Archive for the ‘Languages’ Category

Why do you want to learn Japanese? Is it because you like reading anime, watching dorama, and listening to J-Pop? Is it related to your current or future job or education? Or is it just because you love Japan and its culture? Maybe we would have different answers of those questions. The same thing is that we are willing to learn Japanese language and of course its culture. Because each country has different way or method of using language, we will learn about what are common and proper expressions or sayings among Japan society.

Like learning other languages, learning Japanese will need our commitment and passion. Because we are not native, of course it would be difficult for us to learn, pronoun, and understand it for the first time. But don’t make it as a burden. We just have to learn it slowly, consistently, but surely. And there are so many ways to make it more enjoyable. Read my article How To Learn Foreign Languages With Fun.

This Japanese lesson will contain 50 lessons that I will post under “Learning Japanese” category. Firstly, I will introduce basic syllables in Japanese. There are 46 syllables. Actually, those are unit of sounds, so each of its elements represent a sound. It’s not so difficult to pronoun. Except for the exceptions, we just have to read what is already written on it. It would be easy for us to remember it as long as we obey the standard pattern and rhythm.

There are 2 kinds of Japanese syllables, Hiragana and Katakana. Hiragana is mostly used to make Japanese words. Katakana is used to make loanwords or foreign names, so that Japanese person would not confuse with what we’re trying to say. They have the same amount and kind of syllables but with differences in writing kanji. We can see it below..

Hiragana

Katakana

Click here to know how to pronounce the syllables

Credit: NHK World Radio Japan

Indeed, I have no rights to give some tips of learning languages as I am not a teacher who capable to do so. I just want to share my experience of life connected to languages. Because I really like to learn foreign languages, I seek any ways which can help me to learn easily. This is a story of experiences from person who never had any formal course of foreign languages beside subject in the formal school one.1. Love what you do

First of all, we have to love what we do, as we talk about, learning languages. Moreover, we have to love the languages itself. If we did not, we would face difficulties regarding languages, because our mind told us to think so. It depends on our mind. So, force ourselves to love the languages we learned, then we will love the activities of its learning. When we get used loving everything we do to learn that language, we will feel that it is such an easy and joyful activity.

2. Pay attention to the subjects and teachers

In English case, we all already got the subject from elementary grade. So it has been years for us studying English. We should be grateful that the education system in Indonesia allows students to study English since young. We only need to pay attention to the subject and teachers. But if we had time and money, we could have additional course outside formal subject at school. In fact, schools nowadays have few choices of foreign languages subjects like Japanese and Germany, but English still being compulsory.

3. Practice answering tests and questions

There are so many example tests and questions about languages subject we learned. We can find it in school’s book or internet, and also buy it at the book store. By answering questions, we will be get used to read and know the words and structures of sentences. It also can test how well our knowledge about the language.

4. Read articles and pay attention to the sentences’ structures and the bizarre words

For me, the foreign languages lessons that we have got from formal school or course will not be enough. That’s what make some students differ with others. Some students have their selves practicing languages outside school to enhance their skill. How? By reading articles, news, anything with foreign languages they’re learned. This way can help us to know more about the structure of sentences and maybe we can find some new or bizarre words. Remember, to not just read but also pay attention to the type of different structures of sentences.

5. Listen songs and find its lyrics

I ever read in some news that listening to music can help people learning languages more. We just have to listen to the songs with foreign language we learned. Do not forget to search the lyric and the meaning behind its lyric. When we listen to the song, do not just listen and enjoy the melody of it, but once again, we have to pay attention to the lyric. It is simple, easy, and fun way to learn languages. And I want to tell you that it did success for me.

6. Watch movie and pay attention to the subtitles

One more way that successful for my learning of foreign languages is watching movie. By watching movie, we can see the real usage of language that we learned, because the theory and the reality of using foreign languages can be very different. In movie, we can find some saying or dialogue that we have not heard or seen before. Watching movie is effectively getting us used to hear words and sentences in foreign languages. For me, I prefer to have the subtitle of the movies in its language, not mine. Therefore, I will know the real dialogue that they’re saying and I can learn how to pronounce the words.

7. Practice writing simple sentences

After learning to read the articles, listen to the songs, and watch movies, we should try to write sentences in foreign languages we learned. Just try one simple sentence each day, when updating status on Twitter or Facebook for example. Not trying to be arrogant using unknown languages everywhere, but trying to make ourselves get used to make sentences and talk foreign languages.

8. Talk and have dialogue with native

This is might be difficult to do, because we rarely be able to see or speak with native. But if we had the chance, do not ever letting it go. Talking to native directly can help us increase speaking skill of the languages. It will be nervous at first, because we’re not used to talk with that language. But if we’re doing it over and over, surely we would get used and be able to speak fluently.

9. Be confident!

The last but not least is being confident with whatever we’re doing. Although we’re not fluently speaking or smoothly writing the languages yet. But who cares, we’re in the process of learning that language, we could learn from our mistakes. We have to be brave expressing ourselves in different languages, especially the languages we learned. Hope we can change our mind that we can and brave enough to do it.

There are so many languages in this world. By learning those languages, we’re learning others cultures as well. So, let us open ourselves to learn languages and cultures as many as possible. Have a nice try! ^^