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How long should it take me to speak Japanese fluently?

Shinsan

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Well,I plan to teach in Japan in a few years so and for some reason I started with SOME Romaji and spoken language and I started with Katakana.As of now,I can read A I U E O KA KI KU KE KO in Katakana.How long should it take me to be able to read and speak Japanese fluently?

I study about 2-3 hours everyday and I can read a little tiny bit.I started with Katakana because it's pretty easy.Also,for some reason,I can also read SHI and N.
 
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Shinsan

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I also bought a Japanese book which teaches you the culture,It has Katakana/Hiragana charts,has a dictionary,and it also teaches you basic things.
 

Tomii515

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I will take many many many many many many many years of hard practice. Any language takes a long long time to learn, exspecially if you're learning Jpanese and your first language is English.

Don't take it lightly. It will take a long long long time. Someone I know has studied Japanese for 6 years, and they're not fluent yet. Another person, 5 years, and they're still not.
 

Shinsan

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Alright.I'm fine with that.Haha.I'm actually finishing up Katakana right now.It's actually pretty fun because you feel like you accomplished something when you learn a new language.
 

Tomii515

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Alright.I'm fine with that.Haha.I'm actually finishing up Katakana right now.It's actually pretty fun because you feel like you accomplished something when you learn a new language.

Congratz lol

I would have suggested learning Hiragana, then Katakan, then when you've MASTERED them, start kanji. but yeah oh well lol >< :p

がんばってよね~!
 

Shinsan

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I also live in Pennsylvania in the Philadelphia area!haha.Anyway,Thanks.I chose to learn Katakana first because it looked easy and I wanted to be able to write names first.
 

Shinsan

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Kanji will probably take me years :( but hey,If I want to teach English in Japan,I'm going to have to do this right?
 

Mike Cash

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Kanji will probably take me years :( but hey,If I want to teach English in Japan,I'm going to have to do this right?

Actually.....no, you don't.

You know, you're all over the map on this. Here are some of your statements to date:

Well,I plan to teach in Japan in a few years so and for some reason I started with SOME Romaji and spoken language and I started with Katakana.As of now,I can read A I U E O KA KI KU KE KO in Katakana.

I already read/write and speak it pretty well

Im not leaving for Japan until I speak Japanese fluently.

Im moving to Japan soon to become an English teacher.

Right now I'm working on my Japanese so I probably wont actually go there until next year.I can read Katakana,I can read SOME Hiragana and..I dont even want to get into Kanji.As for the spoken language,Im working on that as well.

How seriously is anyone really supposed to take you?
 

Charles Barkley

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As Mike Cash pointed out, you do not need to know any Japanese do teach English in Japan. You will need to know some English, but even that depends on the school. There are some jobs available here where you could little English and no Japanese and be perfectly competent at your job. But, that's not really here nor there...

The point is, if you want to move to Japan and teach English, don't worry about what your Japanese is like before you go over. It will improve when you get there. Or, if you don't feel like studying while in Japan, you can give up entirely and still have a successful fun experience as an English teacher. I took a summer intensive course the other day with a guy living here 20 years and can't write out his own address. Another guy living here 10 years, doesnt know all that much, and still pronounces things like a fresh off the boat American. And those are college professors.

I hope that after 2.5-3 years of living in Japan (and a tiny bit of self study before I came), I will begin approaching a low level of fluency. Right now, its been slightly more than a year, working as an ALT. Another year as an ALT, then maybe 6 months in a hardcore language school, and we'll see where I am. If I get to the point after 2.5 years, I will be quite happy. But then again, I work very hard.

(and when I say fluency, I don't mean native level)
 

The7thSamurai

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I lived in Japan for six months without knowing any Japanese and without even bothering to pick up a text book. As did many of my friends.
 

kidtokyo

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Someone I know has studied Japanese for 6 years, and they're not fluent yet. Another person, 5 years, and they're still not.

Are those people you know also 14 years old? In which case, they started learning when they were 7 and 8? I don't think they had mastered English at that age..
 

JimmySeal

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What makes you assume all of Tomii's friends are the same age as him.

Back on topic, I think it's possible to become highly proficient in Japanese after 6 or 7 years with a lot of hard work and exposure.
 

Mike Cash

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Thank you for using the word "proficient" instead of "fluent".

My goal when I started was "reasonable proficiency in 10 years".
 

Elizabeth

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Actually.....no, you don't.
You know, you're all over the map on this. Here are some of your statements to date:
How seriously is anyone really supposed to take you?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm currently studying Japanese.Do i NEED to learn Kanji if I want to move to Japan?Is it common?
It's a matter of evolving benchmarks....Understanding that kanji is common I think finally puts us all closer to the same page. 😌
 

Shinsan

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Well,I figured since I'm going to live there,I might as well learn the language because one day I'll probably get married.
 

napian2000

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Hey Bikaben.
I'm napian. I live and teach in Japan.
In your native country it may take you about 1 year to read basic Japanese.
The reason i say this is because most, if not all japanese books use a combination of Kanji, hiragana and Katakana. Yes, all three.
When you read remember to verbalise what you read. It will help alot.

When i was learning, my teacher told me this:
All Kana Signs Take Note How Much You Read and Write
A K S T N H M Y R W
This is the basis for the Japanese system of reading
I recommend it.
When you start to learn kanji.
Some are picture based and others story based.
So, have fun
It's an interesting culture.
 

Shinsan

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Yes,I know it is,I learned the usage of no,o,ga,desu,desuka,mashita,and more last night with the book as well as cap off Katakana.I think I'm learning in a fast pace.It's really fun because when I finally speak fluently,I'll feel like I accomplished something.I love Japan and everything about it.I can't wait until I start teaching.Arigato gozaimasu!Thank you very much.
 

Mike Cash

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You can't love everything about Japan, Mr. Starry Eyes, when you know practically nothing about it.

So what concrete steps have you taken to actually come over here?
 

Shinsan

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Well,I'm saving up every penny I get as well as studying the language and culture every night.Mr Starry Eyes?Why must you be so negative?This has been a dream for me for years.I'm also learning about Japanese history and such.I'm not going there without the proper knowledge I need.I'm motivated,excited,and ready to make the final step.
 

Mike Cash

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Yet you're coming "soon" or "in a few years". You either already read/write and speak Japanese well or you just learned 10 katakana and the use of "desu". You're not coming without the proper knowledge, yet you're ready to make the final step. You're a self-contradiction machine mounted on two legs.

Studying Japanese and Japanese history are all very nice, yet they have nothing to do with concrete steps to come here and be an English teacher. Other than talking about it.....what steps have you actually taken toward coming here? I'm all about providing practical help to anyone who is actually going to be in need of it. But I get the feeling this is all going to be taken out in gabbing about it in your case. Lots of people dream about lots of things for lots of years. But not many of them actually get off the dime and do anything about it.
 

hot12lips12

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can someone tell me how long will it take me to learn Japanese, if Chinese is my first language??
 

tanhql

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can someone tell me how long will it take me to learn Japanese, if Chinese is my first language??
if you know chinese (like me), it can be pretty fast due to existing kanji knowledge. even if you cannot pronounce kanji, you can guess the meaning because 60% of japanese, chinese and korean vocabulary are the same, and kanji happens to be the biggest hurdle in learning japanese. for example, 説明書 means 'instruction manual' in japanese; i'm sure you don't know how to pronounce it in japanese yet, but you should know the meaning as in chinese, it means 'instruction manual' too (provided you can read traditional chinese script). for me, i've been learning japanese for around 1 1/2 year, and i can understand most of what's written on auctions on yahoo japan (i buy items from there from time to time, and ask a middle person to ship it to me).
 
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What makes you assume all of Tomii's friends are the same age as him.

Back on topic, I think it's possible to become highly proficient in Japanese after 6 or 7 years with a lot of hard work and exposure.
I agree with Jimmy here.
Thank you for using the word "proficient" instead of "fluent".

My goal when I started was "reasonable proficiency in 10 years".
Again a good time frame to look at become "proficient", good choice of words guys.

Like I have said before, I only know a very ,very few people who you would call fluent, a very difficult level to attain as you have to take in all aspects when asking this question.
 

tanhql

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There's a local scholarship here, which requires students to pass JLPT 3 to get it, go to japan and pass JLPT 1 there in 1 year, in order to further their studies in japan. Do you think it's possible to be fluent and proficient by then?
 
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There's a local scholarship here, which requires students to pass JLPT 3 to get it, go to japan and pass JLPT 1 there in 1 year, in order to further their studies in japan. Do you think it's possible to be fluent and proficient by then?
In one word "NO".

Just b/c you can pass that test does not mean a lot, b/c it is only one aspect of the language and on top of that the JLPT is not the be all to end test, there are much harder tests out there that test your true Japanese ability.

It will take many, many years to speak at a good level of Japanese, even if you did pass JLPT 1.

I think a lot of people have different ideas about what is fluent and what is basic Japanese.
 
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