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How to Learn Japanese – the Marikit way

I have always tried to learn Japanese since I was a kid. It is a lifelong dream that I have always wanted to fulfill. But, I easily gave up. Rather, I said that it was too hard, it wasn’t fun and I had better things to do. But the Desire to learn was there and I was always surrounded by things I want to fully read and understand. There was love in my heart for that language so now, in order to fulfill one of my Lifelong Goals, I decided to step up and study the language properly.

I enrolled myself in ENLI (Every Nation Language Institute) and got myself a teacher. I knew I would not be motivated if it was something I can only do on the side, so I obliged myself to do it. Rather than want, I felt the need to study. I also found out that all the while, I was studying the wrong way. I tried to read language books and stuff which really did nothing for me until I learned that I was looking and reading it from the wrong perspective.

Learning a language should not be tedious! It should be fun and it should be something that you really desire to know. That desire will drive you to learn as fast as you can so you can grasp things completely.

Also, you should allow yourself to make mistakes. Not being able to do it the first time around, should NEVER EVER let you down. That was why I think I failed the last few times. It’s overwhelming, come to think about it, to be faced with pages of Kanji and stacks of things you need to learn. But you should think about it as going into a whole new world and you should explore and discover things as you go along. Take Baby Steps and you will be fine.

I also hid my want to learn Japanese before so, eventually, i  never really did it. Now that I talk to people about it, I am accountable to those people. I want to show them that I am actually learning.. and I am!!

Anyway, I could go on and on about this but the main purpose of this blog is to state  here is how I am learning Japanese.

  • Set Goals.  First, I set a goal for myself and I write it in prominent parts of my Diary, note or post it online. I made my goal SMART. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time Bound ).  So actually this is my Japanese Learning GOAL.

To be able to speak, listen, read and write Japanese fluently and take the JLPT (N3/4) in December 2014.

Woah. Big goal. But, it’s NOT IMPOSSIBLE at all!  I believe I can do it! As long as I keep to my schedule.

  • Keep a Schedule.  This goal is possible if I keep to the schedule I made. I study at least 2 hours a day. I use my time wisely. Therefore I waste less time during the day.  
  • Break it down.  Learning a new language is overwhelming and so you need to really break it down to basics. In Japanese, I realized that I don’t have to be so technical about it and I just need to learn 4 BASIC THINGS: Listening,Speaking, Reading/Writing and Grammar. It all comes down to  LISTENING, VOCAB and GRAMMAR.

So, this is my plan on how to do it:

  1.  LISTENING- Immerse myself in Japanese as Much as Possible. So I watch dramas (RAW if possible– you depend on Subs if you have them subbed), I watch butais, Listen to Japanese music and.Japanesepod101.
  2. SPEAKING – It’s fun to learn if you keep on practicing. I kept in touch with Japanese friends and so I talk to them sometimes. My teacher also only talks to me in japanese and I also try to sing Japanese songs. This helps with pronounciation and stuff. I also try to repeat lines from Dramas and stuff– you might look silly but this actually helps. TALK AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!
  3. Reading and Writing –  I find reading and writing so much fun! I actually found that kanji learning is as much fun as Drawing for me. I try to read Idol blogs, manga(raws) and tweets daily. I also tweet in Japanese (it helps in sentence construction and remembering how to write stuff) and practice my writing by keeping a private diary where I write my diary in japanese! I also write out my daily learnings.
  4. Vocabulary – learning new words (I do as much as 70 words per day) and 50 kanji per day ( I want to learn all Joyo kanji — all 2000+ of it) is fun. I try to construct sentences with the words I am familiar withI do this along with the blog readings and twitter reading, and it accelerates my learning speed! I also made kanji cards which i flip over while i walk in the afternoon. I also use things like memrise and i-sokki to add to my learning. It’s fun to see how much you progress!
  5. Grammar – listening to how japanese speak , i try to construct similar sentences. THis is where school comes in and books come in. It might be boring but this is essential. So Hang in there!

Some tips in Learning Japanese

1. Use your Gadgets. Use I-sokki and Memrise (free apps iPhone) for vocabulary. There are a ton of Japanese learning tools like Kanji robo, kanjiq, Moji chan and others that can help you. Just choose wisely. I recommend: imiwa? i-sokki, memrise, moji chan 

2. NEVER STOP LEARNING.  always try to learn when you ahve time. NEVER GIVE UP. 

3. Japanesepod101. PODCAST!! Its fun and easy and I loved listening to it. It helps my comprehension and they really explain things well.

4.DO YOUR HOMEWORK.  Meaning, dont skip over your studies. Do it daily. Make it a habit. learning comes easily if you do that.

5. HAVE FUN. Most important!  I think learning a language is fun and if youre having fun, your goals really come to fruition faster. 

Well, I think thats it for now. this wall of text is somethign more for me to be reminded and be accountable for. so watch out for my learning blogs. I shall use this blog to post things as I learn it. I hope this also encourages and helps you as much as it did me.





A 30 something fangirl, writer, artist and dreamer, a princess by day and ninja by night who believes in magic, true love and wants to change the world one brush stroke at a time. Marikit is a self-taught artist learning more about art and the world around her.

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