64 Days – Language Study

One of the most fun challenges of travel abroad is the different languages that you encounter. For every country I travel to, I do some language study – if nothing else – so I have the ability to order food and exchange greetings in the local language. Nothing will help you to see the world like the country you travel to more than learning a bit of the language they speak. After all, language is the way we understand the world in which we live.

With that said, be prepared to struggle. Whether you are a person who has studied the language in a traditional classroom setting for years or a new learner who has just studied on the flight over, the first interactions will always be challenging. You have to approach your experience like a child, or someone who is not at all self-conscious about making mistakes.

I asked OpenAI how one would prepare for a trip to Japan and this was the response my notes are in bold:

There are several ways to study a language for an upcoming trip to Japan:

  1. Enroll in a language class: This is one of the most traditional and effective ways to learn a new language. Look for classes that focus on conversational Japanese, as this will be most helpful for your trip. Human to human practice is always the best!
  2. Use language learning apps: There are many apps available for learning Japanese, such as Duolingo and Rosetta Stone. These apps are great for learning the basics of the language and can be used on-the-go. I use Duolingo every day (not just for Japanese), and while it is more of a game than a language instructor, it can be great for basics and vocabulary.
  3. Practice with native speakers: Try to find a language exchange partner or a tutor who is a native Japanese speaker. Practicing with native speakers will help you improve your pronunciation and get a feel for the rhythm and intonation of the language.
  4. Immerse yourself in Japanese culture: Watch Japanese movies, listen to Japanese music, and read Japanese literature. This will not only help you learn the language, but it will also give you a deeper understanding of Japanese culture. Perhaps this should be higher on the list if you don’t have access to people practice.
  5. Practice, practice, practice: The key to learning any language is practice. Try to use what you’ve learned as much as possible, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Especially when using apps, be sure to repeat out loud!

Phrase of the Day:

  1. “日本語を勉強しています” (nihongo o benkyou shiteimasu) – “I am studying Japanese.”
  2. “初めて日本語を学び始めました” (hajimete nihongo o manabi hajimemashita) – “I have just begun learning Japanese for the first time.”
  3. “日本語が難しいです” (nihongo ga muzukashīdesu) – “Japanese is difficult.”
  4. “日本語を上達したいです” (nihongo o jōtatsu shitai desu) – “I want to improve my Japanese.”
  5. “日本語を話せるようになりたいです” (nihongo o hanaseru yō ni naritai desu) – “I want to be able to speak Japanese.”
  6. “日本語を習っている人に話しかけたいです” (nihongo o naratte iru hito ni hanashikaketai desu) – “I want to talk with people who are learning Japanese.”
  7. “日本語を楽しんで学びたいです” (nihongo o tanoshinde manabitai desu) – “I want to learn and enjoy Japanese”
  8. “日本語の文法を理解したいです” (nihongo no bunpō o rikai shitai desu) – “I want to understand Japanese grammar.”

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