How to stay focused when learning Japanese

Q: I’m sending this e-mail to ask if you had any tips to help me stay focused while learning Japanese. I tend to study hard for 2-3 days and then I put it off for a month then when I go back and learn it I have to re-learn everything again. I really want to learn Japanese and I wish to travel Japan when I’m older, if you have any tips that would be fantastic. – Lauren

A:  Ah, yes indeed this happens to all of us!  2 or 3 days and then something else creeps in and nothing gets done.

You can do all the usual tricks of writing days on a calendar, setting aside 20 minutes each day etc.  but what I’ve found the best is to have an outside reminder of when to study.  So that’s why I really like the Genki Japan email course, so you get a regular email every week with one lesson.  So that would be tip, sign up for the emails (they’re free!) and just work through each lesson as you receive it.  That way you have no stress about how much you are studying, just leave it up to me!

The sign up for is on this page:

Q: Another question would be do you recommend any textbooks that would also help with learning Grammar, Verbs etc. which are also easy to understand for a beginner. Thank you for all you’re help and have a good day.

A:  First of all I wouldn’t go for any books, they aren’t the way to learn a language. (Unless you don’t care about speaking it of course.)  The best way for grammar is to do lots of listening of real Japanese.  Start with the Genki Japan songs and then move on to real Japanese videos etc. on Youtube.  That is by far the best way to learn grammar and verbs.  Remember it’s always learn, not study!

Good luck!
Be genki,


2 Responses to “How to stay focused when learning Japanese”

  1. Ian Cutler says:

    Thanks Richard!

    Sounds true: I found a slightly older Pearsons Publications CD in local library. set the Player to repeat for ages….and your songs videos etc.

    All really useful, enen though old cd’s, learn more quicker than reading over my son’s school notes…

    Think you’ve hit nail on the head!!

    Had Parle et Lier at school for French centuries ago,worked: almost forget text book and just listen/say. Is good.

  2. Sidney says:

    Thank you for this post! I have the exact same problem. And I do also have a hard time learning from books. I like the videos you have, and I’ll get on Youtube and stuff. Also sometimes I watch anime and keep my ears perked for words I know. (which isn’t all that helpful but fun :) ) I also listen for a phrase they say and with the subtitles, I try to find what that phrase means. Then I google it or something to make sure I got it right, hehe.

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