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Do you want to learn another language but do not know where to enroll in a class? Why search for a Japanese school when you can learn it from home. Not everyone you see fluently speaking this language had to live in Japan or get schooled by a Sensei.

So what does it take to know this language in the comfort of your house? The answer is lots of reading, practice, and commitment to get the job done. Here, we’ll share with you the easiest way to achieve your plight. Here are seven tips to get you started.

1. Focus First on Learning to Speak

You’ll most likely conclude it is impossible to know the Japanese language if your priority is to learn the writing. Frankly, it ranks among the most difficult languages for English speakers to learn and write, but it is not impossible.

What to do? Encourage yourself by learning to say everyday words in Japanese. That’s the simplest thing you can do as we delve into the more serious part.

Yes はいHai

No いやIya

Please お願いします One-gaishimasu

Thank you ありがとう。Arigatō

Good morning おはようございますOhayōgozaimasu

Good evening こんばんは Konbanwa

You can learn several more words using online translation applications like Google Translate. And don’t worry about the glyphs right now. It’s okay if you can’t read them yet.


2. Learn the Japanese Writing Systems

Japanese has no alphabet, so don’t even think about it. However, there are four main writing systems in use by the Japanese. These are the Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji and Romanji. Here is brief information on all four of them.


It consists of 46 characters. Once you understand hiragana, you wouldn’t have problems pronouncing any Japanese word. We use hiragana mostly for reading pure Japanese words. Seeing how relevant it is, it would be worth your effort to memorize all of the characters.






















































This is a phonetic alphabet. There are 46 basic characters in this system. We use this writing system for words of non-Japanese origin. These include foreign words and names, loanwords, and onomatopoeia. You will fare better knowing the commonly used words because it isn’t as easy to comprehend when compared to hiragana.

ア. a.               イ. i.                ウ. u.               エ. e.               オ. o

ハ. ha.             ヒ. hi.              フ. hu.             ヘ. he.             ホ. ho

カ. ka.             キ. ki.              ク. ku.             ケ. ke.             コ. Ko

マma               ミmi,               ムmu               メme               モmo

ナna                ニni                 ヌnu                ネ ne               ノno

ラra                 ラri                  ルru                 レre                 ロro

サsa                 シshi                スsu                 セ se                ソ so

タta                 チ chi              ツtsu               テte                 ト to

ヤya                ユyu                ヨyo

ワwa               ヲwo



Here are examples of their applications.

America          アメリカ                    Amerika

Mark               マーク                        Māku

Sofa                 ソファー                    Sofā

Halloween       ハロウィーン            Harou~īn




These are symbols with actual connotations. They represent words and phrases in the Japanese language. Hence, a single kanji has its meaning.

Knowing kanji is the beginning of grammar and writing in Japanese. There are over 50,000 kanji characters in existence! But don’t worry. Even native Japanese know about 2000 of them. According to research, you’ll only need about 500 of them to get around most prints you see.


You wouldn’t learn the core of Japanese studying with romanji. The reason is that this system attempts to translate Japanese words into English letters. Also, this method would also be inadequate to convey messages at a level of Japanese speaking.

3. Intonation Is Almost Everything

Japanese is a tonal language. If you have heard anyone speak Japanese, you would know intonation is indispensable to making sense of any word. There are several words spelled the same but differ only by their tone.

For example, chopsticks (箸Hashi) and bridge (橋Hashi) would sound exactly the same were it not for their tones. For chopsticks, the emphasis is on the first syllable, which has a high tone haSHI. The reverse applies to bridge, HAshi.

Hence, a Japanese sentence would sound wavy to your hearing. Every word has its highs and lows, making the speakers sound angry sometimes when they really aren’t.

You can help yourself master these tones by listening daily to native Japanese speakers. Just tune in to a Japanese channel on radio or TV.

4. Master The Rules Guiding Japanese Grammar

There are some rules of Japanese Grammar that you should know. Here are some of them.

  • There are no plurals: So, whether you are talking about a person or many people, you do not have to worry about changing the expression. You would agree that is good news for learners of a language that is already quite complicated.
  • Kanji takes preference:When there is kanji for a word, the word would be written in kanji even when there are expressions for them in Hiragana and Katakana.
  • Subject-Object-Verb: Unlike English, the Japanese language sentence structure is subject-object-verb and not subject-verb-object. The main verb always ends a sentence. Here is an example.

“I eat mangoes” is watashiwaorenji o taberu, or 私わマンゴーを食べる.

In Japanese, watashi (私) means I, mangō (マンゴー) means mango, and taberu (食べる) means eat.

  • No gender-specific word: The same word used for masculine is applicable o the feminine gender.
  • No articles: Japanese has no specific articles like a, an, the, and others. You do not have to worry about what comes before an object as you would in English.
  • Verbs do not change: Whether for a male, female, one, or many people, verb forms do not change according to the subject.

5. Collect as much Vocabulary as Possible

Have a book to write down as many new words as you can. Now, where do you find these words? A Japanese dictionary may not be of much help if you haven’t learned how to read. There are applications you can download on your mobile device to help you with English to Japanese conversion.

Whenever you wish to express yourself, you can always look for the word and try arranging them as taught in this article. Again, you can watch movies, listen to songs and refer to other media to get new words.

6. Learn The Numbering System

Unlike aspects of the language, Japanese numerals don’t take too much effort to understand. Begin with memorizing the first ten numbers. Here they are.

1 一ichi

2 二ni

3 三 san

4 四 yon/shi

5 五 go

6 六roku

7 七 nana

8 八hachi

9 九kyuu

10 十juu

When counting from eleven to nineteen, just add the numbers from 1 to 9 in front of the symbol ten( 十)

11 will be 十一, (juuichi)

17 will be 十七 (juu nana)

Now to count in tens, that is 20 to 90, it’s easy too. Just add the symbol for two to nine in front of ten.

20 will be 二十 (nijuu)

90 will be 九十 (kyuujuu)

100 will be 百 (hyaku)

200 will be 二百 (nihyaku)

How about when it’s a mix of numbers such as 57, 231, and so on? Well, forming words for these figures does not require much brainstorming.

57 will be 五十七(go ju nana)

231 will be 二百三十一 (nihyaku san juuichi)

Final Thoughts

As difficult as the Japanese language may appear, the rules guiding word formation are simple. You’ll need several hours of study and practice to know how to speak the language fluently. A very good student will need about 2200 class hours or 88 weeks to become fluent in the language. Learning from home would surely take much longer.

You should be persistent and ensure you learn something new daily. You should use every means possible to immerse yourself in the language to learn it.

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