Learning Japanese through Spanish

I love to learn new languages, and I’ve been working on my español for a few years now. But I’m also tempted by Japanese. I took some classes on Japanese years ago, and I’ve been lucky enough to visit Japan twice – each time renewing my interest in the language! But who has time to learn two languages?

It occurred to me that there might be a way to learn them both AT THE SAME TIME. What if I tried to learn Japanese… in Spanish? That way I could leverage my (larger but still only lower intermediate) understanding of Spanish to learn Japanese.

I sought out some Japanese language learning materials aimed at Spanish speakers. They learn Japanese too, right? And I found this delightful website called Hablemos en japonés. It uses anime-style graphics and schoolgirl voices to illustrate sample dialogs. Each 10-minute lesson is conducted in Spanish (with adult Spanish voices)!

Here is a screenshot from Lesson 1 (I encourage you to check out the whole thing):

Soy Anna

I’ve gone through the first three lessons and enjoyed them greatly. (And already I learned that “haga clic” is how you tell someone to (make a) click!) At this level I already know both the Spanish and Japanese lesson content, but refreshers never hurt, and listening to the explanations in Spanish requires concentration. But who doesn’t want to know how to ask where the bathroom is in multiple languages?

I still haven’t figured out why Anna, who’s from Thailand, is somehow a native Spanish speaker (she writes in her diary in Spanish). But it’s convenient for me! There are 48 lessons total – enough to keep me busy for a while. :)

さようなら and adiós!