For some English-speaking fans of Japanese culture, the language barrier can be challenging. We always have to wait for the latest translation of the subbed or dubbed versions. You might be able to get away with just appreciating the artwork of an anime or manga without being able to read the words… But if you actually plan on going to Japan, you’ll want to have some ideas on how to get by without actually knowing the language.
Luckily, Japanese society is friendly and are making efforts to help foreigners. The best one so far is a series of signs that depict various things people would want to know, but shows them in comical non-lingual ways. For example, a man breathing fire to show how hot the food is or an image of a pig in a bowl to tell you this dish has pork in it.
Japan’s tourism industry is doing its best to make it easier for tourists to survive: There’s even an app that translates the rail schedule and announcements. Even better, there’s a 24-hour hotline you can call to speak directly with a translator. These are good places to start if you are finally planning that big trip to Japan. With these tools in hand, you’ll at least be able to place an order for your favorite coffee at the local Starbucks to help with the jet lag when you get there.
For our true all-stars, why not invest some time and actually learn the language of the culture you love? Of course, nowadays you can do the whole thing online. Most of the language-learning sites out there know how hard everyone thinks it going to be. Fluentu.com recommends finding a language partner that you can talk to on a regular basis in person or over the internet. Just think about being able to order Manga straight from Japan instead of having to wait for any translations. If you have the time to invest and the enthusiasm to push through the trials, then it’s definitely time to learn Japanese.
Let us know when you’re able to stream Viewster‘s titles sans translation.