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Learning Japanese: Anime Resources

Updated on October 1, 2017

Anime Japanese is Not Real Japanese

Anime Japanese and real Japanese are two different things. In japanese there are different ways of speaking to people based on who you're talking to. In real life you talk to your boss, your customers, and your superiors in a formal way. In Japan this is very important, talking to someone in the incorrect manner can make you come off as very rude and insulting.

Anime Japanese often uses made up words depending on the kind of anime it is and the manner in which the characters speak to each other is extremely informal. This is not the same as you would talk to someone you met on the street in Japan or someone you were talking to through a language exchange program.

So can you really learn Japanese through watching anime? Yes and no. Watching anime is a good way to supplement your studies, it is not a way to learn the complete language.

Types of Anime

There are several different genres of Anime. The most useful ones to help you with your studies are slice of life, sports, dramas, and anime centered around High School. You'll want to stay away from really crazy adventure or sci-fi anime until you're more advanced in your studies as you won't take much useful japanese away from these and you're more likely to learn obscure words and phrases.

So keep it simple and have fun with it.

Take Notes

Yes, I said notes. If you're actively listening instead of passively watching you'll absorb more information and you can write down new words and phrases that you learned or want to look up so that you can better understand them and figure out how they can fit into what you've already learned.

Also this all only works if you're watching anime with subs on or no subs at all, watching anime that's dubbed in your native language will be useless to your learning of the Japanese language. I figured all of this was already obvious but it couldn't hurt to mention it.

Work Those Ears

One of the best perks of watching Anime while learning Japanese is that while Anime Japanese and "real" japanese are not the same, they ARE both Japanese and watching anime can really help you hone your listening skills. This is valuable because part of learning and speaking a new language is also learning how to listen to it.

Don't rely on subtitles to get you through the show either, they can be useful but they can also be a crutch that slows you down.


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