The first contact with the Japanese language is easily made. The Japanese culture offers so many different and interesting aspects: the food, the comics, the mentality, and the language itself. It is easy to understand why a great deal of people are fascinated by this island and its culture. But how difficult is it really for a German native speaker to learn Japanese?
It’s not an easy answer; however, one thing remains certain, you must invest a huge amount of time and effort to become fluent in Japanese. Even though grammar is not difficult, it has its hitches, pronunciation is not generally a problem for most Europeans, however, to grasp the Japanese syntax, one has to fully detach oneself from all European and Roman languages. Nonetheless, the Japanese language is a logical and coherent system, no matter the culture. The most discouraging hurdle is probably Japanese scripts. The written form of Japanese requires three scripts: Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji, and just the Kanji contains more than 60.000 characters.
Last but not least, the mentality of the Japanese can be found in the language, as well as in all endeavors of the Japanese. For example, Japanese do not take “No” for an answer. Capturing this side of their mentality is probably one of the most difficult things to handle for European people. So, if you want to maintain a friendly and respectful social interaction you would have to evade offers and invitations with a friendly and diplomatic phrase.