With Japanese basically being the sole languages of Japan, how hard is it to really learn Japanese? That’s a question that I believe everyone interested in learning Japanese has wondered at one time or another. The Japan Times has tried to tackle that very broad question. Japan Times writes,
Contrary to popular belief, linguists agree that spoken Japanese is relatively easy to master compared with other languages, partly because it has only five vowels and 13 consonants. On the other hand, English has 12 vowels and 24 consonants.
Japanese as a spoken language is quite easy to learn the rules for. Especially if you already speak the hardest language in the world, English. I am currently learning it, and once I realized that English is hard, everything else is easy, it made grasping concepts easier. I think it was more of a psychological thing. But, as you will soon find out, speaking Japanese is the easy part. Writing Japanese is where the frustration lies. Japan Times continues,
Experts agree the Japanese writing system is one of the most complex in the world because it combines five different systems â€” kanji, hiragana, katakana, Arabic numerals and even the Roman alphabet.
So my advice to you is to first learn Kana, then, using Kana, learn to speak Japanese. I know using Romaji allows you to “skip” to actually learning the Japanese sounds and words. But in the long run, especially if you’re goal is to be able to read, learning Kana first is the best way to begin. Via Japan Times.
Study Japanese Learning Aides
Many people have a hard time finding real spoken Japanese that you would hear in everyday life. Check out my post on KeyholeTV to watch live Japanese TV. You cant get any closer to spoken Japanese unless you lived there.
If you like using online sites to learn Japanese, you may want to check out Cruxay’s: How to start learning Japanese.
Check out J-List’s very interesting Japanese learning and study aide selection for books, and study devices for learning Japanese.
If you’re starting from scratch, you may want to take the approach you learned English with. I believe most people forget about the “natural” way to learn a language, as a child does. There are a lot of children’s books that offer a very natural way to learning Japanese: