One nice thing about learning a foreign language similar to that of your own is that you can often take in a lot of cognate words and verbal phrases. Culture is also often similar as well.
For example, English speakers can easily learn a similar Germanic language, and even Romance languages are easier because so much of English comes from Latin.
This Luxury Is Not So In Japanese.
Although there are certainly many of cognates that you can take in automatically, the previous example is a little part of the big picture in speaking Japanese. Japanese is spoken by over 130 million people, not including second language speakers! This makes Japanese the ninth most spoken language in the world! It is worth the time and effort to learn this unique language…and it may be easier than you think.
Learning Right From The Beginning
When learning Japanese, you have to start from the ground up. Not even learning a single simple sentence correctly can be done on the first day, and attempting to do so is not going to help you any more or less.
The first thing that we all do in learning our native language is learning how to pronounce it by mimicking our parents. The Japanese language has a relatively small sound inventory, with only around 100 native sounds. Japanese syntax is very easy, and people are shocked at how easy conjugation is.
One Big Challenge For English Speakers
One of the biggest problems that many people have with learning Japanese is that they try to say things like they would in their native language. Japanese words are very sensitive to nuance, so a single word may not work for everything as it would in English. “To grow hair” and “to grow taller” are two different kinds of “growing” to a Japanese person.
Speaking Japanese May Be Easy, But Writing It Is Not
Japanese has one of the most complex writing systems in the world as it inherited over 60% of its vocabulary from Chinese. However, even these words look really different in comparison to their cognate cousins in Mandarin. This is really ironic because it is actually so easy to pronounce and speak. However, you can’t really learn to speak Japanese without learning how to write it too.
Begin Learning Japanese With IMABI.
IMABI (pronounced “ee-mah-bee”) was launched in August of 2009 to revolutionize the study of Japanese. It was coined from the word 今日. 今日 to symbolize a new today for learning Japanese. At IMABI Japanese Learning Center we focus on teaching Japanese from the ground up, and introduce new methods to thoroughly study every aspect as possible about Nihongo!
Be Creative In Japanese Just As You Are In English
Reading with your dictionary at hand, listening to songs, news reports, audio and software programs, talking to speakers, etc, and reading up with sources like IMABI is the ultimate package for learning a language.
As a beginner, language barriers may cause you to say something unintended, and you may accidentally abuse a verbal phrase here or there, but you will progressively get a better feel of the language. Give learning Japanese a try, you might be surprised at how quickly you will be speaking it.
Photo by: violscraper