A few weeks ago I recorded a podcast with the Anibros, two podcasters who talk about anime. So what else was I going to talk about on a show like that but studying anime Japanese?
Although it quickly delved into some really bad advice for studying Japanese……
The Anibros are Laven and Jack. They’re really nice guys who watch a lot of anime and make entertaining podcasts about shows they’re watching. They also go to a lot of conventions in the Pacific North West where they run Anime Jeopardy, which are really great fun.
This is a short summary of what we discussed as well as resources that were mentioned.
You will learn faster if you combine studying Japanese with practicing it using anime.
Learn at Least Hiragana!
Learning hiragana helps pronouncing words and listening to new words. Learning it through vocabulary makes it more interesting too!
Label Objects in Japanese
Label things around your house/office. (I.e table, shelf, desk, chair etc.)
Learn Informal Grammar
If you’re studying in a class you will probably learn formal Japanese. Formal Japanese is useful and does appear in anime, but you’re more likely to come across informal grammar.
- Write sentences using grammar you’re learning
- Use pictures of verbs to drill conjugations from memory
Anime is Great! Watch Slice of Life
Watching anime improves your listening!
Try not to over-think or directly translate sentences from English to Japanese. Anime is great because you can pick up phrases in certain contexts.
Watch slice of life and romance anime and avoid shows which have very field specific vocabulary.
Also avoid trying to learn strange accents or Japanese (at least as a beginner).
Watch Anime with Japanese Subtitles or Without Subtitles
Watching anime with subtitles is great for picking out words, but they won’t be a direct translation of the Japanese. If you know a show well try watching it without the subtitles.
Another great technique is to watch anime using Japanese subtitles. You can find them online as well as the following links:
Read the Manga (of an anime) in Japanese
Improves reading, vocabulary, grammar. Reading the manga and watching the anime at the same time to helps you learn and remember words and grammar even faster!
Learn Using Mnemonics
Remember words using mnemonics, or word association. For example, mice in Japan say “chuu” so think of a really cute train mouse saying “chuu”.
It’s best to create mnemonics that work best for you, that you will remember.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You will learn a lot faster if you make mistakes. This is because they will stick in your brain a lot better as you’re actively remembering the mistake and the word/phrase associated with it.
Meet Japanese People Online/IRL
You can also go to Japan for 1 week to 2 years just to study Japanese!
Studying Japanese in Japan
Other Useful Japanese to Learn
Shop Japanese is great to at least learn so you can recognize what’s being said. If you go to Japan you will want to be able to understand what the shop keeper/waiter is saying.
Watching anime around people working in continence stores or working in restaurants is a great way to practice these!
Some great anime for these include Working!, Ben-to and Hataraku Maou-sama!
To be able to communicate in Japanese you just need to know basic grammar and around 1000-1500 words!
You can actually learn the basics for something (like Japanese) in 20 hours!
Videos About Learning Languages
Bonus! If You Go To Japan!
If you get stuck and can’t find someone who speaks English either write down what you want to say, or speak with a “katakana” accent. Japanese people learn English but never how to speak it so they may understand you better if you write it down.
Other Useful Links about Anime Japanese
- Studying Anime Japanese – Basic Techniques
- Studying Anime Japanese – Intermediate Techniques
- Good Anime to Watch (for studying Japanese)
- Video Game Japanese
- Manga Japanese for Beginners
- Using Popular Media in Self-Study