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Anonymous asked in TravelAsia PacificJapan · 1 decade ago

How many hours does it take to learn Japanese?

I want to to add english subtitles to a japanese show. My IQ is 140, I'm 15, and I used two languages regularly my whole life. I'm asking about hours cause it's more accurate than days, there could be someone who works a few minutes a day or someone who works all day.


I just want to be able to add subtitles to the rest of an anime. The person who was doing it suddenly quit. There's only about 3 dozen episodes left, but who is gonna do it if not me? Nobody updated it for 2 years.

5 Answers

  • conan!
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I'm about to give you a huge shortcut, so listen carefully ;).

    First you should learn proper romaji. Where? I dont know a site but...i'll teach you! (but i would strongly recommend you hear the pronunciation by ear so you can pronounce words properly)

    there are 5 vowels in japanese: a, i, u, e, o --each have one specific pronunciation:

    "a" as in americ"a"

    "i" as in p"i"zza

    "u" as in tr"u"e

    "e" as in br"e"ad

    "o" as in b"o"at

    consonants include k, g, s, z, sh, j, t, d, ch, ts, n, h, f, b, p, m, r, y(which is never a vowel), and w

    --be careful of:

    1) f is only found in the syllable "fu", which is sometimes written as "hu". it is pronounced between an f and an h sound (i recommend you hear it by ear)

    2) r is not pronounced like the english "r"-- its in between an "L" and "r" sound (kind of like spanish)

    there are long vowels and short vowels in japanese. short vowels are just the regular a, i, u, e ,o and long vowels are aa, ii, uu, ee(or ei), oo(or ou).

    ex) okaasan (mother)

    kiite (listen)

    kuuki (air)

    oneesan (older sister) / seito (student)

    ookii (big) / ginkou (bank)

    the pronounciation of long vowels is basically the same as short vowels, except you say them for a slightly longer period of time.

    for example, "obasan" has a short "a" and means "aunt", but "obaasan" has a long "aa" and means "grandma" --so you must be careful not to mix these up!

    oh and long vowels are sometimes indicated like this: ā, ī, ū, ē, ō

    double consonants:

    double consonants are found in words like gakkou, kitte, yappari, ossan

    they indicate a sort of "pause" sound, which is pretty much exactly like the pause in "bookcase" (i mean the pause between book and case)

    2 more things:

    1) sometimes you will see things like sya, syu, syo, jya, jyu, jyo. these are pronounced just like sha, shu, sho, ja, ju, jo (theyre written with y's sometimes because thats how theyre written in hiragana)

    2) intonation: usually put stress on the first syllable, for ex)

    its not saKUra, it is SAkura

    its not enPItsu, but ENpitsu

    there are a bunch of exceptions but this is generally how it works


    now practice singing j-pop songs you like in romaji!!! (i.e. anime songs). whether you think so or not, this will RAPIDLY improve yourself. It doesnt matter whether you understand what your singing means at first (i didn't) but it helps a TON, and is the quickest and most enjoyable way to become fluent. you'd be suprised. so go ahead, memorize your favorite songs! (and find new ones) :-). you can find lyrics to anime songs in places like, and you could always google the lyrics you cant find them anywhere else ^^

    :::a little guidance:::

    ok, im not sure if you have japanese as an avalable course at your school, but if you do, take it! why? not so you can learn japanese from it. trust me, you wont learn fast enough from a highschool course. so why take it? so you have an EXCUSE to learn it more intensely!


    DO NOT GET A BOOK DIRECTED TOWARDS TOURISTS (like for dummies). they wont teach u japanese, they will teach you how to fail at life (ok, maybe im being a little harsh ^^;;). get an english to japanese/japanese to english dictionary, and find a good book, one thats actually for people who want to learn the language, not for people who want just get by as a tourist in japan.

    -ok, you dont really need books-

    the internet is also awesome, but too much time on the computer will give you a headache :O...

    :::and off you go!:::

    thanks for listening :-), i thought i'd give you a little headstart, but you need to remember if u wanna learn japanese you gotta be motivated! oh, -and one last tip, i know youve already been doing this, but WATCH ANIME >:)!!!!!! it helps a lot as well :D (subs, of course)

    Source(s): me!!!! :D
  • ?
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    Speaking Japanese & Loving Japanese Culture!

  • 1 decade ago

    It took me 200 hours to know enough Japanese to ask for the way in Japan and do a little bit of shopping, introduce myself to friends, say where I come from and what I do etc.

    600 hours to do basic conversation.

    5000 hours of practice (including just simply talking to Japanese, watching TV etc. not only study) before I added english subtitles to a japanese show.

    The dificult part with the subtitles is the listening. If you get a japanese script, it's easy to translate, but listening can be hard.

    Ganbatte kudasai!

    Have fun.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    it depends on how quick u learn and 1500 hrs is what a genius might need to learn a language.I spoke french for 5 yrs and im 12. Because i grew up speaking it and having to learn english as well is super difficult. Anyways good luck and with a fairly bad memory it would take you about half a year to speak it at an educated tourist level.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    This might interest you:

    It's actually pretty interesting...

    I don't think IQ has a LOT to do with how well you learn languages. Also, there isn't really a set number of hours it takes to learn any language. Is fluency your goal? Do you actually want to learn how to write and read it?

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