Learning Japanese can be a very useful skill for all types of people who are interested in moving to Japan or communicating with other Japanese speakers. It is the ninth most spoken language on earth, but is an isolated language that is for the most part very different from any other dialect.
Japanese is spoken as a first language by over 130 million people (and by an additional 2 million as a second language), who mainly live in Japan and in Japanese communities in other countries. It is structured by honorifics, where the status and relationship of the speaker and listener are important. It also has a very unique writing system. Though a difficult language to learn, there are many different ways that people can go about this.
How to learn to speak Japanese
One basic way that foreign speakers can learn Japanese would be by going to school and enrolling in a Japanese language course. Though this fits perfectly into the lives of some of us, not all of us have the ability to make such an expensive, time-consuming commitment. Not wanting to go to school should not deter anyone from learning Japanese, because there are hundreds of different electronic and written resources out there for the public to access.
Learning Japanese software or DVDs
Language software has gained a lot of attention in the digital age, with everyone so connected to their computers and other electronic devices. Several different companies have compiled programs for people to use their computers to learn Japanese.
Rosetta Stone’s Japanese Program – Rosetta Stone has become the world’s most popular, well-known language learning software program. Their Japanese language program has three levels that can be purchased individually or as a group. These discs all come with an audio companion. Learners of all kinds can use Rosetta Stone to build fundamentals with the first level, work on basic social interactions in the second level and express themselves fully in the third.
Tell Me More’s Japanese Program – Tell Me More also offers a Japanese-learning software program with three levels. This set encompasses things like speech recognition, videos and a variety of other activities.
Transparent Language’s Japanese Program – Transparent Language offers some affordable software options that can be purchased together or separately. The Premium Edition program focuses on professional conversation skills, while the Byki Deluxe 4 program is for the core language skills.
Books for learning Japanese
Japanese for Dummies – This is a paperback book and CD that has many real-word examples, recorded dialogues by real Japanese speakers, a mini-dictionary and other useful features.
Websites that help you learn Japanese language
http://www.freejapaneselessons.com/ – This website has ten integrated language lessons on how to learn the Japanese alphabet, as well as grammar, sentence structure and some common phrases.
http://www.learn-japanese.info/ – This website is packed with information and practice materials related to writing, speaking, listening and reading Japanese. It features songs and some other downloads.
http://www.learnjapanesefree.com/ – This website is very developed with its Basic and Intermediate Japanese lessons. Their materials include learning the Japanese alphabet, introductions, basic grammar, forming sentences, numbers, shopping and more.