Japanese Leaning Tips at Blue House Okinawa

Table of Contents

Japanese Classes

Curriculum

Tuition

FAQs

Who We Are

Beyond Language Learning

A Close-Knit Multilingual Community
Join us and become part of a vibrant community where Japanese and English learners teach and learn from each other.

Authentic and Immersive Practice
Experience genuine language practice with native Japanese speakers in our Japanese class providing endless opportunities for real-world application.

Supportive and Community-Centered
Embrace a relaxed, community-oriented approach to learning. Together, we support, grow, and share joyful moments, making every step of the journey enjoyable.

Welcome!

Welcome to Blue House Okinawa!

If you’re looking to fully embrace your time in Okinawa Japan, diving into the Japanese language is the perfect beginning. 

Sure, you could get by with just your native language, but learning Japanese will completely elevate your experience.
Language learning is an adventure that opens up a wealth of opportunities—friendships, career paths, networking, shopping adventures, travel experiences, and culinary delights.

 

This Incredible Journey

Here at Blue House Okinawa, we’ve created a one-of-a-kind community where learners of English and Japanese uplift and support each other, exchange cultural insights, and work together to achieve our language goals.
We’re all about fostering connections and real-world learning.
Welcome aboard!
Let’s embark on this incredible journey together.

 

More Than Just Language Learning

At Blue House Okinawa, our pride lies not just in teaching languages but in fostering a deeper capacity for learning and succeeding beyond the confines of traditional language education. 

We’re dedicated to cultivating a spirit of independent, lifelong learning among our community members.
Our aim is for you to feel at ease using Japanese in your day-to-day life, engaging in practical interactions with confidence and ease.

Blue House Okinawa Japanese /English School Language Exchange 1

The Real Challenge

Facing a Universal Hurdle

Joining us at Blue House Okinawa means becoming part of a wonderfully diverse group.
And if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that really getting to know each other involves much more than just speaking the same language.

 

The Real Challenge

Being fluent in Japanese is great, but it doesn’t automatically mean you’ll fit right into Japanese life.
The key to truly getting along and communicating well?
It’s about opening yourself up to the whole new world of perspectives and ways of thinking that make up Japanese culture, not just learning how to string sentences together.

 

What Mastery Really Means

Achieving real fluency in Japanese—or any language, really—is about pushing yourself out of what’s comfortable.
It’s about tackling the challenge directly.
We know a lot of you, especially those coming from English-speaking countries, might find Japan’s complex culture a bit of a leap.

That’s why we’re all about giving you the chance to really dive deep into the traditions, values, and the social nuances that are part of daily life here.

 

The Power of Cultural Understanding

Here’s the thing we stress at Blue House Okinawa: knowing the language is one thing, but understanding the heartbeat of the culture—like specific behaviors, the unwritten rules of social interaction, and the historical context—is what brings conversations to life.
This deeper understanding is what transforms your interactions from merely being effective to truly meaningful and respectful.

Blue House Okinawa Japanese /English School Language Exchange 2

The Thing About Learning Languages

Ever Wondered, “Why Can’t I Speak Japanese Yet?”

Ever found yourself asking, “Why isn’t this Japanese sticking? I’ve been at it for ages!”?
You’re not alone.
A ton of folks tell us how tough it is to actually use the Japanese they’ve been studying so hard. 

Picture this: you’ve been hitting the books, cramming all those words and grammar rules, and then, when it comes time to chat with a native speaker, you freeze up.
Sound familiar?

 

Here’s the Thing About Learning Languages

See, getting good at a language isn’t just about memorizing verbs and vocabulary.
It’s like a big puzzle with lots of different pieces – reading, listening, speaking, getting the pronunciation right, and even understanding the culture. 

Often, schools focus a lot on the grammar and writing part, and not enough on the other bits.
So, you end up feeling stuck because you haven’t practiced those other skills enough to feel confident.

 

How We Do Things Differently at Blue House Okinawa

That’s where Blue House Okinawa shakes things up.
We’re all about giving you a well-rounded experience.
Here, you’ll get to work on all those skills – yes, even the ones that are a bit scary at first. 

With a mix of practice with your fellow learners and conversations with native speakers, we aim to get you using Japanese in real-life situations sooner rather than later.

 

Our main goal?
To boost your confidence.
We want you to feel proud of using what you’ve learned, making mistakes, learning from them, and then trying again. 

Let’s turn to those “Why can’t I speak Japanese yet?” moments into “Look at me speaking Japanese!” moments.

Blue House Okinawa Japanese /English School Language Exchange 3

Speaking Practice Tips

Feeling Nervous About Speaking Japanese?

It’s pretty common to see folks hesitating to jump into a Japanese conversation.
Maybe you’re not quite sure how to get a particular word or phrase out right.
We get it, and honestly, it’s a hurdle you can clear pretty quickly once you’re part of the Blue House Okinawa family.

 

Speaking Practice Tips

Here, you’ll get plenty of chances to flex your conversational muscles through our Language Exchanges with native speakers.
These sessions are goldmines because they teach you two crucial things:

    1. Making mistakes is totally fine – actually, it’s part of the learning process!
    2. You’ll learn how to fix those slip-ups on the fly.

 

Remember,

You might be surprised to discover you know way more than you give yourself credit for.
The key is to keep trying and putting what you’ve learned into practice.
The more you do it, the smoother it’ll get.

And hey, remember this: Japanese folks find English just as tricky as you find Japanese.
They totally get the effort you’re making and will appreciate your attempts to chat in their language.
So flash that smile and dive in – you’re going to do awesome!

Blue House Okinawa Japanese /English School Language Exchange 4

Real Conversational Skills

Mixing Learning with Real Connections

We’re incredibly lucky to host local Japanese students who are eager to learn English at Blue House Okinawa .
This sets the stage for our Language Exchange program, an integral part of what we offer. 

Picture this: engaging in genuine conversations with native Japanese speakers and experiencing the language as it’s truly spoken.

 

Learning Is a Two-Way Street

The Language Exchange is all about jumping in and getting involved.
It’s a student-driven, mutually beneficial setup where the real learning happens through exchange.
There’s no need to wait until your Japanese is flawless. 

Start speaking from day one, even if it means getting creative with gestures to get your point across. Your Japanese counterparts are there to help guide you towards better accuracy.

 

Engage, Ask, Share

This is your chance to dive deeper than ever before.
Ask questions, exchange cultural insights, and offer feedback.
Building your speaking confidence comes from these real, interactive experiences. 

The Language Exchange program is designed not just for you to practice Japanese, but to use it in practical, everyday situations.

 

Make Meaningful Connections

Through Language Exchange, you’ll meet and connect with our Japanese students.
These aren’t just language practice sessions; they’re opportunities to forge genuine friendships, understand the Japanese way of life, and gain insights that books alone can’t teach. 

It’s about bringing your textbook knowledge into the vibrant, real world of communication.

Blue House Okinawa Japanese /English School Language Exchange 5

Keys to Mastery

Learning Is More Than Just Understanding

When we tackle something new, it’s normal to pour all our focus into understanding the basics rather than practicing straight away.
Once things start to make a bit more sense, that’s our cue to start applying what we’ve picked up. 

Here at Blue House Okinawa, we’ve got a bunch of ways to get you actively using your new skills, whether that’s with fellow members, out in the community, or during  Language Exchanges or Study Exchange.

 

Progressing at Your Own Pace

Typically, we move to the next level when we’re comfy with about 80% of what we’ve learned.
But what if you’re not quite there?
It’s absolutely okay to circle back and retake a course.
We often find that the second go-around is where the magic happens. 

You’re more engaged, the concepts aren’t totally foreign anymore, and everything just clicks better.
This not only smooths out the move to the next level but also pumps up your confidence.

 

The Joy of Rediscovery

It’s kind of like rewatching a favorite movie or rereading a beloved book—you catch all those nuances and details that zoomed by the first time.
Real growth comes from being able to apply what you’ve learned fluidly, not just having checked off a class or finished a textbook. 

 

Building a Solid Foundation

Before pushing ahead, it’s crucial to ask yourself if you’ve really got a solid grip on the basics or if you could use a bit more practice.
For those of us speaking English natively, Japanese can be a tough nut to crack. 

That’s why revisiting material, especially if you’re hitting a wall, can be a game-changer.
And you’re not alone if you’ve ever questioned your brain’s capacity to tackle Japanese—it’s a common feeling, trust us.

 

Embrace the Challenge

Japanese will humble you, no doubt about it.
But every challenge is a chance to grow.
If you’re feeling stuck, consider jumping into a review class or connecting with our community events to keep the motivation high. 

Remember, it’s all part of the journey, and at Blue House Okinawa, we’re all about making each step of that journey as enriching and confidence-building as possible.

Blue House Okinawa Japanese /English School Language Exchange 6

A Guide to Japanese Grammar

“A Guide to Japanese Grammar” by Tae Kim

Mr. Kim is the author of one of our favorite books at Blue House Okinawa, A Guide to Japanese Grammar.

To begin with, here are a few critical points we want to share from his text:
“Unlike some Romance Languages that you may have studied, there is no direct translation from English to Japanese.”

Mr. Kim gives the example that many students want to begin by learning phrases such as,
I am Mr. Smith,” so they translate it directly: “watashi wa Smith desu.”

This is unnatural Japanese.

For example, Japanese speakers most often omit the subject (I), and the accurate translation, “Smith desu,” would merely be “Smith” in English.

We must let go of our English sentence structures to be successful in Japanese. Knowing that, immediately give up the idea of direct, word-for-word translations.

You’ll very quickly realize it’s impossible anyway, as Japanese does not contain articles such as “the” and “a”.

“Change your mindset, learn Japanese. Do not try to use English phrases in Japanese.”

As Mr. Kim writes, “If you find yourself trying to figure out how to say an English thought in Japanese, save yourself the trouble and stop because you won’t get it right most of the time.

You should always keep in mind that if you don’t know how to say it already, then you don’t know how to say it …ask someone how to say it in Japanese including a full explanation of the answer and start practicing from Japanese.” 

Further,

“If you practice from the answer, you will develop good habits that will help you formulate correct and natural Japanese sentences. This is why I’m a firm believer of learning by example.”

Build your Japanese like you would a house – with focus on a strong foundation.

Do not rush!

Many textbooks sacrifice accuracy and a true understanding of Japanese by using English-based thoughts and approaches.

However, Japanese is so fundamentally different in syntax and approach that it will be very difficult to progress in your learning without adjusting your thought process from the beginning.

As Mr. Kim notes,

“…There are advantages and disadvantages to systematically building a grammatical foundation from the ground up. In Japanese, the most fundamental grammatical concepts are often the most difficult to truly understand.

This means that the hardest part of the language will come first.”

Many teachers and students attempt to skip this process by learning phrases or using poor translations based on English patterns, but at Blue House Okinawa we face the challenges head-on for long-term rewards in language acquisition.

Japanese Classes

Curriculum

Tuition

FAQs

Who We Are

Beyond Language Learning

A Close-Knit Multilingual Community
Join us and become part of a vibrant community where Japanese and English learners teach and learn from each other.

Authentic and Immersive Practice
Experience genuine language practice with native Japanese speakers in our Japanese class providing endless opportunities for real-world application.

Supportive and Community-Centered
Embrace a relaxed, community-oriented approach to learning. Together, we support, grow, and share joyful moments, making every step of the journey enjoyable.