How to Learn Japanese

People ask me how I get so good at Japanese, even though I’ve never lived there. Well, the short answer is I had a Japanese girlfriend, but that’s not the whole story.

Here is how you learn Japanese. It’s not easy.. at first, it’s downright impossible, but it’s the most genuine way (short of moving to Japan, of course). Here’s what you do (please click “read more” below if you don’t see the clip):

  1. Watch this, try to pick up as much as you can.
  2. Watch it again, but relax a little bit.
  3. Watch it again and try to write down or type everything you hear (you don’t have to write down the kanji.. roomaji or カタカナ are fine)
  4. If necessary, keep on watching it again and again until you can write down everything you hear.
  5. Translate what you have.
  6. Watch it again, pretend you didn’t have to do all that (yes, the pretending is important psychologically) and that you’re just watching Japanese programming and understanding it.

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Pics from the Torrance natsumatsuri

You all missed the spectacle of a White guy in a Hapi coat (me!) and all these Japanese people hauling around a mini-Shinto Shrine – ostensibly one of only two in the US, I might add. Dancing + Heavy Lifting = winning combination! CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP HOOOOOY! And.. since I was the tallest one, I couldn’t rest the damn thing on my shoulder, so my arms are fucking sore!