How I self-learn Japanese despite my busy schedule!
Self learning Japanese is becoming more and more popular due to the increasing demand.
Interest or passion cannot be the guarantee for your learning success but in some cases, you do not have enough time for it due to personal reasons as work. If you are struggling to find a better way, do not worry much because I am a busy person, I still found my way to conquer this language. This article is totally based on my personal experience. So please think carefully and choose any of the following methods that best fit for you.
1. Learn Japanese alphabet in the following order: Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji
Draw up a detailed study schedule for yourself is the key to success. Many Japanese schools have applied this learning order to their programs so you can trust in it. Some people think that it is totally fine if they try to learn the alphabet as fast as possible by reading the Latin script below the character in order to have more time learning speaking or grammar. I think it is not correct at all because it will not make you better. So please take time to learn the alphabet seriously even though it may take you a very long time to get it done, especially learners who do not have much time for study. Do not rush yourself. Take it slow but sure!
2. Buy cross section paper notebook to practice Japanese writing
This is the tremendous tip for all beginners. No matter it is Hiragana or Kanji, it requires a lot of practice to make your writing look good and beautiful. For busy people, you may have no available time or energy to memorize all the words in the short time. Do not worry much about it! This cross section notebook is your real savior! Everyday you only need to spend 20 minutes to practice writing. Even if you forget any words you learned before, just go back to the previous pages to revise and done. This method helps you memorize things faster and longer.
3. Learn vocabulary by Japanese music
Every time I want to study Japanese without textbooks or while doing other things, I usually turn the music on to chill out and let the song lyrics absorb to my brain. One small tip to improve your memory is to choose a song with slow rhythm so that you can understand every word in the song. You can look at the lyrics if you want to memorize them faster. For that reason I will list out some of my favorite anime songs in Japanese as Kimi No Nawa, Nandemonaiya, Yume to Hazakura, Mabataki, Haiiro to Ao,...
4. Download Kanji games to your devices
In addition to the basic functions of your smartphone as Internet surfing, movies, facebook, etc. , it is advisable to take the full advantages of it to study Japanese, namely Kanji. I'm so sure that no matter how busy your life is, you still need interesting activities to kill your boredom some time as when you are in the hair salon or waiting for food to come out or waiting for your train or plane. At that time, instead of surfing the Internet, how about playing boredom killer games as below to help you learn Kanji and relax your mind.
5. Download app to practice speaking with Japanese people
There are countless applications available to practice speaking with foreigners, especially for English speaking while the number of applications to practice speaking Japanese is still so limited. Needless to say it is relatively hard to identify the reliability of those apps. Finally I found an interesting app which helps you experience listening and speaking in Japanese without charge. It is called Spoon Radio and if you are currently living in Japan, it's just a piece of cake to download this app to your devices. But if you are in Vietnam, you are unable to download the Japanese version. In this case, all you need to do is open your laptop or PC, type "spooncast.net/jp" and then you can access it right way.
When you are a beginner, you should use this application to listen to their conversation before your bedtime. Also you can request them to speak Japanese with very basic grammar so that you are able to catch up with what they are talking about. Then when you are better at the language, you can create your own channel and practice speaking Japanese with the local people. Back to my time in Japan, I used this app in 3 months and I realized that my Japanese skills as listening, speaking and conversation had been significantly improved. So if you find it interesting, please download and check it out.
6. Set aside some time everyday to study Japanese
The last thing to share with you in this list is to set aside the time daily to study Japanese no matter how busy you are. Japanese is a very difficult language and it needs us to practice and to use it everyday to avoid forgetting. Learning Japanese should be one of your daily habit and please take at least 45 minutes a day to revise previous lessons and learn new vocabulary and grammar.
Self learning is so challenging but if your determination to succeed is strong enough, you can make it one day. If you have so many things to do in your own life and there is no much time left to study Japanese, you can try 2 or 3 out of 6 methods above for your study. Good luck with your self learning!
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