So my last 2 posts “Japanese!” and “Japanese…2!” were basically reviews and suggestions for Japanese dramas that you can watch in order to help you learn bits and pieces of the language in a fun and inexpensive way. This was a follow up to my “Road to a new language” post, and in unison with that I’m now going to give you ideas on what you can do while watching these shows to help you more with picking up words, and then eventually you will at least understand the general idea of the episode if you watch them without subtitles. One good thing to do is to actually only skim the subtitles, and try to pay more attention to the dialogue, read the subtitles just enough to understand what is going on, so that you can pay attention to the Japanese conversation.

A quick side note, you might be wondering where I get these ideas from, if you are, I can tell you that at the moment I’m learning Korean myself, and I’m using the same methods that I suggest to you, and in just a matter of months I’m picking up enough words where I can put together sentences that are not 100% correct but they make complete sense to a native speaker, and for a beginner that is great. I am also starting to understand pieces of song lyrics after hearing the same words in the dramas (I will do a series on Korean dramas and movies in the future). So this method works, it may seem slow but it’s effective and cheap compared to taking a class or buying language CDs.

If you have enough time to do this next thing you will see results a lot quicker than my previous tips. If you watch each episode once without subtitles and then once with, you will to some extent know what is going on so you wont pay as much attention to the subtitles. You start to see word patterns that will start to sound familiar to you, and eventually you start to remember words and statements.

Try to use them, if you have Japanese friends, try to throw in all the Japanese words that know into the conversation. Let’s say you are trying to say “I thanked the man and said see you later.” You can say this instead to your Japanese friend “I said arigato and matane to the man.” It is obviously not proper English, but you already know English so it’s ok to intentionally “ruin” it for the sake of practicing your Japanese. Also don’t forget to ask your Japanese friend to correct you at all times, and to teach you how to pronounce correctly. This is in the case that you have a Japanese friend, but if you don’t you might find a partner who also wants to learn the language and the two of you can throw in Japanese words into the conversation and help each other.

Finally, remember that this can be used for any language and not just Japanese or French in the case of my older language post.

Sayonara for now!