Hi, my name is Nick and I would like to welcome you to the free course: Master the Sounds of Japanese!
In this course I will explain to you (and provide recordings of) all of the sounds of the Japanese language that you will hear regularly in both individual words and complete sentences.
I felt that it was necessary to teach people this way, focusing entirely on the sounds, and leaving grammar and comprehension aside for the time being, because of two major problems that I saw people struggle with.
The first problem is when a person who is learning Japanese can speak the language fairly well grammar-wise and with a decent sized vocabulary, but their accent, rhythm, and overall pronunciation is very poor.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Japanese natives have a hard time understanding foreigners who speak this way.
The other problem is when the student who has been learning Japanese for more than a year still struggles with listening to natives speaking at a normal conversational pace, even when they use words that the student knows!
Both of these problems are actually symptoms of a single problem.
Mainly, the student hasn’t fully mastered the native sounds of the Japanese language to the point where they can fully hear them when listening, and correctly use them when speaking.
So in order to fix this problem, or to avoid it altogether if you’re just getting started with Japanese, I recommend that you learn exactly what the sounds of Japanese are, and then practice them over and over again until they are locked in at both a conscious and an unconscious level.
Is It Possible To “Master” The Sounds Of Japanese?
To be honest, it takes a long time and a lot of work to really “master” anything in life, and that of course includes the Japanese language.
My intentions are for this course are:
- Raise your awareness
- Give you experiences
In my own life, I have found that all change begins with awareness. One you know that something exists, it is a lot easier for you to notice it.
Once you’ve done that, the next step is to practice it!
Just like going to the gym, you have to “lift the language weights” that will grow your abilities to the point where you can handle them with ease.
I’ve got a lot of native recordings of the sounds of the language that I have placed throughout the course so that you can match what you are reading with how it sounds.
Later on I will give you a file of all these recordings so that you can listen to them whenever you want. Keep an eye out for that part.
Why Should You Start With The Sounds Of The Language First?
I’d like to start off by using an analogy and explain how it’s like learning a new language.
When you want to build a new house, you have to do so in a series of steps. Each step builds upon the previous one, and paves the way for the step that follows.
The first step in building a house is actually creating the blueprints. Before you ever start building the house, you want to know what the finished product will look like!
This is like setting your language learning goals. Do you want to be able to speak well with natives? Is reading novels your objective? Is it both?
Setting goals is important, but not the purpose of this course.
That being said, the goal of this course is to help you learn the sounds of Japanese well and give you some ideas to take your practice further after the course.
The second step in the process is choose a plot of land where you want to build.
This is like choosing which language to learn, which you have already done – Japanese!
The third step is clearing out the land of all derbies, flattening it, and preparing it for laying down the concrete foundation.
This is actually what we are going to be doing in this course.
We are going to go over all of the sounds first, which is the smallest unit of the language, so that when you start learning more things like vocabulary and grammar (step 4 in our analogy), you are ready for it.
I think this is important because once you’ve learned all the sounds and can quickly identify them when you hear them. It actually becomes automatic so that you don’t even think about it.
This will then allow you to focus all of your attention on the meaning behind the sounds that you hear (what the words means), rather than on trying to understand the sounds themselves.
How The Brain Works With Sounds
When you hear a word in any language, the first thing your brain does is try to discern what the sounds were that it just picked up.
If you are able to correctly identify the sounds, your brain then compares those sounds to all the words that it already knows and if it finds a match, then you recognize the word!
But if it doesn’t find a match, then you brain tells you “I know what sounds that person made, I just don’t know what they mean.”
Here’s the thing I want to highlight though: If you have not yet mastered the sounds of the language then you cannot pass step one!
Even if you know the meaning of a word that you’ve learned from a book, if your brain isn’t able to correctly identify it from the way it sounds when a person is speaking, then you won’t understand it at all.
The problem is that the way a word sounds in isolation can be completely different from the way it sounds in natural speech when it’s combined with other words in a sentence.
By taking the time to master the sounds of Japanese first, you are setting yourself up to make accelerated progress when you start learning the basics of grammar, common vocabulary, and more.
Have You Encountered This Problem Before?
Have you ever listened to a Japanese person talk, and you literally couldn’t make out what they said?
I’m not talking about comprehension, but rather the syllables and sounds that they used.
Did it all sounds like gibberish?
Was it all kind of a blur?
That’s a sound problem. This course is designed to solve that problem so that you will always be able to fully hear what a person is saying when they speak Japanese.
The same thing goes for when you are speaking Japanese and other people are listening.
Let’s take care of this problem once and for all so that you can move on to learning other important things like grammar and vocabulary, and you will never have to struggle with this particular aspect of Japanese ever again!
Got any questions about the course? Let me know down below!
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Further Resources for Learning Japanese: