The problem is how Japanese is taught in colleges and universities. The emphasis is on grammar and writing. There is not emphasis on speaking. I studied Japanese for four years as an undergrad. I chose Japanese because I had always been fascinated by the culture. I enjoyed it until the fourth year when I ended up with a really bad teacher. The amount of time actually speaking Japanese in these classes is very minimal, which is the major problem. The method of instruction for foreign languages in U.S. colleges and universities does not give students a functional use of the language being studied. The romance languages would be easier to pick up for native English speakers because English is part of the same family of languages. But, then would you really be learning a "foreign" language?
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