As many percieve it, Japanese is a difficult language to learn. It is the language that all of your favorite anime characters use, or the language that was used to create games like Super Mario Bro. and consoles like Nintendo and Playstation, instant ramen noodles that you might have binged during sleep-less nights during your university years or maybe your first-ever car might have been a a Toyota or a Honda car…. yes Japan is everywhere… lol The majority of the world has familiarized itself with Japan, but a lot of us still don’t know much about it. (Hasn’t really changed since the days of Marco Polo : D)
So the question is, “Is Japanese really that difficult?”.
The answer, is obviously “YES”, but so are learning other languages. But what makes Japanese so difficult is 1) grammatical structures that are nonthing like that of Latin-based languages 2) the conceptualization of the world (or the way the Japanese language “views” the world) , this combined with the fact that Japan has long history of being isolated from the rest of the world, keeps the language and culture so intact that it has less influence (or less similarities) to other languages.
This blog will focus on “hacking” the Japanese language. This means 1) easier ways to “formulate” sentences 2) understanding nuances/implications in certain words and phrases, and 3) learning about culture and especially mannerism that will get you started with friendly conversations! Quite a lot of this will be done through the comparison between the English language.
Even being ethnically Japanese, with all my relatives being born in Japan, I still had the problem of understanding the language and also the cultural aspects that are so closely tied to the language itself. It took me about 15 years for my ability to speak Japanese to finally catch-up with my 120% Japanese looking face. (excuse me for my borderline non-PC remark on this matter…) Hopefully I can make your learning experience shorter, and much painless. (but you will probably have to work hard at one point.)
As I have struggled my way through to unraveling the culture, I would like to share whatever I know so that those with ambitions for the language can cut out unnecessary suffering upon their journey to mastering this language of this country known as “the land of gold”.