Nihongo De OK

The journey to learning a new language is fraught with peril.


Okay, maybe it’s not real peril. Unless you have to learn Swahili before you fall off a cliff, you should probably be okay. The most danger you should run into with learning a new language is sounding silly or accidentally insulting someone. I know I’ve definitely used the wrong word that sounded similar or mixed up syllables and completely changed the meaning of what I was trying to say.

From what I’ve seen in my travels though, most people are much happier to help if you at least attempt the language. It’s always good to learn at least a few key phrases if you’re unable to take the time to really delve into the language and become fluent. It’s always good to learn how to ask for directions (to hotels, transportation stations, bathroom, etc), how much things cost and definitely, always learn “please” and “thank you.” Manners matter, you guys.

If you do choose to submerge yourself into a language, how do you do it? Do you get apps, workbooks, or flash cards? And for all of you just as crazy as I am, how do you go about it when you’re learning multiple languages at once? For every language I’m working on currently, I have lessons on Duolingo. I have a slightly subversive phrase book for French, as well as a couple workbooks I’ve collected over time. I have a miniature phrase book/dictionary for Japanese and am currently looking for some manga I’d be interested in that I can get in English and Japanese. Poor Norwegian is just on Duolingo at this point in time without any supplemental learning materials. Norwegian got put a little on the back burner after starting Japanese. Who knew Japanese would be so hard?

Anyway, back to my main question. What works best for you? Are you learning one more language? Two? Three? Is there a way you’ve figured out how to work on multiple languages at once without your brain exploding? What’s your favorite story of a secondary language mishap?

We’ll see how well I can cope with cramming so many different vocabulary words and grammar rules and maybe I’ll come up with a guide on how I managed, but for now, I would love to hear how you pulled through. I eagerly await your tips, tricks and stories! 


Until we meet again,



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