Many people are put off by the idea of learning Japanese. In fact, the Japanese language is quite easy to learn. It has straightforward grammar rules, and spoken Japanese can be picked up quickly and easily. Written Japanese will take a little longer, but often is not needed in the business world. It is also important to learn about Japanese formality and customs, and how these relate to the spoken language.
In general, Japanese syntax and grammar are much more straightforward than that of Western languages such as English. English is a difficult language to learn, full of tricks, exceptions, and complications. If you can speak English well, learning Japanese grammar shouldn't be difficult for you at all.
While English takes one root verb and modifies it constantly to fit the person or gender of the sentence, Japanese has no such rules. In Japanese, the verb comes at the end of the sentence. The subject is often introduced once at the beginning of a conversation or paragraph, and then omitted from the following sentences or conversation. This will be helpful for you to know, as learning the Japanese language depends on such rules
Japan is a very formal, traditional country in many ways. Courtesy is emphasized highly when learning Japanese. There are different greetings that are used depending on who you are addressing, what time of day it is, etc. A simple "hi!" will often not suffice. As you learn about the Japanese language, be sure to focus on greetings and salutations. They are essential to polite conversation in Japan.
It is also important to note that there are several different ways to apologize in Japan. Again, a simple "I'm sorry" will often not suffice. The apology will depend on the severity of the offense, with different phrases used for actual insults. When attempting to learn Japanese for use in Japan, especially for business use, make sure you learn the difference between these apologetic phrases. It is very important to use them correctly.
When learning the Japanese language, especially in its spoken form, concentrating on basic grammar rules and cultural differences will aid you immensely. Take the time to do a little research on the cultural differences between your country and Japan. You may be pleasantly surprised by the similarities, and you'll be glad you learned about the differences.
As you begin to study Japanese, remember that the syntax is easier to pick up than that of English. Be sure to learn about the customs and culture. Focus on learning key phrases such as greetings and apologies – they'll help you immensely when you actually travel to Japan. And be sure to remember that greetings depend on the status of the person you're meeting, as well as the time of day. These tips should have you well on your way to a lifetime of learning Japanese – an interesting and formal language steeped in tradition.
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