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Success Stories - Japanese

student

Janek Bartels

Location: Japan
Learning: Japanese
Classes: 54

Janek joined Verbalplanet in August 2018 learning Japanese. Learning a second language was second nature to Janek, having previously studied Spanish, French and Latin to level A1 (beginner) and English to C2 fluency, however Japanese proved uniquely challenging. As Janek did not have access to a native speaking teacher near where he lived, the internet became his main resource for authentic Japanese content and learning material.

Despite making great progress through self study, Janek felt that the assistance of a Japanese tutor would really help him to progress and achieve his goal of feeling as comfortable speaking Japanese as German or English. By choosing to study online, we were able to connect Janek with an experienced Japanese language tutor to help him achieve his goals.

A talent for learning languages

I hold languages in high regard and making people aware of the importance of speaking (at least) a second language is something I'd like to be a part of.

The differences in how a language can be be used to communicate and shape the way one is able to think, fascinates me. I took a look at learning different languages, namely French, Spanish and Latin, in that order, but changes in my personal life led to me more or less forgetting my interest in languages, that is until my grandmother died, which while expected, was rather devasting for me. To get myself out of this depression I tried something new, something I had always wanted to take a look at but never did - Japanese.

Japanese

Early progress developed into a passion

I bought a book about Japanese and started learning. While learning Hiragana and Katakana (the two forms of the Japanese alphabet) I noticed that it wasn't particulary hard, it only was difficult when trying to apply the concept of western languages to it. Fortunately I had dabbled with Latin, so the shock of meeting a language with a completely different grammatical structure was already dealt with.

Quick, early progress developed into a passion and I went to work in my efforts to learn a new language. My goal was to feel as much at home speaking in Japanese, as I feel in German or English.

To add some audio to my textbooks I started watching Animes (Japanese animation) with subtitles. I'm not the biggest Anime fan, it's just a medium of art for me. Some Anime products are good, some are not, but it's definitely the easiest way to get in touch with actual spoken Japanese. But while watching Animes with the intent of studying the language it became obvious to me that this alone wouldn't work and I needed the support of a teacher. Luckily I knew where to start and got into contact with a few sites dedicated to learning Japanese (there are a lot of those). On one of these sites I met the administrator which led to me finding Verbalplanet, as a friend of his is a teacher here.

The one problem Verbalplanet undoubtley solved for me is allowing me to really learn Japanese in detail, since I couldn't have done it completely through self-teaching and finding someone in my area wouldn't work either.
tutor

Meet Janek's Japanese Tutor: Yoshi Noda

Location: Netherlands
Subject: Japanese
(1774) Lessons
99%      
 (191) Reviews
View full profile

Hello, my name is Yoshi Noda and I'm an online Japanese teacher with Verbalplanet. I am a native Japanese speaker and I have been an online language tutor since May 2016. In total, I have been teaching the Japanese language to people all over the world for the last 15 years now.

The most rewarding thing for me in teaching Japanese is not only being able to introduce Japanese culture and customs to my students, but also getting to meet so many people from around the world with different backgrounds. I find it very interesting to learn the reasons and motivation each of my student's has to learn Japanese. Some are planning to go to Tokyo to work or study intensively and others are preparing for JLPT exams, preparing a trip to Japan or are just simply in love with Japan!

I like to use original worksheets depending on my student’s level, but if a student wants to use a textbook, I use Genki, Japanese for Busy People, Minna no Nihongo and others. I also create course plans for students according to their needs. For example, travelling, JLPT preparation, business meetings /mannerism, or lessons focused on Japanese conversational skills.

Janek Bartels has been one of my students on Verbalplanet, and to date I have taught 1774 classes and have 191 reviews from other students who have also been learning Japanese online with me. If you would like to improve your ability to speak Japanese I am sure I can help you progress and achive your language goals. My classes have an emphasis on conversation and oral skills so really help to boost your confidence. I'm also currently offering a discounted initial trial lesson at 50% of my normal lesson price for new students.

If you would like to find out more, please click on my profile link to get in touch and we can discuss how I can help you learn to speak Japanese with greater confidence and fluency.

If I had to give advice on how to use Verbalplanet, I'd say take a lesson with every teacher you like, then sort them out over time until you have found the best teacher for you. Every teacher has his/her own style of teaching a language.

Learning a language develops new ways of thinking

Verbalplanet does play a big part of my current career and long-term life plans and I'd say I've benefited greatly from Verbalplanet. The one problem Verbalplanet undoubtley solved for me is allowing me to really learn Japanese in detail, since I couldn't have done it through self-teaching and finding someone in my area wouldn't work either.

The teachers on Verbalplanet are extremely knowledgeable and are a great resource for finding quality, relevant language learning material on the internet. Nowadays the problem isn’t finding information, there is plenty of that, the problem is finding the right kind of information and Verbalplanet's tutors can point you towards quality resources that will help you on your way to learning a language. The teachers I had almost always provided worksheets and one is even providing Youtube videos about the topics we talked about.

If I had to give advice on how to use Verbalplanet, I'd say take a lesson with every teacher you like, then sort them out over time until you have found the best teacher for you. Every teacher has his/her own style of teaching a language. Think about what you want from the service and how much you want to pay, then try every teacher that fulfills these categories so that you can get a taste for how they do it. Once you have settled on your choice you can get serious about learning the language.

I think learning a second language allows for a new way thinking. Explaining how that feels, and what the benefits are is like explaining colour to a blind person - some things need to be experienced first hand to be understood. So unless you actually learn a second language, you won't understand what you have been missing. Learning languages can change you more substantially than most things you could do in the same time and there is something very special about reading or watching information about a country in the native tongue of that country.

Quick Facts: Japanese

Japanese is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. There are a number of proposed relationships with other languages, but none of them has gained unanimous acceptance. Japanese is an agglutinative language. It is distinguished by a complex system of honorifics reflecting the nature of Japanese society, with verb forms and particular vocabulary to indicate the relative status of the speaker, the listener, and persons mentioned in conversation.

Unlike most western languages, the Japanese language has an extensive grammatical system to express politeness and formality. The Japanese language is distinguished by verb forms and vocabulary which indicate the relative status of the speaker and listener, reflecting the hierarchical nature of Japanese society. There are two forms of the Japanese language considered standard, Hyojungo or "standard Japanese", and Kyotsugo or "the common language", though many of the distinctions between the two have blurred. Hyojungo, or standard Japanese can be subdivided into Bungo or "literary language" and Kogo or "oral language".

You'll be in good company. Students from around the world use Verbalplanet to learn Japanese and you can too.

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