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Japanese basics

I'm working on learning the basics of Japanese at the moment, I'm on Hiragana 4 and I'm trying to learn so I can watch anime without subtitles. And impress my fellow otakus. Who else is learning the basics of Japanese? I just wanna see how many of us there are.

November 26, 2017



I am not try to be mean or rude but in all honesty it takes a lot of motivation to learn Japanese, more than just a love for anime. I took four years of it in high school and every year there would be a ton of people would take Japanese 1 because they loved anime but by the second year that number was cut in half. By the fourth year of Japanese there were only four of us. At the time, I admit I was the same way but I had to find other motivation to get me through. And after going to Japan, it was humorous to find that they knew very little if none of manga/anime we have here. You can still love anime and have that goal but know that it will take more than that!


Everybody is different, there is nothing wrong with having multiple sources of motivation, and there is nothing wrong with having only one source, even if it's anime. It does indeed take a lot of motivation to learn Japanese to a proficient level, as it is an extremely difficult language to learn. If the OP needs only subtitle-free anime anime watching as their motivation, and nothing else, that is completely fine, and completely doable.

However, to the OP, with all that being said, Duolingo will not be enough to let you understand all of what is said in anime. You'll no doubt be able to understand a decent amount, and definitely more than most other anime watchers, but you will still be confused as to what they're saying in a good amount of it. The reason for this is that Duolingo tends to teach the polite forms of sentences. Nothing wrong with this, but in anime, they tend not to use polite forms. Not to mention different dialects that are also used (but those shouldn't be too hard to figure out for the most part).
But, the good news is, that once you get the hang of a few informal forms of words/phrases, then the rest should be relatively easy to figure out. One example that I'll give you is やった (NOT to be confused with when a character gets excited and screams out やった!!!!,) being the informal form of やりました. There are many other words that operate in similar ways to that one, but not all.
If you know someone that has lived in Japan for a good amount of time, and is fluent/near-fluent, I'd recommend asking them to teach you a little about it. Doesn't have to be too much, just enough to get enough knowledge to where you can figure out other things on your own. Or, if there's a book that teaches this kind of thing (I have no idea if they exist or not, but they probably do) then that might be useful. Basically you wanna learn how Japanese people actually talk (without being as enthusiastic and loud as anime characters of course), instead of how Duolingo teaches you. Again, nothing wrong with Duolingo's teachings, as the forms that are taught here should be the foundations for your learning, but it's not sufficient for anime. So, be prepared to go a lot further than Duolingo to accomplish what you want to accomplish.


I completely agree! I was only stating what I had seen throughout much of my high school experience and even now. I only see a lot of people who start originally with those intentions and then find that they are not enough so they give up. I personally find that learning the history and the culture of the country gives me more motivation than anything else. I took four years of Japanese and even for me there is still a lot more to learn. Not to mention the fact that my motivations then barely kept me going and at one point I almost hated the language so I didn't learn as much. I guess what I was trying to say is really dig to find what you love about the language and remind yourself of that everyday because I had to stop doing Japanese for a while just because I was so angry and upset (I had a lot of problems at the time). I really takes a lot to learn Japanese. I agree that it is definitely a good idea to find someone who speaks it fluently because that's where I learned a LOT. Especially since there is definitely a difference in everyday Japanese and Anime Japanese (as by the fact that they do dialects and informal forms which can get you in trouble with a native speaker). Although I haven't gotten very far on the Duolingo Japanese, I thought they did teach some informal Japanese or maybe I'm thinking of something else.


You don't seem rude at all. I just have an extreme love for anime and all things Japanese. I love the music, the food, the culture, Japan is amazing and anime is what brought me to that realization.


I agree with Lleuyaven. I am sure that you are excited and there is nothing wrong with it. I am learning in for more than one year(almost 2 i guess) and Till now i made 2 bigger breaks from learning it(i am learning it all by myself). I started to use duolingo 2-3 weeks ago to fill my missing skills (writing and grammatics in particular). I don't understand much from movies and videos without subtitles but i see my progression all the time.


Wish you all the best!


Just watch Anime and keep stick to Duolingo. It doesn't matter when to watch. Because it helps your listening skills.

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