So, it is possible that I will have an opportunity to go to Japan this summer. Therefore, I had this brilliant idea. Why not learn Japanese?! But that means I need a plan. So, without further or do, here is my plan.
- Learn the hiragana
Hiragana are the basic characters in Japanese that are used to indicate a certain sound. So sounds like “a” or “ka” are represented by,”あ” or “か”Now most things are that written in Japan are in Kanji, but in order to get into the swing of things, this would be a good first step. I have been using the website tofugu as a resource. They have a guide on how to learn all of the hiragana quickly’ using mnemonics, spaced repetition and stuff like that. I also found several Quizlet sets with the Japanese hiragana, so I have been drilling with those.
- Write a script of common phrases
As I was researching how to to learn Japanese, I came across this website called Fluent in Three Months. The author, Benny Lewis is basically a polyglot who helps others learn languages. One of the most important pieces of advice that he gives is, “speak it on the first day.” Which makes sense considering that when a baby first learns to talk, they don’t know how the words make sense, the nuances of language, or the all of the grammar rules. But they improve all the time because they are constantly practicing. I don’t have anyone nearby who is fluent in Japanese, but there are resources online to find people who will Skype with you, correct your grammar, andthings like that. I’ll probably write out my script this weekend. I know it won’t be the first day but, as a full-time student, I am very busy.
- Memorize the first 500 most common words
I want to become conversational pretty quickly. If I learn the most frequently spoken words, then I will have more flexibility in terms of talking to people. I got this idea from the book Fluent Forever by Gabriel Wyner. I’m planning on using Quizlet and the leitner box system to review. The lietner box system, also mentioned in Fluent Forever, is an organized way of using spaced repetition.
- Buy a Japanese grammar book
I don’t know what method I will use to learn the grammar rules. First, I need to get a grammar book. Perhaps, one of you have any suggestions?
There it is, my plan. I will be updating you guys on how it goes. If you have any suggestions or questions, comment below.
Fluent Forever by Gabriel Wyner