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"Maximize Your Language Skills: 5 Tips for Preparing to Travel to Japan with Hiragana"

Updated: Feb 22


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Aloha and welcome back to some more information regarding travel to Japan. We all know exploring a new culture through their language is a treat indeed. Japan offers visitors a rich experience, but only if one makes an effort to learn the basics.


The Japanese language contains three distinct levels of formality - plain, polite, and honorific. This complex system shows great respect, yet can baffle outsiders. Take heart, with study these levels will come. Focus first on "desu" and "masu" verb endings to speak politely.


Hiragana Chart
Hiragana Chart

Hiragana and katakana may look daunting, as symbols instead of our alphabet. Yet look how beautiful they are - art in every character. Start by tracing them each night before sleep. This active repetition in a calm state helps information sink deep within for easy recall later.

As for ways to learn with joy, I suggest finding a language exchange partner. Sharpen skills while sharing your cultures is rewarding for both parties. Apps can also make studying fun and portable. Try repetition through "flashcards gone digital" or roleplay conversations on your commute.


Another idea is immersing in shows with subtitles in your native tongue. Watching films is relaxing yet your mind works overtime to connect words and meanings. Finally, cook regional meals! Reading ingredients teaches vocabulary, and enjoying food is always a pleasure.


Watching shows in Japanese can be a great way to learn the language. Here are some popular shows that are often recommended for language learners:

  1. Terrace House: This reality TV show follows the lives of six young individuals living together in a house. The dialogue is mostly casual and conversational, making it a good choice for practicing everyday Japanese.

  2. Anime: Anime series cover a wide range of genres and can be entertaining while helping you improve your Japanese. Some popular ones include "Your Name" (Kimi no Na wa), "Attack on Titan" (Shingeki no Kyojin), and "One Piece."

  3. Japanese Dramas: Japanese dramas, known as dorama, offer a glimpse into Japanese culture and daily life. Some well-regarded dramas include "Hana Yori Dango," "Nodame Cantabile," and "Good Morning Call."

  4. Game Shows: Japanese game shows are known for their humor and often involve unique challenges and competitions. Watching shows like "Takeshi's Castle" (known as "Most Extreme Elimination Challenge" in English) or "Gaki no Tsukai" can be both entertaining and educational.

  5. Travel Shows: Programs like "Journeys in Japan" or "Journeys in Japan Plus" showcase different regions of Japan, providing cultural insights and vocabulary related to travel and exploration.

  6. Talk Shows: Watching popular talk shows like "Tetsuko's Room" or "Ame Talk" can expose you to natural conversations and discussions on various topics.


Keep learning playful, and your Japanese travels will be full of pleasant surprises awaiting just beyond each new phrase conquered. With an open and curious heart, every step brings one closer to understanding this rich land and people. Take it one character at a time - you'll be conversing before you know!




Here are 5 engaging ways to study a new language like Japanese, along with helpful websites to aid your learning journey:

  1. Language Exchange Partnerships - Websites like HelloTalk connect you with native speakers worldwide. Practice conversation skills while learning about another culture.

  2. Mobile Applications - Memrise turns studying into a game with interactive exercises and spaced repetition. Another option is Drops which teaches vocabulary and kanji in 5 minutes per day.

  3. Immersion via Media - Netflix has a growing selection of shows with subtitles in many languages. You'll pick up phrases organically while enjoying TV and films.

  4. Cooking Regional Dishes - Make Japanese recipes found on Just One Cookbook. Read ingredient lists and instructions in your target language.

  5. Podcasts - Follow basic Japanese podcasts on platforms like Apple to learn on the go. Try JapanesePod101 which includes transcripts to read along.


Focus on finding interactive methods that engage both your mind and hands. Vary your study routine to keep things fresh and engaging too. With patience and creativity, you'll be conversing in no time. Best of luck on your language journey!



 



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