Hey my name is Ken Cannon and I want to talk today about the argument that says “you can’t learn Japanese from anime”. This argument is quickly becoming “the norm” within the learning Japanese community nowadays. As most of you might expect, I’m clearly against this argument, right? Actually! Not so, I in fact fully support all of this argument’s points, and have no intention of disputing them.
It is quite impossible to simply watch endless amounts of anime and one day just magically “pick up the language.”
You need a teacher, a guide, a learning method of some sort; whether that be a book, a class or even a website.
And in fact to use the Japanese you learned only from anime in Japan, would be to say the least quite comical.
All of these things being completely true, I have found something very interesting. From interacting with the “learning Japanese” and the” anime communities” for many years something caught my attention. A large majority of the staggeringly increasing Japanese learners are really not looking to learn Japanese for conventional or traditional purposes. Sure, going to Japan someday and or experiencing their rich culture is definitely a great benefit.
But what this new crowd of Japanese learners is really after is simply to understand the anime show they love so much, which makes sense. Therefore learning the Japanese spoken in anime is exactly what they need, and not something to be avoided.
An addition to this anime fans possess a number of great benefits that someone who doesn’t watch anime might not have…
Anime Benefit Number 1:
Obviously they hear the language on a regular basis, and some extreme fans hear enough of it a day to that it would equate even living in Japan. (This of course I don’t recommend for obvious social reasons) Now hearing the language is extremely important, because the only true way to become fluent in any language is to listen to thousands and even millions of sentences because that gives you a real feel for how the language is used. Of course this is useless if you don’t know a stitch of Japanese to begin with, but for an active learner, poses as something extremely valuable.
Anime Benefit Number 2:
Also because they hear the language very often, anime fans are exposed to the pronunciation of the words over and over again. This gives them an unparalleled advantage at minimizing their English accent.
Anime Benefit Number 3:
Equally important is that they subconsciously learn the rhythm and beat of Japanese. Which most people don’t know but is essential in really becoming fluent in the language.
Anime Benefit Number 4:
But perhaps the biggest benefit of being an anime fan is that it becomes a huge motivator in learning the language. Learning a new language is to say the least a huge undertaking! And I would be so bold as to propose that one of the biggest things that keep people from being successful in this endeavor is that they simply lose interest. They don’t get enough feedback out of their hours and hours of studying to convince themselves that it’s really worth it.
Anime Benefit Number 4… Part A…
With anime fans however, they have the initial motivation of being able to watch their favorite shows raw. Which I can tell you from experience is extremely rewarding. Even more so than most people already expect.
Anime Benefit Number 4… Part B…
Also is that when someone is learning Japanese, the right way. Meaning, learning words and vocabulary that are actually used in the anime show you’re watching. You get instantaneous feedback of how you’re doing! Once you learn a word and you actually hear it come out of your favorite characters mouth. It is an immediate success, which of course drives you to learn even more words and vocab, and form that you derive even more success! And on and on goes this vicious cycle until you literally learn the entire language faster than you could have ever imagined (for me it took only one year!)
So to close this post’s ideas, no! You can’t learn proper “business Japanese” from anime, but you can learn “Anime Japanese” with anime! Provided you have a proper learning method to guide you on your way.