Beginners In Japan

Hey friends
I moved to Japan about 4 months ago and arrived with no knowledge (except super slow hiragana, katakana and basic greetings). It was a bit scary as those who arrived to do the same training as me for my job (ALT) all had a lot more experience. Anyway, 4 months on and I’m super happy with my progress but have hardly met any other motivated gaijin who are keen to learn super quick.
Anyway, would love to speak to anyone else that moved here with hardly any knowledge. Any tips or advice would go a long way!!!

PS Dont get me wrong, love speaking to those who have a good grasp of the language, but good to speak to people in the same boat <3



I moved to Japan a couple of years ago with barely knowing the language either. You really have to push yourself to do it or you’ll end up like me, comfortable with getting by. You can stalk users such as Leebo and Naphthalene though. Both seem to be very highly motivated and are also living in Japan.


When I came to Japan, I was just learning, too. Like gojapappe says, you really have to push yourself. I think it’s important to push through complacency, push through frustration, and more than anything don’t let the pacing of your learning be dependent upon someone else. I’ve come across people who weren’t “dedicated” enough to study who wanted to have study sessions with me, only to find that they used the time to socialize. Many times (but not always) the really motivated ones are the people who end up going at it on their own (or at least is willing to follow through when everyone drops out).

You can do it! Set some goals and start working toward them one by one!

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I think you should not call yourself “gaijin” mate.

but that is none of my business :slight_smile:

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lol, I pick whatever is easiest to say. Self depreciating humour as well ahah


I always call my self and other foreigners gaijin, fully knowing the nuance of the word. Self derision is fun (and the underlying truth can be too)

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I’m here a little longer, but I guess I am still in the same boat.
My advice for you is to use the language as much as you can having fun with it to keep a good pace. I think when we fell good using the language it evolves much faster.
I’ve tried to isolate myself for a while doing the “AJATT” thing, but I notice this just doesn’t work for me. I’m the kind of person that needs to interact even with horrible Japanese. I don’t bother to have people correcting me when I make mistakes, I just bother when they don’t, so stay closer to people who are helping you to improve. =)

Study everyday, and don’t be a free English teacher. Japanese people will pretty much always speak to you in English (in some cases it’s kindness, in others it’s taking the chance to use their English) but don’t feel obliged to go along with that. So when Japanese people speak to you in English, reply in Japanese. This is Japan after all.

I’ve spent my life taking the easy route, happy to speak in English. So over the decades I’ve lived abroad (including the last 8 years here in Japan), while being a free English teacher to hundreds of people, I’ve never learnt a language and crippled my ability to do so. (I started studying Japanese last year and here I am on WK taking almost a month per level).

I too just arrived here 2 months ago. Where do you stay? I stay at Nerima but I work at Shinjuku area. Prior to going here I have one year of Nihongo study and have passed N4 last December and then took this July’s N3, hoping to pass. Goodluck! It is better to learn while you are immersed. :slight_smile:

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