Phoning it in

by Kensatsukan Gaijin

It’s hard to find time in a busy day to practice Japanese, and even harder when don’t have anyone with whom to practice. But there are many ways to practice that are available anytime, and when it comes to learning, repetition is key!  After all, when it comes to learning, repetition is key!  


One way to practice is right at your fingertips - in fact, it might be in your hands right now. Your smartphone! Perhaps you have an iPhone, or an Android phone, or something similar. Either way, your apps, your buttons, the phone’s voice (Siri/Cortana, etc.), the interface - it’s all in English. You probably can navigate it without even reading the buttons.  


So why not take the plunge and change your OS’s language to Japanese?  By the time you are done reading this email, you could be practicing reading Kanji, Hiragana, and Katakana dozens of times a day.  For example, in iOs, when you change your language to Japanese, suddenly your apps are in Japanese too - even Google Maps!  Just be careful - your directions will now be in Japanese too!  It’s fun: try starting out by going somewhere familiar to you, and you’ll have a happy voice giving you directions in Japanese along the way.  (By the time you get to Japan and use GPS there, you’ll be an expert!).  


It’s easy - just go into your settings, find “language” and change it to Japanese.  In iOs, be sure to change Siri’s language to Japanese first - it’ll be easier than changing it later. If you don’t like it, just remember where the button is and you can change back anytime.  You can still type in English, of course - by now, you probably have installed a couple of keyboards, including English and Japanese.  

If not, here’s how to do it in iOs


and here’s how to do it in Android:



Give it a try and let me know how it goes for you.