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Native English speakers learning Japanese?


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Anyone here like that? I'm among you if so. If you've been learning Japanese a while, what kind of difficulties can I expect now that I actually trying to learn Japanese in earnest? And by that, I mean that I'm learning to speak and understand it, instead of looking for English dubs of my favorite anime.. lol

And if you're like me and just starting out, how's it coming so far?

Me personally, I only know a few words.. Can't really construct sentences yet.

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Well I'm sure you've realized by now that it's not the easiest language to learn if you are an English native speaker. You'll have to learn a new alphabet (well, three of them), and Japanese grammar has nothing in common with English grammar at all.

One area that might help you though is that Japanese has a lot of English loanwords - words that are originally from English but have been adopted into Japanese. So you might be likely to eat toosuto (toast) for breakfast while watching the nyuusu (news) on your terebi (short for terebishon - television). It's not like all of Japanese is English loanwords, but for most things that are either not native to Japan or have only been invented in the last 100 or so years, you might find that they have names that sound a lot like English.

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One area that might help you though is that Japanese has a lot of English loanwords - words that are originally from English but have been adopted into Japanese. So you might be likely to eat toosuto (toast) for breakfast while watching the nyuusu (news) on your terebi (short for terebishon - television). It's not like all of Japanese is English loanwords, but for most things that are either not native to Japan or have only been invented in the last 100 or so years, you might find that they have names that sound a lot like English.

That's a good point Gegegeno. Japanese really has a lot of English Loanwords. It even has some German loanwords, like arbeito (baito). In German, "arbeiten" means to work. In Japanese, "baito" or "arbeito" mean to work (temporarily).

In Chinese, for instance, you almost don't have any English Loanwords at all. This makes it event trickier :=) On the other hand, Chinese Grammar is very simple compared to Japanese Grammar.

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I've always wanted to learn Japanese but the difficulty of it has kept me away.

Don't let the apparent difficulty of Japanese get in the way of you learning, if you want to learn this language! If you are motivated to learn (for whatever reason), you're going to be able to overcome any of the challenges to learning and even becoming fluent in any language.

Japanese has 3 scripts, but two of those are able to be learned in a week or at most two if you put 20-30mins towards learning them every day, and will be reinforced when you see them in context. The third script, kanji (Chinese characters) takes longer but involves the same process of just learning them.

Japanese has a lot of loanwords from English, so I'd say it wouldn't be long until you could order a kōhī (coffee) and a kēki (cake) in your favorite kafe (café). At least at the beginner to low-intermediate level, the grammar is quite easy to handle as there aren't a lot of exceptions to the rules of the grammar.

So what I guess I'm saying is that although there might be more to learn when studying Japanese than, say, French or Swedish so it takes longer, it's not really "harder" than any other language you might want to learn. Just do it!

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