LEARNING JAPANESE. WHERE TO START?
Even though considered as one of the most difficult languages in the world, Japanese has its enthusiasts all over the globe. Many of them take the initial steps on their own, and then continue learning from experienced teachers.
Learning Japanese is bound to be an amazing experience for anyone passionate about Japanese culture.. The fans of Japan try to learn the language from all possible sources. The language is of course not too easy so do not expect to grasp all the signs over a semester or a year. Just as in the case of other languages, learning Japanese requires a lot of sacrifice on the part of the student. You should start with hiragana and katakana signs. Once you know them, you will be able to use the language at a basic level.
Japanese from scratch
How to start learning Japanese? It is best to first learn kanji – the Japanese logographs forming an extensive alphabet. There are a total of over 60,000 Japanese signs but 2,000 kanji are just enough to successfully communicate. You can learn the signs using fan pages on the internet, which will help you become familiar with the basic signs and phrases. The next steps can be the taken with the 'teach yourself 'courses available on YouTube. Afterwards, you may buy textbooks and exercise books and enrol on a Japanese course in selected foreign language schools or find a native speaker to teach you.
Levels of proficiency in Japanese
The level of proficiency in Japanese is defined based on the knowledge of the Japanese alphabet. For beginners, 1000-2000 signs are enough. The academic level is achieved with about 5000-7000 signs. An advanced and proficient level begins beyond these numbers. Only few native Japanese can take pride in knowing all the signs, and those who have absolutely mastered the language know about 40,000 of them. For simple communication in Japanese streets, the basic skills are enough.
Is Japanese useful?
Any investment in foreign languages is bound to pay off one way or the other. Those who are mesmerised by the Country of Cherry Blossoms and wish to watch or read Japanese culture in the original or converse freely with a Japanese can start their adventure with the Japanese language. But if all you want is to communicate with the locals during a trip to Japan, English will suffice. The Japanese are fascinated with the English language and the Western culture enough not to give you too much of an opportunity to boast your command Japanese – they will want to accommodate you and use English.