Can you learn Japanese on your own?

Certainly, with both advantages and pitfalls. Yes, you can learn Japanese on your own if you really want to, but you must know how to plan your own course so that you are actually "internalizing" and not just memorizing (and eventually forgetting).

The great thing about language learning nowadays is that we can find a variety of really useful Japanese language apps whether on the iTunes app store or Google Play. Don't forget about podcasts, Youtube and your local library. There is so much information available that there seems to be no excuse to not pick up a material and start learning Japanese on your own. However, there are things to consider.

  • Is self-study right for you? If you're the type who likes to sit quietly with headphones and a notebook and pen, or someone who follows through every single lesson in the Japanese language apps that you downloaded, then go for self-study. Chances are your sense of focus is more heightened when you are learning Japanese by yourself. 

  • What kind of language learning activity do you enjoy the most? What motivates you? If you plan to learn Japanese on your own, it would be more engaging than actually immersing yourself in the country (learning Japanese travel phrases if you intend to visit Japan). If your goal is to be able to read Anime comic books written in Japanese, then you should be learning how to write Hiragana and Katakana (and of course, Kanji) with Japanese worksheets.

There's a lot of reasons why you would want to learn Japanese on your own. The first step is to grab that language book, start listening to Japanese audio or even write about your daily Japanese learning adventures. And of course, follow through from there -- and don't quit until your reach your language learning goals!

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