John Dinkel is the CEO and founder of Manga Sensei, an online education company that teaches Japanese through fun, effective, modern mediums, including a weekly comic series, a daily 5-minute podcast (the #1 Japanese language podcast on Spotify), and a free 30-day course on the basics of Japanese. John began his Japanese journey as an LDS missionary in Nagoya, Japan, an experience that changed the trajectory of his life, showed him the necessity of making mistakes, and lead him to start his business and share the lessons he learned.
In the interview, we discuss:
- How John went from a rural farm in Nebraska to a Japanese metropolis.
- Why you need to make as many mistakes as possible to learn a language.
- How the LDS approach to language learning is different than traditional courses.
- The critical difference between chikin (チキン) and chikan (痴漢).
- John’s frustration with traditional Japanese language education in universities and how it lead to the creation of Manga Sensei.
- Why John focuses on practical application (and why he didn’t learn the Japanese word for “coffee” until a year into his learning journey).
- What to do if you are struggling with spoken Japanese.
- Why John still uses roumaji despite being able to read kana and kanji.
- John’s favorite Japanese learning resources for beginning, intermediate, and advanced learners.
- How John learns Japanese in the shower each morning.
- Why you have to make 10,000 mistakes to get fluent in a language.
Want more recommended tools and resources for learning Japanese anywhere in the world? Want to spend your time actually learning Japanese instead of wasting precious time searching for materials? Check out my detailed language learning guide, Master Japanese: How to Learn Japanese Anywhere in the World. The book shows you:
- How to acquire Japanese anywhere in the world.
- How to learn by doing instead of studying.
- How to optimize your memory to make Japanese words and structures stick.
- How to overcome your fears, build discipline, and stay motivated.
- How to choose resources that fit your unique interests, goals, and learning style.
The Master Japanese bundle includes the book in 3 formats (PDF, EPUB, and Kindle formats), 3 bonus guides (How Japanese Works, Conquer Kana, and Conquer Kanji), 8 expert interviews, and 12 worksheets and cheat sheets.