Japanese is a hard language to get into. Not because it’s a difficult language to learn, because of the mental barriers and misconceptions. It’s just because of the reputation of leaning hard the language.Learning all these brand new characters, grammatical structures and there’s kanji. Nothing scares off a potential Japanese student like kanji.
Native English speakers instead mostly like to learn Romance languages (Spanish, French, and Italian) due to they are similar to English in many ways.
People tend to build up Japanese as mission impossible language to learn but in experience Japanese is pretty much straight-forward and easy to learn.
Let’s take a look at the nay-sayers and why they’re wrong about it.
WHO SAYS IT’S DIFFICULT
In US government, there’s an organization “Foreign Service Institute (FSI)”. It arranges US diplomats and other government officials for abroad trips by teaching them the language and culture.
The FSI has a ranking system for languages based on how hard they are and how long they took for native English speakers to learn.
The easiest languages are the Romance languages: Spanish, French, and Italian etc. These languages are in the same language family as English. Also, according to the FSI, the hardest languages are Arabic, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, and Mandarin.
The FSI can be hard to argue against. After all, it has lots of experience teaching languages, so presumably, the FSI knows better.
The FSI isn’t giving Japanese a fair shake. Even there are many aspects of Japanese that are very simple and straight-forward, even native English speakers.