Trying to learn to speak Japanese after only speaking English for so many years is not always an easy task. For the vast majority of those out there the thought of trying to put everything they know into a language built on characters instead of letters is somewhat unnerving. Often times, though, those people simply don’t realize how much easier Japanese is to learn than English is. How much easier any language is to learn than English, for that matter, not just Japanese.
When it comes down to it Japanese is a language of rules. Unlike the English language that we are all used to, Japanese doesn’t have an exception for most every rule there is. Keeping in mind that the rules are the rules and they shouldn’t be broken makes understanding the Japanese language far easier. Once that first basic understanding of the language occurs, the rest can begin to fall in place. Letting go of the flaws that have been lived with in English for years can be very difficult, but it is imperative before being able to move forward in learning the Japanese language.
It will make a lot of difference in learning Japanese if there is someone around who speaks it fluently. Letting that person speak the language on a semi-normal basis will force a higher learning curve because all humans have such a high curiosity level inherent in them. We want to know what someone said, and how to respond, which causes us to push to figure out both things. Taking advantage of this human reflex is a great way to push forward with learning Japanese without always consciously realizing that is what’s happening.
When starting out in Japanese many people will try to focus mostly on pronunciation and inflection. Many times this is a mistake that leads to frustration. It’s far less important in the beginning to get the inflections right, and far more important to focus on the basics. Trying to do both can be overwhelming and lead to the type of frustration that often keeps people from completing their courses in Japanese. If correct use is the focus, then pronunciation will get easier once things get more comfortable.