How to start learning Japanese from zero

Learning a complete new language from square one may seem terrifying. The process of understanding the grammar structure, building up a good vocabulary based, and strengthening communication skills may seem too much of a work to do. Let’s be honest, learning a new language is not easy. But with endurance, a motivated attitude and with a determined goal, anything is possible.

How many times have you written “to learn a new language” or “to master the Japanese language” on your new year’s resolution? It is now almost halfway through the year, and how did that progress go? If you have not even remotely gotten close to begin, don’t worry, many others are on the same boat as you.

In this article, we will introduce a number of ways to learn Japanese consistently, without getting side-tracked.

1.Study with mobile apps

If you have experience with studying with textbooks and this did not work out for you, why not try to study with Japanese language applications on your phone?

Just set a small starting goal of 5 minutes of studying on the Japanese language app, so that your goals are more achievable.

If you are struggling with memorizing kanji, we have compiled a few Kanji apps here in the blog post, recommending different type of learners. The apps here help beginners to practice with remembering and understanding the Hiragana and Katakana writing system. The apps have a build-in tracing system, where you can practice writing Japanese letters.

Read more about kanji app and our review of the popular study app Duolingo here!

2. Study with social media,

If you have a habit of spending more than an hour on social media all together, why not use some of the time to allocate to your Japanese studies? Here we show you some ways to learn Japanese through social media.

Instagram

It is easy to get lost within the world of Instagram with so much content and inspiration out there. One way to get your Japanese study time while going on Instagram, is to follow some of the Japanese learning Instagram accounts. We, Coto Academy, have our own Instagram account where we post every single day on Japanese vocabularies, phrases, and current events.

What to look forward to on our Instagram

  • IG Stories of JLPT Kanji, Grammar, Vocabularies Quizzes
  • Themed Japanese Vocabulary
  • How to use onomatopoeia
  • Kanji Vocabulary
  • Japanese Phrases
  • Grammar videos on IGTV

By following us, you would not have to specifically find the time in your day to study Japanese, but we provide the information for you on Instagram, where you can engage with.

YouTube

jlpt n4 whether or not in japaneseTo get more accustomed to the Japanese language and to get used to native Japanese speaking in Japanese, using YouTube to study is the best method. With a visual aid, it is easier to understand Japanese grammar particles and structures. We post weekly JLPT grammar videos, introducing new concepts. If your main source of social media is YouTube, this is the perfect method for you to squeeze in bits of studying time. Additionally, listening to our Native teachers speak Japanese may help you to get used to the pronounciation of Japanese words.

Checkout our YouTube Channel here

Coto provides short educational videos, but if you would like to delve into longer videos, that thoroughly explains grammar, vocabulary, and reading comprehension, check out our list of 50 Youtube channels here. The YouTube channels we have compiled here varries in learning formats. Ranging from traditional formats of explaining each grammar concept to you to channels that explains through a song so that the concepts are easier to remember to many vlog channels going through their daily life in Japan.

For Japanese learners that want to learn Japanese, learning videos is one of the best methods to do so, because the educational videos are delivered as if it is a personal lesson between the teacher and the student. Learning through Japanese vlogs

Following our blog

Our blog includes a variety of content you can highly benefit from, which contributes to learning Japanese!

We write blogs on topics such as grammar blog posts, tips on how to study Japanese, and how to pass each JLPT level. We also combine Japanese culture with Japanese learning, such as our blog post on teaching Japanese learners how to maximize their learning with using phrases from Japanese anime.

We also create our own Coto Kanji practice worksheets and provide them on our blog. Our Coto blog provides a wide array of Free Kanji practice worksheets ranging from JLPT N5~N2 Kanjis. This way, learners that are starting out can have easy access to resources to study Japanese straightaway.

3. Listen to podcasts and join clubhouse

Traditional methods of studying Japanese is great, but if you want to progress to another level, listening to Japanese podcasts and joining a clubhouse group is one way to do so. Joining clubhouse Japanese language groups encourages Japanese learners to strengthen communication skills. The groups we have compiled allows members to practice the language together.

Why you should learn by listening to podcasts or Clubhouse:

  • Easy to slot in time for it –
    • For when you often communte to work or school,
    • Exercise throughout the day
  • Strengthen listening skills
  • Gain communications skills for casual conversations
  • Become friends with like minded people to encourage each other to study

Our blog on Japanese podcasts and Clubhouse

4. Study by watching shows

If you like to watch Japanese tv shows or anime, what better way to learn Japanese than to learn by continuously watching the shows? This way, you can learn natural phrases used for daily life, during your leisure time.

In this blog post, we have compiled popular Japanese tv shows on Netflix, you can watch to build your vocabulary.

Did you also know that by adding this extention on your google chrome, you can learn Japanese on Netflix? By installing this extention, you can hover words you are unfamiliar with in the subtitles, and save the words to review for later. This extention translates the words for you, and provides romaji on top of kanji so you can practice reading the Japanese subtitiles.

5. Learn through songs

Do you like listening to J-pop? Want to learn how to sing them, or understand what the song lyrics mean without having to search it up everytime? In our previous post, we have compiled Japanese songs and artists we recommend learning Japanese from!

By practicing sing the Japanese songs, this can improve your Japanese pronounciation, which can aid you in the future when you want to improve communication skills. Trying to understand the story behind the lyrics include understand vocabulary and grammar structure. By accomplishing this, learning throught the lyrics also can link to strengthening reading comprehension skills.

6. Sign up to Coto Academy!

There are many free and affordable resources out there on the internet. Coto Academy provides many ways for people that are interested in learning Japnese.

Sign up to Coto online classes, affordable and consistent

Coto Academy provides Japanese lessons for anyone in the world. We have online group lessons, as well in-person group lessons. The classes we have arranged are very affordable, which makes students easier for them to continue the classes. Consistency is a very key aspect in studying languages, so that your muscle memory does not forget what you have learnt.

Among the variety of classes we offer, we highly recommed the Japanese Crash Course for beginners with zero experience with Japanese.

Details of the Crash Course

  • 4 weeks long
  • Lessons on Hiragana, Katakana
  • Greetings and introducing yourself
  • Being able to order in a restaurant or shops
  • Asking directions in the street or train station
  • Talk about your impressions of Japan

Classes are from:

  • Monday – Friday
  • Offered in two different times
  • 9:30~12:30
  • 14:10~17:00