Despite it being a common part of life being in the service industry (believe it or not, being a tutor or consultant is), I have lost students a lot because they are not willing to put fourth the effort into learning Japanese. While it doesn't really hurt my bottom line financially, it does disappoint me personally when people give up because they realize that it is going to take time for them to learn and master one of the world's hardest languages.
Learning Japanese isn't like learning Spanish, French, or Esperanto. It is very different from the any of the Romance or Germanic languages, and different strategies need to be used in order to learn Japanese. What might have worked in your high school or middle school Spanish class might (or most likely) not work in learning Japanese. Rote memorization, a favorite of Japanese teachers of English, is also not the right way for a person to learn Japanese as well, but we will get to that in a future post.
So how does one start learning Japanese if they have no previous background?
Stick around folks! Episode 1 will come this weekend!