Frustrated at not understanding + being understood? Then stop learning Japanese by eye!
Most traditional Japanese language learning today is focused on learning by eye - a heavy focus is put on reading and writing.
Unfortunately, this approach causes many a would-be Japanese bilingualist to abandon their efforts in frustration.
Despite all you've done to "learn Japanese" you are still not able to understand native speakers when they talk fast
Plus, the majority of people that learn Japanese want to be able to use the language for conversation, not to read and write.
This Learn by Eye method also leaves Japanese language students unprepared to pronounce words properly to ensure they are understood correctly.
This amounts to a feeling that all their efforts to learn Japanese have been futile.
All that time and work and I can’t even chit-chat in Japanese!
And so they throw in the towel, call it quits and move on.
しかし、! There is a solution :)
There is a solution for those of you who’ve had such an experience learning Japanese and it’s called Mimic Method.
Mimic Method Japanese students learn the elemental sounds of the language first by completing the Japanese Master Class, a breakthrough way of presenting Japanese phonology (elemental sounds) to non-linguists so that it actually makes sense and becomes useful rather than daunting.
This approach allows you to advance much faster conversationally in the long run, despite what may seem like "slow" progress at the get-go. You’re spending a lot of time learning the actual sounds of Japanese instead of jumping into vocabulary, grammar and the writing system.
By taking the time to internalize the sounds of Japanese, you are able to listen and understand even fast speech as well as pronounce properly so you are sure to be understood.
This means you'll actually communicate with someone in Japanese and carry a conversation well enough not send them running the other way from boredom or impatience.
Why so many would-be Japanese speakers get frustrated and drop the goal
Since most Japanese learning approaches today still focus on reading and writing over listening and pronunciation, they focus on making you literate, pumping you full of vocabulary and grammar, but falling totally short in listening and pronunciation.
Perhaps this causes so many issues because it’s not at all the way children learn Japanese naturally.
After all, all of us could understand and speak our native tongue long before we ever grabbed a pen or dove into a book!
This Learn by Eye approach often results in a student who, after diligently studying Japanese for a couple of years in school, is still unable to be understood by a native speaker, unable to understand native speakers and, as a result, unable to communicate.
But communication is the reason for language...
And sound is the basis of human language…
So why are people still unable to communicate in Japanese after years of schooling?
Because they never learned it by ear, only by eye.
They never developed the three competencies which Mimic Method puts forth lead to successful fluency not only in Japanese, but any spoken human language: Capacity, Conversation and Command.
3 Core Competencies for Japanese fluency: Capacity, Conversation + Command
The first competency is having the Capacity to actually produce the sounds necessary in Japanese. To "wrap your mouth around the sounds", as it were.
The second competency is Conversation, being able to use these elemental Japanese sounds to construct meaningful exchanges - to both understand and be understood.
The third is Command, and this is where things get really powerful because you’re going beyond just being able to pronounce Japanese correctly and construct meaning and into using it effectively and adding variation and depth to your eloquence.
Listen to my podcast interview with Mimic Method’s founder, Idahosa Ness, for more depth and explanation on these core competencies.
Who is Mimic Method Japanese for?
The Mimic Method is for anyone who wants to take a refreshing approach to Japanese education by diving into the very sounds that make the language and, hence, communication possible.
Newbies and intermediate Japanese learners alike will benefit from this unique approach.
Advanced Japanese speakers with lingering pronunciation issues will also get a lot of of the Master Class, as you can quickly isolate which sounds are causing you trouble - both in speaking and understanding - and allow you to focus on the few slippery ones that are tripping you up.
This method is for total beginners as well as those of you who have tried and struggled to learn Japanese but never managed to understand and be understood enough to engage in a meaningful conversation.
Sound like you?
If so, I highly recommend the Mimic Method Japanese Master Class.
I have never come across a more thorough and complete introduction to Japanese pronunciation and phonology anywhere, online or off.
Curious to know more?
I interviewed Idahosa Ness, founder of Mimic Method, for the tenth episode of the Free Language Podcast.
Get to know this method first-hand from the founder right here!
All Mimic Method Master Classes
Mimic Method isn’t just for Japanese! Here are all the languages currently available:
- Chinese (Mandarin)
- Portuguese (Brazil)
- Portuguese (Europe)
Have you had Japanese troubles similar to those outlined in this post?
If so, please comment below and feel free to ask questions, too.