Anyone with an interest in Japan should learn a little Japanese, I really believe. Daily life is much better when you know a few key phrases: Hello. My name is. Please. May I? No really, please. Why not? Oh come on, please. You sure? Last chance. Well fine, be that way. Sorry for causing a scene. Even if I pay you? No? Hmph, well I didn’t want to anyway.
But when I say “a little” of the language, I mean it. Beyond a handful of survival sentences, you should give a really good think to whether or not you want to continue learning Japanese. Continue reading “Why You Shouldn’t Learn Japanese”
Someone on Facebook recently asked me: What’s the best way to begin learning Japanese, for someone starting from zero? Never one to shirk authorial duties, I did the responsible thing by jumping up, slamming my laptop closed, and running to the convenience store for a bottle of cheap white wine and a bag of spicy dried corn snacks. They’re super salty, but man, are they ever good. But then at the store I ran into this girl I know and she invited me over for some tea, and then we drank the bottle of wine, and then a bottle of red she had, and then I woke up and it was 3 a.m. and I didn’t know where I was, and by the time I got home I’d forgotten all about the question. But I really meant to answer it. Sometimes Japan just gets in the way like that. So anyway. Continue reading “How to Start Learning Japanese”
So you want to learn Japanese fast? Great—you can!—in just seven easy steps. Just like the pros.
Now don’t deny it, you want to believe those guys on the internet claiming to have “learned Japanese” in like a year or two. For some reason it’s always guys too—why is that? Aren’t women supposed to be better at languages? Nah, that can’t be right. Anyway, since they apparently learned Japanese so quickly, you (presumably) can too. But how’d they do it, and more importantly—do you have what it takes? Let’s find out. Continue reading “Learn Japanese Quickly – in 7 Easy Steps”
Everyone knows Japanese people aren’t exactly Masters of the Universe when it comes to speaking English, despite receiving six years of English education. Six years? Are you kidding? You could build yourself a Great Pyramid in less time. I’m pretty sure. Just chop up some limestone and stack it up. Probably take you a couple of years at best.
But okay, there are clearly some good reasons why Japanese folks can’t speak English. And if you study Japanese, you also need to avoid the same traps. Continue reading “Why are Japanese so Bad at English? (5 Reasons)”