Beginning to Learn Japanese.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.