Q's about Japanese

About how long does Japanese take to learn properly?
Anyone have any pointers?
Does anime help or not?
How did you guys get into Japanese?

How did I get into Japaneese?
My school offer free japaneese classes as a third language. (edit : fourth one if you count native language)

How long does it takes?
Pretty much impossible to answer. The fastest part is oral since you don’t need to learn kanji. But that will still depend on the study material on hand and your own capacities and time. Same for kanjis, some finish wanikani in a bit over a year and others in more than 3.

Does anime help?
Yes but only once you are good enough. At the begining, that will only accustom your ear to japaneese. That’s good but it doesn’t have that much of an impact. However once you have some vocabulary, try to spot words you know. After a few months if you learn new words constitantly and work on your grammar at the same time, you should be able to understand the overall meaning. From that point on, you will be able to passively learn new vocabulary from hearing people talk.

Any pointers?
That’s my personnal opinion but you should go grammar first, vocabulary second and wanikani on the side.


Define: Learning Japanese properly

It really depends on what you mean by this. If you mean fluent, I’m afraid that’s not really a thing. If you studied for 2 hours every day, within a year you could be pretty conversational, but there are so many variables involved in learning a language (particularly Japanese) that it’s impossible to say.

Look around, try different things out, and see what works for you. Some people prefer classes, some prefer self-study. It really depends on the person.

If you’re just watching anime passively (the way you watch it for fun), then you’re not going to learn a ton. Sure you may pick up some words and expressions, but if you’re trying to use anime to improve your listening comprehension, then you’re going to need to start actively listening to it. Even then, you will probably want to start on something a bit more basic. I’ve been studying for over 2 years and I am still hopeless at understanding anime without subtitles.

I wanted to learn a language, and I loved Japan for a variety of reasons, so I decided just to try learning Japanese. Eventually I just fell in love with the language.


Depends on person.

I advise you to complete Tae Kim first, then pick up something else (I started reading). Check out this list

I personally recommend https://bunpro.jp/ as a grammar revision/studying resource.

I guess it can improve your listening comprehension but i’d rather find a partner for speaking. Also there are a lot of resources for that purpose (i.e listening) which would be more useful than anime.

Can’t remember. I just love the language

P. S: My london is at school level, sorry for mistakes

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I started learning Japanese because there’s lots of dementia in my family. I’m 68 and am determined not to get the family curse, so looked for a language as far different from English as possible. The experts say learning a new language helps keep your brain sharp. I’d also been watching Japanese wrestling and wondered how reliable the subtitles were. I work with a lady who lived in Japan for 20 years, so I knew I could practice with her. So Japanese was the obvious choice.

I’ve been studying for about six months, and am at the point where I can understand a lot of words and also sometimes some sentences on TV or You Tube. I’m focusing on Kanji more than speaking at the moment since Kanji is essential. I have a long way to go, but I love the language.


As a Torukojin, 1 year is enough.
I gave 10 years to myself to master.

About how long does Japanese take to learn properly?

Depends on your definition. Rather than others in terms of days, I’ll give you hours. The state dept of america seems to think that for native speakers, being functionally fluent takes roughly 5000 hours.

For “true fluency,” I’ve seen estimates of as many as 10000 hours. In any case, a long time.

Anyone have any pointers?

Do it every day. Don’t worry about taking a day or two off, but try not to do more than that. Do more than just WK. Tae Kim is a good place to start for grammar.

Does anime help or not?

Yes, but not as much as you hope. It’s better the more you already know, and only then as tertiary practice.

How did you guys get into Japanese?

Always liked anime as a kid. Don’t like anime as much now, but I think Japan’s culture is interesting. Think that learning a difficult language is a big accomplishment.

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  • About how long does Japanese take to learn properly?

Depends on your pace and definition of properly. Could probably get reasonably competent within a year if you no-lifed it. Probably 2-3 years with a solid degree of dedication and daily practice. But, like any language, I’d call it a lifelong project.

  • Anyone have any pointers?

Daily consistent practice >> just about anything else. Also, identify your goals, so you can adjust what you’re aiming for. For example, you don’t have to worry about emphasizing speaking practice much if you really just want to read/listen to things. You’ll want to practice writing if that’s your thing, etc…

  • Does anime help or not?

Depends. I think it helps a ton. Mainly it’s a source of listening/reading practice that I enjoy. But that’s a personal reason. I also think it serves as a positive reinforcement when I can pick out the stuff I’ve studied. Same goes for music. About 1.5 years in and I can watch some simpler shows (like Dragon Ball Super) unsubbed and have about 95% understanding. If not the exact words, then from context.

  • How did you guys get into Japanese?

Was anime for me. Wanted to be able to read the various signs, and that turned into wanting to learn how to read in general, and that went to aiming for the spoken language (all anime centered at the time) and then it exploded into just a general interest in the country as a whole, with a primary focus on food, food culture, and nature. Anime and Idol music/jpop are still big motivators, but I enjoy cooking, so I now try and look up Japanese recipes on Japanese sites instead of English ones and learn the history/context of certain dishes.

I’m sorry I can’t really help you with these questions since it really depends on the person

I actually got into japanese because of anime. Through watching lots of animes, my ears got used to it and I started finding it a rather “musical” language. It got me interested, so I started watching even more anime than before. Over the span of 3 years of watching anime, I found that I learned lots of vocab and that I could understand some of the most used phrases when I hear them. Then since last October, I started taking actual japanese classes at my university. Within 2 months, I could say I “got the gist of it” .And let me tell you something, I got a huge boost ahead of my comrades because of anime. The ammount of vocab I actuallly turned out to have learned through anime was unbelievable. I can assure you that I already knew around 60% at least of any WK level I came across till now. It was just the kanjis I didn’t know how to read. Well I’m still at lvl 3 (thanks uni life for giving me so much time), but even when I’m with friends who are at way higher levels than that, they would be reading the kanjis and I would be guessing the meaning by hearing (or reading) it. It is all thanks to anime.
A little live experience : Last April, a friend and I decided to watch the 1st episode of Steins;Gate 0 live while it aired (no subs), and I can assure you I understood 90% of it without a problem. Later on, I even found mistakes in the subs when they were released xD
My point is, it really is different for each person, but in my case, anime was/is/will prob be the main reason I learn Japanese, and the main way I learn Japanese also. I don’t know if it is related, but I’ve always had a knack for languages (I’m trilingual) and music, so hearing is always super effective for me. If I were to give you one advice, it would be : Try to think of Japanese as music when you hear it. Just enjoy the simple fact of hearing it, try to guess the different accents in Japanese, and focus on the voice actors. If you do that, anime will definitely be a huge help to you in your quest to learn Japanese. Sorry for the long reply xD
(Edit : JPOP, yes JPOP, I totally forgot to mention this, but I nearly only listen to Jpop, got more than 500+ tracks of Jpop :upside_down_face:)

I found this https://jlptbootcamp.com/2011/04/jlpt-study-hours-are-they-accurate/

I remember reading the “official” estimate for JLPT level 1 (N1) – around 900 hours of study, but I also think that is classroom hours without additional practice.

When you consider that a full time job is around 1400–1800 hours/year, it basically takes a lot of work.

Everyone learns differently. This leads into question 2…

Practice, a lot. More than you think, and practice actively, don’t just listen/read/watch join Hellotalk or similar and speak Japanese every chance you get.

Speaking for myself, not really. There aren’t enough that I’m interested in watching with my limited free time. I watch a few Dramas because they are shorter, tend to have more realistic conversations (Just how many times do you need to know the Japanese for vampire/pirate/tentacle in everyday conversation?) and I can watch an entire drama in a week with subtitles get the full story and then repeat it without subtitles. Try doing that with 500+ episodes of Dragonball/One Piece etc.

Small town, not many options, one language to learn. I’ve been learning it ever since.

Practice is a necessity. Do it as much as you can. Study every day if you can, even if only for a few minutes. It pays off quickly.

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