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By Kari Jenkins
A whopping 126.2 million people live in Japan, according to Britannica, and residents of this Asian nation have a truly fascinating culture. If you want to master the Japanese language, you should make a point of embracing the culture that it belongs to. After all, it can be extremely fun to learn about Japanese culture while you pick up Japanese words, sentences, and everyday slang. Knowing both the culture and the language is part of the journey to becoming a more worldly and sophisticated person. While traveling to Japan is always an exciting idea, it's not always affordable. Fortunately, there are other less-costly ways to immerse yourself in a culture while learning a new language.
There is no better way to learn about the culture of Japan, from its ancient emperors and Samurai to its cuisine and architecture, than to talk to a Japanese person. Thankfully, in the Internet age, it's easy to find Japanese people to chat with online. You can also reach out in your community offline.
For example, if you're in Argentina, you should know that there are Japanese Argentines who may be willing to talk with you, for free or for a fee, so you can learn the Japanese language and culture in your home country. You will be able to learn so many things when you chat, from what the Japanese attitude towards tattoos is to how Japanese people feel about living in Argentina. Cultural nuances are complex, including tattoos. The truth is that attitudes about tattoos in Japan have changed a lot over time and are still changing. This is something you could ask about. There is so much to learn and all of it contributes to deeper knowledge that you may enjoy having for a lifetime.
The process of using your new language skills to converse with a person from Japan will be challenging at first but will become easier with time. All of the hard work you've done to learn the language will pay off. Chatting with someone from Japan will allow you to learn so much, so quickly, in an authentic way. It will also motivate you to keep studying.
Your local library may have free Japanese audiobooks that you can take out and listen to at home. These audiobooks might be fictional books by Japanese authors, or non-fiction works about the nation's history or anything along those lines. It could even be a travel guide to Tokyo. Whatever you listen to will help you to learn things about the country. While it may take a while before you understand what's being said, if you continue with your Japanese language studies, the pieces will begin to fall into place. You will feel empowered when you begin to understand what's being said, even if you don't understand all of it. Audiobooks will also help you to master the correct pronunciation.
With YouTube and so many other video-sharing platforms available, it's easy to find videos that show Japanese culture, whether they are movies or TV shows. Be sure to look for these types of videos online. Watch them with the sound turned on to learn about the language as you see Japanese culture. For example, an award-winning Japanese film, such as The Taste of Tea, will give you a sense of traditional family life in Japan.
When you use a combination of live chat, whether face-to-face or online, plus Japanese audiobooks, movies, and TV shows, you'll be able to learn about the culture of Japan quickly. Your efforts will enrich your language studies.