https://www.duolingo.com/XPBowler5

Japanese Difficulty

Hello People. Is Japanese a difficult language to learn?

3 weeks ago

35 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/WitlessBittern
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It's a notoriously difficult language for English speakers to learn, but as with any language the main variable will be your motivation.

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AStrangeChiald

t r u e

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DragonPolyglot
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I don’t think it’s the hardest language, but you need to get used to how they form sentences, how to use the honor system and learn how to read at least 2,100-something kanji. I do think that since the verbs only has two conjugations for time (past and non-past) and you don’t need gender/number agreement (since Japanese doesn’t have grammatical gender and there is no plural form of nouns), it’s an easier language to learn in terms of the grammar. You will probably struggle most with kanji, and if you aren’t familiar with them you might need some practice to get a hang of the particles and honorifics, but other than that I think Japanese is simply a language that doesn’t work like English and it’s not very complicated. There are some languages that are way harder to learn than Japanese... (looks at Irish, Welsh and Navajo flags)

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MatejKilk
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Only two ways to conjugate a verb???

Take 行く for example 行く、行かない,行こう、行かないだろう、行った,行かなかった、行かれる、行ける、行かせる、行ったら、行けば、行っている。

And that's not all, not by far.

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elisabeth3789
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LOL! Well said, MatejKilk!

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jinagaa
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As with any language, it gets easier the more you learn. I've been learning it for four years, and I don't find it difficult at all anymore.

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DaveJaspain

That's encouraging to hear! (and kudos, btw) :-)

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/josephinemari

I didn't particularly like the Duolingo course for Japanese, I preferred to learn all of the hiragana and katakana first (by my own visual methods), and then kanji as I went from there. Learning to read and write kanji has definitely been the most challenging part of Japanese for me, along with getting accustomed to the grammar, and even native Japanese speakers often don't even know all of the kanji. As opposed to other languages, it definitely strays in grammar structure, but I've found it's easier in some aspects such as pronunciation/spelling (since there is no real ambiguity like English) and conjugation (as it doesn't have forms like plurals and gendered nouns as many European languages do). Additionally, as all languages, practice makes perfect and eventually you do get used to the grammar structures and the kanji, etc. Once you get past the initial steps of learning the basic scripts and grammar structures, it becomes easier to advance as you focus on expanding your vocabulary and kanji, which, while difficult, is also quite fun in my opinion. Overall, Japanese has it's advantages but also its challenges, but I definitely think it's achievable and worthwhile to learn.

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mokurai
Plus
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I just saw the announcement that the Tree 2.0 upgrade is coming!

https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/30544388

There will be a split Beta in the spring, and we should all get it in the summer. 800 kanji, lots more grammar and vocabulary, and many new topics.

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bubblymae

Thank you for the inspiration! I recently just started learning Japanese and its encouraging to see other people who are more knowledgeable talk about their experiences. English is just, geez, a complex language when I compare it to a few others. It's very easy to make grammatical errors. So yes, I agree with everything you said.

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DestinyCall

いいえ, 日本語はとても簡単です。

冗談です。。。本当に難しいですよ。

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/forough.yi
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Hello! Japanese is so sweet and easy to speak in my opinion, just writing is difficult bcuz of kanji words

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RJPmCl

Main advice I'd offer is to use additional resources to research grammar. While Duolingo has a good formula for learning the syllables that form Japanese words and later the Kanji, as well as vocab, it lacks real grammar tutoring and with Japanese that's a must

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elgatobandido
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It is incredibly hard to learn. I have made a couple goes at learning it with little success, although I have a moderate grasp of hiragana, know some katakana and a few dozen kanji (though I have probably forgotten some of them by now).
To top it off the grammar is very different and (at least to me) very difficult.
I do find it a fascinating language and hope to try again to learn it one day.
I did not mean to disuade you from trying to learn Japanese by any means, I just wanted to let you know what you are in for.
People do learn Japanese all the time, (and I found learning all the verb conjugations in Spanish very intimidating at first but they are close to second nature to me now).
So even if it seems overwhelming at first it is no reason to give up.

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PapaSloth1

The grammar and pronunciation are easier than some other languages. The writing is hard to learn, but easier than Chinese.

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheLinenMonk

I don't think it is. In fact I wrote a post about outlining why.

First things first though, it will only be as difficult as you think it is. If you are flinching every time Japanese does something strange you will only get in your own way.

I personally find Japanese an easy language to learn. Firstly, it is so unlike english (whereas French and spanish etc are a lot like english) and so I find it easier to think of Japanese as its own thing and my own language doesnt get in the way.

Hiragana and Katakana can be learned in a week or so. Within a week you will suddenly be able to start reading! Nothing will make sense... but you can read!

Also, the Japanese language behaves in similar ways to English. Japanese is a pro-drop language, English does something similar. Japanese words can have different meanings based on context, so does english. Japanese words can sound the same but be written differently and have different meanings; so does english (Oar, ore, or). Japanese has repeating patterns like words, particles etc. desu, watashi, wa, ga, no, to etc. English has repeating patterns too.

Basically, approach Japanese with an open mind. Accept the differences, and be humble about its weirdness because English is just as complicated.

Other than that all it takes is lots of practice, lots of reading, and lots of listening. and Avoid romaji as much as you can.

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/betarage
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Yes reading Japanese is very hard and almost every word is unique

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EliminationRed

Sometimes. Kanji and katakana were the worst parts and sometimes the word order. But if you are only going in with the intent to learn basic conversational skills, you'll be fine.

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Michael2858

YA

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/N.u.N
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to put it simply, yes, but not impossible.

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PotatoSanta
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For an English speaker there is a lot of unfamiliar grammar that can be tough to get used to but it is not as hard as they say.

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ozymandias-

And the portuguese? Has been difficult for you?

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/samara907949

depends on how determined you are. you need to ask yourself ' am i determined enough to make this easy on myself? ¯_(ツ)_/¯

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Victoria275082

I am currently on day 20 of learning Japanese, and for me personally it has gone from kidding around to thoroughly enjoying it! I think that if you find the language fun to learn, your brain sticks to it more. I honestly find myself saying phrases in Japanese by accident now, and I am remembering a lot more. My advice is to take the time every single day, and try to learn a new skill, or practice the same one over and over again. As long as you are not trying thousands of languages at once, you will be fine if you persevere! You got this!

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ryanaissance

I think in the beginning Japanese is not very difficult. Hiragana and Katakana can be learned relatively quickly. There aren't many difficulties in pronunciation if you're a native English speaker. However, the further along you go, the harder the language gets. I suppose this is true for most languages, but for Japanese its especially true. The defense language institute places Japanese as a special case in its highest category, meaning it takes them longer to teach students to master the language than any other.

Other major Oriental languages people often consider such as Korean, Chinese, or Vietnamese, are only a little bit easier.

Compared to Japanese:

Korean is harder to pronounce, much easier to write, and nearly equivalent grammar difficulty.

Chinese is harder to pronounce, a little easier to write as its only one system instead of three, and has much easier grammar.

Vietnamese is very difficult to pronounce, easy to write, and has a grammar that lies between Chinese and Japanese in difficulty.

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elisabeth3789
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Well, the kanji are definitely a major challenge. And it doesn't end there - most of the kanji occur in combinations of two (and sometimes more), and you need to know those too. Then again, once you know the most common ones, you''ll find reading so much easier.

The other part...

When I first started studying Japanese, it drove me crazy...

Until I accepted that Japanese was just completely different in most ways from any language I had studied before (German, English, Latin, a bit of French), and I had to let go of trying to find familiar things that would help me remember stuff. So I started to just take each thing on its own terms, and things got a lot easier.

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Duttywood
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What difference would the answer make to you? If you want to study it just jump in and have a go.

It's not hard in the sense that it is internally very logical and consistent. Obviously; it's just hugely different from English.

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Waruiji

Strangely, for me, it was very not hard despite how common it is for English speakers/Americans to struggle with it. I just vibe with the way the sentences are formed. Maybe the "word particle word word particle word particle verb conjugation is easier for me to understand as an autistic dude, since it's almost like putting a puzzle together!

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/YeontanOwO

Well, just as all languages, it will get easier with time. I just started, and it seems nice to start at the beginning and move up slowly. :)

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MatejKilk
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beginning seems always easy :)

but, we must not falter, we must stop at nothing to advance!

頑張ろう!

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IsakNygren1
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Yes, and the Kanji makes it even more difficult to learn it.

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PapaSloth1

Kanji is tough, but learning Chinese is a lot harder. It's ALL "kanji." ;)

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IsakNygren1
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I think Chinese characters are easier than the pinyin though.

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/legobits

yes

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kr33p3r1000

It is difficult for people who speak english, or related, because Japanese sentence structure is extremely different.

3 weeks ago
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