Why Japanese Is Easy

So simple!

There are times during your Japanese studies that you might wonder if another language might be easier. Afterall, there are people learning French, Spanish, or German left and right. Not to mention people are learning English all the time, so European languages must be easy right? I’m not here to argue for or against that, but I am here to tell you that Japanese does have its share of advantages too!

I came to this realization when I was studying Esperanto. It’s an extremely logical language, and I realized that Japanese is too! Far more so than many European languages, which often have more exceptions than rules! Let’s look at some advantages to learning Japanese:

  • You basically only have 2 irregular verbs. Think of English verbs like  “buy/bought.” The only similarity is the first letter!
  • Other grammatical points such as い/な adjectives, or 五段/一段 verbs follow chart-like rules.
  • Japanese kana is completely phonetic, everything is spelled the way it sounds!
  • While kanji is a challenge, when you know the characters’ meanings, it can become an indispensable tool for understanding new words.
  • There is a TON of native media for Japanese to learn with and enjoy. I find that for French, I often have to turn to dubs for things like movies and animation.
  • The way words are made up often make a lot of sense. Take a word like 食堂, often meaning a cafeteria. It literally means eat-hall. Makes perfect sense! Many Japanese words follow this kind of logic.
  • There is a standard dialect which is used in media and education, so the words and expressions you’re learning should follow suit for the most part (see: textbook Japanese.) To use French as an example again, I’ve been to several schools that claim to use “standard French,” but I can assure you there is no such thing. (Parisian and Quebecois perhaps, but no “international” French. I speak a whole different dialect myself which is very non-standard.) I know this is a huge source of frustration for people learning a European language, but one that you should not experience in Japanese!

So next time you’re thinking Japanese is really hard, why not focus on the things that make it easier? And what better way to confirm that than some useful resources…

Tool Recommendation: Delenir’s Corner

Yes, it’s finally ready! Delenir’s Corner is a list of my tried and true resources for helping spur along your Japanese. Only stuff I’ve actually used extensively are listed here. As a bonus, I’ve added an indicator to note if it’s a free or paid resource (most are free.) I’ll be adding as I go along, follow my twitter feed to find out when!

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  • Read More or Die! 2011

    _2011 End Results_
    Total read for Tadoku:
    __433.3 pages!__
    Placement: 115/188
    October 2011 Contest:
    Placement: 97/120
    End Tally: 59.2
    July 2011 Contest:
    Placement: 86/142
    End Tally: 195.6
    April 2011 Contest:
    Placement: 62/106
    End Tally: 154.5
    January 2011 Contest:
    Placement: 84/99
    End Tally: 24
    August 2010 Contest:
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    End Tally: 160

  • Read Or Die 2013

    Goal: 600
    Total: 906.26
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    March 2-Week:
    Goal: 125

    Goal: 250
    Total: 314

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