese level is, the higher their English level needs to be.

One more thing. Of course, you probably want to be “friends” with the cutest guy or girl. It’s way more important to find someone who you enjoy talking to, and can click with. In other words, personality is what you want! If you want more tips on how to find cool Japanese friends online, check out our guide here.

 

Chapter II:  Where to Start Learning Japanese

Now that we know the fundamentals of the best way to learn Japanese, lets go to chapter II and see what you should be studying at each level.

Go to Chapter II >>

 

The Best Way to Learn Japanese Chapters

Chapter I:  The Best Way to Learn Japanese Formula

Chapter II:  What You Should Study to Learn Japanese

Chapter III:  5 Steps to Be Successful Learning Japanese

Chapter IV:  Troubleshooting – Answering Common Problems When Learning Japanese

Chapter V:  The Best Resources for Learning Japanese

 

 

 

 

 

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