Learning a Language: My experience with Japanese

Beginning to Learn Japanese.

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Have you ever really gotten into learning a language?  I mean beyond what little of other languages you might have learned in school?  I have recently begun learning Japanese, just over the last few months, and my experience has been amazing.  It has opened my mind to a whole new world, and has pushed me outside my comfort zone in the best way possible.

For me it began as a hobby.  I knew above all else I wanted to travel the world.  After some thought I decided all of a sudden I was going to learn the language of a country I knew I would travel to and I decided to look into Japanese.  After some online searching and coming across articles like this (click here), I decided Japanese was where I would start.

Resources for learning Japanese.

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After a lot of online research, I now use these resources:

  • Learning Japanese with the Michel Thomas Method (audio course)
  • Human Japanese (mobile app)
  • Genki textbooks
  • Language exchange with a Japanese native speaker
  • YouTube

These are from my experience, excellent ways to begin learning Japanese.  Unfortunately you may have to spend some money on a couple of resources, but they are well worth it.  Here is a good article providing tips on learning Japanese: http://matadornetwork.com/abroad/10-essential-tips-for-learning-japanese/

Benefits Learning a Foreign Language

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How much do you know about other countries and their cultures?  When I began learning Japanese, I realised I knew very little of other countries, especially the Asian ones.  As I began learning Japanese, watching YouTube videos, talking to Japanese natives online, I discovered more and more about their culture, their beliefs, their relation to other Asian countries and their views on Western cultures.  It felt like it was literally a whole new world to discover.

When I began to be able to speak a little more Japanese, I had my first little conversation with my online Japanese friend.  Even though she spoke slowly, I struggled to keep up, yet when I managed to reply to her questions, the sense of accomplishment was huge.  You could compare it to when a baby says its first word, or takes its first step.

There are many benefits to learning a new language.  Many say it is good for the brain, and I have to agree.  It has opened my mind to a lot more than just a new way of speaking. For a list of some of the many benefits learning a foreign language, click here.

The Results of Learning Japanese

niceartlife.wordpress.com

niceartlife.wordpress.com

I have now decided that I wish to teach English in foreign countries, starting with Japan.  I will learn of more cultures, and learn more languages. The possibilities will be endless.   I have made Japanese friends, and learnt of the Japanese culture.

Your Thoughts.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.  What other benefits can you see in learning a foreign language.  Does the thought of learning another language appeal to you? Leave a comment below.

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