42 Insane Japanese Language Learning Hacks!

I came across this web page with 42 tips for learning Japanese that others may find useful.


Everyone will probably have a little different take on things and that’s okay. I think people learn in different ways, so find what works best for you and keeps your interest. The main thing is to keep it fun and interesting. 😄

After reading through them here are some of my comments.

1) “Listen to 10,000 hours of Japanese over the next 18 months

After studying Japanese off and on for quite a while (more off then on), I know I was never consistent in studying. I studied consistently for about 4 years, but then stopped for a long time because life got in the way. I would start back again for a year or so then stop.

I really think this is a key technique! Just listen to as much Japanese as you can even if you don’t understand everything. Training your ear is the most important thing to do.

I’ve started attending a Japanese/English Bible study near where I live to kill two birds with one stone so to speak; study the Bible and Japanese.

2) “Get your daily news fix from a Japanese source

Totally agree with this. I have been trying to listen to and read Japanese news scripts and can see progress. Click the “Japanese News” category on the right hand side of this webpage for some posts on this.

3) “Don’t go to school

I started studying Japanese by taking lessons at the local Japan America Society. I personally think it helps when you are starting off learning a language. After you gain some proficiency you can study on your own, but you have to be motivated. I’ve been studying on my own for a while and like it because I’ve reached an Intermediate level and can study what and how I want.

4) “Avoid Kanji for the initial months

I think this is probably good as you’re learning the hiragana and katakana as well as a bunch of grammar

5) “Speak Every day

This is probably a good thing to do, and I don’t really do it. I’m more interested in reading and listening so have spent most of my time on that so my speaking ability is not that good. If you don’t have someone to speak with, I think you can get materials for conversation and repeat back what is being said.

6) “You must enjoy the learning process

I think this goes without saying!

14) “There’s a lot more to learning songs than just words

カラオケ大好きです! I love karaoke, and when I would get to go to Japan would always go to the karaoke box. I find understanding Japanese songs difficult because of the phrasing of the words to fit the melody, but another fun tool to use for learning. I plan to do a post on karaoke so stay tuned.

21) “Don’t use SRS to learn Kanji!”!”

Totally agree with this! Read as much as you can and learn kanji as part of words and sentences, not individually. You will remember them better that way. As the article says, “You’ll be surprised at how much just seems to stick somehow like osmosis.”

22) “Use full sentences in flashcards

Definitely agree.

23) “Get the Japanese App for iPhone

Definitely agree. Also check out Midori, JFlash and Wakaru among others. Check the “Language Learning” posts on this site

29) “From the start (grammar)

Grammar is definitely critical for reading. Don’t ignore it.

34) “Install Rikaichan

Definitely agree. Search a video on this site for using the Rikaichan Firefox plugin

36) “Invest in some quality learning material”

Definitely agree. I would recommend the “Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar” and the “Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar“. I bought these a number of years ago and refer to them when doing the Bible Japanese videos. Also investing in some good apps is also indispensable.

That’s the points from the list of 42 I wanted to hit. Let’s hear some of your top ones.


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