How to speak Japanese

Top tips to learn to communicate effectively

Start speaking Japanese

Want to learn how to speak Japanese? Despite the rumors that it takes 2,000 hours to hold a decent conversation, learning Japanese is really very doable – with hard work, dedication, and a few tricks up your sleeve.

Whether you’re a beginner or have already started working towards speaking fluent Japanese, there are things you can do to make learning a little easier and faster for yourself.

But if you’d rather just jump into learning, you can skip all this talking and head straight to learning Japanese on Busuu – with help from native speakers and mnemonics galore!

7 tips for learning to speak Japanese fluently

1. Don’t rush the basics

For some learners, the three Japanese writing systems can be intimidating. But, if you focus on learning to speak and skip the reading and writing, you’ll be missing out on a big piece of learning the language! Besides, getting started with hiragana, katakana, and kanji is really quite doable.

2. Find media you love

Find Japanese-language movies, TV shows, music, books, manga, or radio you love, and then return to them again and again. Doing this will help you learn how the language is used and spoken. Plus, going over the same material will give you a great marker of your progress as you understand more over time!

3. Practise with native speakers

If you want to master how to speak in Japanese, accent and all, nothing beats communicating with native speakers. There are native Japanese speakers all over the world, so it’s worth trying to find friendly native speakers near you who are willing to chat! And, of course, you can get feedback from native speakers directly when you learn Japanese with Busuu.

4. Record yourself speaking

If you want to learn spoken Japanese, you’ll likely listen to native speakers, but how about listening to yourself? Our experts recommend recording yourself and listening back – once you have an ear for the language, you’ll be able to start making adjustments to make your Japanese sound increasingly natural.

Follow those four tips and you’ll have an easier time if you want to learn to speak Japanese fluently, but these next three are the icing on the cake...

5. Set goals

Studies show that clear goals and timelines make a huge difference in how far language learners get toward reaching their goals. Create a Study Plan and stick to it.

6. Use mnemonics

The use of mnemonics like rhymes, imagery, and associations is particularly helpful when learning Japanese. (That’s why we use them throughout our free and Premium Japanese courses!)

7. Stay positive

Last but certainly not least, don’t forget to celebrate your successes! Learning any language has its challenges, but if you stick with it, you’ll be saying nihongo ga hanasemasu in no time!

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