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4 best way to learn basic Japanese

  • Learn the alphabet
  • Use the most effective curriculum
  • Clearly identify the goals to be achieved after learning basic Japanese
  • Practice actively

Learn the alphabet

The first question asked when studying basic Japanese is “What’s thing do you learn first?”. The answer is the alphabet. For any language, the alphabet is an essential foundation for learning vocabulary and grammar later.

You need to master the two alphabets of Hiragana (soft letter) and Katakana (hard letter). It determines how your pronunciation and communication will be later!

In addition to the 2 main alphabets, Japanese also has 半濁音 and 濁音. Learning these two soundboards will be much easier if you have studied the 2 main alphabets, so don’t worry!

  • 半濁音 is just a table that adds 25 more syllables. It’s made by adding 2 commas “in the first letter” in the hiragana alphabet, called “tenten”.
  • 濁音 is all syllables that will be combined from 2 single sounds, also known as “double sound”. Its characteristic is the letters や ゆ よ will be abbreviated to ゃ ゅ ょ

Use the most effective curriculum

The Minna no Nihongo textbook must be the number one choice for Japanese language learners. So how can we effectively use this syllabus for learning basic Japanese?

Honsatsu (Main book)

  • 文 型 (bunkei) – Sample sentence: Sample sentences use a grammatical structure in the lesson (translated into “sentence form” in the translation book)
  • 例文 (reibun) – nouns: Sample dialogues using the grammatical structure of the lesson (translated into the section “After nouns” printed translation books)
  • 会話 (kaiwa) – Conversation: The main conversation situation in the lesson (using the “conversation” section in the translation book)
  • 練習 A (renshuu A) – Practice A: Summary of all grammatical structures in the lesson
  • 練習 B (renshuu B) – Practice B: Simple exercises that apply the grammar structure learned in the lesson
  • 練習 C (renshuuC) – Practice C: Conversation exercises using the sentence pattern learned in the lesson
  • 問題 (Mondai) – Problem: Listening and writing exercises, using the current grammar pattern in the lesson.


  • Vocabulary: List new words related to the lesson and the topic of the lesson
  • Translation: Translate all paragraphs, example sentences, and conversations in the main volume by English
  • Words and reference information: Reference vocabulary is not mentioned but it related to the content and topic of the lesson.
  • Grammatical explanations: Explain the structure and usage of the current grammar patterns in the lesson.

Clearly identify the goals to be achieved after learning basic Japanese

After learning basic Japanese, at least you need to achieve the following goals:

  • Focus on correct pronunciation, intonation, and accent. Because if the foundation is wrong, it will be very difficult to fix
  • Familiarize with the tense, forms of verbs and adjectives in Japanese
  • Master basic communication sentences
  • Increase your vocabulary naturally without trying to cram too much knowledge

Practice actively

Best way to learn japanese

The principle when learning anything is practicing a lot. After you have cultivated the basic knowledge, practice is a step you can’t miss

But the important thing here is to practice actively. Don’t practice a “coping” way.

  • You can practice by doing exercises after each topic. Don’t forget to write down notes for yourself.
  • Active reading: look for a few short paragraphs and practice reading with them. You can ask questions and answer related to the topic of that passage
  • Listen proactively: you should buy CDs of elementary Japanese lessons, listen to simple topics and conversations. Try to listen 3-5 times to understand the sounds and the content.

Hopefully, with the above sharing, you have built a suitable and effective basic Japanese learning plan. Always be persistent and success will come to you!

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