If you’re like me, you were raised completely fluent in English and your idea of an actual vacation is picking something oddball out of a snow globe and hocking it on the beach. When I first went to Japan, my family packed all of our worldly possessions into a suitcase and we journeyed in a week long slow crawl. But now, with the opportunity to visit from time to time, it’s my desire to learn the Japanese language.
As opposed to my typical elementary to high school English lessons, what I’m going to learn here is a lot more than just speaking. I want to learn how to write!
You see, Japanese isn’t as simple as just telling people what you have to say. You need to make it clear, communicate clearly, and have a solid structure in place. While it is not an entirely foreign language, it will take a lot of effort and hard work to get it down. It’s part of the reason why I want to become an expert in it and take part in all of the cultural aspects of Japanese life. Here’s where to start learning Japanese online.
Internet Tachibana – There are plenty of courses on the Internet offering learning in the language. There are also videos to help you learn and easy language guides from the some of the more educational YouTube channels in the world. For a more cost effective option, I recommend going through many of the more traditional and well known language schools. These are usually very affordable and generally offer quality instruction. Unfortunately, some are short term and don’t provide enough depth. With that said, despite the teachers normally being wonderful and easy to access, once you’ve had the course for awhile, the quality of the instruction can begin to erode. There are still many excellent schools that offer top notch instruction and should not be ignored.
YouTube – Just about any time you want to learn Japanese, you’ll find a video tutorial like these. While I do find their guidance on a certain level to be highly effective, sometimes I prefer my own work and instruction from within the classroom. It’s all about spending the most time and the most money now, and I still find my best luck with traditional methods.
Use Spam – It’s part of the process. After spending a long time convincing me this is a good idea, one day, one of my friends told me about all of the great, free things you can do online that will make learning English great. Nothing was more valuable to me than a career in Tokyo. I wanted to become a fine chef and rely on free stuff. So I say to you, try using spam, or something like it. I mean it, and I promise you if you do, everything will just work out for you.
Invest in a Workbook – Another thing your friend was telling you is a good way to learn from outside of the classroom. Each week or month, try out the best ideas being offered from those around you. Take notes, use a journal, or even just googling phrases and thought patterns if you want to cram a lot in.
English Class – My favorite thing is my own work, my own learning method. I’ve built my own app that I have to myself that focuses on things I’m most passionate about. It’s basically my own creation and I get to maintain it and not leave it to a software company. On top of that, there’s also all of the dynamic curricula and new material I create to keep the session exciting and fun. The language is one of my real passions, so it’s the perfect blend of learning and creativity.