community-forum community-penpal community-userReports destinations-admission destinations-beenThere-solid destinations-bookmark-solid destinations-city_outline destinations-city_solid destinations-closedDays destinations-date destinations-getThere destinations-hotels destinations-hoursFees destinations-itineraries-3 destinations-nearbySpots destinations-pin-simple-outline destinations-pin-simple destinations-sortBy-dots destinations-tours destinations-town interests-agriculture interests-amusementParks interests-beaches interests-castles interests-city_solid interests-contemporaryArt interests-events interests-festivals interests-flowers interests-foodDrink interests-gardens interests-hiking interests-historicSites interests-industry interests-koyo-single interests-koyo interests-mangaAnime interests-museums interests-nature interests-onsen interests-parks interests-pottery interests-sakura-single interests-sakura interests-scenicRides interests-shopping interests-shrines interests-skiing interests-snow interests-sumo interests-temples interests-traditionalArts interests-traditionalTheater interests-viewpoints interests-volcanoes interests-wildlife interests-winterIlluminations news-section planning-tickets-2 planning-transportation-access planning-transportation-bicycle planning-transportation-boat planning-transportation-bus planning-transportation-car planning-transportation-plane planning-transportation-shinkansen planning-transportation-tickets planning-transportation-train planning-transportation-walk shapes-chevron-down shapes-circle shapes-star social-fb social-gplus social-instagram social-twitter social-youtube ui-alert-construction ui-alert-warning ui-calendar ui-confirmed-outline ui-confirmed-solid ui-date ui-globe ui-lightbulb ui-no_entry ui-ok ui-pencil ui-reverse ui-search ui-time ui-video-play ui-x user-avatar

Japanese is considered a difficult language to learn. This is certainly true for native speakers of European languages, such as English, because Japanese is fundamentally different from European languages.

One of the biggest difficulties of the Japanese language is its complex writing system. Unless you are already familiar with Chinese characters (kanji), many years of study are necessary to achieve complete literacy. Japanese students learn about 2000 kanji until the end of junior high school and continue to learn more until the end of their school careers. The two syllabaries Hiragana and Katakana (together about 100 signs), however, can be memorized within a short period of time.

Another difficulty of the Japanese language is the fact that a person's speech can vary depending on the situation and the person. A student of Japanese has to become familiar with Japanese society and customs in order to understand the detailed rules of the different levels of speech.

Compared to many European languages, basic Japanese grammar is relatively simple. Complicating factors, such as gender articles and distinctions between plural and singular, are almost completely absent. Conjugation rules for verbs and adjectives are almost entirely free of exceptions. Nouns are not declined at all, but always appear in the same form. These facts make the language relatively easy for starting students.

Note that there are more information pages in this guide about Japanese Language Schools and studying in Japan in general.

Page last updated: February 3, 2016