admin Comic Book Enthusiast. Creator of The Comics Corral.
02.11.20220 min read
How to Learn Fast to Read & Understand Japanese Manga
Nowadays there is a huge amount of publishers that translate Japanese Manga to different languages such as French, English, Dutch, German, Italian and others. And the consumption seems to be never ending. For example, a staggering 70% of comics bought in Germany are manga. That’s good news for those of course who don’t want to learn Japanese. However personally I liked the way it was before, when English manga was more rare which motivated people to learn Japanese, Kanji characters and expressions. Either way, the opinion will be devided on this issue but if you really want to get the most out of Japanese comics, learning the language is an eye opener.
That’s why I think it’s fair to at least give yourself a chance to see if you can become excited about learning and reading the language. Despite the compelxity of Japanese, on the other hand it gives much depth and various meaning to the language which in return can turn into a totally new phasination. That is learning in a way that’s rewarding and natural. While a lot of manga fans out there can relate to this, having or not having first hand experience, everyone needs to start somewhere. And not knowing where, is probably one of the single biggest reasons why many just never bother. Language in Japan is very much connected to culture and personality, one that is on the other side of the globe for most people. Also as an island country, obviously everything will be very different and have a new meaning in everything.
To show you the ropes, everyone needs a teacher. And what better teacher than Mitchel Thomas which was a true eye opener in starting with Japaese, which has become an important part of my life and never do I think learning is difficult or gruge why one English word has to have five different expressions in Japan. Changing ones attitudes, especially when older is difficult because of our stubborn old minds. That is why we need to re-think out of the box and find out a new way on how to learn Japanese that makes life exciting.
It is the idea of Mitchel Thomas that no home work or tedious memorizing is necessary in order to learn languages. Instead, while you listen to his audio tapes.. you are simply absorbing the teaching and understanding the language structure. In between you need to simply pause the tape to practice what you have learned, not by repeating, but by constructing new sentences in your mind. It will give you a rewarding feeling from the very start to begin building your confidence. Just like when you were a kid and realized something, languages are also meant to be realised. With excellent guidance and explanation of the foundations, the more relaxed and receiving you are.. the easier it is. Something totally opposite to schools or traditional study methods.
With the tapes, as you grow your confidence it becomes automatic that engaging with Japanese is giving you that same sense of reward. Ones you have the building blocks there and the right attitude towards Japanese, there is nothing that can stop you. Learning to read and write manga takes a life time. And if it’s not a fun experience from beginning to end, perhaps you are doing something wrong!