I love teaching. I love helping. And I figured I'd do something with my 10+ years of Japanese language education to help you all out during your Japanese studies. So here, I bring you "How to Speak Japanese like a Wakamono". Wakamono meaning "young person".

Why do I think that speaking like a young person will help improve your Japanese? And why do I think it's necessary for me to teach it? Let me elaborate.

Why do I want to teach wakamono Japanese?

In short, it's because I noticed a major gap in overall Japanese language learning; the emphasis of the casual. Us students of Japanese, we all started off learning the formal "desu/masu" forms of the language, didn't we? Our textbooks might have told us that it was better to be safe than sorry, and that we should focus on the formal aspects of Japanese so we didn't offend anyone accidentally.

First, don't get me wrong; "desu/masu" forms are very important to study as well! I use them and many other honorifics often when I speak to certain people or when I send emails or messages to certain people. Especially people I'm not particularly familiar with or anyone in a business setting. But if you wanted that kind of Japanese learning, you can find that in any Japanese textbook, am I right?

But what I think is lacking in a lot of textbooks and Japanese language learning in general is the natural, day-to-day, informal chatting-with-friends Japanese. That informal (AKA friendly-terms relationship) stuff.

Why I think it's important to learn wakamono Japanese

Let me elaborate. When you live abroad, you start noticing things. Like, how most Japanese people, rather than get offended, often forgive us foreigners (and praise us for trying) when use informal language in our speech. Or how, when making friends, informal language is good to be able to not only speak, but listen and comprehend, as well. On the TV in your dramas, anime, games or whatever it is you enjoy that comes from Japan, informal language is more often used than the formal "desu/masu" form.

In other words, speaking like a wakamono will help your Japanese speaking become more natural-sounding, and your listening skills will see improvement, since you're now able to understand things outside the "desu/masu" "business-styled" Japanese. Not only should us Japanese language learners learn how to communicate formally with that shopkeeper at the Lawson. But just as well, we should be able to converse with our host families, our friends, and other fellow humans on a more intimiate level. Hence, "speak like a wakamono", ladies and gentlemen.

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