Learn to Think in Japanese

The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is study Japanese for up to an hour. Later, when I eat breakfast, I try to watch NHK or read an article out of the online Asahi Shinbun or the online Japanese Wall Street Journal. On my way to and from work, I listen to Japanese music. I also like to listen to Japanese music at work when I can. During my lunch break, I watch NHK for an hour if I’m in the office. At dinner, when my non-Japanese-speaking family isn’t around, and when I’m not out with my friends, I watch NHK or a rerun of some Japanese variety show (SmapXSmap, Arashi etc) from the Internet or a disk. When I take shorter breaks throughout the day, I flip through Japanese magazines or I’ll read a chapter of some manga (it has to be RAW – in Japanese — or I won’t learn anything) or a Japanese novel. I try to do another hour of intense study (textbook study) before I turn in for the day, but sometimes it’s hard to squeeze that in. Before bed, I like to watch an episode of one of those 11-chapter J Drama’s we all love. If I’m not in the mood for a J Drama though, I’ll read something in Japanese (manga or a novel). Finally, I like to fall asleep to NHK. Now, if you add that all up, it’s somewhere between 3 and 4 hours a day of what I like to call “Relaxed Study” and 2 hours a day of “Intense Study”.

Intense study is pretty straight forward. It’s just memorization of vocab and kanji, practicing or reviewing grammar, or reading out of a text book. It’s the standard kind of study that you find in any good college level Japanese class. The point of Intense Study is to learn more Japanese. Learn more words, learn more Kanji, learn more grammar, and learn how to use it all.

Relaxed Study is, I think, the key to my success in Japanese. In relaxed study, you can’t (and don’t really even try to) learn any new Japanese. The point of relaxed study is to simply encounter Japanese. Let Japanese language surround you, let it push all the English out of your head for a little while. Just enjoy listening to it or reading it. If you don’t know something, just move on. You don’t have to understand everything. The point is not to understand it all in detail, but to simply encounter as much as possible. In Relaxed Study, all I want to do is enjoy recognizing and reinforcing Japanese that I’ve already learned in my Intense Study.

I usually fall asleep to NHK at night. I call this “falling asleep in Japanese.” Well, when I do that, I almost always dream in Japanese. I mean real Japanese. When I wake up in the morning, I am frequently still thinking in Japanese, and this goes on until I get to work. It’s 12 hours (from before sleep to work the next day) of almost complete language immersion.

Make Japanese a backdrop to your day. If you hear Japanese on and off all day, and you allow yourself to forget your English while you do, then your brain will actually start to work in Japanese, even when you’re not studying, and you won’t even notice that you’re doing it.

45 responses

  1. Japanese Level Up

    Haha I do the same thing in the morning. It’s relaxing to watch/read Japanese news compared to American news.

    February 1, 2011 at 3:34 pm

  2. account

    Im having a teeny problem. I cant get my reader to pick up your rss feed, Im using google reader by the way.

    June 23, 2012 at 3:42 pm

  3. How do you make your site look this cool! Email me if you want and share your wisdom. Id appreciate it!

    June 23, 2012 at 7:26 pm

  4. You ought to really moderate the responses listed here

    June 25, 2012 at 12:53 am

  5. This blog site has a lot of extremely useful info on it. Cheers for informing me.

    June 27, 2012 at 12:29 am

  6. This is a fantastic web site, would you be interested in doing an interview regarding just how you created it? If so e-mail me and my friends!

    June 28, 2012 at 12:41 am

  7. buy fridge freezer

    When I open up your Rss feed it seems to be a ton of garbage, is the issue on my side?

    June 29, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    • Elliott

      I do not code my own website, its a template, so I’m sorry but I can’t answer technical questions.

      June 30, 2012 at 9:10 pm

  8. How come you do not have your website viewable in wap format? Can not view anything in my netbook.

    June 30, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    • Elliott

      I do not code my own website, its a template, so I’m sorry but I can’t answer technical questions.

      June 30, 2012 at 9:09 pm

  9. Is it alright to insert a portion of this on my personal weblog if perhaps I publish a reference to this web-site?

    June 30, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    • Elliott

      sure! please remember to put it in quotes and reference me!

      June 30, 2012 at 9:09 pm

  10. Good Stuff, do you have a facebook account?

    July 1, 2012 at 10:20 pm

  11. Do youve a spam problem on this internet site; I also am a blogger, and I was wondering your situation; weve created some good strategies and were searching to swap options with other people, be positive to blast me an e-mail if planning to pursue.

    July 3, 2012 at 8:30 pm

  12. This website has got lots of extremely helpful information on it. Cheers for informing me!

    July 5, 2012 at 3:36 pm

  13. Can you message me with some hints & tips about how you made your website look this awesome, Id be thankful.

    July 5, 2012 at 8:22 pm

  14. You should really control the remarks here

    July 7, 2012 at 5:56 am

  15. Strange , this post turns up with a dark color to it, what color is the primary color on your site?

    July 7, 2012 at 8:13 am

  16. How do you make your blog site look this good. Email me if you want and share your wisdom. !

    July 8, 2012 at 7:55 am

  17. I like this blog site layout . How do you make it!? It is really good!

    July 8, 2012 at 12:43 pm

  18. Im getting a tiny problem. I cant get my reader to pick up your feed, Im using bing reader by the way.

    July 9, 2012 at 12:54 pm

  19. If you dont mind, where do you host your web site? I am looking for a great web host and your site seams to be quick and up almost all the time

    July 9, 2012 at 1:38 pm

  20. After I open up your Rss feed it seems to be a lot of garbage, is the issue on my part?

    July 9, 2012 at 6:52 pm

  21. Do youve a spam issue on this website; I also am a blogger, and I was questioning your scenario; we have developed some great methods and were searching to trade solutions with other individuals, be positive to shoot me an e-mail if planning to pursue.

    July 9, 2012 at 9:14 pm

  22. I have got one suggestion for your web page. It appears like at this time there are a couple of cascading stylesheet issues while opening a number of webpages inside google chrome as well as safari. It is functioning fine in internet explorer. Possibly you can double check that.

    July 10, 2012 at 1:36 am

  23. I was basically wanting to know if you ever thought of modifying the design of your website? It is well written; I really like what you have got to state. But maybe you can add a little more in the way of content so people can connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two images. Maybe you can space it out better?

    July 10, 2012 at 12:29 pm

  24. Have you given any consideration at all with converting your web site into Spanish? I know a several of translaters here which might help you do it for free if you wanna make contact with me personally.

    July 10, 2012 at 7:41 pm

  25. Awesome post . Thank you for, writing on this blog mate. Ill email you again. I didnt realise that.

    July 11, 2012 at 1:56 am

  26. Im having a little issue. I cant get my reader to pickup your rss feed, Im using aol reader by the way.

    July 11, 2012 at 9:35 am

  27. Do you might have a spam issue on this web site; I also am a blogger, and I was asking yourself your scenario; weve got made some nice approaches and we are looking to trade options with other individuals, be sure to fire me an e-mail if planning to pursue.

    July 11, 2012 at 9:50 pm

  28. An cool post right there mate ! Thank you for the post .

    July 12, 2012 at 8:07 am

  29. Re: Whomever made the remark that this was an excellent website actually needs to get their head analyzed.

    July 12, 2012 at 12:58 pm

  30. A insightful blog post there mate ! Cheers for it .

    July 12, 2012 at 7:37 pm

  31. How do you make a site look this sick. Email me if you want and share your wisdom. Id appreciate it!

    July 12, 2012 at 9:20 pm

  32. I tried viewing your web site in my iphone and the structure doesnt seem to be correct. Might want to check it out on WAP as well as it seems most mobile phone layouts are not really working with your web site.

    July 13, 2012 at 1:39 am

  33. I adore this website layout . How do you make it!? It is really sweet!

    July 13, 2012 at 12:59 pm

  34. I tried viewing your website on my iphone and the layout does not seem to be correct. Might want to check it out on WAP as well as it seems most smartphone layouts are not working with your web page.

    July 13, 2012 at 8:40 pm

  35. I was curious about if you ever thought of replacing the layout of your website? It is very well written; I enjoy what youve got to say. But maybe you could include a a bit more in the way of written content so people might connect to it better. You have got a great deal of wording for only having one or two photos. Maybe you can space it out better?

    July 13, 2012 at 11:34 pm

  36. very helpful stuff, all round I imagine this is worthy of a book mark, thank you

    July 14, 2012 at 2:07 am

  37. I Am Going To have to come back again when my course load lets up – nonetheless I am getting your Feed so i could go through your internet site offline. Cheers.

    July 14, 2012 at 6:24 am

  38. Odd , this page shows up with a black hue to it, what shade is the primary color on your site?

    July 15, 2012 at 7:24 pm

  39. Nice post ! Thanks for, posting on my blog mate. Ill message you again. I didnt know that!

    July 16, 2012 at 9:55 am

  40. Cool post ! Thanks for, visiting this blog page dude! I shall message you some time. I did not realise that!

    July 16, 2012 at 11:33 am

  41. Weird , your posting turns up with a black color to it, what shade is the primary color on your webpage?

    July 16, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s