Is Japanese hard to learn? Find out now!


Learning is a never-ending process, and acquiring new skills is always a fulfilling experience. Among the various skills one can learn, language is perhaps one of the most important and interesting ones. Japanese language, in particular, has become increasingly popular over the years, thanks to anime, manga, and video games. However, with its complex writing and reading systems, politeness levels, and different grammar structure, learning Japanese might seem daunting for many people. In this article, we’ll explore whether or not Japanese is hard to learn and provide tips and alternatives for those who may be interested in the language but are unsure if they should pursue it.

Factors That Make Japanese Hard

While learning any language requires dedication and effort, learning Japanese can present some unique challenges that can make it harder to learn. Some of these factors include:

  • Complex writing and reading systems: Japanese has three writing systems, including Kanji, Hiragana, and Katakana, each with their own rules and nuances.
  • Politeness levels: Japanese has multiple levels of politeness, which determines the verb forms and vocabulary that is used in a conversation.
  • Different grammar structure: Japanese has its own grammar structure, with a Subject-Object-Verb sentence structure and different uses of particles.

These factors can make it more challenging for English speakers to learn Japanese, but with the right approach, it is certainly achievable.

Tips for Learning Japanese

Learning any language requires time and effort, but here are some tips that will help make your journey of learning Japanese a little easier:

  1. Find a good tutor or class: A good tutor or class can help you learn the fundamentals of the language and help you stay motivated.
  2. Practice writing and reading Kanji and Hiragana/Katakana: These writing systems are an integral part of the language, so practice writing them regularly.
  3. Try immersion practices: Watching TV shows, listening to music, or reading books in Japanese can help with picking up phrases and nuances of the language.
  4. Use language learning apps: Apps like Duolingo or Memrise can be an effective way to learn basic phrases and vocabulary.
  5. Join language exchange communities: Language exchange communities allow you to practice speaking with native Japanese speakers, which will help improve your fluency.

Remember that consistency is key when learning a language. Therefore, incorporate these tips into your daily routine and dedicate some time every day to practicing Japanese, even if it is just for a few minutes.

Alternatives to Learning Japanese

Although Japanese can be a fulfilling and interesting language to learn, it may not be the best language to start with if you’re feeling intimidated or unsure about investing that much time into learning a language. Below are some alternatives:

  • Learn a more accessible language: If you’re looking to learn a language that is more familiar to English speakers, consider learning Spanish, French, or Italian, among others. These languages share Latin roots, which means many words and phrases are similar to English and easier to learn.
  • Learn a language with similar grammar structure: If you’re looking for a challenge and want to learn grammar that is somewhat similar to English sentence structure, consider learning German or Dutch, which share many similarities in grammar.

Remember, the most important part about learning a language is choosing one that interests you. Japanese and all the languages mentioned above have their own unique benefits and challenges.

If you’re interested in learning Urdu, a language spoken in South Asia, you may want to check out this article: Is Urdu Hard To Learn?

Interesting facts

Did you know that Japanese is considered one of the hardest languages for native English speakers to learn? The complex writing and reading systems, the different politeness levels, and unique grammar structure are just a few of the reasons why many people find it difficult to master.

Some may wonder if other languages are similarly challenging, such as Tagalog. For those seeking insight into the level of difficulty of learning Tagalog, check out this article on the topic.

Despite the challenges, learning Japanese can be a rewarding experience, as it opens up a new world of culture and communication. With the right resources and determination, anyone can tackle the difficulty level and become proficient in the Japanese language.


Is it really hard to learn Japanese?

Yes, Japanese is considered one of the hardest languages for native English speakers to learn.

What makes Japanese so difficult?

Factors that make Japanese challenging include complex writing and reading systems, different politeness levels, and unique grammar structure.

Can anyone learn Japanese?

Yes, anyone can learn Japanese with the right resources and determination.

Where can I learn Japanese?

You can learn Japanese through various resources such as online classes, language exchange communities, and language learning apps.

How long does it take to learn Japanese?

It generally takes 2-3 years to become proficient in speaking and understanding the Japanese language.

Is it necessary to learn Kanji to speak Japanese?

While it is not necessary to learn Kanji to speak Japanese, it is an essential part of Japanese writing and culture.

Can I learn Japanese without learning Hiragana and Katakana?

It is not recommended to skip Hiragana and Katakana as they are the building blocks of the Japanese language.

Are there any alternative languages to learn instead of Japanese?

Yes, there are alternative languages to learn such as Spanish, French, German, or Dutch.

Is it similar to learning other Asian languages like Chinese or Korean?

Although Japanese shares some similarities with Chinese and Korean, it has its unique features and is a distinct language.

Is Tagalog harder than Japanese?

While Tagalog is considered easier than Japanese by some, it still requires time and effort to master. For more information about learning Tagalog, you can refer to this article.

Real experience

Lila was always fascinated by the Japanese culture and language. She spent countless hours watching anime, reading manga, and delving into Japanese history. One day, she finally mustered up the courage to enroll in a Japanese language course at her local community center.

At first, everything seemed easy enough. Lila breezed through the Hiragana and Katakana writing systems. But then came the real challenges – Kanji, verb forms, and polite language. Every day, Lila would come home feeling defeated and overwhelmed. She started doubting whether or not learning Japanese was worth it.

Despite her struggles, Lila refused to give up. She tried different study methods, from flashcards to language exchange partners. Some days, she even felt like quitting, but the memories of all the anime and manga that had attracted her to Japanese culture in the first place kept her going.

Slowly but surely, Lila started to grasp the complicated language and found joy in speaking Japanese fluently. She even surprised herself when she could understand subtitled anime without struggling.

Looking back, Lila realized that learning Japanese was far from easy, but the rewards were worth it. Now, she happily converses with native Japanese speakers and can fully immerse herself in the culture she was once just a curious outsider to.


Learning Japanese can be challenging, but with the right resources and mindset, it can be a rewarding experience. By understanding the complexities of the language and having a clear plan to tackle it, you can make learning Japanese much easier for yourself.

To recap, we discussed factors that make Japanese hard to learn, including the complex writing and reading systems, politeness levels, and different grammar structure. We also provided tips for learning Japanese, such as finding a good tutor or class, practicing writing and reading Kanji and Hiragana/Katakana, and using language learning apps. Lastly, we mentioned alternatives to learning Japanese, such as learning a more accessible language like Spanish or French, or a language with similar grammar structure like German or Dutch.

For beginners, we suggest reading this comprehensive guide on How to Make Learning Japanese Easier for Beginners. It contains essential information and strategies to help kick off your learning journey.

Whether you choose to learn Japanese or another language, remember to enjoy the process and stay dedicated. You never know where learning a new language can take you.

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