What Going to a Japanese Language School in Japan is Like

What Going to a Japanese Language School in Japan is Like

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Hello world if you've, ever wondered how to be like to go to Japan immerse. Yourself and learn Japanese, then, this video is for you this, video is going to be a chat with my friend Jess who's, both self studied and attended, a Japanese, language school for, a year I'll, just simply let her talk for most of the video but, before I get into that I, wanted, to tell you about one thing the, Japanese, writing system to. Put it in correctly it's a set of three alphabets, to, put it correctly. It's a. Single. Set of logographic. Kanji. So, these are icons, that represent ideas. And. Another. Two sets of kana. Are syllabaries. And this. Is hiragana and katakana. These, are syllabic, in that they represent, sounds, now, by the time a student graduates. From high school they, will have to know 2,000. Kanji so, no small task on the other hand when a student is first entering grade one they'll probably know both hiragana and katakana and, each, one contains. A set of 46, characters, so, most learners will have a big task ahead of them to, learn all the kanji now, the exception will be Chinese, and Taiwanese students. Who will already know what. The kanji represents, you know the kind of overall idea, because. Kanji, is derived from the Chinese writing, system they. Won't necessarily know, how to pronounce, it but they kind of know like what this symbol means what this symbol means what that symbol means anyways. Now, let's get on with the interview. Hi. I'm Jess I'm, from Melbourne Australia and, I. Came, to Japan just to experience, the expat, life really just wanted to live in another country, so. My husband and I decided to move here together and. We thought Japan, would be a pretty interesting place, to experience, living abroad because the culture and language is so different, and. Because of that of course we have to spend some time learning, the language so that's why I decided to study. Japanese at a Japanese, language school. Yeah. I did a lot of research when, I was looking at a Japanese, language school, there's, obviously a lot of options out, there and it took me around a year actually to decide on a Japanese language school and go through all of the application. Process and all of that in. The end the school that I chose I chose because, there. Were students, from all around the world I had, heard that there are some schools that really focus, on, particular. Cultural. Groups which. You know there's nothing wrong with that at all but I wanted to be in an environment where people. From all around the world were catered. For in the education, system so that's why I decided to go at the school that I did.

Yeah. They came from a wide range of different backgrounds, at the school I ended up going to actually. Surprisingly, a lot of them were from Sweden which. I wasn't quite expecting, but. Yeah there were quite a lot of Scandinavian. Students. As. An Australian, I was kind of an like, kind of a minority. But. There were students, from countries. All around Asia there. Were people from America, from Canada, England. Yeah, it was a really diverse group of people. So. We went to basically. Like a night school to, learn some of the basics of Japanese so, there we learned hiragana, katakana a few basic kanji, and you know basically a few survival, sentences. To get by when we first moved here so, I had that you, know a little bit under my belt but as you. Know most of us are aware when we move here that's, quickly. Not enough. So, basically. Once. We. Moved here and had been here for a while we. Needed to. Pick. Up some more Japanese, I didn't, actually study anything formally. In Japan before I started, studying at the Japanese language school that I went to so I spent several years in Japan just, kind of picking up stuff from. My surroundings. And trying to do a little bit of self-study. But, it didn't really I. Wasn't. Able to achieve the. Level that I was I was looking for I was having a lot of difficulty, trying to to. Learn a language that was so different from my own by myself and so, I was kind of seeking out some structure, in the, way that I was studying so. Apart from that first, experience, in Australia of, doing a little bit of Japanese and, also, I did do a few kind of community, classes and things like that in Japan, but I hadn't, actually studied, at a Japanese. Language school before and I was kind of looking for something with a little bit more structure, so, after. Having been in Japan for a few years and kind of being frustrated, with myself and, not being able to achieve, the level that I wanted, then I decided, to go to Japanese language school. So. When I first started at Japanese language school, obviously. It was like a big change for me from. The previous studies that I done I had. Classes every. Day Monday to Friday it was a full-time course, and every, day I had four classes of 15 minutes each, and, of course along with that comes a lot of homework and assessments, and things like that I'm. Not in Japan as a student, I'm working full-time here, so, I. Basically. Started, working. Full-time and, studying, on a full-time basis. So. That was quite tough for me personally I, know that's not the same journey for everybody, because, a lot of my classmates were here. As a student they've come specifically. To Japan to study Japanese at, a Japanese, language school. One. Lesson would be say kanji, and then we'd have three lessons of say, grandma or it's, really dependent on the day some days we'd focus on a particular skill, so we do that one our kanji, and then we'd move on to listening, and reading or, we'd have to write an essay and then give a speech on it something. Like that so there's something new every day although, I would say most, days we had kanji, and most, days we did some kind of grammar element. There. Was a lot of homework also, that. We had to do every day and there was also a lot of tests as well. They. Said at our school that to. Keep up with the course you needed to do at least two hours of homework a day, for. Me I found it was actually more, if, it was during the testing period you know I was studying something between like maybe. Probably. Five and six hours a day I. Think. At, the very beginning of the course I felt. Like I progressed, more maybe, that's because I. Started, off with like less and then, everything, was new that I was learning and, you, know it's still fresh and you're still like super. Motivated, at that point right but then as we moved, like, further into the course into the more advanced, levels it was really I had. A much, more it was much more focused on testing.

So, It, was basically. Whether. Or not you could pass the jlpt test. The Japanese language proficiency, test, and. So basically our, classes. Became very focused, on passing that and less, focused on you. Know everyday communication and. Perhaps language. That might be more beneficial for us. I. Feel. Like the jlpt isn't. Really, a good indication, of your Japanese, level at all I know, some people who have past high. Levels of the jlpt but, really struggle, in daily communication it. Really just is focused on very specific. And sometimes obscure, grammar, points, or things like that. I guess, the problem is for students, if you are actually, wanting to live. And work in Japan if you want to work for a Japanese company they, do tend, to want to know what. Jlpt, level, you have you, have passed so for, some of my classmates like, passing, the jlpt level, two and two was really important, to them to, be, able to continue, living. In Japan and perhaps, getting a job at a Japanese company but. From a practical standpoint. I, don't really feel like passing the jlpt really. Really. Says anything about your Japanese language ability, so. For, me personally it was a little bit frustrating, I know that you are going to a school and you know this is probably one of the areas they want to. Want you to study and they want you to be able to pass these tests, but. I, felt. Like most of us felt also that we, really. Wanted to be able to communicate in. Daily life in Japan and that, was something that was quite lacking from, the toughest style of the lessons that we were doing. I. Did. Take the jlpt and. Three in December. Last year just, to kind of see where my level was at and, you know to experience, what the test is like because, a lot, of people ask you, know what is the jlpt like, and you know since I had been studying Japanese I thought why not I'll give it a go without really much preparation just to see what. Is what is my genuine level, and I. Was able to pass the n3 and that was after one year at a Japanese, language school full time. Thank. You I'm. Not sure it means anything. As. I said at our school we had people from all around the world so I was able to kind. Of observe the different. Language. And cultural, and ethnic groups within. The class and, I. Guess. We all had different reactions, to. To. The learning style I guess, if you're used to more. Of AI you, know for want of a better word the the Western style of Education, where it's more two-way. Communication. Where you're expected to ask a lot of questions maybe. You do a lot of speaking and interaction, in the class and things like that it's. A bit more of a like lecture, style where. You're expected, to you. Know take notes and memorize, and. That. Kind of thing so there. Were some people in my class like for example there, was a guy from Taiwan, who felt. That that was quiet a usual, style for him whereas. For. Example some of the sweetest students. In the class were used to a completely, different classroom. Environment, and they found the lack of speaking, a little bit frustrating. So, I, guess it really depends, on where you're from like how you're going to react to this kind of style. Depending. On where you're from, obviously. You are, going to have different. Difficulties. With Japanese, I think for. Example some, of the Chinese students in, my class they they. Found kanji, relatively, easy because, they use it in their own native language, but. That said because you know Japanese, and Chinese. Kanji. Characters are not always exactly, the same and you. Know pronunciation. Can differ as well and so, while. It was easy for them to elicit. Meaning from a sentence. They. Also sometimes had difficulty, remembering the, differences, between how they dried that kanji, character, in their own language, as opposed to in Japanese, and so sometimes that could. Confuse them a little bit more although, they were much better at reading, I think because. They were able to quickly grab meaning, and be, able to answer like reading comprehension questions. Without too much trouble. When, it comes to like pronunciation. I would say maybe some of the Spanish students, had difficulty, with pronunciation. Particularly. Sounds like kind of Y and J sounds. They. Had a little bit of difficulty, with, some of the pronunciation, that we did I. Guess. Like for me and for people who come from a, country where you don't use. Kanji. Oh it's. Like a romanized, alphabet, the. Kanji was the most difficult because there are so many that, you have to remember not only like, how to say words but how, to, like read how to write and, all, the different strokes, and the stroke order I, would, say for most of the students the kanji was the most difficult. I'd. Say overall, like speaking. Was. The most difficult at least for me, because. That's, something that you really need to practice a lot, to be able to speak fluently so. Although I may have been able to memorize like, some grammar and some vocabulary, if it didn't quite come out when I needed it to, then.

Yeah That was that was a difficulty, for me. We. Generally, did very little speaking, practice in class I mean we did sometimes. And. It, depended on the the. Level that we were at like there were some classes. That. In. Which we did like very, short practice. Speaking. With our classmates, so. We'd. Have like a scenario, or something where we'd have to do some kind of role play or just like questions, and answers, but. This was contained, usually, to a very small amount of the class I, would, say maybe we might speak for, like. 15. Minutes of the. Four hours that we were there. Yeah. Yeah I can completely relate to that you, know as someone who's kind. Of I guess going back to school in a way I was. One of the, oldest. Students, in the class, there. Are a couple of all the students at the school who were kind of coming back, after. Having worked for like you know a decade or something, and then decided, they wanted to live in Japan and we're coming back but I think I was the only one, who. Was. There like. At least in my class and all the the students that I interacted, with who, was actually working at the same time, so. I really valued, my time a lot because I was taking a huge chunk, out of any free time that I had and. I guess being a little bit older and having a different perspective and, you know the fact that I was paying for all of this education, myself. You, know made me feel. A little bit frustrated. When you know students, were like. Kind of acting immaturely, or, the, teachers were treating us a little bit like children, or it was like a very controlled, somewhat. High schoolish, environment. And. I. Guess to a certain degree. Like. Looking at this some of the behavior that did happen it was a little bit necessary, but, for, me just personally, who wanted to be kind of an independent learner, and, you know like wanted to be trusted, and, that. Kind of thing it was a little bit yeah, it was it was strange, it was like going back to high school. Yeah. Yeah. When. I actually quit Japanese language school I had. Finished five, of the eight levels, at, the school that I was at. Basically. I decided, to, to. Leave, doing this full-time study because, I felt. Like I wasn't really getting as. Much. Out of it as I could be in terms of like for example the, amount of investment, that you're putting into the school, it's. You, know one one, aspect, is of course the money it's very expensive, to go to a full-time Japanese language school. Just, to give people an idea about how much it costs, like you'd be looking at at least around, like so, you're looking at around $2,000. A term and you. Know second of all was my time and whether, I felt like I was getting value, out of out of what I was doing and I. Felt like in the the later terms. That I wasn't quite getting the value, out of out of that and perhaps, there was a different, way for me to. Be, able to study Japanese more, effectively. And. It wouldn't cost as much either. So. Now that I've left Japanese, language school I'm, obviously having, to find other ways to study some. Of the things I've been doing have. Just been even, to. Kind of go back and revise some of the stuff that I was looking at because we did move through content really, really, quickly and. It's not like none. Of it was valuable of course there's value, in a lot of the things that we were doing but it was just a lot of memorization. Without. Actually, really practically, understanding. It or knowing how to use it so, I have been going back through, like some of those materials, and then basically, I've been using YouTube, a lot to. Look up various. Videos, there are so many videos online that, you know explain, grammar, points, and simple ways and give more examples. That. I felt that kind of aspect was really lacking in the course like we just basically learned, the grammar rule and then moved on and then, we're expected, to remember it in a test so, basically. I've been trying to actually, really understand, those grandma points, and really. Utilizing, especially. YouTube, to. Look at a lot of different videos on there. I've. Also tried to start like replacing. Times. When I might just be listening to music, at home or, like on the train with, just listening, to something, in Japanese so it could be anything I might just like listen to Japanese, news or. Just. Any, kind of like podcast. Anything. That I can find online that seems interesting, and. Just keep. My ear kind, of open to Japanese, of. Course living in Japan I do hear. Japanese, everyday but. My interactions. With people might be somewhat limited like on a daily basis, so on, a regular, day where I might just you know visit the supermarket.

Or Go, to a restaurant or something like that I'm having. The same types of interactions. Again and again and so while I feel confident, to order that, doesn't really help me kind of expand, my Japanese, level so to hear Japanese, that might be used like in different contexts. Or talking about a wide range of different issues really helps so, I've just been listening to japanese news and things like that as well. So. To be completely honest, it is much, more difficult to, to. Keep up with a study schedule now that I don't have the structure of a Japanese language school I mean one, of the benefits of going to a school is. The fact that you, have set classes, every day you have a set time and you're, paying for it so you go you know so if you you. Know just tell yourself I'm, going to do this much a day. You. Can very easily just, you. Say okay today I'm not gonna do it or you, know I'll do some more tomorrow and you know I I have, been guilty of that especially because you know I was like. Doing so many things every day before I had a really tight schedule when, I was at the school so it's kind of like wow I have, a little freedom now I don't have to do it every day so honestly. Like I haven't, been, studying. Every day about. What I when I do study, though, I'm able to focus, on the things that I feel matter most to me which. I feel is a little bit more beneficial, than studying, grammar points, for the sake of them, so. I'm able to like really focus on, the things that I feel I'm struggling with I usually, identify, those with my, communications. In everyday life so if there was a situation where, I just couldn't. Say what I wanted to say okay, I should. Try, to learn how to actually say that so, and. I find that those, are the things that stick with me more because, I know that, I will actually use it again in the future if it's come up already in my everyday life it's likely it's going to come up again so, I. Try, to focus on those things which is being I guess, I, feel it's been a bit more fruitful, for me. Another. Thing that I'm looking into is getting. A Japanese. Shooter so. You. Know the Japanese language school was, expensive, so, I. Thought, that instead of paying for that I can reinvest. Like that money or use that money instead for. Say a private lesson like, a couple of times a week and still, be far ahead. Monetarily. When it comes to when. It comes to my Japanese learning so, I am. Also looking into getting like a private Japanese teacher which, I think also might address some of the the, issues that you have with self-study right where you don't have someone like watching over you or expecting, you to do something, but if you have a you know a set lesson, time and, your, teacher gives you some kind of homework or tasks to do throughout the week then, I'm going to do it so I'm.

Thinking Maybe that kind of semi structure, is what I'm going to do going forward. Don't. Expect that Japanese language school is going to instantly just teach you Japanese you're not going to just be fluent in Japanese even, if you stay in Japan and study for a couple of years you complete a course from the start to the end you're. Not going to be fluent in Japanese without, putting in a lot of extra, effort, you're. Going to have to do a lot of speaking on your own outside of class I would definitely, recommend like, trying to make some Japanese friends, get involved, in the community getting involved in events and there are a lot of things out there that you can do international. Groups and whatnot so, definitely, try to get involved and use your Japanese, because if you're only using your Japanese in a controlled, environment you're. Not really going to be able to speak Japanese outside. And once, you have been in Japan you'll realize that a lot of the stuff in the textbooks, isn't really how Japanese people, speak in real life and. So learning, a lot of that stuff is part of the journey and definitely. Just really try to get involved and speak as much as you can and, I think you can get a lot out of your time here thanks. For sharing your story Jess I had similar, feelings to you so it's great to commiserate I've, also done interviews, with two Japanese, teachers as well as, another Japanese language student and I, also have my own experiences, to share so if you're interested there's a lot of content coming your way if you're not well. Hmm. Anyways, thanks, for watching see you next time bye, what's. Your experience learning, the Japanese language or any other language for that matter.

2018-04-24 04:34

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A few comments about the question title cards. Some wanted it to be read out loud, some to take away the music. Fair enough. Here's what I'd like to know, since it's not that big of a difference for me. Would you like A) Me to go "on camera" and speak the questions, B) Me to take away the music and read the questions, keeping the title up on screen, C) Keep it as it is, with title and music, but also read the question. I have 3 more interviews, so might as well do it in a format that people prefer.

Life Where I'm From Option B for me as well. Also having time stamps in the description would be awesome for someone coming back to the video a second time for a specific part of the interview.

Life Where I'm From I actually don't mind the current format. The music is very subtle and the title cards create these gaps in between so I can think about what they said in the previous question. Whereas if there were no title card but him going on camera to say the question there won't be a pause and it'll just feel rushed! I like the paceing and hope you don't change it.

I don't find the music intrusive. But, I would like to hear the question! I might wanna do something else while listening.

C! I didn't find the music intrusive, its very minimal! But i was listening to the interview while doing something else and was missing what the question was.

B, I often listen to this type of video and was a bit lost when I didn't know the questions. You can keep the music but I would like to hear the questions.


I'd like to see a "real" interview with both the interviewer and the interviewee on camera :)

I listen to you longer videos on commutes, so having you read them out would be appreciated. B or C.

B. please. sometimes i just listen to your videos and wondered why it fell silent. LoL. THANK YOU.

B. (I think your voice gets back the attention)

I don't know how it'd work in the end... I think it's ok the way you did it on this video... I think if you read the questions it'd feel more LWIF-ish... I don't know if you combined this two, which is opcion (C), if they'd clash somehow...


Personally, I'd like to have the questions listed and time-stamped in the description box; that way I can quickly go back or search for the questions I'm most interested in.

I think B would work better!

C :p

B please!

B :)

B ! (Great work by the way)

There are over 500 different language schools in Japan; to find one that suits you, check out www.takemetojapan.com ! ^_^ They help you with finding and applying to schools, visas and even accommodation!

Not all of them the same; for focusing on communication, see this course here! :D www.takemetojapan.com/practical-japanese others are more intensive (to get into universities, pass the JLPT) www.takemetojapan.com/intensive-courses

Could you make a video on vegetarian food in Japan? I don't know if that's a thing there, as it seems like all of their famous meals include meat...

Japanese is a lot easier than most people make it out to be.

Hey...I have a question for you!...if you're a freelancer (artist) working and living in Japan, is it important to learn reading and writing (and getting a JLPT)? or is it enough to learn how to speak and be fluent in speaking?

As for "other languages", I am, at this moment, studying Russian through a company called "innovative language" (online). They have thirty-some-odd languages to choose from (including ESL), and, I'm having a blast with it! they also have lots of free stuff here on YT! so, you might wanna search them out! mata ne

I’d be very interested in the videos with the Japanese teachers and another student! As well as your own experiences of course. I hope to see this content coming soon. I really liked hearing about this process to learn the Japanese language ☺️

It'll be soon. Have them all mostly edited. Except my experience, that I haven't done yet. But that'll be the last one.

I had 4 years of spanish in highschool in canada. I think my teachers were pretty good at teaching the subject, and probably at least 25-30%? of total class time was speaking, with other students and one on one with the teacher, which i found to be fine. Each class was pretty well-rounded I think. When highschool ended and i didn't have spanish class anymore, i pretty much lost all that I had learned because it was really awkward to try to practice and speak with my dad in spanish lol... Sometimes I go on duolingo to brush up and further my spanish, and it helps, its a great tool. but you definitely have to get out in the real world and use the language in real situations.

Its cool that i watch this since i was grade 3 (2015)same as Aiko age, lol than she must be 12 this year- well, keep a good work Aiko-! (Im sorry if i said the name wrong hehe-) im also studying Kanji And Katakana(?)

I think the real benefit of going to language schools is that you can make many friends there. In addition, you can practice japanese with the friends you made there. For that sole reason, going to a language school is really worth for foreigners arriving in Japan for the first time.

I'm thinking of learning japanese (speaking) but since we need to learn the letters/alphabets like hiragana, katanaka and kanji i guess it would take a long time :( im in vacation tho so i guess it would take a long time for me to learn Japanese :(

I appreciate the questions... So essential and to the point.. Good Job Man !

When learning any language it nearly always gets really boring at the advanced intermediate level onwards in a classroom environment. The best way from there onwards is integration, with French I did the classroom studying and then I did voluntarily work in France for eight months after returning to England I worked for a French company for 5 years in London using French daily. Then I learned Spanish after meeting my Mexican wife and moved to Mexico and the same happened I got bored of the classroom at the advanced intermediate level and just totally integrated in to Mexican life, I have now been in Mexico for more than 15 years. Never be shy of making errors, try to be outgoing and friendly, keep on being super curious every day learning more as you go along and give yourself a big "YES!" when you are no longer afraid of answering the telephone in your non native language :) Also don't hangout with expats too much in the early years if you want to learn the local language as quick as possible.

I studied Chinese in Taiwan and I just wanted to say that knowing Chinese or Japanese is a big advantage when learning the other, when talking about Chinese characters and a lot of vocab. I know cause I studied Japanese previously. At my university in Taiwan, some classes used standardized textbooks, but my class used ones made by the school. They were cheaper, and although the English wasn't always good, I think they was more authentic and natural, also a lot cheaper. In my classes, we didn't always focus on the books, sometimes we would get caught up on a topic and spent most of the class talking about it! For example, Me, my teacher and my Japanese classmate once spent a whole class(1 hour) debating if Chinese helps with Japanese and vice versa because the other two disagreed with me, lol. This allowed natural conversations instead of just textbook practice. Anyway, it was a great time and now that I'm getting back into studying Japanese, since I'm studying abroad there soon, I'm so glad my Chinese got to a pretty good level, it helps. People in my Japanese class complain and say I already know the Kanji, lol. If anyone wants to study Chinese, I do recommend Taiwan!

Hard to believe a Spanish speaker person would have issues with Japanese.pronunciation.

Hi IAM new subscriber

Been learning Japanese on and off for a few years now. It is a struggle especially memorizing kanji. i did gave up for a few year and picking it up again this year since i planning to go kansai region. My hiragana is ok now but kanji and katakana not that great. Im using YouTube to learn kanji. Now in the 2nd elementary kanji. Use Japanese manga for reading study. An App call Japanese to find any kanji word that im unable to read. Quite useful. Wish me luck!

Love the format and I really appreciate your additional comments - it makes your channel uniquely informative. Great job!

I wouldn't say I'm good in Japanese, but I have experience of studying varying languages in different ways. I'm from Poland, lived in the UK for over half my life and learned French in secondary (middle) school as a mandatory subject. The classroom environment never worked for me; repetition, memorisation and strict learning of grammatical rules produces weak results. I remember about 20 words from French after 5 years of learning. To compare I learned English in one year, became fluent in three, all thanks to integration into society and a personal tutor to lay a foundation and set the frames. But that's when I lived in the county of which I was learning the language, not many people have that option without considerable risk. With Japanese I had the same problem Jess mentioned; it's hard to keep motivated by yourself. I dropped learning it for the sake of Swedish with the dream of moving there within two years and found a website (or free app) called Duolingo. What would you know: they also have Japanese! It quickly teaches how to build sentences, and slowly builds up vocabulary and grammar. You set your own pace, but it has daily targets and a clear structure to help with the motivation. There's a discussion forum for help if you need it. Duolingo can help you with basics. For Kanji I suggest "Kanji Look and Learn Workbook" from Genki Plus, work through it at your own pace at the same time. Once you feel comfortable in the basics and wish to test your understanding, Youtube channel Fantajikan has children's stories to develop listening/reading/kanji comprehension. With time move to watching Japanese TV/shows/anime and reading things such as "Parallel text short stories in Japanese". Also get Japanese Microsoft IME for typing. Rikaikun chrome extension can help you with kanji in a web browser; it's a dictionary. It's definitely a good idea to use the online language connect websites down the line (or have a Japanese native as a friend) but I never had the courage hence the reason my Japanese never got above 'ok-ish'. I hope this is of help for some people. Good luck with your learning. And as always thank you for an insightful video, Greg. ; )

Naylai Colore definitely helped me :)

I learned Japanese by a combination of classes (high school and college), living in Japan, and "self-study." I get very bored and tune out with textbookish things, so I found the best way to learn was through hanging out with Japanese people and talking to them (for general fluency, slang, the emotion/feeling in Japanese), and through memorizing and singing Japanese songs (for vocabulary, grammar, and kanji.) As for "self-study," I never sat down and studied (because....eew, studying) but I've been translating for almost 20 years now, first as a hobby, now as a profession. I can't help but learn vocabulary and kanji and the like from doing so, but I honestly don't retain it as well as I do from singing.

Nice. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Her voice sounds gooood

I absolutely love your channel!!! VERY informative and on point!! THANK YOU for the videos

I wish i had this english speakers in my english exams. I really feel i understand the language until i arrive to those exams

How did Jess manage to move to Japan in the first place? It is practically impossible to become a resident there unless you have a job at a company you found while out of Japan...?

I'm fairly sure she got work teaching English, which getting a visa for is fairly easy provided you have a bachelor's degree. She then studied Japanese full time while simultaneously working at an English school. So I think it was a very busy year for her.

What if ur full japanese and want to learn something else do they still teach other languages

Good interview man, solid questions :)

High school student knowing a minimum of 2000 kanji is more correct :) They know and can read a lot more than 2000 kanji. Reading some of the other comments I guess jp lang school experiences can vary a lot. Teachers guidance, exposure to real Japanese (tv, newspapers, spoken formally or with friends): all worth it. Personally I went from basic Japanese (private lessons in the UK) to fluent in 1.5 yrs by moving to Japan and enlisting in full time JLPT1 and BJT prep-classes over a duration of 1.5yrs it was crazy hard. A typical day: 9-12 attend classes; get home for lunch; spend the rest of the afternoon on review and prep for the next lesson including catching up on homework (writing drills, writing essays, etc. it literally took all afternoon to complete), gym in the evening. weekends with Japanese friends.

Right. I was referring more to the official jōyō kanji, which right now sits at 2,136 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C5%8Dy%C5%8D_kanji.

This is pretty informative. I'm actually trying to learn Korean on my own but it comes with a lot of difficulties.


Great video! I've been debating the idea of turning my autumn vacation into something more productive and fun with language or art classes, but I don't think a high school lecture style class would suit me either as I'm older and just want to explore Japan and have a good time. Also, $2000 is a lot just for one semester of language classes, a tutor is a good idea

Maple check your community college. Cheaper

Hey can you please share the name of the institution Jess went to because I am right now searching for a Japanese institute in Tokyo or maybe in osaka.

more please!

The part about learning to pass the JLPT vs learning to be conversational is key. I've seen Japanese language schools that have different tracks just for that purpose, though, so don't give up entirely on the idea of going to a Japanese language school if you don't care about the JLPT levels. Also note that if you're wanting to work at a Japanese company, you're almost certainly going to have to have N2 or even N1 just to be able to get an interview, from what I've seen/heard. If you're used to Western working standards, you almost certainly don't WANT to work at a typical Japanese company, though that's an entirely different topic. :)

I've been learning Japanese own my own for about 2 - 3 weeks now. I read ひらがな and カタカナ fluently and I pick up on 漢字 as I go. I know basic grammar - sentence structures and particles - and I also know approximately 150 verbs, nouns and adjectives along with their different conjugations. Though I study vocabulary and grammar, I also watch at least 2 hours of Japanese TV a day - at least one hour is without any subtitles whatsoever. Right now, I'm picking up on maybe 5% of what they are saying when I watch a drama without subtitles, but based on the context, characters' actions and mood and progression in story I'm able to get a lot more information than that. This is my way of learning and I love it. It's fun! No stressing out trying to memorise things for a test that you're never going to need/use in real life. I don't like tests, never did, because they don't work. They simply don't work, especially when learning a new language. I studied Spanish for 5 years when I was in school. I was a straight A student until the last year of high school when I dropped the class because I realised how trivial it was. And right now, after not even 3 weeks of teaching myself Japanese, I know more Japanese than I do Spanish(!!!). I could go on forever about this subject, but let me leave you with a motivation (if you can call it that). Learn a language the way YOU want to learn it. Have fun with it and don't stress. And please forget about tests and other nonsens like that - you don't need them. Find something that you like doing and incorporate the language you're learning into it! You are going to learn the language eventually, so just relax and enjoy every step of the way. And remember - every new thing you learn brings you one step closer to fluency. I believe in you! 頑張って!!!

Get the app lingodeer.

What a great video! Very insightful and interesting even for a person like me who will probably never study Japanese. I am very interested in language in general and, to answer your final question, here are my experiences. (As background, English is my first language, along with a small scattering of German, Yiddish, and Spanish during my childhood. Also, tl;dr: I now know three more languages, entirely self-taught.) The second language in which I became fluent was American Sign Language. I learned it when I became friends with several deaf people when I was around 14 and 15. I learned entirely by immersion, using it continuously with my friends until I was very comfortable with it. I reached actual fluency when I interpreted church services and other meetings for my friends over the course of several years. Since then I've actually taught several multi-year sign language classes and worked off and on as a professional freelance interpreter. My third language was Spanish. I'd been speaking "Spanglish" most of my life but knew very little about the actual language. I took a year of Spanish in high school and learned the basics of grammar and a little vocabulary, but I learned far more by working in Mexico for three summers during university. I finally achieved full fluency when I married a Mexican man (who was already fully fluent in English) and his mother, who spoke virtually no English, lived with us for about 17 years, from the time we married until her death. I'm now, for the past two years or so, in the process of learning German. I'm mostly using an online program that I like a lot (germanpod101.com) but I'm also fortunate enough to have a number of German friends so I converse with them in German as much as possible. I'm still faaaaaaaar from fluent, but I read and listen pretty well and I can make myself reasonably understood through speech or writing. In case you couldn't guess, I really love learning languages so I'm having a lot of fun with it.

Wow, I always thought that Spanish native speakers had an easy time with Japanese pronunciation, since both languages use similar syllables.

Legonor true


I lost you 30 seconds into the video !!

I am very visually impaired and must therefore use a magnifying glass with a high magnification to read. Despite of my visuall impairment, I find it very hard to recognize the text in "Japanese Learning Books". I visited a Japanese course here in Vienna many years ago. The letters were too small for me. Luckily the teacher took care of me and explained a lot to me.   For 8 years now I have a pen pal in Sapporo. Although she is completely blind, she does not have language_learning_difficulties like me. She tries to teach me some Japanese words, unfortunately only with little success. Usually we talk in English. She explains to me in English what kind of Japanese sweets she has sent me, and I explain in English which Austrian sweets I have sent her. I would have liked to visit her, for example during the snow_festival. But I do not dare to do that because of my miserable Japanese knowledge. If my language skills improve, then I could visit not only my pen pal, but also the "dialogue in the dark" in Osaka or Tokyo - I just have to find it. At least, I knew where the "Katsushika Street" and the "Setagayapark" are.

Wait..... How would I move to Japan without speaking Japanese? I know a little of Japanese but........ Do I have to go to a Japanese Learning school or do the Application?

Love your interview videos. One request - please read the questions out loud. Those videos are great to listen to during workout or laundry. It worked out fine listening without knowing the questions but hearing them would be better.

i am studying japanese since my eight grade and now i am a sophomore in engineering still could only clear n5

hey thanks, I watched your many videos and they just made me live into the moments i do want to visit japan and live there hope someone can help me.. I'm from !ndia and a huge fan of Japan

I did a small Japanese course for about a month last year, in Norway. I find the pronunciation isn't too bad because the Japanese phonetics are very similar to Norwegian. I do find the grammar very difficult though because it is so fundamentally different to that in Germanic laguages. I am going to pause my Japanese learning though because it is more important to me on a personal and proffesiobal level to learn South Sami/Lappish and that languages nouns has 9 cases and each family member has a different title depending on which side of the family or if it is an older or younger member etc. It is part of discovering the past of my ancestors and pary of my Phd.

Hi Greg! I was wondering if you will be doing a video on Japan's take on mental disability in the future. Around the world, some countries have been more active in promoting awareness and providing more opportunities to those with special needs. I understand that Japan is one of the leading countries in terms of caring for the elderly, but I'm wondering what about those with special needs?

I would love to go to a language school, BUT in the US I'm in a type of Special ed class and feel as if my ADHD brain wouldn't last long in a Japanese school. I'd need and still do need accommodations, you all have any information about that subject or place in Japan a person like me would be able to go to then please reply!

667th like. BTW I’m in Japan now spending my vacation, perhaps after mu schooling in Ph I will be studying here in Japan and work at the same time.

Need to set a schedule myself to learn Japanese and Spanish. Spanish because it has similarity with my dialect and Japanese because I have been interested with Japan culture and want to read more literature from Japan. Other than my dialect I learned my national language and English at the same time from school. I sometimes think it really helps if someone learns any languages from their childhood because they absorb it better. I agree that you learn any new language if you try to practice talking with native speaker or other people because you absorb it more compare to memorization.

Great video !!!! Full of useful informations :)

Iam a final year medical student from Egypt 23 years old iam a self-study guy duo to medical school & time limitation that comes with it , i started japanese since october 2016 began w basics listening to conversations songs on regular basis then started jlpt study with n5,n4 w 2hrs/day 6 days/week........ finished it in june 2017 & duo to my medical exams in august and the jlpt here is only once in a year (december) i took n4 in december 2017 ( 70\180) failed i decided to continue studying for n3.... i need your advices for dealing with n3, n2

I'm dating a Chinese woman and am learning Mandarin. Books are useless to me. I want a live person to interact with.. either a teacher (I found a great one through italki.com) or my girlfriend (it gives her endless joy to hear me butcher mandarin). I use phone apps in my down time to reinforce what I already know. Also yoyochinese.com for interactive lessons. But talking to a person is absolutely critical.

great video- bad editing there is no need for the music to be repeated ever 2 minutes either no music or one 1 long soundtrack

what if he had background music ?

The music is to eliminate the dead audio when the questions are posted on screen. The video would be much worse if it was : talk->no audio question on screen->talk->no audio etc. I agree its boring, Greg should have done a voice over to read the question.


Student Lucas Zhou itadakimasu いただきます

where aiko


found the pedo.

Jess if I may give you some advice, look up Ajatt on YouTube or the channel mattvs Japan

Finally, someone who gets it. AJATT is super effective.

Is Rosetta Stone good enough? Is it acurate?

A.J. Williams it's a good first step, will help you with the elementary level.

It was good to commiserate. LOL!

Randon guy in japan passing through I studied japanese in a language school for one year as well. With that knowledge i got into a Japanese University which I will graduate in 2021. - Well, cool video and nicely explained, i guess.

I really want to visit Japan because the culture sounds so different to Israel and that's really interesting to me but getting kosher food is a problem if I want to visit more than Tokyo

Could you eat vegetarian while your in Japan? Because there is always a great vegetarian offer, culturally anchored. Or does kosher refer to more than just meat? :)

Thank you very much for not putting everything under music. Your videos are so relaxed and I can really focus on what people are saying. Your channel really stands out for its quality. Have a nice day :)

Would love to hear more about your experiences and your learning experience too very nice content as always Thank you !

I live in Finland and I have been to Finnish classes here and I can totally relate with the language in the textbook not being the same as what is actually spoken by Finns. It's tough and it takes a ton of work. I have to admit that I've been very lazy with it and it's a bit easier for foreigners in Finland because virtually everyone speaks English. You just have to work hard at it I guess.

Phil:) Yeah I think that's a major problem with almost all language classes across the world as it the way it's often taught is different than spoken.

This sounds a looooottttt like my experience with studying at a language school in osaka. I studied korean in korea for one and a half years and since i have that experience to compare it to i find myself really frustrated with this japanese school. The lessons at my current school are really lacking in comparison. Plus they don't even use a book and give you prints after prints after prints...

Great video! It will for sure help me decide if I should learn Japanese now or in Japan! Love all your videos!

I really enjoy your videos but I noticed that they're starting to get longer. Please consider keeping them max 15mins probably? xoxo

I agree with her recognizing that the Japanese Language Proficiency Test isn't a good indicator of your ability to use Japanese, because it only tests kanji, grammar, reading, and listening. It's kinda up to you as the learner to fill in those gaps yourself. That being said, I feel that it since passing each level is something that's standardized, it can be a good motivator, reward the learner with a feeling of accomplishment, and ultimately keep you wanting to learn and improve.


I did 11 years of Japanese in school, and I learnt so little. I can read some signs and go shopping but I feel so stupid when I go to Japan. :/

Cathy wow 11 yeara, what country?

My experience of learning Japanese is through University classes. At the start, I found it useful because it gave us good structure and basically forced me to know the basics as well as teaching me methods of studying a second language. Now I'm in my third year and I find the classes slightly too easy.. that's not to say I'm fluent at all, I'm really not, but I've gotten used to how the classes work and I feel like I'm not being pushed out of my comfort zone at all. It's similar to Jess, we get an opportunity to make our own utterances about 5 times a lesson, and the lessons are 2 hours long, twice a week. Otherwise it's mainly input/reading related, despite the small class of about 10 students. I can tell my speaking is lacking, because I saw my teacher out of class so I decided to talk to her. She was speaking in Japanese and I could understand her perfectly, but I couldn't think of how to respond to the questions due to lack of practice, so the conversation was really basic. I think classes are a great foundation, but once you get your footing in Japanese, you can continue on your own with the help of natives of course.

As a self professed weeb, I find this video helpful...

Wow I'm actually really early!

There is any school that she recommends? Or someone can recommend? Im living in japan almost 3 years but i can’t find a good one. Please help! Thank you so much


This interview made me completely discard the Japanese language school option. I also feel like you would retain more by focusing on what you want to learn rather than what's being I imposed to you by the school. I guess that, as for many things, self discipline is key for learning Japanese (it's also cheaper xD).

Yeah, I might have said too much, the social aspect is obviously very important too ^^

I think you shouldn´t completely discard the idea of going to a language school imo. The biggest benefit of going to one is that you can easily make friends there. That´s a huge thing, at least for me.

Discarding all japanese language schools might have been saying too much... However I can't help but feel that their main appeal is just to provide "students" with an environment easier for studying which, should also be achievable on one's own, provided you have the motivation. The fact that I can't afford those kind of schools at the moment is of course also a big factor in my thinking like this.

I did an interview with a Japanese language teacher. She said most schools are like what Jess described, but that there are more conversation focused schools, like the one's that people in Japan on business would take. The school Jess went to was more focused on JLPT and teaching to the test. So I don't know if you have to discard all schools.

I'm currently attending a Japanese language school in Akihabara. I'm absolutely loving it here!

daninjapan thank you.

ejames80 about $5000 USD equivalent, for a whole year (April 2018-March 2019)

How much is your tuition?

Nevermore well the requirements vary from country to country. Getting a Visa is a very important step, assuming you're studying for any time over three months. Some schools teach beginner's Japanese, and some don't. I went through a service called Go! Go! Nihon, and they guided me through the entire process which took almost six months.

what are the requirements? i'd like to learn japanese in japan as well.

learning mandarin. Did the classes, it costs about 100usd here in the philippines for about one cycle which is 2 classes a week, 2 hours each for about 8 weeks or a total of 32 hours. I went to about 8 classes every cycle. Its hard when most work in the philippines is about 50-60 hours because of traffic, also i'm a family man so it became impractical. Shifted to Spaced-Repetition-Systems, and Self Study. I use social media apps like hello talk to practice my listening and youtube. Immersion is economically not feasible for most Filipinos as well as the stigma of being a developing world country known for illegal immigrants. So self study and volunteering one's time in conversations online is pretty much the circumstance. I've spent a total of 100usd in this method with apps and material like Pimsleur. Can't see a developing world person afford anything more if they are tied down with family and obligations. Finally love your channel, yours and advchina guys are very helpful in understanding other cultures and peoples.

My only experience is watching a lot of anime and Japanese shows with subtitles. I started this at a very young age nearly 30 something Years. I can hear and understand what they are saying....not all but I pretty much get the jest of what they are trying to say. Though I can’t speak, write, and read at least I can hear and understand. ✌️

The L.A. Asian Guy you can learn by watching anime and Japanese movies.

It's hard!!! I am going thro the 'everyday studying everyday taking homework' style. And I can't keep up. I hate it when you have to rush someone thro learning process. The results wouldn't last long too.

I'm from Korea and I learned Japanese in my high school. So, I can speak Japanese. But The Kanji was so hard to me that I gave up learning Japanese.

They teach us some simple kanji. But I have to study at least 2000 kanji to read Japanese books and something.

ᄆ ᄆ don't they teach kanji in Korea?

Will you have any content leading upto the Rugby World Cup thats happening in Japan next year?

So what's the best Japanese language YouTube channel? And what about Rosetta Stone?

Japanese Ammo with Misa has a lot of useful videos.

Great quality video. I loved the advertisement for your school. You're a very adept filmmaker and I loved your video on owning a Japanese restaurant. I felt the beginning was very anti-Chinese and sort of racist for no reason.?. "Haha a lot of my classmates we're Scandinavian which I didn't expect haha". Idk man, hope for the best

Thank you for the video! This is the most detailed experience of someone else who went to a Japanese Language school I've seen. I've been self-learning the Japanese Language kind of at a snail's pace for the past 2 years, because of working full time and being a full-time college student while doing this. But, I am learning it all the same. I've used multiple sources to study from like Rosetta Stone, Genki, and Human Japanese. I recently started learning how to speak on a native level from someone who lives in Japan because I know the textbooks mostly teach me how to sound like a foreigner know matter what. My goal is to live and study in Japan after I am done with college in the US. I figure learning as much Japanese now may make things easier when I get there.

My boyfriend has been to a Japanese language school. He is planning on returning this summer. Apparently, it really comes in handy.

It would be nice to finish the video with them speaking Japanese so we see their progress

My experience learning Japanese is like trying to chase fluency whilst standing on a frictionless floor. I want to make progress but I'm incredibly inconsistent and struggle to sit down so I can continue my study. These videos are motivation though so thank you.

Nice to see Jess! Haven’t seen her awhile! Tfs her thoughts on this.

Thank you for this! This is exactly what I’m interested in at the moment. Can’t wait for the other parts. Good job :)

I'm interested !

I really enjoy your videos

the only problem is its really expensive, last time i checked price for a month was like 2k, if anyone found any cheap sites that allows you to immerse yourself in a Japanese language school feel free to comment below

Good Tip to learn Japanese: Check if your country has a Japan Foundation. Its funded by japan and provides classes that are cheap and focused on conversational skills. They use a book called Marugoto whose learning materials can also be easily found online. Its definitely too slow for people who want to become sufficient in a very short time, but if you are working next to classes its a perfect way to untangle many of the mysteries of the language.

I love u r videos alot really

Perfect timing. I am currently in the process of applying for language school. It would start this October. It's always good to hear somebody's perspectives and experiences.

Great video as always.

Is there a possibility for the questions to be read? I like to treat the videos with mostly spoken content as podcasts and listen to them while doing something else, but its harder when I need to look what a question is. Anyone else feeling similar? PS I love your videos and this serious documentary-like approach

I love podcasts and sometimes do this too. I hope Greg makes a podcast one day, it would be amazing

I appreciate both this question and the answer. I do the same thing and kept running back to the screen to see the questions! :-) (Also, more importantly, it could be helpful for any visually impaired viewers.) Thanks for your openness to the idea!

I was thinking about doing this but ended up not. Sorry. I can do that for the next ones.


language school is a waste of time.. theyre only trying to get you to pass a test not actually help you learn and understand.


I wouldn´t say that. I agree that you can learn more in a shorter time by self studying, but the real benefit of going to a language is school is to make friends. All the students have the same interest as you, it´s easy to make friends in those places.

Depends on the language school, if you go to one for JLPN or university of course, but their are some for basic understanding of daily used Japanese and learning also about the culture. (for me it was only a matter of motivation, having a reason to immerse myself in the language every day) But the Japanese courses each week once in my home country where a waste of time! Did learn more in one week language school than I did at the course over half a year

Shadow _Magicians she said that herself.

Radiatex you dont know that.

C) please the music underlines the new question and as a "podcast" with reading loud the question it will be perfect :)

I like it just the way it is, but for people who want to use it like a podcast, I can see how you reading the questions would be really helpful.

Can you also timestamp all the questions so we can choose which section to look at?

Life Where I'm From the format doesn’t really bother me entirely, but I like the idea of you doing a voiceover while the title cards are on screen. I do feel like your voice pulls the whole thing together

I think C would be a better option to make the video "flow" more, especially for listeners. Thx


B or C would be better because I sometimes just listened to your video and wondered why there was no talk. I'd choose C because I liked the soft backsound but B is okay as long as someone reads the question. Keep up the good work!

I laughed when she said she was from Melbourne. I don't know if other foreigners living in Japan have noticed, but if someone is from Australia probably the odds are at least 75% they are from Melbourne ! You would think what city they are from would be roughly in proportion to the equivalent populations in Australia. So for example Sydney has a similar but slightly larger population than Melbourne, so you would meet roughly equal numbers from Sydney and Melbourne. But no, the proportion of people from Melbourne vs Sydney seems to be about 4:1.

I did a Japanese school program, which ran for a year, here in the States. However, I feel that as much as I benefited from it, it was just a once a week class for a few hours, and I didn't have a chance to use the Japanese much at all, outside the classroom. No one I took the course with, wanted to do independent study or study groups. I felt I was the only one really "serious" about it. I'm going to try another one this year, now that I live in an area where I can utilize what I learn more often, and have already developed friendships with people, who already want to do study groups. I hope this one goes over better. ^.^

Thanks for covering this subject. I have been thinking about moving to Japan to attend a language school. At first, I was taking lessons over Skype with on italki.com. The challenge with that was my teacher was in Australia and I'm in the U.S. The time difference was terrible. Then she moved to Phuket. The time difference was a bit better but still a challenge. The lessons were kind of expensive and what I was learning was straight out of the textbook, something that I probably could've done by myself. So I switched over to an online course at Japanesepod101.com. I've had more luck with that but it's a very slow self-paced course. I am now wondering if I would learn better by immersion in the language. I have found that there are some language schools that have 2-4 week study trips which may be a good way to get an idea if its the right path to take. Bottom line: にほんごはかんたんじゃないです。(Japanese is not easy}. I look forward to seeing your other interviews!

What happen to Aiko and shin???

I’m a self-studier only because I’m not in japan at the moment lol. I really need the school structure (and I owe my college money so I can’t attend classes until they’re paid off lol). Like Jess said, the hardest part is keeping yourself accountable. That said, I do try to study everyday, and I’ve bought a lot of the Nihongo so-matome books because of that. you’re supposed to do one lesson a day over 6 weeks for each of their books. They won’t really help you with speaking though. But my husband is Japanese, so if I want to speak Japanese I don’t have an excuse not to, lol. The hardest part for me is kanji because my second language...or I guess third if I count Spanish is Chinese, like Jess was talking about with her Chinese classmates, the different meanings and spoken words confuse the crap out of me, and even though I’m trying to switch my mind over to Japanese inside, I still will initially read kanji in Chinese - which will also get you lost in Japan when reading street signs- , and forget the Japanese meaning and word, since a lot of the time the meaning is different and whereas in Chinese each character is its own word, in Japanese they use many different words for one kanji. Before I met my husband I was looking for Japanese schools, if/when we return to japan I definitely want to go to school because I need that controlled environment personally. Everybody learns differently, I’m not great at self control/sticking to something on my own. And don’t try to have your Japanese spouse help you....

Herro to Japan

This is only one perspective; there are many different schools and courses so this should not be relied on as a sole source. I am excited for the other videos! You can see the many different types of courses offered here: www.takemetojapan.com

There are different types of Japanese language school. Here is a communication based course: www.takemetojapan.com/practical-japanese

There are short-term courses; you will learn so much in just a few weeks! :)

That was so interesting! As a spanish native speaker, I really though japanese was particularly easy to pronounce for us spanish speakers, so her perception was surprising to me, I wonder why, to me the sounds are basically the same so there should not be any issue with pronunciation (most of the time), compared with english speakers where the sounds are very different.

Praveen Premchandran oh I hope you don't have to! That would be a shame :(

Marília Diniz This! As a vegetarian who also consumes eggs and milk but no sea-food (essentially not a vegan) and contemplating living in Japanese for at least a year, I'd like to know what to expect food-wise! I'm even considering going off a vegetarian diet for when I live in Japan.

Yeah, it refers to more than just meat. I might be able to bring a ton of snacks and buy fruit/vegetables, though. In any case, this is all hypothetical because because of the national service I'm not really going to be able to leave the country for the next two years. Unless I suddenly do it this summer, haha :)

There are many types of Japanese language schools. Here is a course that focuses on communication, a few weeks will allow you to see great improvement, like she said! :) www.takemetojapan.com/practical-japanese

The L.A. Asian Guy same

ᄆ ᄆ i see. Some say you have to.know 2145, other say you have to learn over 2300. Here is some guy compilation of kanjis by level test. https://www.nihongo-pro.com/kanji-pal/list/jlpt

C - I liked it exactly as it was, and the music was ideal.


Does anyone have a Japanese Language School in Kyoto they could recommend? I am in my early 40's and I am not interested in doing the activities as I have lived in Japan before.

Australian's sound like New Englanders. They don't pronounce their R's.

10:40 Basically a college class.

Having a background in German will give you a huge boost with academic Japanese grammar. In German, you can have a whole paragraph modifying a single word, just as with Japanese. American students have a lot of trouble with that. Also, whatever your background, the key is to stop worrying about being grammatically perfect when you speak. It keeps you from saying anything at all. Lose the self-consciousness. That’s why your Japanese is always better after a beer or two.

Ohh nice. It makes sense, I never though, as Spanish native speaker, we could mishear or confuse some Japanese syllables ¡Gracias amigo (o amiga) colombiano!

So at least for me (Colombia) it is relatively easy to pronounce most of them, Y is easy too if you learned English beforehand but the one that gives me a lot of trouble is Z since we don't really put a lot of attention to that sound, we usually pronounce it as a S, the other one I noticed a lot of classmates have a ton of problem is Ch and Sh, and like in the video, so many confuse Y and J. Another minor advantage form Spanish is a few concepts like Polite forms since we also have that.

I'm working on learning Spanish, and I find the different grammar structure the most dificult part.

I speak Spanish natively and I thought Japanese pronunciation would be as easy for most Spanish speakers as it was for me. Interesting...

Great video! I only wish it had some Japanese language in it :) Thanks, good luck!

C. The music was low enough where everything said can be heard.

I'm guess i learned it in an odd way. I picked up speech and listening through anime before i learned how to read.

So are there any schools in Japan that actually focus on practical, conversational Japanese as well?

I have a long history of learning japanese. In high school I took a course at our community center for 1,5 years. Right now I'm studying Japanese studies at university, and have been for the last 5 years; getting my master's degree at the moment. I've been studying at a university in Kyoto for one year, which really helped me with my japanese. Last year I went to a language school in Kanazawa for 5 weeks, which was a completely different experience than the one in Kyoto. My tip is to just talk. Stop caring if it's right or wrong. You will make mistakes, but you will learn from them.

thank you, i will go to japan to study this year's october and i may want to have information as much as i can get.

Somehow, subtitles aren't right. You still have to use dictionaries to have a proper translation.

Awww I like it the way it is!!

I like it as it is, but of your choices I'd pick C. Two suggestions: vary the music a bit more...it becomes repetitious. And somehow carry the background hiss into the question interlude so there wouldn't be an abrupt change in the ambient sound. Thanks for your wonderful videos!

Life Where I'm From Hi. I dont think u need to change anything bcos its simple amd nice this way

I feel like he can be a good teacher

I think she meant sounds like Z, as in "gozaimasu" or ゆ as "you" and not "llu" (with Spanish reading). Other than that most sounds come really easy to pronounce if you already know Spanish

The reason I never went to language school was because you spend more time listening to your classmates and their bad silly japanese than listening to a native speaker

I like her. She's wise. She's no sheep. I wish you good fortune in your everyday studies.

Good morning, I've been studying nihongo for 5 months now and still focusing on Hiragana, Katakana and some Basic phrases. Actually I.. I'm not sure yet if I'm going to a Language school to help me improve.. So, this video helps a lot.. to hear from someone's perspective who's going into a Japanese school,. Maybe I'll try to enrol into a Japanese language school before the semester starts. Thanks

No im gonna stick with germanic languages and hirigana

ive studied zen Buddhism quit a bit. I can under stand it better then I can speak it but I do know enough to be interactive. I struggle with reading the japaneese cherachture because I do not speak it comprehensively.

This lady talks clearly, very clearly.

I am from China. Is it possible to learn Japanese by myself if I go to live in Tokyo?

I have to say thank you to the both of you. This has given me more of a perspective on what it is like to study in Japan. I plan to study at a language school in the next year and have come to the conclusion I might want to attend some classes near me before moving to Japan. This has been so helpful! Thank you!

B option seems optimal. A lot of "viewers" are actually listeners. A old tv trick was to ask the interviewee to start their answer with the question. Can be a consensus solution.

best resource video ever! The content and how it was presented was exactly what I needed - thank you so much! :D hmmm i feel a lil more confused now after watching, but in a good way.

how much on average do this language school cost? how do earn while studying in japan?

I wonder if people that don’t speak and don’t know anything about the English language see English as a very difficult language to learn.

Outstanding post


she's rolling on e

and better writing it not orial beautiful counry some ppl more hands on

leanr spanish read alot and repeat tricky easier right and never did language idk

1:40 when white people move to another country = Expat when coloured people move to another country = Immigrant

whilst the content of the video was very interesting, I couldn't help but notice her australian accent isn't that australian? it's got some nuances of north american accent. My ears are confused haha

From a Chinese point of view, the Chinese characters, or Kenji in Japan, are all learnt by hard work in our primary school, with tears and sore hands. It is hard. But once it is A-must, there is no escape. Japanese may need to learn about 2000-3000 Kenji and I think Chinese may need more than 10000+ to be treated as educated. I agree a language learning partner could help.

I guess I have found that too! I wonder why? Haha

If you're a freelancer, then the JLPT isn't really important in most cases. It's mostly a requirement for Japanese companies. Being a fluent speaker is certainly a huge advantage and "enough" in a lot of situations. But I would recommend trying to learn to read so you can understand signs, emails, letters, menus... Writing is less necessary, especially if you type all the time - predictive text will bring up the kanji when you start writing the hiragana (but you'd have to know which kanji is the right choice). Basically, the more you know, the better and smoother your time here!

Haha Yes, it was! Started with a working holiday visa and then moved to a working visa.

Thank you! I will look it up!

Really realistic and totally believable learning Japanese experience, thank you for this video.

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I've been using duolingo since the Japanese course came out. I completed the course and it was good for learning hiragana and some pretty basic stuff about the structure of the language, but it wasn't very comprehensive. It didn't really cover much katakana at all and the kanji in it was used very sparingly. Good to keep beginners from getting too discouraged, I suppose but useless if you're actually trying to learn to read Japanese. Now I'm using memrise, which has been much better than duolingo, but as I myself don't really have anything else to compare it to, I'm not too sure how good it objectively is. I'd love to hear some tips or useful resources for a lone learner. I have been doing at least some Japanese practice almost everyday for nearly a year now, ranging from five to thirty-fourty minutes, and I'd like to get more 'serious' about actually getting good at it.

I completely agreed with what Jess was saying about your time. When I went back to school to study media production I sat in front of two students who were talking almost through the whole class. I'm not on a scholarship or getting financial aid, I'm paying for this myself. Please stop talking.

I loved this video. Towards the last part, she hit the nail right on the head. What you learn in school is not how people actually speak. It's the same with English. What a lot of foreign people do not understand is what they're learning in school, concerning the English language is important, but that's now how we actually speak.

Many from Scandinavian countries... *cough* *cough* pewdiepie

Chinese, Taiwanese, Singaporean, English, Scottish, Welsh, Canadian and countless other nationalities will also know the broad meanings associated with individual forms of kanji.

Jess said that she've done a lot of research finding a school, but she never told the schools name. Could you please tell what school she attended?

I think it’s great just the way you did it!

C! C by infinity (it beats all the Bs)

I had a really similar experience in Canada with a language school. I moved to Quebec with very little functional knowlege of the French language. Just the basics taught in school at an early age. It was tough but I did pass my provincial language proficiency testing top of my class. I still don't consider my self fully bilingual. More highly functional. I still miss a lot of nuances and subtle humor.. things that can't be taught.

She's from Melbourne but her accent sounds like a mix between Aussie/American!

2 thousand dollars? I'm assuming we are talking US here? If so in my currency that would work out to 200 thousand plus + which is too much I guess. I would have to be working at the sametime then which was what I was running from.

I would disagree. This depends on the school. At Yamasa in Okazaki, students could choose the academic route or conversational classes where the focus would be on being able to converse. And there was a lot of 2-way communication between the teacher and students. It was really good if you wanted to learn japanese words, read and write but with the ultimate aim of being able to converse. In just 2 weeks I really learnt a lot and was able to carry on more conversations. This also makes me wonder if the majority of language schools in Tokyo were like that?

I love your videos,Arigato. Is Japanese language school hard?

So they basically teach the test. It's lecture style. I'm not that surprised because of what I know of the education system. It's pretty much the same in asia. This is very disheartening for any language learner. Japan is such an advanced country, yet one wonders how it got there with such an awful and archaic eduction system. I'm learning Mandarin, but these quick tips apply to any language learner. 1. Find a school that matches your learning style. I lucked out. My school focuses on communication first. 2. Find students that have similar goals as you. Join as a group of friends. Not an easy task. Many will drop out in the first week. I was once with a group of parents. It didn't work out. Students that I got along well with were those who were serious and had a life long learners. You will not learn any language in a matter of months or 1 year. 3. Learn in your home country. Your home country's education style will suit your better. Most western education is more communication based than just rote learning and memorizing.

Hi Please suggest a best Japanese learning school in Tokyo

The JLPT only assesses your reading and listening skills. Speaking or writing is not tested at all. I agree with her that the JLPT isn't a good test of a person's fluency in Japanese because speaking the language is an absolute necessity in order to make yourself understood. That said, I feel that writing is the least important of the four because of electronic methods to create text.

(Watching the captions) 5:53 "One lesson would be, say, kanji, and then we'd have three lessons of, say, grandma." LOL

15:00 I can totally relate to that... I'm in my late twenties and going back to university with people sometimes freshly out of high school is the cringiest thing I've ever experienced so far. I even switched university from one prestigeous to a less prestigeous one so that I was not being babied and held by the hand all the time. It seems to be a rather common thing for mid-twenties and up westerners...

As to the title question go with C. I took 5 years of German in school and never got anywhere with it much. Part of that is I had a bad teacher for a year but also I struggle with my native English enough with reading and writing never mind another language. In the end you could just say I gave up. I never got to go on the trip to Germany as I wasn't picked so that didn't help.

It's nice to learn about other's thoughts on studying Japanese. I started to learn Japanese for interest (in short I watched too much anime), then I turned to a more formal learning style by taking courses at the uni. Hence I can really sympathize with what Jess said. Right now, I have two goals in a learning Japanese. First, I want to pass the JLPT for a qualification. However, the ultimate goal is to communicate with Japanese, to use the language fluently in daily life as (close to) a native speaker does. A structured learning environment can help with cramming the grammar stuff n vocabulary, but to use it flexibly you have to interact with real people. Anyways, the 'active effort' part of the interview is so true as you do need much more than a passive attitude to master the language in both the formal and the casual convensational part of it. Well I guess it's time for me to return to my revision for JLPT. Good luck to all the fellow Japanese learners.

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