The secret is to use things or do things that you already like. Khatzumoto gives more detail: “If you lack certain strengths or have a lot of weaknesses, then exploit your weaknesses for the purpose of learning Japanese. If you like playing video games, watching movies or even playing sports, simply make sure you do all those things in Japanese and/or with Japanese people (I played with a soccer team made up entirely of Japanese students plus me; too bad I don't like soccer). You could go running and play Japanese music while you do it…there's enough stuff out there for all your tastes.”
Don't say: "The stepmother's house was cleaned by Cinderella." (Passive.) Say instead: "Cinderella cleaned the stepmother's house." (Active voice.) Passive voice construction ("was cleaned") is reserved for those occasions where the "do-er" of the action is unknown. Example: "Prince Charming saw the glass slipper that was left behind."
It is another platform for learning Chinese and has over 3,500 lessons with different Chinese skills for both beginners and advanced learners of Mandarin Chinese.
Benny Lewis describes his dilemma in the early stages of learning Japanese: “I would recommend you learn lots of words and phrases first in Romaji, and when you have just enough to introduce yourself and ask the person to repeat themselves and keep some kind of basic flow, then transition to Kana only mode.”
These are short stories written entirely in Japanese. Find out more from Wired in Japan.
If you give yourself an option of using your language skills, chances are you’ll choose to not use them. Our brain will instinctively choose the decision that’s simple and requires less thought. Like acquiring any new skill, learning a new language is going to require strong will. You must consciously lock yourself outside your comfort zone and not allow yourself to step back inside it for a while. It’s not an easy decision, and may require some creative thought, but the results are well worth the effort.
There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed? ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’ It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true. Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!” Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’. Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:
“If you are learning Japanese outside of Japan, finding an online tutor or a language partner that you enjoy learning and speaking Japanese with makes a huge difference and can also be a lot more fun,” says Brian Kwong. “You can also find a free language partner with this step by step video, or if you want to save time, you can get quality and affordable tutor from iTalki.com.”
Once you've finished the last season of Breaking Bad, start getting your daily TV fix with Japanese dramas. If you've been studying with text books, this approach will give you some valuable exposure to less formal, everyday language. Gooddrama.net is your one-stop-shop.
Cognates are words in another language that look very similar to words in your native language. Thus, automobile in Spanish is automóvil. Many of the English words that end in -tion have counterparts in other Romance languages. So, words such as nation, education, communication, solution, and hundreds of others are the same by just changing out the -tion and replacing it with -ción in Spanish, -zione in Italian, or -ção in Portuguese. A lot of others words are very similar because they have the same Latin or Greek root in them. So, you can easily understand the word "exemple" in French, "capitano" in Italian, or "astronomia" in Spanish. If you want to find and learn these cognates in the language you are trying to learn, all you have to do is Google the language and then the word "cognates. You'll get a long list. Many of the non-Romance languages have borrowed words from English, and you can find those as will. You can Google such terms as "English loan words in Japanese" and get them.