How Romaji has Negatively Influenced Japanese Learning

By OptiLingo

Learning a new language is quite exciting provided you have the interests and excellent instructors to take you through. One of the languages that individuals choose to learn is Japanese. In most instances, beginners in the Japanese class are taught using a Romanized system of spelling used in the translation of Japanese, famous as Romaji. The romaji consists of a set of known alphabets, which are used to read and write Japanese. Often, beginners enjoy using the romaji for their learning for some time until a shift occurs and it becomes complicated. It is during this time that you will find the learners looking for methods on how to learn Japanese without romaji. The beginners identify the following downsides associated with the use of romaji.


1. The drawbacks of Romaji

A system consisted of Romaji possesses advantages and disadvantages. Often, no one will reveal the downsides of Romaji when you commence your Japanese classes. Instead, the tutors might say something about its contribution to the learning of Japanese leaving out its setbacks. You will thus take time before recognizing that romaji will make your educational life quite complicated. Here are the identified elements disadvantaging the use of the Romaji learning system.

• Romaji does not contribute significantly to the learning of Japanese

Romaji offers a complete inability to write and read in Japanese. As such, individuals face difficulties trying to figure out the correct pronunciation and spelling of the Japanese terms. This model makes it difficult for learners to understand the language as it impedes learners. Usually, the Japanese individuals write in Japanese. Thus learners should follow suit to understand its concept critically. During the romaji class, no one will help you turn your ideas into romaji thus creating a learning inefficiency.

• Romaji is tedious and time wasting

Learning Japanese using Romaji is time-consuming and tedious because you first have to study the romaji before learning how to speak and write in Japanese. The complications associated with romaji cause the learners to take an extended period to study Japanese. Such, the Romaji poses a disadvantage to most of the beginners who choose to use the model.

• The Romanization is less accurate compared to other methods

The Romaji is disadvantaged in numerous cases. The possible identification is that its romanizations do not the actual Japanese meaning in certain instances. The set of the Romanized spelling words differ confusing the learners and making their study period useless. This is among the reasons that will make you opt for alternatives on how to learn Japanese without romaji.

Besides, romaji does not identify homonym words, words whose spellings are similar but represent different meanings. Using the standard Japanese language is more comfortable because it uses different characters in writing the phrase thus making it easier to tell apart them. However, Romaji does not capture the character differences thus making the language learners less privileged in their studies. For instance, a word like “hashi” written in romaji tells no precise meaning. As such, you will wonder whether it stands for chopsticks or bridges. The difference is not explicitly illustrated in Romaji. In most instances, you will not differentiate between the various types of romaji available making your learning more and more complicated.


2. Types of Romaji

Romaji has no standard way thus influencing the establishment of a variety of romanizations. The differences in the kind of representation make it super confusing. The Japanese Romanized words take the following different mannerisms:

  •  Hepburn
  •  Nihonshiki
  •  Kunreishiki
  •  Waapuro
  •  JSL

The various types use different romanization systems like the hats commonly known as the circumflex on their vowels. On the other side, others prefer the use of macrons, which are primarily lines in their words. In the latter, some kinds disagree on the type of system to incorporate. These alterations in Romaji present different learning modules to the students. Learners who prefer reading from more than one module system suffer complications.


3. The role of the state in teaching Japanese

Besides, the government of Japan involves itself in the mess that comes along teaching its language. The government prefers the use of the Hepburn type of romaji. The primary standard organizations on the other side incorporate the ANSI and ISO types such as the Kunreishiki type of romaji. Textbooks use whatever type in prefers in its writing making the learning of Japanese a complete mess.


4. Reasons you should not use the bridges; commence learning Japanese from the beginning

Romaji plays a primary role in bridging the gap between Japanese and your native language. As such, romaji is not the perfect tool to study; instead, you should move directly to learning the original Japanese language. Studying Japanese first prevents you from suffering in future. Often, the romaji as a study tool is useful during the early years of study and becomes complicated and less clear in future. As such, you are likely to succumb into problems in the future if you trust the romaji.

Fortunately, it is quite straightforward to abandon romaji classes and train yourself to study the language directly. Most of the people have identified the benefits of understanding how to learn Japanese without romaji and are putting the strategies into place. The mindset determines your capability to read and write Japanese. They state that learning to read this impeccable language is very easy. Using the basic hiragana and katakana makes Japanese exciting to read and write; instead of using romaji.


5. How hiragana makes Japanese exciting compared to Romaji

Learning hiragana establishes a stable foundation for you throughout your Japanese learning process. Hiragana, unlike romaji, teaches the basic of Japanese pronunciations. It is the most learning device to understand Japanese comprehensively. The following are the strategies you will use to understand Japanese within a short period:

  • Mnemonics

Hiragana uses image-based mnemonics to make Japanese learning exciting and as a tool for memorization. Each character in hiragana represents a specific illustration for a character. This thus boosts your memory in remembering how the character is reflected in the language.

  • Exercises

Constant practice of the language helps the learners achieve success. As such, hiragana offers exercises to students to examine their Japanese content and concepts. It is with the exercises that you will determine whether you are progressing or not. Tools like the hiragana make Japanese enjoyable unlike underrated romaji models.