Posted in Articles by Jessica
Best Foreign Language Learning Programs to Learn Japanese
If you're considering learning a lanaguage but think Japanese may be too difficult or not as useful as French or Spanish, think again! Japan has the second largest economy in the world next to the United States. Some of the world's leading companies like Sony, Toshiba, Toyota, Canon, and many others are Japanese. Whether you're in the field of business, engineering, manufacturing, research, economics, or politics, chances are you will be competing with, if not working for, a Japanese entity. Knowing Japanese can bring huge business opportunities. In fact, the United States exports more goods and services to Japan than any other overseas destination. In 2004, exports to Japan accounted for $54 billion of the U.S. GDP. Japanese is also a gateway to other Asian languages and cultures. Its grammar is almost identitcal to that of Koreas and its writing system (Kanji) is based on the Chinese writing system. Like any other language, there are a ton of different methods to learn Japanese to make it as easy as possible.
Learning from DVDs and other self-directed software is a perfect method for someone who wants to work at their own pace and study whenever they want to. With the option of rewind and forward, it's a great tool to practice pronunciation. These software types include several options such as word conversion, vocabulary practice, speech recognition, and grammar practice sessions. Watching a DVD in Japanese can get frustrating so it's nice that most software allows for subtitles in your own language at the bottom of the screen. The most obvious con to self-directed software is its lack of feedback from peers or an instructor. Feedback is important when learning a lanague because you may be struggling or get stuck with course material and can't move forward with the program. You also may not realize that your'e pronouncing something wrong if no one else is around to tell you. Its easy to give up when you're frustrated so if self-directed software doesn't sound like it's for you, there are still a number of other methods to learn Japanese.
Online learning is simple and generally less expensive than the other options. After enrolling in an online course, you have unrestricted access in terms of where you can study. As long as there's Internet, you can access your online class and course materials. You don't need to carry heavy textbooks or study materials everywhere with you! All you need is a computer, the internet, and some down time. These course materials have practice exams that you take after every chapter or milestone in order to have an in-depth knowledge on the language. It's the most flexible option because it allows you to make your own study schedule. There's no appointed study schedule so you can choose where and when to study. But just like DVDs and self-directed software, there is a lack of one-on-one training and instruction. If you get stuck on a certain phrase or word, you may lose motivation to move forward.
Traditional classroom learning is the best option for learning Japanese if you have the schedule for it. The instructor is physically available to you and can cater to a specific thing he or she thinks you need to work on. Not only do you have the instructor to help you, but you also have your peers as a tool for learning. You're more likely to practice speaking in a classroom with other people than if you're at home by yourself using a DVD or online course. The drawback to classroom learning is that it can get expensive. You should compare a few schools before you make any true commitment to a particular Japanese learning class. Regardless of the price, if you have the opportunity to take a Japanese class over buying a DVD or online course you should take it.
Whether you're learning Japanese for pleasure or business, there are so many benefits to learning Japanese. Knowing Japanese will set you apart from the crowd since most people generally go for languages like Spanish, French, or German. Not only that, but Japanese cultural exports are exploding throughout the world. Through anime to sushi, karaoke to manga, bonsai to origami, Japanese culture has become an integral part of international culture. Wouldn't you love to impress your friends and order sashimi like a native at your favorite Japanese restaurant?
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