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Learn Japanese From Anime?

Yup, learning Japanese from Anime really is possible. And if you stick around my website long enough you'll soon find out how. - Ken Cannon

P.S. Click to get a free video explaining the technique that got me speaking fluent Japanese in less than 1 year

Ken Cannon Happy Birthday

Here is your part 2 to How to say Happy Birthday in Japanese Video Lesson. Yes Ken Cannon is old and fat, but he is also very grateful for all of your happy birthday and in general very nice comments on the last video. Thanks so much! :)

Click here to get free lessons from Ken Cannon Personally:


Ken Cannon got FAT & OLD

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Ken Cannon Old & Fat

Ken Cannon got FAT and OLD

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Ken Cannon

Hey its Ken Cannon.

I'm just answering some questions about how I learned Japanese. How I learned Japanese through Anime. How long it took to learn the language. How hard it was to learn Japanese. What it's like to go to Japan. How to learn even if you're not good at learning languages. And How to learn Japanese from me.

Hope you like it.

Click here for FREE weekly Japanese Video Lessons from Ken Cannon: 

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Ken Cannon

How to say I love you video - Ken Cannon
"I like you" in Japanese

Hey Ken Cannon here. Saying I love you in Japanese is actually a lot harder than you might think. Watch the video above to find out why.

And in the blog post below I’m gonna give you a short break down of all the anime/drama clips used in my video. Don’t worry too much if you don’t understand every little detail about how all this stuff works because I will go over all of it again in future posts and videos. So without further ado here you go…

Video clips

1) J-Drama “Pride” Ep. 6

Aki wo aishiteru

-This ones pretty simple. Her name is Aki. And “wo” is just like “ga” in this case.

2) Kimi ga Nozumu Eien Ep. 1

Suki desu!

-Here she’s simply screaming “Like/Love”, which is totally cool in Japan. Because she followed it with “desu”, this sentence (sentence?) becomes polite. Also in Japanese unlike English you just need a verb to make a sentence complete.

3) Suzuka Ep. 15

Nyugaku shita toki kara zutto suki deshita!

-Yeah, we’ll save this one for another time. You should just be able to see the word “suki" in there.

4) Honey and Clover Ep. 24

Hagu-chan, ore wa kimi ga suki da yo

-Here we have the word “kimi” (you) instead of the name, which is cool and overall makes sense since he just said her name (Hagu-chan).

-Other than that you should recognize the word “ore” (I) from my last Japanese pronouns video and you really don’t have to add this word, but he felt the need to stress that is was him who liked her. 

-“Wa” is another (I know… theres quite a few) marker word, and just links “ore” to everything else.

-“Da” makes this sentence more firm, definite or declarative.

-“Yo” is kind of like an phonetic exclamation point.

5) Please Teacher Ep. 6

Sensei ga suki da

-Ok so in case you were doubting what you heard, yes he did say, “teacher” I love you. And if you think that’s gross, there’s a reason I cut the clip where I did. Yeah…

6) Kimi ga Nozumu Eien Ep. 1

ore wa, kimi no koto ga, suki desu

-Alright although this looks like a mouth full, after all the pervious explanations you should be able to understand this one too.

My Skits

1) I love you stomachaches…

Jya, kiru ne~ aishiteru
Jya, iku ne~ aishiteru
Jya, rimokon wo tori ni iku ne~ aishiteru
Jya, toirei ni iku ne~ aishiteru
Jya,  achi miru ne~ aishiteru

2) Yuna, I’m  a creepy stalker.

Yuna no koto ga suki! Zutto touku kara miteiru, kage kara,tsuyoi sougankyou de…  kokuhaku no chaynsu wo matteita
Atashi mo!

3) Who’s Michael?

Yuna ga suki.
Michael ga suki

4) I really like cats… Like a lot

Neko ga suki
Neko no koto ga suki

For more tips on how to say I love you in Japanese without getting slapped and Free Japanese lessons from me,

Check out my Video Newsletter!

Ken Cannon

I Love You Video Transcript
Hey, Ken Cannon here. So today I’m gonna be teaching you all about how to say “I love you” in Japanese.
The reason for this lesson is the same as my Japanese cuss word video, (Look over and then up) the term I love you is the number one thing people generally search for when learning a new language.
Now saying “I love you” in Japanese is actually much more complicated than in English. Simply because there’s different types of love, and different meanings for each.
So to get started, the literal word for “I love you” in Japanese is aishiteru.
This word contains the notoriously hard to pronounce Japanese syllable, ru, so pay careful attention to that. Most people describe it as a cross between the english roo, doo and loo.
(Pronunciation guide) ai, shi, te, aishite, aishite, ru, ru , ru, aishite, ru, aishiteru. Aishiteru.
Now ai – means love
And shiteru- is the Japanese verb form of “doing”
So basically aishiteru means you're “doing love.” Well, not yet, but hopefully right?
Ok now here's where the big “but” comes in, aishiteru is a very powerful verb, and is used only if you are in an extremely serious relationship, much more serious than the english counterpart requires.
So as you can guess this word is not used very often, in fact, some married couples have never even said this to each other.
So it’s not at all like the english “I love you” which is sometimes said so much it’ll give you a stomachache.
Ok im gonna hang up now… I love you *kiss*
Jya, kiru ne, aishiteru yo*muah*
Ok im gonna go now, I love you. *kiss*
Jya, iku ne, aishiteru *muah*
Ok, im gonna use the bathroom now, I love you *kiss*
Jya, toirei ni iku ne, aishiteru yo*mauh*
Ok Im gonna go grab the remote control, I love you *kiss*
Jya, rimokon wo tori ni iku, aishiteru
Ok Im gonna turn my head now, I love you….. *kiss*
Jya, achi miru ne, aishiteru, **muah
So this is the point where I’d show you some anime examples, but to be honest Ive never even heard this word in anime before. So here’s an example from a J-drama :]
*Pride example*
Now for those of you who aren’t in a 'til “death do you part” relationship, and still want to tell your smooch buddy, or future smooch buddy that you love them and not come off like your creepy obsessed stalker I’ll share with you guys 2 other ways to do so.
But before I do that I want to teach you guys a vital concept/ word in Japan and anime that doesn’t occur in America.
So that concept is…
Kokuhaku! Ko, ku, ha, ku, koku, haku, kokuhaku
Kokuhaku literatly means confession, and is what you call the event of confessing your love to your special someone.
(Pronunciation guide)
Ok the confession of love in Japan is absolutely vital for any relationship to start in Japan. Basically you have to go up to someone and say “I love you!” in the most awkward way you can. No I’m kidding, this act is actually not weird at all unlike it would be in English, and is pretty much the norm.
Yuna…. I love you! I’ve always watched you secretly from afar, in the shadows with high powered binoculars … hoping to get the chance to kokuhaku you.
….(creeped out look)
…Me too!
*Cheesy Hug*

Yuna no koto ga suki! Zutto touku kara miteiru, kage kara,tsuyoi sougankyou de… kokuhaku no chaynsu wo matteita

Atashi mo!
Here’s some kokuhaku examples from anime..
(anime clips)
Ok, now that we have that covered, what do you say when we're making our kokuhaku, or just wanna say something a little less serious then aishiteru?
Well the most basic non creepy way is…
“Name” ga suki, ga, su ki, suki, ga suki
So you simply replace the name part with my name.. hah no I'm kidding, of course. You put in the name of your S.B (copyright)
(Pronunciatoin guide)
OK, the word “suki” actually means “to like”. But in Japan this is word you use when your kokuhakuing, and it’s also the word used in most circumstances when you wanna say you love somebody.
Now ga is simply a “marker word” that comes after the name to indicate who or what it is your “suki” is directed towards.
Yuna ga suki.
Atashi, Michael ga suki
(Michael Phelps video)
As you’ll probably notice, Japanese word order is a bit backwards. Literally, you’re saying, “you, I like”
And as I said in my Japanese Pronouns video, “I” is often omitted as it is in “Name” ga suki.”
(anime clips)
Ok now I’m going to teach you the more proper way to say I Love/Like you.
“Name” no koto ga suki.
Now you’ll notice the difference is the little bit “no koto” this loosely translates to “about”
(Pronunciation guide)
Ok, the reason for this change is that “name ga suki” can sound a bit childish, since it’s so basic. Also “no koto” changes the word “like” into “Like like” as in mmhmm.
(fish on plate)
Sakana ga suki = I like fish
(face to face with fish)
Sakana no koto ga suki = I like you fish….
Koto is a word that means “intangible thing” as in “the idea of” I like, the idea of Yuna.
And "no", is another “marker word” which indicates possession, and links two nouns together. As in the Yuna’S idea, or again the idea OF Yuna.
(anime clips)
Ok, in closing we have.
Aishiteru – 'Til death do we part
Name ga suki – I like you
Name no koto ga suki – I love you

Ok I brushed passed a lot of the vital grammar since this is a youtube video but if you guys wanna see more examples or bunch more S.B related words. Head on over to JTA.com that’s JapaneseThroughAnime.com.
Anyway see you guys next week!
Aishiteru! Japanese - (I love you!)

Ken Cannon

How to Learn Japanese - Ken Cannon's Story
Why I decided to learn Japanese

Like most of you, the main reason I decided to learn Japanese was anime. Watching anime has always been a magnificent escape for me. I loved being able to dive into these awesome fantasy worlds. It all started with Inuyasha. I was 14 and going through a bit of a tough time and the show really helped me cope, and after that it just took off. I watched all the popular shows from Naruto, Bleach, Ranma ½ to the more uncommon, like Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, and Scrapped Princess. After about a year, I noticed myself picking up some Japanese, mostly small words like “kuso” and “nani” but I was definitely getting it. I found myself wanting to dive deeper into my fantasy worlds; I wanted to understand what my favorite characters were saying without the help of subtitles. 

I started like most people, with a few websites and America’s “favorite” language program, Rosetta Stone. However, the websites couldn’t teach me to pronounce the words, let alone capture my attention. And Rosetta stone only frustrated me to no end, trying to figure out what words the pictures were referring to.

From there I jumped to Pimsluers and a little known 1980’s TV show called “Let’s Learn Japanese”. Pimsleur’s gave me the pronunciation I needed and “Let’s Learn Japanese” was actually interesting enough to capture my attention. So armed with my 4 resources I pushed on.

However, for some reason, as I learned all this Japanese my actual comprehension of unsubtitled anime only slightly increased, even after I finished Pimsleur's, Lets Learn JP, half of Rosetta Stone and a number of websites.

I wondered why, but I soon knew the answer. I’d heard it before from all my online studies, that Japanese was a very different language. So different in the fact that it actually has two different versions: a formal and an informal (or casual language). Nearly all of the programs and learning methods teach strictly formal, because casual is understood to be rude if spoken to a non friend or family member.

Well the issue is that most anime almost always uses casual speech! Not only that but the programs I was using taught me words like, book, pen and economics major(?). Words almost never used in anime.

So from there I decided to take matters a bit more into my own hands. I had the basics of the language so I began to teach myself Japanese. I used actual words and sentences from the shows I was watching, developed a way to use the English subtitles as a teaching method, and researched casual Japanese.

After that a miracle happened, learning the hard and difficult Japanese language became fun! I started to do it whenever I had free time, staying up late and waking up early before school just to study Japanese. And my comprehension immediately quadrupled! I loved to learn Japanese from my favorite anime characters.

Within one year I had nearly completely mastered anime Japanese. Raw anime became a reality.

I can’t tell you how much more of an experience watching anime in its original language is. You learn so much more about the characters from just the way they speak. Japanese actually has over 6 ways to say the word “You” each one revealing the unique personality of the character that used it.

I don’t want to drag on but it’s for all these reasons and more that I want to share what I’ve learned! That in fact you can learn Japanese and it’s actually very easy and fun once you get the right method. If you want to get my secrets for learning Japanese subscribe to my newsletter for exclusive weekly content.

Ken Cannon

Video Transcript
Hey this is Ken Cannon, and this video is gonna be a little different from my normal ones because as I was going through the survey results I noticed a lot of people asked about how I learned Japanese, or how I learned it so fast etc. And at first I didn’t want to do a video like that since I don’t really want to put the spotlight on me or anything like that, but now I feel that maybe by hearing my story and where I was might reflect a little bit on where some of you are now.
So sorry for you guys who just want to see me dress up like a hideous girl with pigtails.
Ok, so it all started with a crazy passion for anime. I first saw DBZ on Toonami all those years ago, back when I was like 12 and loved it like most boys my age. But it wasn’t until I saw this show called Inuyasha on Adult Swim, Cartoon Network again, and I was like hey, I wonder if I could watch this show online instead of waiting a whole day for a new episode. Now I'm not promoting pirating or anything like that, but in my defense I was a really bad kid. And well, most of the things I did back then should never be repeated. Hah 
I found it online; however, it was in this crazy language with English subtitles. I didn’t quite know what I was getting into back then and it was a little weird at first but I just decided to watch it. And I got hooked! Watching in Japanese was so much more awesome than the English. I really felt like I could just escape into this anime fantasy, and god once I did it was like a whole new world opened up to me. I finished the show and moved on to hundreds of other titles, which all pulled me into the stories just as much.
And to be honest it was what I needed at the time.
My parents were divorced since I was a kid and my dad made it kind of a habit to move in with a new girlfriend every year or so, most times in a new city, so you know the old girlfriend wouldn’t find him. So once he did I had to change schools, and at that time I had probably been to about 7 different schools, not kidding. Which as you might guess made me kind of socially awkward, I didn’t really have a lot of friends. And also being super poor, my family couldn’t afford to buy me normal clothes like most of the other kids, so it was kinda common for me to get teased because my pants, high waters, were too high, cause I grew too fast. And I was not a stellar student; in fact one year I got straights F’s and one D, that was an accomplishment, not easy to do mind you. And so incidentally my parents sort of hated me, so the home life kinda sucked too.

It got so bad I actually developed an anxiety disorder, called social phobia. Yeah it exists. Which basically means you're scared to go outside and stuff. But right around that time, I found anime and wow, it was like a present from Jesus. Haha. I loved it, I could totally forget about all my problems at home and school and just dive in.
Now after watching for about a year, I started to get frustrated with the subtitles. It was always in the way of the show and it was really annoying to “read” my anime. Not only that but I started to become obsessed with Japan, and everything Japanese.  Jpop, japense video games, j –drama, Japanese music, culture, all of it. It felt like I was Japanese in a past life or something. So I wanted to go there, really badly, and live there even.
Of course all of this requires knowing Japanese.  So I set out to tackle this thing. I started with Rosetta Stone. And while it was a very nice looking program and all, and in the beginning in was cool, matching the pictures with words, the program started to get into sentences, not just one word stuff.  I found myself frustrated to no end trying to guess what exactly in the pictures they show you the words are referring to.
So I gave up with that one, about a quarter way in.

Fortunately I found a copy of Pimsleur’s Japanese at the local library. And it too was pretty cool in the beginning but as I progressed I found that it was like I was being constructed sentences, with no regard for grammar so I could ever form my own sentences.After I finished the first 15 lessons. (half of program again) I decided it was time to move on.
So I did some research and found out about a old tv show called, Let's Learn Japanese basic. And it was great, despite its oldness and corniness. Compared to the last two things I tried anyway. However, after finishing up their first program I noticed my Japanese wasn’t really improving. What I mean is, I would learn these sentences and words and grammar points and I would go back to anime or Japanese TV and manga, and I couldn't understand a thing.
So basically I got fed up, and I decided to take things into my own hands. I found out that Japanese actually has two different types of talking, formal and casual. And what most programs teach is formal and anime and what people use in everyday conversation is casual. Also the vocabulary they teach are things like book and pen and economics major? Now of course they do this because they want adult gaijin (foreigners) who come to japan to be able to speak politely. And when your learning in a school they want you to know school related stuff.
However, I knew there had to be a better way. I decided to teach myself casual Japanese, and anime/casual related words. So at the time I was watching Naruto, and I wanted to know, what were the most common words used in Naruto from the top down, so I could teach myself Japanese with the show. So I actually spent 2 months search for manga transcripts of the show, from there I would take them and run word frequency analysis on them and chart the words in order of appearance.  What I came up with were the 300 most common words in Naruto. So instead of learning arbitrary words choosen in who knows what manner, I went down the list with a dictionary and google search as my friend, and focused my learning that way.
Another thing I did was was read a little book called “Remembering the Kanji.” It's an amazing book that will teach you all two thousand Kanji in a matter of months. If you want to know more about it I review "Remembering the Kanji" on my blog. But in the book, it heavily used the concept of mnemonic devices, crazy stories in order for you to remember the characters better, and it's truly amazing.
But I thought hey, why not use that with words instead of just characters. So I applied that to every single new word I learned of my list of 300. In addition to this I came up with 2 dozen little techniques that helped me learn Japanese by myself.
Now after this, absolutely miraculous things started to happen.  I went from spending hours a day with Pimsleur’s and Rosetta and LLJB, to with an hour a day literally within a month starting to understand anime, and within one year, fully mastering all of the basics of the language. I can say that with confindence, because at the end of that year I went to Japan and it was every bit as much bliss as I thought it would be. Not only that but I had native speakers constantly completely astounded at how good my Japanese was. And after they asked how long I'd been studying for, and I told them a year they would pretty much pee themselves. It was great.
I would also say to you that learning a language like that, especially your dream language and mastering it has immense effects on your confidence. You might be oh yeah sure, but when I came back from Japan, I was able to overcome my social phobia and not only that but become a midly popular guy. Which of course made me happy and my grades went up. I even got into UCLA, one of the top universities in California.
This whole thing is of course why I started this YouTube channel. To help people like you and me master Japanese, knock out those nasty subtitles and go to Japan to have the time of your life. However, on my newsletter over at my website I’ve been getting tons of people who want me to make something a little more. So after much correction and motivation by you guys, mostly because I really don’t consider myself a good teacher, somewhat reluctantly I’ve decided to give it a shot.
And I have since started working on a full length beginner video course. Using my list of 300 words from back then and over 2 dozen other secret techniques I discovered that shoot my Japanese learning through the roof. So If you wanna stay more updated on that you can join my newsletter over at my website.
But in any event, I would say if you have any hesitations in learning the language, don’t. It is without a doubt every bit as awesome as you think it will be. And if someone like me can learn Japanese, anyone can. Don’t give up and keep moving forward. Learning Japanese is possible.

That’s all for this video, and I’ll see you next time for more videos on how to learn Japanese.

Ken Cannon

How to Be a Pervert Video by Ken Cannon
A Closet Chikan?

I was invited on a friends channel with this vid, and I'm here to teach you all the wonderful skill of how to be a pervert in Japan.

I also wanted to share a few pics I had to take down from my video because of some copyright issues with YouTube. They're such Prima-donnas...

Shitagi Dorobou (Panty Thief)
Washington Man arrested for stealing thousands of panties and bras...

Notice how this kind of thing is BIG news in America. "How unheard of!" they say. In Japan, this guy could be your neighbor, your friend, or your Sunday school teacher... all at the same time. No big deal...

Chikan (Train Groper)

Reading the comments on the video, no one could believe that this stuff actually happens and the girls don't do anything about it, or the chikan. What's even more surprising is that the other guys on the train, watching the chikan, don't even do anything! If this kind of thing went down in America, EVERYONE would get up and beat the shit out of this chikan guy. Crazy...

The chikan theme is also very popular in porn... that's what I've "heard" of course...

Rabu Hoteru (Love Hotel)

I read an amazing figure the other day! 1.4 million people in Japan, in other words, 2% of Japan's POPULATION go to a love hotel EVERYDAY! That's some big business...

Check out the bottom left room, chikan training room...

Meido Kafe (Maid Cafe)

This one's my personal favorite, I tell my girlfriend to act more like a maid cafe waitress everyday, still can't figure out why it's not working... Maybe she needs the uniform...

What do you think about all this funny business? For more perverted stuff that grosses you out, turns you on, or makes you wanna dance, come to my newsletter.

Ken Cannon

Video Transcript

How’s it going? My name's Ken Cannon and at the slight risk of never being invited to appear on Victor’s channel again, I’m gonna be talking to you about how to be a pervert in Japan.
 Many of you may have heard the generalization that “Japan is a country of perverts!”  And well I’m here to tell you that it's true! But I’m also here to tell you that so is every country in the world. Japan just has some particularly interesting ways of being perverted.
(Peeping toms are so yesterday.)
So without further ado, I bring you 1st way to be a pervert in Japan.
And that is, shitagi dorobo! Literally panty thief.
(pronunciation guide)
Ok so shitagi means underwear, but more specifically, women’s underwear. It used to be used to refer to the undershirt of a samurai, you find the connection,
and dorobo simply means thief.
Now surprisingly this act is pretty common in Japan.
Anata, doko ni iku no?
A, shitagi dorobo ni iku
Ah so, kiosukete nee
Kyaaa! Dare!, kimaten desho.. shitagi dorobo.
Ah!!..  ah sou ka…
So how this works, a male typically sneaks into the house of an adult woman, walks past the expensive stereo system, her thousands of dollars of jewelry to find her dresser, steal her underwear…. And then walk back past the expensive jewelry, her fancy stereo system... and leaves
What they do with the underwear after is a little beyond the scope of this lesson…
*drinking coffee*
Oh hey do you have any napkins??
Yeah here ya go..
*hands him a panty*
Alright! On to how to be a pervert in Japan Tactic 2!
Now this is one you might have heard of if you’ve ever riding a train in Japan, or maybe you’re even more familiar with it than I think…
Anywho, chikan means molester but is more commonly used to refer train groper.
(Pronunciation guide)
Now as I said this term is mostly used to refer to train gropers. Now what that more specifically means is that a man will get on a train look for a nice obedient looking gropee, and go to work!
*Awkard grope*
*giant sheman turns around*
Now as many of you potential chikans may be saying, well, “I tried that one day on the train and I got groped back with a giant kick in the balls”
The thing is that is in Japan women, and most men as well, don’t like to cause trouble so they typically don’t say anything.
*awkard grope*
*giant she man looks up and just shrugs*
Apparently this problem is actually so prevelant in Japan that they have recently created girls only trains.
*Bajillions of giant shemales board train*
OK, now what if you’re just a regular old pervert like the rest of us and just want a place you can go to fulfill all your pervy needs. Well Japan has just the places for you. 2 in fact!
Number 1 pervy place.
rabu hoteru, literally “love hotel”
(Pronunciation guide)
Now love hotels are something that occur in a few other countries as well, even America has a no tell motel? But never has a country perfected this art as much as Japan.
Now I say art, because well there's really no other word to describe the inside of these rooms, besides monstrosity of course. In general they range from Hello Kitty heart covered dungeons to underwater racetracks for Martians…
Ahh kawaaii! Nani sore??
Oh omiyage
Hee omiyage ne, doko kara?
Ahh,, ettoo…. Roshia?
So what you do when you wanna get yourself a hotel full of love is you find these rather discrete apartment looking places, go in pay the person behind the frosted glass for a “rest” period  ranging anywhere from 1 to 3 hours, denpending on your stamina, and enjoy =)
Ok! Were at my place now! =D heheh…
Is this really your apartment?
Sou yo..
Why does it say “Hotpassion”  there…?
Oh well, you know, I’m from America, we have strange last names… don’t worry, come lets go…
OK and the 2nd pervy place and the last concept/word for this video is..
Meido kafe, in english, maid café!
(pronunciation guide)
Maid cafes are essentially otaku fantasy centered cafés where all of the waitresses dress up in French maid uniforms and treat their customers like masters.
In fact instead of hello, or hi, they greet all of their customers with a friendly, okaerinasaimase, goshujin-sama!
(Pictures of maid cafes)
The menus of maid cafés are usually the same as most café’s but with the twist of everything being cutified. i.e smilley face omlettes  ect.
 Maid delivers omlets
I look down with a surprised awkward look.
And the omelet has a picture of victor on it.
Other typical courtesies of maid cafes are, spoon feeding, neck massages, and even ear cleanings (clips of me getting these things)
To recap, how to be a pervert in Japan step 1.
Steal some panties.
Step 2.
Grab some train booty.
Step 3.
Get some love at a hotel.
And Step 4
Go get your ears cleaned.
Alright I just want to thank Victor for letting me appear on his channel, probably for the last time. And most of all, you, the potential pervert, for making our world a better place.
Disclaimer : Ken Cannon should never be listened to at any time, for any reason, what so ever. Please do not become a pervert, or go to japan… ever… thank you.

Ken Cannon

Japanese Pronounciation

Posted by Ken Cannon 41 comments

baby girl pronouncing Japanese like Ken Cannon does

Perfecting your Japanese pronounciation is like saying "Diju go dada store."

I was doing some tutoring work the other day, and I was trying to correct one of my student’s accents to make it sound more natural. Now keep in mind this is one of those bastard genius students that everybody secretly loves to hate because they learn everything twice as fast. (I’m just kidding of course I love her...)

But I couldn't quite get it right, even though she was such a good student. That is until I had this little revelation. When you speak in English, do you enunciate every single syllable? I mean, even if you’re one of those people that do pride yourself in your speech, if you’re honest, I’d hallucinate that you really don’t. Because it just sounds weird when you talk to people like that.

It’s not natural, and frankly it’s more work too. And I hate work, so as you can imagine I’m one of the worst enunciators in the world. But, I sound like a native English speaker, probably cause I am, I think... But I believe a lot of it has to do with the fact I don’t enunciate everything. I don’t say words the way they are written. (Big key when learning Japanese!)

Now this might be influenced from slang, and if you’re British or something then you probably already think I talk like an idiot anyway and really shouldn't be encouraging it.

But if you look at the first sentence of this post, yes the one that looks like I fell asleep in spelling class.. which of course I did, just don't tell anyone… you’ll see the way you pronounce, “did you go to the store?”, is a lot closer to “diju go dada store” if you’re speaking at normal speed in the middle of a conversation.

Now of course like I said in the beginning there are always exceptions, so you don’t need to get mad and throw rocks and stuff at me for it. But once I tried explaining this to my student, her Japanese pronunciation improved immediately.

Instead of trying to say “Ore wa shinobi da” just like it’s written.

(I’m a ninja)

Try meshing the 4 words together a little bit more. Think of the whole sentence as being one big word instead of 4 individual ones.

If you get really close it should sound a little closer to something like.

Orea shnobi da

Let’s try another

Yatsu wa baka da yo
(He’s an idiot.)

If you mesh it together good enough, and don’t just try to say the whole thing really fast. Of course when you try this, the speed of the sentence does increase, but that’s not the only dynamic that occurs.

It should sound a little something like this…

Yatsa baka dao

Well I hope that helps your pronounciation a bit. For more methods of improving your Japanese pronounciation and other pieces of advice subscribe to my newsletter.

Ken Cannon

Ken Cannon's Story