If you are learning or about to learn Japanese, you are in for quite an adventure. However, it’s not just about learning Japanese but body language as well. This is a very funny video that will make you smile entitled, “How to speak fluent Japanese without saying a word.”
The video successfully shows the importance of non-verbal communication in Japanese. Aquiring the body language of a Japanese is something you can only pick up by living in Japan for a while, a way of holding oneself that is very distinctively Japanese. There are so many things you will learn in Japan by observation. For example, when a woman laughs, she will cover her mouth. When Japanese point to themselves, they point to their noses. Japanese may not look at you directly in the eyes – direct eye contact shows you are being aggressive and is not the norm. When Japanese are listening intently they will grunt, “Un, un” to show they are following you. Slurping when eating ramen noodles is normal. When Japanese blow their noses, they will often leave the room or blow very quietly. In general, Japanese seem much more comfortable with silence than Americans. There are many examples like this and you will discover many more when you are living in Japan.
If you would like to start learning Japanese, I highly recommend JapanesePod101.com – all levels are offered and the lessons are excellent. If you are a total beginner, I would recommend that you listen to Japanese for 10-15 minutes a day so that your ears get used to the sound of Japanese. Second, try to learn hirgana and katakana before you go to Japan. If you live in a place where you can meet Japanese people, try to find a conversation partner so that you can learn Japanese and teach English. It is a great way to make friends with a Japanese person and offer practical help as well. There are many websites like conversationexchange.com where you can easily find a partner. If you are looking for a Japanese teacher, try findmyfavouriteteacher.com