What you can do daily to improve your Japanese language skills

If you have read our post “10 reasons why you should study Japanese” (http://www.bunkalang.com/blog/10-reasons-why-you-should-study-japanese/),  you would know that we shared reasons why one should learn the Japanese language. The “Why” question is important because that is the factor that  drives you; motivates you; and inspires you to carry on, no matter how hard it is, how tired you are or just that, you have simply lost that interest.

We always emphasize that learning the Japanese language is a journey. It is never a 10-week thing. It is a skill. And like all other skills, it needs time – time to build vocabulary, master the grammar, hone listening skills and speak fluently.

There is an old adage: Every journey begins with a single step. The steps we take everyday are important.There are no short-cuts, just plain hard work, determination and consistency. So  the question is : What can you do on a daily basis to improve your Japanese language skills?

Attending lessons once a week for 3 hours is not enough. You need to work on it everyday. You can give yourself some cheat days, but not more than 3 days in a row. For a start, set aside 5 to 30 minutes a day as part of your daily routine called “My Me Time with Japanese”. And these are the things you can do to improve your Japanese language skills :

  1.  Listen to Japanese songs. Try to catch the lyrics. That is a relaxing way to hone your listening skill.
  2.  Learn to sing a Japanese song!
  3.  Watch an episode of anime (if you are an otaku). Start with subtitles first. And when you think you  are ready, turn off the subtitles.
  4.  Memorise 5 words a day. 5 x 365 days = 1825 words. That is a lot!!!!
  5.  Think in Japanese. Learn to construct sentences in your mind.
  6.  Learn 1 sentence structure per day. Read out loud.
  7.  Be like a Japanese. Use sounds or words like : sou desu ka, honto desu ka…,  eto desu ne…. , sou  sou sou…., hai, iie iie..
  8.  Read a chapter of manga (again if you are an otaku). For those who are not, fall back on  Doraemon, it is a good start! (And we have some interesting titles in our book library that you can  borrow)

All the things that we suggested do not take up a lot of your time. But these small efforts build up your ability to speak the Japanese language in the long run.

Let us know if you have more interesting ideas!

The Bunka Team
6th April 2016