Friend wants to learn Japanese

Blair Waldorf

Member
Aug 15, 2006
3,682
2
Here's what I did: learned the alphabet, bought comic books and a dictionary, read like mad! I became nearly fluent over one summer! Granted, I was younger then, but I tried really hard at it and it worked. Comic books are good because they're fun and you don't need to be able to read the Chinese characters. It's a great way to learn grammar and vocab.
 

shopaholiccat

Addicted to Chanel
O.G.
Aug 24, 2006
2,365
70
H ~
Here's what I did: learned the alphabet, bought comic books and a dictionary, read like mad! I became nearly fluent over one summer! Granted, I was younger then, but I tried really hard at it and it worked. Comic books are good because they're fun and you don't need to be able to read the Chinese characters. It's a great way to learn grammar and vocab.
How do you become fluent just by that? comic books don't even follow the "normal" way to speak. I understand you can learn vocab..but grammar? wow.. I'm amazed :smile: You must be very talented!!!! :yes:
 

Blair Waldorf

Member
Aug 15, 2006
3,682
2
How do you become fluent just by that? comic books don't even follow the "normal" way to speak. I understand you can learn vocab..but grammar? wow.. I'm amazed :smile: You must be very talented!!!! :yes:
I guess that was misleading. I took one year of high-school Japanese before I did that, so I had some foundation - mostly alphabet, though, as we only learned very formal forms that first year. They speak normally in comic books, just very informally. At first it was hard to differentiate slang from grammar, but it became easier as I went along. And I'm not a nerd for nothing ;) .
 

misachan

O.G.
Apr 10, 2006
165
0
I would say that, being a fluent speaker of Japanese and having lived in Japan for several years, that immersion is the best way, but I think that there are some good classes available through either colleges in the area (even community colleges) or Japan Societies, depending on where your friend is living. Those classes will teach you the medium-level formality that your friend needs to get by with in Japan; manga and anime use a lot of slang and unless your friend wants to sound like a 6-year old at times, that might not be the best plan :smile: Also, if your friend is male, you probably want to suggest that he speak to male teachers, because I had a fair amount of friends who had female Japanese teachers who ended up sounding very feminine, because there is definitely a "male" way and a "female" way to speak the language.

I have a friend (and have known others) who is stationed in Japan currently and went there without really knowing the language, but has really picked it up since being there by going off-base (which is really like a US town) and going into the city. Just even simple conversation with people will help -- I've found that people are willing to give non-Japanese a fair amount of leeway when it's clear that they are trying to speak the language. :smile:

Anyway -- I've taken years of Japanese (I'm half- Japanese but didn't grow up fluent -- that took a TON of work) and have friends who have done the same, so if you'd like more advice you can always PM me too . . .