As Japan begins welcoming more foreign workers to counteract against its labor shortage, many people are eager to start a new life in Japan. However, it is necessary to learn how to communicate effectively. The Japanese Language Proficiency Test, or JLPT, is the most official method of measuring language ability. There are five levels. N5 is the easiest, and N1 is the hardest. The Japanese government and many employers have set the bar at JLPT N4, so to work in Japan, you will need to have passed the N4 or higher. With a language as complex as Japanese, how long does it take to learn Japanese and pass the exam? It is out mission at Japan Work Live to help make learning as smooth and quick as possible through our e-learning courses.
There are three separate systems of writing: hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Both hiragana and katakana represent the spoken sounds in the Japanese language, while kanji are Chinese characters that represent entire words. Too add to the confusion, those kanji characters may have multiple readings and combinations that form completely different words. Then there is Japanese grammar, which — although it can be straightforward — is unique from many other languages around the world. For example, English uses a structure of “subject (S) – verb (V) – object (O)” while the layout of Japanese sentences is set as “S-O-V”. These dramatic changes can have new learners tripping over their words, but the hurdles are possible to overcome, especially with guidance from online courses like the materials from Japan Work Live.
According to the JLPT website, to pass the N4 you must be able to read and understand passages on familiar daily topics written in basic vocabulary and kanji. You must also be able to listen and understand simple conversations related to daily life. To comfortably pass the JLPT N4, you need to know about 300 kanji and up 1,500 vocabulary words.
Looking at the raw numbers, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Just remember to take it step-by-step with our easy-to-follow self-study Japanese courses at Japan Work Live. There are plenty of simple kanji that make reaching that 300 mark a lot easier than it seems, but, of course, it will take some time.
It is estimated that properly preparing for the N4 exam takes about 300 hours worth of focused study. If you can diligently study just 60 hours a week, you will be ready to take the JLPT N4 in just 5 months. That being said, depending on your study practices, the time can be even shorter. Online e-learning courses, like the ones provided by JWL, are important tools for self-study you can utilize to speed up your learning. Start learning today to reach your goals as soon as possible and work in Japan! Here are some ways to make the best use of your time while mastering Japanese.
There is no better way to measure how much you have memorized than by putting your skills to the test. Use quizzes to identify weak points and study more effectively. JWL offers a variety of test questions to mark your progress and prepare you for the JLPT. Take our sample quizzes to find out where your Japanese level is. Then continue to check our website for updated material as your skills improve!
Because of the way our brain works, it is just not efficient to simply memorize words out of context. You can spend hours looking down at a list of random vocabulary words only to be disappointed later when you can’t recall them. Try associating some other words, feelings, and context to really cement the vocabulary in your mind. Reading many examples and using your own imagination to create scenarios in your head related to the word is a great approach it learning. It can activate your memory much more effectively.
Don’t get distracted
That may be easier said than done, but it is especially important when learning a new language. The intensity of your focus is much more important than the frequency of your study sessions. Be sure to really set aside time to devote to your language learning. To achieve this, you should really make a schedule and stick to it as much as possible.
Remember to read aloud when trying to memorize new vocabulary and phrases. Keeping that constant connection between your brain and your mouth is key. Even if you spend hours reading and staring down at pages of kanji and new words, when the time comes you will be stumbling through the conversations. Reading out-loud also activates more senses, like sound, which helps your brain remember things more easily. Eventually it will all work together to help you recognize pronunciation and sentence patterns to help you speak more smoothly.
Practice in your head
Of course can’t always be talking to yourself out-loud in public, but you can still studying Japanese in your spare time while walking down the street, riding the bus, waiting in line, etc. Try speaking Japanese in your head as you look at the world around you. Make simple observations in Japanese and let it grow into more and more complex phrases. Another good habit is to use Japanese to describe what you are doing in the moment, like a sports commentator for your daily life. Even boring tasks like your morning routine are opportunities to practice.
With proper study habits, tools like the courses at JWL are extremely powerful. Using our courses can drastically improve your skills! People who want to live and work in Japan need Japanese to find a job and for comfort in their daily life, but it takes time to master. Start now with Japan Work Live to start seeing results and ultimately reach your Japanese language goal.
JWL offers courses for necessary Japanese to find a job in Japan.
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