Learning a new language can be a daunting task. There are so many rules to remember and exceptions to every rule. It’s no wonder that people make mistakes when learning Japanese. But some mistakes are more common than others. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the most common mistakes people make when learning Japanese and how to avoid them.
1. Not having realistic expectations
Many people want to learn a new language but don’t want to put in the effort required to achieve their goal. They expect to be able to learn the basics of a new language in a few weeks or months, without really putting in the time and effort required. However, learning a new language takes time and effort. It’s important to set realistic goals for yourself and be patient. Don’t expect to be fluent overnight. In fact, Japanese is considered one of the hardest languages in the world to learn, so take it step by step. First hiragana, katakana and basic vocabulary, and work up from there.
2. Not being willing to make mistakes
People often feel embarrassed or ashamed when they make mistakes while speaking a new language. However, making mistakes is part of the learning process. You shouldn’t be afraid to make mistakes when you’re learning a new language. The more you practice, the more you’ll improve and the fewer mistakes you’ll make. And after all, the more embarrassing your mistake, the better the story later to tell you friends!
3. Not practicing regularly
Learning a new language requires practice, but many people only practice sporadically or when they feel like it. If you want to learn Japanese, you need to be consistent with your practice. Try to practice daily, even if it’s just for 10-15 minutes. The more you practice, the better you’ll become at thinking in Japanese and outputting without having to think. These days there are so many apps that can be used to streamline your practice, all it takes is whipping out your phone on the train!
4. Not immersing yourself in the language
One of the best ways to learn a new language is to immerse yourself in it as much as possible. This means listening to native speakers, watching TV shows and movies in Japanese, reading books and articles, etc. The more exposure you have, the better you’ll be at understanding and speaking fluently. If you are living in Japan it is much easier, and taking language lessons at a school like Toranomon Language School will definitely help too.
5. Using the wrong particles
Japanese has a number of particles that are used to indicate the grammatical function of a word in a sentence. For example, the particle “wa” is used to indicate the topic of a sentence, while the particle “ga” is used to indicate the subject. Using the wrong particle can change the meaning of a sentence entirely. As such, it is important to pay careful attention to particle usage when learning Japanese.
6. Failing to use proper honorifics
In Japanese culture, there is a strict hierarchy based on age and social status. This hierarchy is reflected in the language, and speakers must use different honorifics depending on who they are speaking to. For instance, Japanese people typically use the honorific “san” when addressing someone of equal or lower status, while using the honorific “sama” when addressing someone of higher status. Failing to use proper honorifics can be seen as rude or disrespectful. Thus, it is important to be mindful of honorific usage when learning Japanese.
Learning a new language is not easy, but it’s definitely achievable if you’re willing to put in the time and effort required. Avoid making common mistakes by setting realistic expectations, being willing to make mistakes, practicing regularly, and immersing yourself in the target language as much as possible. With perseverance and dedication, you can achieve your goal of becoming fluent in a new language!