How to Learn Japanese | My Japanese Study Tips! | Sharla in Japan

Hey guys! Today I wanted to share with you some of the ways that I used when I was learning japanese I get a lot of comments from you guys saying you don’t have japanese classes in your high school or that you can’t afford to take japanese classes anywhere else so you’re wondering, my advice for learning japanese well I was lucky enough to go to japanese classes in high school and university but honestly most of my japanese was not learnt from there most of it came from real life experiences talking to japanese people, listening to japanese music playing japanese videogames, i kind of just pick it all up from there and I thought that’s a way more interesting, and a fun way to learn honestly I’m not much of using a book to study kind of person so school was great for learning the alphabet we had drills every day to remember hiragana and katakana and we had listening drills so I picked up some skills, the basic skills from there but really to learn phrases and everyday useful japanese it’s a lot more important to get yourself involved in some real life experiences outside of the classroom so I’m gonna teach you some of things that I used and hopefully these will work for you Probably the first method that I used to study japanese was music and I wasn’t really conciously studying japanese I just loved japanese musics I spended lots of time listening to it and reading the lyrics along with it while I listened to it and honestly this was a really great way to learn new words because I wanted to understand the lyrics I wanted to know what they were saying so when I didn’t understand something I looked it up in my dictionary or online and I write little notes in the lyrics and I always printed them out and have them with me and that was a really fun way to learn some new words While you’re just listening to the music that you like and even if you not actively studying looking at the lyrics you can just listen to the music on the bus, on the train, whatever and it will get stucked in your head and eventually you’d be able to say some of those things so yeah, music is probably my number one recommendation a couple of the bands that I really like were “19” (juu ku) “19” is a really cool group but it’s unfortunately no longer together anymore but maybe check out some of their songs you might be able to learn something from there I also really like Radwimps and Yuzu there’s so many groups for me to name I probably have to make a separate video about that but yeah, maybe check out those three and see what you think of them, see if you could find some songs you like #2. Will be watching japanese movies or TV shows Luckily we have YouTube now where you can watch tons of japanese shows comedy shows are probably what I used to watch the most and what’s great about japanese TV is that it comes with japanese subtitles so while you are watching the show read the subtitles so you can kind of follow along with what are you hearing and seeing and I think that’s a great way to learn new Kanji one of the programs I recommend the most is “Gaki no Tsukai” I think many of you know this show it’s hilarious I’ll see if I could find some links and link them in the description box for you and japanese movies, I love japanese movies especially horror movies, I just love horror movies in general but japenese horror has a really different feeling than western horror I would say and I really like it, it’s more creepy as oppose to gory in your face scary some of my favorite japanese horror movies would have to be “The Ring” and “Ju On” those are like the basics ones I know but if you haven’t seen the original japanese versions definitely do so but for movies I guess when you’re starting out it’s okay to watch it in japanese with the english subtitles just so you can get an idea of what’s going on in the story then once when you kind of got that down I’ll recommend watching it again with the japanese subtitles and the japanese voice so again you’re hearing the japanese and you’re seeing the japanese and that’s a great way to pick up kanji and learn new vocabulary and when you hear something and you see it and you don’t understand it take a note and look it up in your dictionary, even if you can just learn a few words every time you watch the movie, that’s a start right? Eventually once you see the movie enough hopefully it’s a movie you like so that you wanna watch it over and over again but once you see it enough you probably be able to understand it without any subtitles whatsoever one of my favorite movies that I’ve seen probably over 20 times now is “Zatoichi” maybe look it up if you are into sword fighting and all that awesome stuff I totally recommend it and lastly is using SNS sites like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook stuff like that and finding japanese people to become friends with it might seem kind of awkward to just message someone out of the blue and saying: “Do you wanna be friends?” but there are tons of japanese people online that will probably wanna chat with you cause they wanna learn english and you wanna learn japanese so see if you get kind of a language exchange relationship going on there if you don’t have japanese people in your area to hang up with meeting them online is always a cool option same goes for Instagram maybe searching the hashtags for say… if you like cars #Skyline in katakana and then some post will come up hopefully by japanese people and if it’s tag in japanese maybe you could start following them and when they post something it will have a japanese comment that they wrote and you can pick some words from there if they’re posting stuff that’s to do of your interest, It’s interesting right? it’s a lot better than studying out of a text book but really it’s up to you guys these methods of studying aren’t exactly studying, so you need to be actively participating and writing down the words when you don’t understand them and looking them up but I think if you use things like this to assist you in your studying it’s gonna be a lot more fun than just studying out of a text book at least for people like me anyways I’m sure there’s lots of you that like using text books and in that case I recommend the genki series which I heard is really good I haven’t used myself but all my friends say it’s awesome so maybe check that out! Great, I hope that was helpful for you guys, thanks for watching. Bye!


  1. Kathryn

    February 17, 2017 at 12:40 am

    My FAVORITE Japanese movie of all time is "Nobody Knows", I'm definitely going to try to watch it with Japanese subtitles (and ugly cry for an hour). These were really good suggestions! I've been playing Pokemon Alpha Sapphire in Japanese and even though it's a slow process I absolutely love it. 🙂

  2. Heather Smith

    March 12, 2017 at 4:36 am

    you forgot the grudge

  3. hungr4anime

    March 12, 2017 at 8:18 am

    Why do a lot of Japanese TV programming have a lot of Japanese subtitles? Is it because Japanese is that hard of a language that they require subtitles?

  4. もしもし寝落ち

    March 13, 2017 at 12:52 pm


  5. Linnea

    March 14, 2017 at 5:34 pm


  6. Consciousness

    March 24, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    I've been looking for sites that provide Japanese subtitles, but I can't find any at all. Any recommendations please?^^

  7. That thing you like

    April 13, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    I click on this video and get an ad about learning chinese….well played youtube ads…..well played

  8. bruce davis

    April 16, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    would love to see a japanese music store and japanese guitar's

  9. Andrew Petty

    April 20, 2017 at 5:48 am

    But what about those that can't use it in every day life whose only way to use Japanese in every day life is through writing it, looking at videos, and social media because of not being able to travel to Japan or knowing someone who speaks the language? Such is the case with me. But with me there are some differences. I can only learn the Japanese language through watching videos on youtube, writing it, watching anime (which is currently too fast for me to catch all the words), or using facebook to chat with someone from Japan but it is all text. I can't travel to Japan, take classes, or pay for any books or subscriptions to aid in my learning.

  10. Breanna Ob

    April 22, 2017 at 3:36 am

    Japanese horror is amazing!!! watch train to busan it's crazy scary without being scary it's just anxiety rollercoaster!

  11. Esemejonas

    May 3, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Japanese is also going to be a thing on Duolingo very soon. Just thought i'd put it out there.

  12. Amanda McElroy

    May 5, 2017 at 5:15 am

    I've been listening to Japanese music since I was 14 (I'm 27) and I started watching Japanese Dramas on kissasian this past year. I'm very fortunate that the company I work for offers the Rosetta Stone program free of cost to it's employees and all you have to do is sign up for it and wait for a confirmation email to start. I've been using that for the past month or so but I don't have a lot of time each day to sit and go through the lessons, and that's why I'm usually up really late at night studying. Lol. Where I live, you don't find a lot of people who know any foreign languages and if they do, it's mostly Spanish. I have recently met 2 or 3 people who have been to Japan and know some Japanese. One girl knows a lot. I get so excited when someone is interested in learning Japanese or knows more than me because it's uncommon here. Another program I'm using is called "HelloTalk". It's an app you can download and I've been talking to 10 or so Japanese people who are learning English and I am so grateful to Rachel and Jun for talking about it in a video. I keep watching their videos and subscribing to everyone they do videos with and now I subscribe to everyone who you do videos with too. I love your videos! I don't normally leave long comments but I do watch your videos! Thank you so much for all the insight! ^_^

  13. すけろう

    May 6, 2017 at 10:07 am

    海外の みなさん!!
    日本語 がんばってください!


  14. corinna007

    May 6, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    I totally agree; you can only get so much from the classroom. I'm guessing you probably had to take French in school because you're Canadian, like I am; I dropped French as soon as I could because 1) I could never remember which letters to say and which ones were silent, or the masculine/feminine thing (Spanish is soooo much easier; and it sounds nicer.) and 2) We weren't taught conversational French. I only want to re-learn it if I know I can actually converse with people from Quebec or New Brunswick or France. And now that I'm learning Finnish and improving my German, I'm finding that music is an extremely useful tool, along with interacting with native speakers on social media (I've met quite a few friends from those countries / who know those languages through music) and reading/watching interviews.


    May 7, 2017 at 6:14 am

    Does japanese high school studies are really hard?

  16. ペカル

    May 9, 2017 at 9:56 am


  17. Ann Anne

    May 11, 2017 at 4:16 am

    how old were you when you went to study japanese in japan?

  18. ケーシークリストファー

    May 14, 2017 at 5:37 am

    Easiest way to learn Japanese for good looking men. Step 1 Nampa (Japanese for picking up girls) pick up Japanese girls Step 2 Get Japanese girlfriend Step 3 Have sex with Japanese girl repeat from step 1 until you master Japanese.

  19. DefiningReality

    May 28, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    My advice watch anime with subs .

  20. 人日本

    June 4, 2017 at 2:14 pm


  21. 人日本

    June 4, 2017 at 2:16 pm


  22. Alkora C

    June 7, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    I have the first Genki book. It's pretty good, but, I'm gonna say right now, I relate a lot to looking up lyrics to japanese music. Personally, I'm more into rock, so I listen to visual kei rock, and metal, like DADAROMA, and The Gazette, but I also like music from anime, and dramas. I'm probably gonna use that one where you re watch a japanese movie, starting with english subtitles, and then going to japanese subtitles, to maybe even no subtitles at all. I'm also gonna try out that Gaki no Tsukai show. Wish me luck.

  23. Kentaro Umeda

    June 11, 2017 at 9:33 am

    I subscribed your channel I've been studying English in Australia for 2 months This channel is very good for my studying Thank you very much I love Yuzu too

  24. kiran tuti

    June 11, 2017 at 10:18 am

    how old are you now?

  25. Rosy J.

    June 20, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    Total agree! That's how I learned Japanese and English! My advice is: If you wish to learn a language, put yourself into the language, kindly pretend yourself as a "native" – to try to fill all the blanks and phrases in life, that's way more fun than textbooks. Perhaps I am not a big fan of tired learning, I am enjoying learning with Song with Lyrics, Movie with Subtitles and Show with laughters! LOL, thanks for the tips! Cheers!

  26. CJ Harsh

    June 27, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    please convert this letter into japanese (HARSH) please

  27. Valeria A

    June 29, 2017 at 10:09 am

    My school's Japanese teacher already retired 😫

  28. ビリギャル

    July 15, 2017 at 1:30 pm


  29. Matt Ostovitz

    July 17, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    japanese horror isnt really "in your face gory scary"
    Me: watches Battle Royale

    all lies o_o

  30. Abe Chang

    July 30, 2017 at 5:38 am


  31. mizu _

    August 4, 2017 at 4:15 am

    This is the same methods I used when i was started learning english xD even though my english isn't really good, but i never thought i'm going to use the same methods again! ok, now i'm ready to learn Japanese!!! :))

  32. Alan Luo

    August 7, 2017 at 6:27 am

    You look sooooo Japanese right now:)

  33. Maddie Bridges

    August 9, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    How do you learn from music? There are different rules for different things. I'm confused.

  34. ryehaaan

    August 20, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    basically this is how i learn english lol. not sure if this really work for japanese using these medium but i think its really depends on someone how they work enough for the language

  35. Heather Cloud

    August 27, 2017 at 5:32 am

    Tofugu's website is the best I've found. There's more links there as well. And of course, get a online tutor (italki) or find a penpal!

  36. FredFrenzy

    September 2, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    Wait, don't you need Romaji to use the dictionary? I heard using Romaji at the start is really bad. Lastly I don't have the discs for the Genki textbooks so yea….

  37. Some Guy On You Tube

    September 4, 2017 at 4:21 am

    Wow. Zatoichi goes way back!

  38. Foxy Chan

    September 9, 2017 at 3:45 am

    My online school has a Japanese class.

  39. アゴスティーノAgostino

    September 9, 2017 at 1:28 pm


  40. natascha zehar

    September 23, 2017 at 9:44 am

    What if you cant do notes because for me i have to have face to face i listen to jrock i also watch japanese drama but its still difficult for me also im learnimg korean right now by doing the same thing but i really improve on both of then but i have no way to do that cuz im always broke

  41. TeaThreePO

    October 15, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    I know this is 2 years later, but a good app to find people to help you with Japanese (or any language) is HiNative. I spend most of my time helping people with english but I'm slowly learning more Japanese.

  42. Grayson Haze

    November 2, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    Am I the only one who listens to Kohh?

  43. Chelsea Monteverde

    November 25, 2017 at 12:35 am

    Ive been studying japanese in college and it was really frustrating how little progress I was making! I'm basically done with the courses at my school and my listening comprehension was (And still is) 0. I JUST started trying to learn Japanese outside of my textbook and I wish started earlier!

  44. Tannia Chan, Sincerely an EXO-L & AROHA ᄉ_ᄉ

    November 26, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    I need moreeee Japanese music!! I only have one japanese song that I really like. I am currently taking a Japanese class and at first, I just took it for requirement, but later fell in love with the language. I want to indulge myself more in Japanese.

  45. Japan & Canada

    November 30, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    みなさん、日本語の勉強がんばってください。:)私は、Canadaで英語の勉強をしていました。外国語はむずかしいですよね。。。”継続は力なりです!!”"Persistence makes perfect‼!"

  46. Alexa xyz

    December 17, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    Oh I love the Instagram tip! Never tought of that… Twitter is still too hard for me as my kanji knowledge is like none existing but that might help!

  47. Ertur Temirbaev

    January 2, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    Thank you for your advices

  48. Ertur Temirbaev

    January 2, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    You are cute

  49. Gabrielle Rodriguez

    January 4, 2018 at 12:08 am

    You can also learn japanese in anime….thats where i learn japanese

  50. macarari

    January 7, 2018 at 7:18 am

    How you ended up in Japan ? @SharlainJapan

  51. 부산 소녀

    January 8, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    Avoid romaji

  52. Risa Shimakura

    January 17, 2018 at 6:11 am

    I learned English exactly same way she does to learn Japanese. Those tips are all useful!

  53. 内田光

    January 28, 2018 at 1:38 pm


  54. 髙橋由奈

    January 31, 2018 at 5:31 pm


  55. Rem Winks

    February 6, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    Hearing and reading kanji isn’t actually the best way lol

    It’s pretty hard if you have issues with that =C

  56. nighttime world

    February 9, 2018 at 3:34 pm


  57. 幻の初代横綱 所河駑栖鯉

    February 12, 2018 at 2:44 am



  58. Le Po

    February 12, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    You can learn basic languages from free language apps/online, you can get dictionaries from second hand stores, and you can download language exchange apps where you talk to native speakers trying to learn you native language.

  59. Rohan Kelaskar

    February 15, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    You should come to India


    February 22, 2018 at 11:36 am

    I have spent months studying learning Japanese easily and discovered an awesome resource at Fergs Magic Blueprint (check it out on google)

  61. ひかる

    March 8, 2018 at 1:32 pm


  62. wave122101

    March 10, 2018 at 3:18 am

    you must see unicorn daily…

  63. Yurinopankeki •W•

    March 13, 2018 at 3:00 pm


  64. tan annika

    March 18, 2018 at 11:11 am

    あリがとう、Sharla! 🙂
    It is indeed obvious that learning Japanese, even other languages, is based on your experiences related to Japan. Even if you've never been to Japan (I've only been to Osaka and Kyoto only for a week once), you can still learn Japanese language from Japanese movies, original animes with English subtitles (I learned some Japanese words in romaji like "wakarimashita" solely from one particular anime!), English translated Manga (I learned some Japanese facts like "karuta", a Japanese poem recognition game which is unexpectedly an intense strategic sport! To know further, try reading the manga "Chihayafuru"), and many things related to Japan!
    I also picked up some romajis like zutto (assumably "forever" in Japanese), sekai ("world" in Japanese), genjitsu ("reality" in Japanese) and shinjitte ("belief" in Japanese) from Japanese lyrics.
    Well, basically, no matter how challenging it is to you (even I still am facing some difficulties of learning Japanese language), just learn another language by means of your own methods, in your heart.

  65. Hayley Smolderhalder

    March 19, 2018 at 11:31 am

    Radwimps yaaassas

  66. クロゲン

    March 31, 2018 at 1:53 pm


  67. 岡田健二

    April 22, 2018 at 12:09 pm


  68. Валентина Скрябина

    April 28, 2018 at 2:25 pm


  69. Beatriz Garcia

    May 8, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    I ❤ YUI (Japanese Singer)

  70. Me2gu

    May 18, 2018 at 12:15 am

    I have learned japanes from japanes anime .(Naruto s. One piece. D.b.s. death note) 🙏💓

  71. Rocket bunny

    May 21, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    My freind learn by watching anime

  72. daniela valencia

    June 26, 2018 at 8:53 pm


  73. Ms.ポポ.

    July 3, 2018 at 11:20 am

    Please listen to Kobukuro!

  74. Kayli Sands

    July 10, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    Im just starting to learn Japanese

  75. Light F

    August 15, 2018 at 11:14 pm


  76. Sébastien Fortin

    August 25, 2018 at 1:07 am

    I use the the second edition of the textbook “Minna no Nihongo“ in Japanese. I do what they ask in a seperate notebook and translate it afterwards. Then, I copy down the new kanji I just learned in another notebook. By transcribing averything it's easier for me to remember.

  77. x_peach_princess_x

    August 29, 2018 at 8:06 am

    Just learning the alphabet us really hard for me and I don't know how to memorize all of it

  78. x_peach_princess_x

    August 29, 2018 at 8:08 am

    By the way there's an app called Tandem that you can use to learn any language, it has people who want to tea by or learn a language to or from someone and I made a lot of great foreign friends on there :)))

  79. LecLec

    September 6, 2018 at 10:43 am

    after listening to Japanese music for 5 years I could say that it really helped me. When I enrolled to a Japanese Class I was surprised that I can speak in Japanese.

  80. LecLec

    September 6, 2018 at 10:44 am

    Oh yeah try Hellotalk my dudes.

  81. Toy Films

    September 6, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    I'm definitely the type that uses books to learn languages. Perhaps it's because I am homeschooled, and that's just how we've always done it… but that is one of the ways I learn Japanese. I also love Anime! It's a great way to pick up new words. My favorites are アリスと蔵六, Comic Girls, and Madoka Magica. I love Japanese games, too. My favorites are Love Nikki Dress UP Queen, Line Play, and Food Fantasy. I also really love J-pop! My favorites are Hatsune Miku, Oresama, and Goose House!
    I honestly grab at any chance to learn Japanese, and someday I hope to be fluent!

  82. nagu studios

    November 2, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    You haven't tell anime it's also good to understand Japanese

  83. esotericpig

    November 12, 2018 at 7:07 am

    Why does she use 聴く Kanji instead of 聞く? Can someone please explain 🙂

  84. + Michelle

    November 19, 2018 at 6:54 pm


    > 国 語 力 <
     ̄Y^Y^Y^Y^Y^Y^Y^ ̄

  85. Plz subcribe my account...,but You Must Do it!!ha

    December 20, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Your accent is so good

  86. LikelyLads LTD

    January 31, 2019 at 6:35 pm


  87. Daijakake

    March 9, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    Skyline!! Wow not only is your Japanese good but you even have good taste in cars

  88. Madison Cawthon

    April 26, 2019 at 6:04 am

    I recommend duolingo

  89. フラワーぴーち

    June 2, 2019 at 3:25 am

    Wow it’s amazing 🥵
    Japanese is very difficult

  90. Niklas5992

    June 10, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    Which TV shows and music artists do you recommend to learn with? 🙂
    I'd say my level is somewhere around JLPT n4

  91. チャンネルラビット

    June 22, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    I am japanese!

    Now study english!

    Because i going to Australia!

    Someone please be friends with me





    My Twitter ↓

  92. warmecanic

    June 29, 2019 at 5:16 am

    No pues, orales.

  93. 0323 Apple

    June 30, 2019 at 5:58 am


  94. shaz7miku01121

    July 2, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    I think there is a big difference between Japanese and English.The most biggest difference is thinking method.
    Because,when you want to say something using Japanese,you have to listen to the end of sentence.
    This way of thinking is totally opposite to English way of thinking.
    I'm Japanese,so it is difficult for me to learn English.
    I want to respond as soon as I can,but It may take longer because of my English skills.

  95. 月影チャンネル

    July 27, 2019 at 4:29 pm


  96. G j

    August 6, 2019 at 12:20 pm


  97. akq hayd

    August 9, 2019 at 1:35 pm


  98. in Tokyo CHIHIRO

    August 13, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    Experience Japanese culture is best way!!

  99. Yuta 16

    September 1, 2019 at 4:52 am


  100. けぷ

    September 14, 2019 at 7:32 pm


Leave a Reply