Can You Learn Japanese While Reading Manga?

Guest post by Loria.

Hello to the readers! Quick introduction about myself, the author. I’m a writer who is truly passionate about writing about Anime and Manga as well as the Otaku Culture. I fell in love with the work and the medium. If you want to read One Punch Man for free then check out my website, Enjoy and on to the discussion!

Can you learn Japanese while reading Manga? It’s been a thought that has been lingering on the minds of every Otaku who isn’t Japanese or doesn’t know how to speak the language. And the answer is…YES!

Wait, hold your horses, and don’t go buying a stockpile of Manga! Of course, you can learn Japanese while reading Manga but it would take a long time before you truly understand and get used to the language. You would also need to take official Japanese classes to learn alongside reading Manga. And I’ll tell you 5 reasons why!

5. Japanese is Complicated

Japanese involves three character classes in their writing system. Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. 

Kanji is the most used out of all three and is the one you can see in Manga and other stuff all over Japan. Before going into Kanji you must first master the other 2 and believe me it is hard. Even Japanese adults don’t have full knowledge of Kanji as more characters are being added every day. You can learn Japanese by reading Manga as it becomes a big help in getting used to Kanji. But don’t forget to take classes.

4. The Pronunciation

Okay, you may have mastered the writing system but you then need to get a hold of the pronunciation of the words you’ve written.

Japanese pronunciation is often really similar to one another which easily leads to confusion and misunderstandings. These words are called Homonyms. One example is Hayai (Early) 早い and Hayai (Fast) 速い they have the same pronunciation but are written in different Kanji.

3. The Application

Once you’ve mastered the basics of the writing system and how to speak the language, you must then apply it by speaking to other people who know Japanese. This can be a big hurdle for those who want to master Japanese but are outside Japan. 

Learning Japanese while reading Manga is one thing but using what you’ve learned in a conversation is another. Although with the power of technology nowadays you can find people on social media to talk with. Just remember that Japanese people are shy.

2. There a lot of Kanji

When I say a lot I mean there are A LOT! There are over 50,000 Kanji and even native speakers don’t come close to that number. Since Kanji is the main character used in Japanese sentence structure, reading Manga can help a lot. Although without proper classes, you’ll get lost in the vast amount of characters and might forget those you have learned.

In Japanese primary school, the children learn 1,006 characters in Kanji. Don’t lose hope that a primary schooler knows more than you, take your time.

1. The Motivation

Most people who want to learn Japanese start strong but as time passes by they start to lose motivation because their learning curve is starting to flatten out. This is because they tend to learn alone.

When you want to learn Japanese while reading Manga start as a group where you can motivate and help each other. Japanese is a hard language to learn and you can’t perfect it no matter how hard you try but that doesn’t mean you can’t be fluent in it. You can be fluent in Japanese even if you don’t know all the Kanji. Find friends to start your journey with so no matter how difficult it is, you’ll have fun along the way.

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9 Tailed Kitsune
9 Tailed Kitsune

Hewo, my name is Kitsune. Yes, you can pet me on my chin and back! Nowhere else.  (≧◡≦) ♡

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