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How Hard Is It To learn Japanese From English?

How hard is it to learn Japanese from English considering Japanese has its own set of characters that you need to know, different grammar patterns and pronunciation? Is it a perfect script for a horror story or is it an idea for disaster? Let’s take a look at some facts.

Is it possible to learn Japanese?

Before we answer the main question for today, let’s focus on a similar thing related to learning Japanese. That is, is learning Japanese even possible?

Taking into account many answers on Quora and, the number of Japanese exchange programs it must definitely be possible to learn Japanese up to some point. Some of the nuances might be hard to grasp at first but often foreigners speaking a language use it better than native speakers! It happens not only to Japanese but to other languages as well. This is simply the result of language usage and evolving of grammar patterns (as well as laziness at times when it comes to language correctness but that’s a story for a different time).

To sum up – yes, it’s possible to learn Japanese but now let’s find an answer to an even better question.

How hard is it to learn Japanese?

Japanese can be really hard to learn. One-of-the-hardest-languages-to-learn-but-still-you-want-to-learn-it kind of a language.

Japanese has its linguistic challenges not only connected with a different scripture system (Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji) but also has different language patterns. In Japanese, the sentence usually ends with a verb which might be a challenge as many languages spot a verb as the second word in a sentence.

Japanese might be hard if you never had any contact with languages like that but everyone has their start somewhere and Japanese might be a good idea if you are ready to accept this challenge. It’s a fun adventure for sure.

How hard is it to learn Japanese from English?

Now that we know basic things related to learning Japanese let’s focus on the challenges it might bring for English speakers.

First of all – pronunciation. Japanese has different pronunciations and different vowels which might be easier if you tried to learn Spanish, Italian or Polish. However, if you have none of this knowledge then Japanese might be hard at first mostly due to vowels. There are only 5 vowels in Japanese (a, i, u, e, o) but are pronounced differently from their English version.

Apart from pronunciation, the writing system might be tricky. As mentioned earlier, Japanese has 3 writing systems and all of those you will find in Japanese texts. Two of those, Hiragana and Katakana you’ll learn in your first weeks of Japanese journey but Kanji is a long-term adventure. There is a list of 2136 character list published by the Japanese Ministry of Education and it specifies kanji that children learn in schools in Japan. This list is often a guideline for foreigners as well and this list contains kanji that you will need for daily life in Japan.

READ: The ultimate guide on how to learn Kanji

Will you start your Japanese adventure?

Japanese might be tricky but with the right approach, it’s definitely possible to learn or even master. Don’t give up and start with the Japanese writing system as that will always come in handy.

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