Cherry BlossomsOne of the difficult parts with language is sticking with it until you reach a level of fluency. This is particularly true with a language like Japanese. Not only do you need to learn the vocabulary and the grammar, but you must also learn the kanji and how to read them. As you are learning, you will come to barriers that seem to stop or slow your progress. Especially once you start looking at obtaining higher levels of fluency, what would be considered business or native level. Below I have given a small list of things you can do to push yourself through the difficult times.

  • Set Goals- Decide to study a certain amount each day or each week2. Planning to take the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) can be a great way to do this since it is held once a year and has a set number of kanji you need to study
  • Break study down into smaller segments. It is better to study four days a week for 30 minutes than 1 day a week for 2 hours.
  • Get involved in activities that excite and remind you why you started studying.
  • Try to study in a fun way, such as watching a Japanese movie or speaking with a friend.
  • Lastly, measure your progress overall. You will have a lot more motivation to keep pushing forward if you realize how far you’ve come since the beginning.

Persistence is a key factor in language success. If you stick with it, and keep working hard you will eventually get there. How fast you get there, only depends on how much you put into it. There have been a number of times, where I felt I would just stay at the level I was. It was usually a fun interaction or experience that gave me the renewed energy to keep going. 頑張りましょう。

Related links

  • Learning Japanese Language – So if your thinking about studying Japanese try Pimsleur Japanese. ….
  • On Studying Japanese: Disappearing Electricity – Studying Japanese, or any other language for that matter, is a challenging and frustrating experience, but quite rewarding if you put the time in.
  • JapanNewbie.com – Japan Blogging – Now that I’m in student mode again, time to break out the notebooks, pencils and dictionaries. One unique study method you have probably seen if you’re in Japan is what Japanese people call the (tangocyou), or Word Cards.