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What are your tips for learning Japanese?

by Stephanie Hannon

Philippe Morgan De Rivery
Urban planner, 25 (French)
Japanese is difficult to learn by yourself, even if you live here. You need to have lessons to pick up the grammar. Staying with a host family, immersed in the language, is the best way to learn.

Henna Kermani
Student, 20 (American)
I listen to music, read, visit news sites and watch anime. Listening is very important. You might not realize how much language you can pick up passively even when you don’t understand fully.

Harwin Chandra
Art director, 29 (Indonesian)
My language school provides a CD with natural Japanese conversation. Listening is the most important thing when learning to speak. I also use kanji cards and try to learn one new character per day.

Nagy Bala’zs
Teacher, 27 (Hungarian)
Living here is the best way to learn and it’s too good an opportunity to miss. I hope to stay in touch with Japanese friends online to learn the language. It will be impossible to get lessons in my country.

Kassandra Brown, 23
Student/Teacher (Aussie)
Eavesdropping on the train is a great way to pick up the language. The conversation may not be interesting and you might not understand it fully, but it is a great way to hear natural Japanese.