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Japanese Should Be Fun, Not Work

November 26, 2012

Occasionally, I need to remind myself that learning Japanese isn’t work – or at least it shouldn’t be. If it is, then something has gone terribly wrong.

Japanese should be more like that super-addicting MMO that people want to play 24x7x365 (or 366 this year). It should be like that book that you don’t ever want to put down because it’s that good.

Learning Japanese should be as fun (if not more-so  than your favorite hobby. If it’s not, it’s going to be difficult to stick with.  You might wind up falling off the wagon.

So what, then, can be done to remedy this situation of boredom? How can we take Japanese and make it into something fun?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Do it in small chunks – maybe 2-5 minutes each. Maybe 3 Kanji reviews, or learn a sentence at a time. Even the most fun activities can become monotonous and boring if you spend too long a stretch of time with it. Keep it short, keep it simple, just make sure to come back and visit it more often.
  • Try doing something that doesn’t feel like studying. SRS reviews help, sure – but they aren’t (by far) the only component to learning. Maybe watch an episode of your favorite anime series or a television show dubbed in Japanese. As you recognize words, sentences and expressions, you’ll technically be studying while doing nothing but watching some t.v.
  • Play some games in Japanese. There are tons of them online, just Google it.
  • Remember to use passive learning. Sometimes not paying full attention to what you are studying can pay off in the long run, simply from the extra exposure you get by just having it around.
It’s basic stuff, really – but it can have a major impact on how you learn.


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