People think that learning Japanese is difficult, but if you are aiming for a daily communication level, it is actually not that difficult. I will explain the reasons for this, along with the linguistic characteristics of Japanese.

The following are the main reasons why Japanese is considered to be difficult.
-There are three types of written characters: Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji.
-There is honorific language(Keigo*).
(*Note: These are expressions used to indicate respect for others such as when speaking with a person older than oneself or a person who has achieved a great accomplishment.)
-There are many words related to numbers and counting objects.
-The basic particles and order of words can change in a conversation.
-Verbs must be conjugated in order to use them correctly.

Conversely, Japanese also has the following characteristics.
-There are only 5 vowel sounds.
-There are no articles.
-There is no distinction between singular and plural nouns.
-Verbs do not inflect based on person.
-There is no distinction in syntax between male and female gender, or between people and objects.

It is hard to reach an advanced level in any language. However, if your immediate goal is “to be able to converse with phrases or sentences rather than individual words ” or “to be able to read and write”, then Japanese is a language that is easy to learn. Even if your goal is “to be able to understand about 60% of daily conversation among Japanese people,” it is not so difficult compared to other languages.

In other words, Japanese is surprisingly easy!

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