Learning About The Japanese Lifestyle Through Anime
Anime, as we all know, plays an important role in the lives of Japanese. When you say the wordanime, the first word that comes to mind is Japan/Japanese. But first of all, lets start with the basics what is anime and how does it differ from regular cartoons?
Anime is a short word for animation, written in katakana in Japanese as it is a foreign word by origin. Anime is a form of art that refers to the Japanese animated movies, not all animation. However, anime in itself includes different genres, just like films or books do. Theres drama, comedy, slice of life, supernatural, erotic and so on. In some English dictionaries, anime is defined as Japanese-style animated film or television entertainment and/or a style of animation created in Japan. Even if you are not interested in anime, you can easily notice that the Japanese animation style and artwork is very different to the Western one.
Old men in cartoons vs. Old men in anime
If you like anime, youve been asked this a thousand times.If you dont, youve been probably wondering about this.Essentially, one can say there is really no difference between the two as types of entertainment. Formally, any method that imitates an action on the screen is called an animation. Both anime and cartoons are animated entertainment shows, either serialized or as feature films.
Yet, anime and cartoons differ with their visual characteristics , concept , and subject/theme .
Reasons Why Teaching Yourself Japanese Works
If you study Japanese in a classroom, then youre following a set program laid out by your teacher. This program is most likely designed to teach you grammar, vocabulary and written Japanese.
Learning Japanese in a classroom has a ton of benefits. Seeing yourself progress through each level is thrilling, with each new skill feeling like an unlocked achievement.
Theres also the bonus of having a community of people to practice with who are all going through the same lessons, meaning you can share notes on the same material and figure out whats going to be on the test.
You also get, more or less, the complete package: spoken, written and literary Japanese all tied up in one neat bow.
But if you only study in the classroom, then your immediate learning outcome is limited. Remember that youre restricted to just following one program.
What if you want to learn something outside of that?
What if your teacher is covering stuff that you know already?
Or what if the level is too high for you to even keep up?
Take a look at the following reasons why self-teaching Japanese can take you leagues further in the long run.
A Disclaimer About Learning Japanese With Anime
Japanese is an honorific language with different ways of speaking. Think about it this way: You speak differently with your superiors at work than you do with close friends and family, right?
Japanese takes this to another level.
You have to change the way you speak to someone depending on your relationship, but it transcends the straightforward distinction between formal and casual. Your language will change between talking to a friend, family member, work colleague, manager or customer.
Meanwhile, anime characters live in their own universe where everyone tends to use slang, casual language, informal pronouns and even made-up words.
Too often, Japanese teachers encounter eager anime fans who were inspired to learn Japanese from their favorite programs. They sit on the edges of their seats, bursting with excitement to show off the words and phrases they learned while watching anime.
Imitating anime characters can leave you speaking like a child or a rude street punk, but you might never know the true meaning of your words and tone. This can be frustrating for both teachers and peers.
The bottom line here is that you need to be aware of the kind of Japanese youll absorb in anime-world. As long as you dont lose sight of your ultimate Japanese language goalto speak fluently and properly in any situationanime Japanese definitely has a place in your language learning progress.
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The 10 Most Educational Lessons You Can Learn By Watching Anime
Anime is just for kids, right? Thats what the average person who refuses to watch Anime would say.
Anime is more than just a kid shows and comedy. Its full of all kinds of topics and subjects, just like films.
Some of these subjects will entertain you, make you laugh and make you feel good inside.
And others will teach you new things about life.
Things that have educational value, and knowledge you can use to improve an aspect of your own life.
Its this educational part of Anime Id like to talk about in this post.
Here are my 10 reasons why Anime has educational value. No matter what type of Anime
You Can Learn About Culture And History
The word in Japanese means nostalgic or a blast from the past. Youll often hear Japanese say this when they hear songs from a particular era, because they remind them of what their lives and Japan were like back then. Learning a song can teach you more about the time it came out: if the song happened to become hugely popular, what was happening in Japan to make it so? What was it about the song that resonated with Japanese people at the time? Thus, your cultural knowledge expands, and you find new ways to relate to your Japanese friends!
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You Can Improve Your Vocabulary
In any language, songs are written people for people to relate to and enjoy. Songwriters use words, phrases and metaphors to attract listeners and strike a chord with them. When you learn Japanese songs, you can pick up all kinds of useful everyday vocabulary you may not see in a textbook, and discover different ways to describe things and express feelings and ideas.
Top 10 Best Japanese Anime Series For Learning Japanese
If youve decided to take the leap and learn Japanese, youre in luck! One of the most popular cultural explosions in the world is anime , and it can assist you in your Japanese language learning endeavors. It can be a relief to switch from your formal instruction in Japanese to this art form that offers a window into the culture of the country, which provides a glimpse of less formal use of the language. Many educators agree that using a variety of media, like anime and graphic novels, improves motivation and adds a valuable layer of culture and art in language instruction. So, you really will be doing something productive by binge-watching a new show!
How can you use anime to support your goal to learn Japanese? And what are the best anime to learn Japanese? Read on to find out!
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Build A Core Vocabulary
When you embark on the journey to teach yourself beginner Japanese, one of the most important things you can do is build a core vocabulary.
This fundamental vocabulary is essential for reading, writing, speaking and listening. Its what will allow you to build skills on what you already knowthat is, the core vocabulary.
It isnt difficult to accomplish this.
One of the fastest ways to build a core vocabulary is to learn some loan wordsthese are words that are so close to English words that theyll feel very natural to learn and use. One example of that idea is seen in the word camera:
Begin with the very basics to build this core vocabulary. Think about the conversational tidbits you use to introduce yourself, say please and thank you or to answer questions.
Japanese flashcards are an excellent resource for learning basic vocabulary. They can be entertaining to use, especially if you challenge yourself to learn a certain number of words or phrases each day.
Guardian Of The Spirit
Historical series about a prince whos forced to abandon his kingdom, and a female bodyguard whos contracted to protect him.
Here are the biggest life lessons from Guardian Of The Spirit:
- Human beings can be irrational for the wrong reasons.
- Some people value traditions more than they value the lives of others.
- When life is hard, giving up will only make it harder. So keep going and become even stronger.
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Theyre Comfortable With Being Weird
Unless you also watch anime, you probably think anime nerds are a little bit weird.
Thats okay, we kind of understand because very few of us were born watching anime. Most of us also thought it was weird at one point or another so, in a way, we can sympathize with you.
Anime nerds are used to being called weird and many of us are actually much more comfortable with ourselves because of it.
Anime Academy: Characters And Illustrations
Created by Christiana Wu, this is the highest-rated course on Udemy. Now, Anime lovers can learn anatomy, illustrations, design, etc. It consists of 118 lectures in the form of video lessons, which are divided across 19 sections. Learn the basics of shapes, drawing male and female characters, facial features, clothes, and accessories. You will also learn how to pose a character, color using cell shading, and how to use different styles.
Equips you to create unique anime characters.
Each lecture comes with resources and the whole course consists of a total of 149 downloadable resources.
Get lifetime access to the course material and lectures.
Get consistent support in the Q & A section of the course or directly message the instructor.
Learn different styles like shojo, chibi, and shonen.
Learn all the steps of making an illustration.
Understand the design process of the instructor and use it as a reference for yourself.
Duration: 42 Hours 30 Minutes
Rating: 4.7 out of 5
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Teaches You The Importance Of Hard Work
Dragon Ball Z .
From the moment you set eyes on Goku in the first Dragon Ball series, he does nothing but train to become stronger, faster, smarter, better.
And one point thats important is: None of it comes easy to Goku.
Gokus such a great example of where persistence can take you, and why its important to work hard to get the results you want.
There are even motivational , all because of how influenced fans are by the life lessons set by Goku in DBZ
Other examples would be Saitama from One Punch Man.
Sure its a parody show, but the same lessons still apply.
He worked hard, didnt take any shortcuts, and put in the work to end up as strong as hes become in One Punch Man.
Its this simple concept thats easy to ignore , and yet is true for life in general.
Hard work beats cheating or trying to take shortcuts every time. Especially in the long run.
Use The Accompanying Manga To Aid With Comprehension
Manga refers to graphic novels and many anime are based on manga. One fun approach is to buy the manga version of your new favorite anime program and read it first.
While you may be tempted to cheat and buy the English manga, Japanese manga generally always have hiragana written over kanji , allowing for easy comprehension. If youre at an intermediate level or above, challenging yourself with Japanese manga is a great way to strengthen your reading skills!
Some anime follows the manga dialogue relatively closely, so youll basically have a script to follow along with while watching the show. Other anime completely deviates from the source, and comparing the two can be another fun way to test your comprehension.
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How To Learn Japanese Using Anime
Make certain Japanese words important to your brain.
How do you do that?
You first study them in isolation, that is, not while watching anime. And then you watch the anime afterwords to hear the words that you studied in action.
Here are the steps:
Get a list of the most common words used in the specific anime that you watch to watch.
This part may be a challenge if you want the words used in anime thats not very popular , but you can always start with this list of the 100 Most Essential Words in Anime and then branch out to a specific anime later on.
You will want to study and learn those words on your own so that you brain knows that these new words are important to you. In other words, your brain will know what to look for .
Then when you watch the anime, you brain will recognize the words that youve been studying and say hey, I know these words! They will just pop out to your conscious mind when you hear them.
Its a pretty cool feeling when youre watching anime and you actually comprehend what the characters are saying for the first time! Its also super motivating!
Watch the anime with subtitles once, then turn them off and watch it again.
Let me clarify this one so that you can see how its different from the methods that dont work that we talked about earlier.
You watch the anime once and you read the subtitles. Go ahead and fully read them without worrying at all about connecting it to the Japanese words that are being said.
Sing Out Loud To Yourself
To see how you sound, record yourself with your computer, handheld recorder or app. Play it back. Nobody likes the sound of their own voice, but this step comes strongly recommended as part of the learning process. If at first you dont succeed, try, try again! Karaoke CDs or YouTube videos are also available to practice with. After youve mastered your song of choice solo, all thats left is your big karaoke debut!
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How To Teach Yourself Japanese In 8 Steps: The Beginners Guide
Youre trying to learn Japanese, Im learning to program on the side.
Learning a new skill is something that Ive had to do many times throughout my life.
I know very wellwhat it feels like to be a complete beginner.
There are lots of times when youll feel like you cant possibly ever become good at what youre doing.
Right now Im a terrible programmer, and every time I program Im painfully aware of how bad I am. But I know that this feeling is completely natural and in no way determines the outcome of my efforts.
Nevertheless, those moments when you feel that learning is the hardest are usually the moments when you learn the most.
I probably seem crazy for telling you this, but treasure those moments and learn to think of them as a sign that youre doing the right thing.
With this in mind, lets look at some of the ways you can teach yourself Japanese.
This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that youcan take anywhere.
How To Use Anime To Learn Japanese
Watching anime, which uses slang, casual language, informal pronouns, and even made up words, will challenge you as a student to listen carefully and compare it to what you heard in the classroom. You will be diving deep into the formal and informal use of Japanese, which is a requirement of any well-rounded course of study.
However, dont be fooled into thinking watching anime will magically make you fluent. Anime can be an effective supplement to all those hours copying down kanji, but it cannot be your primary teacher of the language. You wouldnt expect to learn Italian by reading restaurant menus, no matter how fantastic the food is in Italy. You need both formal and informal instruction.
That being said, how should you incorporate this art form into your instruction to get the most out of the time youre going to be watching anime? Here are a couple of tips:
- Start adding anime to your instruction after you get past your basic classroom level of Japanese. If you start too soon, you wont have the foundation you need to understand anything you hear.
- Take notes as you watch, jotting down new words or usages so you can check them out later.
- Watch anime with subtitles to augment your understanding and help you learn/review kanji. For more help with kanji, check out this article.
- Rewatch segments that are difficult your comprehension will improve each time. Also, rewatch episodes as your Japanese gets more proficient! You may be surprised at how much more you understand.
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They Explore Meaningful Concepts Regularly
Despite the rather unrealistic nature of most anime, many shows teach viewers a lesson or explore at least one major thematic issue central to human existence. For example, Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood explores the themes of kinship, death and corruption. Sword Art Online explores how we construct our perceptions of reality and what makes one reality the true one.
Can You Learn Japanese By Watching Anime Yes And Heres How
I would say that almost every person who is studying Japanese enjoys anime. I know I certainly do!
And since students love anime so much, and you can find a lot of it in Japanese without any problem, a lot of people ask: Can You Learn Japanese by Watching Anime?
There is a huge difference in opinion on this within the language learning community!
But at the end of the day, the answer is: Yes, IF you use the right strategies to do so.
Things arent always as straightforward as they seem in life. And the same holds true with language learning methods. There are some techniques that you can use with anime to learn Japanese, but almost nobody does them.
In fact, the way that most people use Japanese anime doesnt really help them at all!
First I want to go over the way that most people do it. And after that, Ill get into why it doesnt work and how we can then flip that situation on its head and use some tactics that actually do work!
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