Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Learning new languages

  1. #1

    Question Learning new languages

    Does anyone have any tips for learning a new language?

    Currently I am working on learning japanese/日本語。
    I am using roesetta stone to learn it, but it does occasionally get confusing. So I wanted to know, how to help yourself memorize new words and phrases in different languages.

  2. #2


    First, wow. Japanese is really hard to learn so congrats on really going for it!

    Ummm I took Spanish classes for 3 years and French for a year. I really loved Spanish so after I graduated I continued learning it through Duolingo. My advice to you is to practice at least 30 minutes everyday, use tv shows/books/etc to continue your studying and get a firm grasp in on what areas are causing you problems, and well have fun with it! Study the culture around it while your learning the language and if you may very well fall in love with it.

    I enjoyed cooking Spanish and French dishes for both of my classes (extra credit ftw!), so perhaps learning how to prepare a few dishes might inspire you to study on a day that you really don't want to.

    Just keep trying! <3

  3. #3


    Lol, the only Japanese I know is what I learned from karate (my teachers are very traditional.)

    Advice wise, can't really say much. Maybe try finding someone to mentor you, do a course on it, or just get what you can off the Internet or from a book...

  4. #4


    I'm learning Japanese as well right now, but being really bad at learning languages in general (until now I've tried English, French, and Indonesian, more or less successfully), it takes me ages. But the best way, in my opinion, to memorize a lot of vocabulary in a rather short time is anki. Just get some flashcards for minna no nihongo or any other basic textbook and off you go.

    The grammar can be tricky, but the further you progress the more you can see that it relies, like many other languages, on a certain number of rather simple building blocks combined in all sorts of ways. The better you know the simple grammar (especially the different verb forms), the easier it gets when the really horrifying stuff begins And like StrawberryRaven said, practice is everything.

    Very important: Don't shy away from learning Kanji. They are the most annoying and at the same time the most helpful aspect of the japanese language. There are a lot of beginner courses completely omitting Kanji because of the difficulty, but in my opinion, not learning Kanji makes every part of the language more difficult to understand, especially when it comes to recognizing words/expressions or grammatical structures.

    Most importantly: Take your time. It's an absolute waste of time and energy to bombard your brain beyond it's capacities and with Japanese being one of the most difficult languages to learn, hitting the limit can happen quite fast.

  5. #5


    I think what has helped me most in learning a foreign language is use: even if I don't have anyone fluent to talk to, I make time each day to try and use what I've learned. Things I've done along this line include conjugating verbs while working out (instead of counting), while waiting in line mentally naming everything I can see, attempting to translate quotations I particularly like into the target language, etc. The idea is to add real world (as opposed to textbook) use into the process.

  6. #6


    Thank all of you for these helpful tips, I especially liked your mentally naming things in the target language Traemo.

  7. #7


    Would like to learn Chinese, here. But I also find the process intimidating.

  8. #8


    Only tip I could provide is "emerse yourself in the language / culture" I know that's one of the big selling point of Rosetta Stone. But if you can, find TV shows, movies, books on tape, anything that's in the language your learning.

  9. #9


    Okay, so I answered to someone two years ago on the same topic, but for some reason, I can't find it anywhere...
    I'll try to be as descriptive as I was at the time.

    日本語が話したいか。じゃあ、がんばって !

    so, first of all, I assume that you're self-teaching yourself. While it's not a bad thing, I can assure you it will be difficult. not because of the language but because of the difficulty linked to learning alone.
    What you will need is motivation and tricks to keep you motivated. This can work with anything you want to self-teach yourself (music, art, etc.)

    ==> Write down your objectives and goals, and hang it on your fridge or somewhere you can see it everyday.
    ==> try to find a friend or someone to share your progress or work with. It can even be a penpal or someone from a facebook group. Just someone to whom you don't want to say "I didn't do anything lately :/"
    ==> Schedule your sessions and cut down the learning into tiny bits instead of hours of works. (6x30min per week is better than 3 hours every saturday)

    Now, for the part specific to Japanese :

    As a beginner, you'll first have to learn the kana. Pretty much the most boring part, but I can assure you it gets better after that /o/

    there are two syllabaries : Hiragana and Katakana.
    In a semi-intensive course 20hours of work per week), you can learn both in less than 2 weeks. In less than that, a month is a good time to learn them.

    ///!!!\\\\ WARNING ///!!!\\\\
    ///!!!\\\\ WARNING ///!!!\\\\
    To be honest, it would only make learning kana more difficult and you will have to re-learn stuff you thought you knew. So, don't. Trust me.

    back to tips to learn kana :

    ==> make FLASHCARDS.

    because Flashcards are awesome. you'll write it, can surprise test yourself wherever you are and keep them in your pocket and read them instead of playing Candy Crush or browsing Facebook.

    ==> Create a small diary where you'll write easy words in kana and their translation. So you will learn some vocabulary and kana (double C-C-COMBO)

    Begin with words you already use : sushi, karate, etc.
    I also went back to my own diary and can give you this list or words you can look in a dictionnary (

    and here is the translation if you're not sure of what you found or if you want to go the other way around :

    ==> give yourself a deadline to test yourself. Learn as much kana you can. then take a white sheet of paper and write down every kana as they are in this table :

    you can even prepare a white table with the exact number of cases. it helps because each column have the same vowel and that usually how people learn them. Line by line.

    ==> pronunciation !!!
    this video might not be fancy but the pronunciation is top-notch :

    you can try repeating after him.

    Then, you can do the same with katakana. Here is a list of a few words which is written in katakana :

    Once you're done with that, you can begin japanese grammar. you can mix both, but the grammar will be so easier once you manage to use kana. It will seem to you that this language is super easy... then you'll see Keigo in a few years and wish you never took this language in the first place :p

    Here are a few tips I didn't know where to put :
    - if you have already mastered the kanas, congrats ! And don't think my advices are useless because YOU CAN USE THEM FOR kanjis.
    That you'll begin to learn when you'll get a hand on simple grammar (pretty much when you can do a simple sentence). Tactic is the same : flashcards, test yourself, etc.
    If you only know how to write kana, you'll look like a 4 years old even if you're writing ultra complex shakespeare-level sentences.
    the tricky part for kanjis is to NOT FORGET THEM as you continue to learn japanese, so keep up the flashcards

    - enroll in a class or find a mentor, even for a few hours monthly. It will help you get on track and balance what you have to learn. In order to not study high-level kanjis while staying at a basic grammar level.

    - find a way to practice your japanese : penpals, facebook groups, meet japanese people in your area (a go club ? ), etc.

    - Watching, reading or listening to Japanese media can be a bit tricky !!
    For example, manga/anime/drama varies greatly in language complexity and most of it is often slang or stuff you'll never say in real life.

    Let's take an example. A lot of manga with a male main character have him say "ore". go to a dictionnary, you'll see "I,me".. Use it in real life with someone to whom you should show respect (like a teacher), you'll sound ridiculous, pretentious and a bit sassy.

    context matters a lot in japanese. so be careful of it when you try to learn stuff from books or tv shows :
    - who's talking to who ?
    - what is the setting : the era ? the region ? the city ?


    Well, I hope this will be helpful =)

    anyway, if you have any question, I'm not an expert but I can help you as much as I can.
    Also, what kyu ? :p

  10. #10


    It's obvious and for most people difficult to organize, but...

    Go to Japan.

    Student exchange, internship, temp job, summer language course... Being in the country makes a huge difference. Not only you have opportunities (and in some situations are even forced) to practice, but it also helps your motivation, which may fluctuate once you get beyond the relatively easy and exciting beginner phase and to the more difficult stuff where results will come at slower pace.

    Closest alternative is to find Japanese news sites or online TV, but that will probably require you to already have some basic level. Or something you are generally interested in (even without the language learning factor) and it just happens to be in Japanese. Like diaper anime or whatever. Because you want to enjoy it and keep doing it even when the language learning motivation gets lower. Motivation (and consistency as its result) is your biggest ally and your biggest enemy when learning a language.

    I speak no Japanese, but I have started to learn numerous languages (6 I think) and I only achieved some real skills with those which I had an opportunity or needed to use in real life, outside the course environment.

    I also second what Traemo suggested. For example when waiting in line for something, I like to brainstorm my vocabulary from that language in a particular topic area, for example all food I can remember in Spanish - works well when you're hungry:-) or recall words for things I see around at the moment. I must also try conjugating verbs while working out, great idea!

Similar Threads

  1. Which languages do you speak?
    By IzzyFox in forum Off-topic
    Replies: 34
    Last Post: 11-Jun-2014, 16:44
  2. Us in Other languages
    By Randatar in forum Adult Babies & Littles
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-May-2012, 02:50
  3. 'DL' in other languages.
    By RouteLeader in forum Diaper Talk
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 28-Apr-2012, 17:16
  4. What languages do you know and why?
    By dragsnick in forum Mature Topics
    Replies: 90
    Last Post: 09-Sep-2010, 20:25
  5. What languages do you speak?
    By Takashi in forum Off-topic
    Replies: 67
    Last Post: 14-Aug-2008, 21:22

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • - the Adult Baby / Diaper Lover / Incontinence Support Community. is designed to be viewed in Firefox, with a resolution of at least 1280 x 1024.