Not too easy. Not too difficult.
For anyone interested in Japanese culture, this is a great class to take. There are many misconceptions about the Japanese language. The largest misconception is that it is difficult to learn. After learning Japanese for some time now, I have learned that English is actually one of the hardest languages to learn and far more difficult than Japanese. So if you already are fluent in English, you’re off to a great start. I also have a background in Spanish and French as well which actually aided in much of the Japanese pronunciation, which is what most people struggle with. Pronunciation and memorization are the key. It may seem intimidating at first, but the instructor does communicate in English as well, so you are not overwhelmed. This class was a lot of fun and you get to learn many things you wouldn’t expect. Taking Japanese has shed light onto my native tongue, and made me question why English has been designed the way it is. You learn compassion for ESL students and for people of foreign countries who struggle to learn English which is becoming more of a global language. I suggest this class to anyone who is interested in anime and Japanese culture or for anyone who needs to fulfill language requirements for their degree.
Highlights of the course include being able to read and write in hiragana, katakana, kanji, and also speak in basic sentence structures. I learned how to introduce myself properly as well as formal and informal methods of speaking. Formal methods are used when speaking with your instructors or your elders, or people you are not well acquainted with. Informal methods are used when speaking with your friends, mainly. I also learned a great deal of Japanese vocabulary on top of how to converse, whether it be asking for directions, describing what I like to do, or my daily schedule. I also learned how to count, tell time, ask how much things are, as well as multiple different aspects of Japanese culture. The class is taught how it would be taught in Japan, so you truly get a sense of the country and how it operates.
Hours per week:
Advice for students:
I suggest using the Quizlet app to aid you in learning the Japanese alphabets. It allows you to create digital flashcards and also converts them into fun ways of memorizing what you need to know. Spending just 5 minutes/day practicing your memorization will lead to obtaining fluency faster. Studying with classmates really helped me out as well. The key to learning any language is practice, practice, practice. At my college there were also many Japanese exchange students I was able to practice conversing with, so I suggest doing the same. I even ended up joining the Japanese American Student Society (JASS) club which offered extra hours of language practice and explored more aspects of Japanese culture. Also doing the daily homework assignments will lead you to mastering reading and writing in no time.