How to Learn Japanese Fast: 10 Smart Methods

How to Learn Japanese Fast: 10 Smart Methods - EDOPEN JAPAN

Japanese is indeed the fifth most popular language in the world, with the number of learners in the U.S., the U.K., and even some European countries growing the fastest recently.

Many people want to master Japanese quickly because it can improve their qualifications both in academics and in real life. Imagine getting a scholarship with top-notch educational facilities, the convenience of living with great technology, and even various Japanese entertainment and culture such as anime, movies, shows, and even news that you can enjoy directly without any language restrictions.

Don’t forget that you can visit and enjoy the beauty of nature in Japan without major problems if you are fluent in Japanese language with also for various other purposes including watching Anime without the subtitles of course. This confirms why many people want to speak Japanese fluently, quickly, immediately and easily.

But is it possible and is there a way to learn fluent Japanese quickly and easily? The good news is YES! It’s very possible! and we will reveal all the answers in this article. Okay! Let’s get started!

1. Set the clear Japanese-learning goals

Set your Japanese learning goals
Set your Japanese learning goals

To successfully master Japanese, it is very important to set clear goals and deadlines because most people fails to learn the Japanese as well as any foreign languages by not setting a goal.

But, how to make it?

Here is an example, you can start with setting the specific and realistic goals and deadlines, such as:

I will master hiragana and katakana in 1 week. The number of hiragana and katakana characters is 46 each, in total there are 92 letters. That means, you can learn about 18-20 letters per day. If you are consistent, you can do it within 5-6 days, and on the last day you can just review what you have learned.

And so on, you can apply this for the other Japanese learning topics such as Kanji, grammar, vocabulary. Now then, let’s move on to another more concrete method that you can use right away!

2. Master hiragana and katakana as fast as possible

"Master hiragana and katakana at first" - EDOPEN JAPAN
‘Master hiragana and katakana at first’

Why am i emphasizing this part? It is because, hiragana and katakana are the main doors for you to learn Kanji which is the essence of Japanese.

Mastering hiragana and katakana in the first and foremost point is a must. If you fail here, then you will lose your way when learning other parts of the Japanese language. Why? Because you can’t read and proceed any Japanese material you study. Please click the following button to understand what is Hiragana and Katakana in Japanese.

All learning materials as well as the use of Japanese from easy to advanced level usually there is at least hiragana there to help every learner. And mastery of kanji requires hiragana.

Here is my tips on how to start to master hiragana and katakana:

  • You can use hiragana and katakana tables
  • Learn to write hiragana and katakana 20 times or more
  • Use flash cards, apps, and other sources
  • Play hiragana and katakana games to test how far your understanding

3. Pick up 10 or more new vocabulary words every day

"Add new Japanese vocabulary every day" - EDOPEN JAPAN
‘Add new Japanese vocabulary every day’

Since you have mastered hiragana and katakana in the previous steps, you can begin to consistently memorize 10 or more new Japanese words everyday.

Further, if you have already mastered hiragana and katakana, you can try writing the words in hiragana or challenge yourself by writing them in katakana.

If you can memorize 10 new Japanese vocabulary words every day, you will master 1,500 Japanese vocabulary words in one month, which is equivalent to JLPT N4 Vocabulary. Consistency is the key! Do not forget to review what you have learned at the end of the week!

Further, please stay focus on vocabulary that you have difficulty in mastering it, keep learning to conquer the difficult one. Please do not stop here, because when you have trouble understanding one word, do not be sad and do not stop there, just move on to another word and keep your learning motivation steady.

If you still have trouble writing hiragana or katakana, you can learn the Japanese vocabulary words by writing them in the alphabet first.

4. Read, watch, listen and speak Japanese as many as possible

"Consistent repetition, immersion and practice in learning Japanese are the POWERFUL KEY" - EDOPEN JAPAN
‘Repetition, immersion and practice plays important role in learning Japanese’

The key to success and fluency in learning a foreign language is consistent repetition of the material in every aspect of the basic language skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

Nowadays, for example, you can use many media and technologies:

  • Read articles on learning Japanese at EDOPEN Japan (Learn Japanese), which are very complete and easy to understand.
  • Watch anime, J-drama, movies or the like from various media.
  • Listen to Japanese hits like J-POP, podcasts and other media through internet when you have time.
  • Practice speaking by repeating as often as possible the vocabulary and phrases you read in articles, listening to interesting phrases from anime, or even singing Japanese songs you listen to for relaxation.

In no time, you will master all the material you learn. The more often and consistently you repeat it, the faster you will be able to master Japanese at the level you want. Consistent is the KEY!

5. Understand Japanese grammar

"Understand the Japanese grammar" - EDOPEN JAPAN
“Understand the Japanese grammar”

Japanese grammar is simple and flexible, but there are many at each level. So you have to learn it in detail. The key to learning Japanese grammar is to understand the meaning of each vocabulary word used, its purpose, and the situation in which it is used.

Why is this so important? Because in some places, the same vocabulary word with other nouns or adjectives can have different meanings under different circumstances.

Therefore, it is very important to have a deeper and more thorough grasp of the meaning of the Japanese sentences you learn to avoid misunderstandings and inaccuracy of use of the grammar that would lead to the misunderstanding.

On the other hand, you can also make sentences freely if you understand grammar. This will really help you improve your Japanese speaking skills quickly!

6. Write kanji 20 times and test yourself

“Kanji is the main elements in Japanese”

Kanji is the main component of the Japanese language. To master Japanese is to master kanji. Kanji give meaning, nuance, character, and help any reader understand the meaning of Japanese words and phrases.

Mastering kanji also helps to become a good Japanese reader. On many occasions, I often recognize just one or 2 kanji then immediately I can understand the meaning of the sentence just in short time. You can even finish reading the Japanese novel in just a few hours.

The technique I use in mastering kanji is the same as the previous point, the repetition.

For example, you can try to write 1 kanji 20 times and voila, find that you actually can master it after the 10th try. Then for the rest, please measure yourself how much you need to write each kanji.

Interestingly, each kanji also represents an image of the object it represents. You can visualize the object represented by a kanji character to make it easier to remember. The more you master kanji, the more you will understand that Japanese is beautiful, meaningful, practical, and simple.

7. Choose the perfect books for your goals

‘Learning Japanese using book helps you to reach the goals easily’

Not only with gadgets that can get damaged, stuck and make our eyes get tired quickly, learning with books is highly recommended. Especially if you use the right book for the goals you want to achieve.

Currently, there are several bestsellers for learning Japanese, from basic to advanced levels. The various books also offer study plans, practice questions, and course outlines with detailed discussions.

In my own experience, learning Japanese with books really helps me learn in a more focused, faster, and detailed but measurable way. I can read the table of contents and see what material I’m going to learn, and be clearer about what goals I can achieve.

This is better than reading on the Internet, which is often very extensive, overwhelming, and tedious. Therefore, it’s very important to learn Japanese with books and choose the right books for the level you want to achieve in order to master Japanese quickly.

8. Consistent immersion in Japanese language & culture

‘Immersion helps you to learn Japanese better and faster’

According to some studies, immersion can help foreign language learners develop a native-like way of thinking. And I agree with this. This immersion can be achieved through a variety of means, such as observing and imitating the pronunciation of native speakers by participating in a class where the teacher is a native speaker, such as in a language school.

I felt the difference myself when I learned Japanese with a professional teacher who is “not a native speaker and not in Japan” and when I learned directly with a “native speaker directly at a language school in Japan”. I remember the vocabulary much easier, and even better and faster.

And not only that: the intensive immersion in the Japanese language, e.g. by enrolling in the language school in Tokyo for 1 year, helped me to understand the Japanese language and culture faster. For example, I did not need to translate into my native language first in certain situations because I was used to it and could automatically respond to any conversation or general communication.

9. Make studying Japanese fun!

Don’t forget to make studying Japanese fun!

Did you know that fun in learning increases the activity of neurons in the brain that produce oxytocin (pleasure hormone), dopamine (motivation and thinking hormone) and norepinephrine (energy and attention hormone), which have a great impact on improving learning and memory.

And learning Japanese in a fun way makes it easier for us to think and remember, so we can master Japanese quickly.

Many people are interested in learning Japanese because they love anime, comics, and various Japanese cartoons – all the fun and beautiful things that represent Japan. This makes it faster and easier to pick up the vocabulary and grammar.

You can have fun while learning Japanese by doing things you enjoy, for example:

  • Playing Japanese games
  • Learning Japanese with apps
  • Learning Japanese with flashcards
  • Listening to Japanese music
  • Singing in Japanese
  • Learning in a place you like
  • Learn and play Japanese tests with friends and more.

10. Having a study partner

‘Find a friend to enrich your learning process’

For the last method, I would like to point out one more important thing that you should know. It’s fine to learn Japanese on your own. But if you have a study partner, you will have many advantages that you did not think of before or was not even aware of.

For example, if you have a learning partner:

  • You can exchange information and motivation
  • Find a different way of thinking or a different point of view, even a different method that will enrich you

Also, if you learn Japanese with a partner, you will always stay focused and motivated. You will be able to avoid anything to reduce the potential for procrastination that would stop your progress.

You can find your study partners in various communities, online and offline Japanese language schools, and various media that are nowadays connected by the Internet. Find your study partner and feel the benefits!

Conclusion

In conclusion, here are the 10 smart methods for learning Japanese fast:

  1. Set the clear and realistic Japanese-learning goals
  2. Master hiragana and katakana as fast as possible
  3. Pick up 10 or more new vocabulary words every day
  4. Try to read, watch, listen and speak Japanese as many as possible
  5. Grasp Japanese grammar
  6. Write kanji 20 times and test yourself
  7. Choose the perfect books for your goals
  8. Consistent immersion in Japanese language & culture
  9. Make studying Japanese fun!
  10. Having a study partner

These are all proven methods that have worked for me and many others when learning Japanese. Some of the points above are related to others. Please choose the method that suits you!

What do you think? Are there any methods or points that are particularly relatable to you? Please share in the comment section your experience in learning Japanese.

If you want to know more about Japanese language and culture, then please follow our latest article updates here. Hopefully you can learn Japanese quickly and easily. Good luck!

ABOUTこの記事をかいた人

Hi, I’m Eka. I’m one of the awardees of the 2016 MEXT College to College Recommendation Scholarship. I completed the one-year JASSO-Tokyo Japanese course (2016-2017) and won second place in the Japanese speech competition held internally at JASSO at that time. After that, I continued my education at NIT. Akashi College and earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree after 2 years of study. I love teaching children English and Japanese, writing blogs, designing graphics, and creating digital content. I hope you enjoy the knowledge I share here based on the experience I gained in Japan for over 5 years. Thanks!