Saturday, October 3, 2015

Why Japanese is such a fun language to learn

Cherry tree flowers

Let me share with you a few fun facts about Japanese language after a 30-hour intensive Japanese summer class.
  • Japanese uses two syllabaries and a huge set of logograms at the same time in its written form.
  • Chinese characters, or kanjis.
  • There is no space.
  • There are particules for about everything.
  • The vocabulary is, well, alien.
  • Context is king, and concision queen.
  • The levels of politeness let imagine a play on very subtle issues (in that bright future when you’ll master the language, of course).
  • You conjugate adjectives (well, not all of them).
  • There is always another step of difficulty.
While Japanese may seem quite hard to learn, it presents some features which make it fairly easy to learn.
  • The conjugation is astonishingly simple (at first glance).
  • Many foreign words can be inferred from their pronunciation (or their writing, as they are usually written in katakana).
  • There is no grammatical number (singular/plural) or gender (masculine/feminine), not even articles.
  • The pronunciation is fairly simple.
Japanese is not an easy language to learn. It presents many challenges, and many years of work to master it. But as any other language, it opens you to a very rich culture. So don’t use its difficulty as a shy excuse, and give it a try. Japanese deserves it.

I invite you to read the full article. It gives details for each of the previous points.

Photography: Rula Sibai via Unsplash

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