The world today as we know it has changed, and with each changing era comes new challenges. In all this time, one thing still remains the same, those who wish and those who do.
These days more and more people are beginning to have interests in foreign languages, with the Japanese language being one of the more sought-after languages. Those that do have the interest and are willing to put in the effort will quickly realise how arduous the entire learning process can be. The adage “nothing good comes easy” was definitely not lying.
As with most problems, a solution exists. The issues that make acquiring a second language hard have their respective fixes. Thus, before you sign up for Japanese classes, get to know what are some of the problems you might face in your learning journey.
1. Relying On Enthusiasm
As with any time you’re trying to embark on something new, the project will always be met with great enthusiasm. This alone may seem to be enough to propel you through the language learning process but to rely on enthusiasm alone isn’t sustainable. As more time passes, this enthusiasm will wane every time you meet a challenging hurdle you’ll need to navigate through.
Thus, this is why one needs to be prepared for the learning journey ahead. You’d want to jump into the learning process with a clear goal in mind. Set a time frame that is realistic and yet, doesn’t stretch you too thin.
2. Incompatible Teaching And Learning Methods
Learning a language is an uphill task in general, but what makes it easier for some individuals is the catering of teaching methods to their preferred learning approach. The ability to learn varies from one person to another, with each one of us possessing different rates at which we acquire certain skills. Thus, it’s not surprising that certain individuals who have an affinity to language acquisition, gaining proficiency and mastery than most.
That said, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to have such a gift in order to be good at the foreign language. After all, it’s all about knowing your strengths and how you can further make use of it to reach your goal. For instance, if you’re one who is an audio learner, then listening to podcasts and audiobooks will be a great supplementary to your learning. If you’re one who prefers a collaborative effort where you need to actively put yourself in a spot, engage in a community full of Japanese native speakers and offer to assist them out with English in exchange for their help, for instance.
Whilst popular, the Japanese language is also a rather challenging language for any Romance or Germanic language native speakers. On top of the foreign writing systems, their grammar and syntax are also quite different. Thus, it’s evident that on top of your online Japanese lessons, you will need to supplement your learning with other resources. It’s best if these supplementary resources tap onto the learning approach you’re best at (visual, audio or kinetic) and you’d be able to cover so much more areas than just relying on your regular lessons. Doing so will also help you reinforce what you’ve learnt.
3. Not Considering The Culture
As previously mentioned, the Japanese language is particularly challenging for those who are native in Romance and Germanic languages. On top of learning foreign iconographies, you’ll need to learn 3 writing systems to attain full mastery.
However, the Japanese language is more than its writing systems or its syntax. As with many other languages, it serves as a communication tool, and in a hierarchical society such as a Japanese one, it also indicates invisible societal propriety and boundaries. To acquire Japanese is to also keep this in mind, and thus, you’ll need to be well-averse in the politeness levels that exist in the language. Should you use an appropriate one in a particular setting, the relationship between yourself and the speaker may sour almost instantaneously.
Even between your Japanese teacher and your peers, you’ll need to keep in mind how you should engage with them in the appropriate speech level. If you’re in a community with Japanese natives, you’d need to be particularly sensitive with their customs so as to not come across as ignorant and offensive.
These are just a few issues that you may come across when you’re trying to learn Japanese. Whilst they may not be particularly significant, it’s best to fix these issues before it morphs into a bigger problem. Ease your learning journey by removing these issues and attain the proficiency and fluency levels you’ve been eyeing all this time.