5 UNUSUAL Ways that we used to Master the Japanese Language! — Nakama Secrets!

1. Talk to yourself… in Japanese “HITORIGOTO”

Yes, it’s the first sign of craziness, we know. But it’s so effective!
You won’t always have a chance to practice your Japanese everyday, and just like a sword, if not constantly sharpened, will become dull.

Everyday life is full of opportunities to ‘talk to yourself’ or ‘Hitorigoto’ as the Japanese call it.

Ok, imagine this. You’re in Sainsbury’s looking for bread, in this scenario we’d usually talk to ourselves.

“Ok, next is bread. Um… which isle was on again?”
instead think it in Japanese,
“Yosha, tsugi wa pan da ne. Eto… michi wa doiitsu dake?”.

Or getting your day plan together
 “Alright, first I’ll hop in the shower, then have a quick breakfast… but just before that I should go for a jog. Ah but today’s so cold >.<”

“Sa-te-to, saishou kara showa shite, asa gohan tabete… demo sonno mai ni chotto jyoggu shiyou ka na. Ah sotto wa samui dakedo >.<”

You see? All that practice! Practical situations too!

2. Anime and J Drama Schooling

Pick up more Japanese linguistics while you entertain yourself, you can’t go wrong with this one!

The great thing is about most Anime online, is that they’re subtitled.
 If you play close attention to what is being said while reading the subtitles, it’s the ultimate (Animated) flash card game!

Do be aware that most dramatic Anime use the same words repetitively, so the translation team try to find more creative English translations.

So, a simple Usotsuki “Liar” can become “You lying scumbag!”

3. Practice your Japanese with others who are ACTUALLY LEARNING JAPANESE Practice your Japanese with others who’re studying Japanese!

Japanese people here don’t want to speak Japanese, they want to practice their English!

Mind blowing isn’t it?

If you think about it, if you went to Japan, wouldn’t you want to speak Japanese rather than English? So, it’s the same for Japanese who come to the UK or other western countries.

Although, the Japanese are a polite people, they will play along, hoping you’ll eventually snap out of your KY mode (aka Kuuki Yomenai — Can’t read the situation).

So find others who are studying Japanese, practice to your heart’s content!

4. Make speaking Japanese a Necessity not an Option!

Most of us Nakama forced ourselves into situations where we HAD to speak Japanese!

We worked in Japanese companies in London where the majority of staff were Japanese. Being surrounded daily by a language forces you to learn it!

This’ll give you a chance to hear a real conversation between two or more native speakers in a realistic scenario. A chance to jump into the conversation and have practical use of language!

Of course, you’ll have sympathetic advantage being a non native speaker, it’d be easier to forgive mistakes… like accidentally mixing up Gindara (Black Cod) and Kintama (…Testicles).

5. Change your device’s language from English to Japanese!

This one’s a deep end for sure! Go to the options setting on your mobile phone, tablet or laptop and change the language to Japanese! — No, seriously!

Most of use our devices everyday, so, that’s a chance to practice everyday!
 Mobile phones like iPhones even have a “Voice Over” option in accessibility settings. Meaning your iPhone will speak to you in Japanese!

This includes, Siri and Google Voice Search which recognises Japanese speech. We’ve often blown other Japanese people’s minds when we spoke to our phone in Japanese while on the tube!

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Originally published at www.japannakama.com on December 7, 2016.