Daniel Santos

Using kaizen to learn Japanese

改善 (かいぜん, Kaizen) is the Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement. In business, it is widely spread in many different markets, industries and companies. I have professionally practiced kaizen for many years now, but the magic thing about it is how you can employ it to improve aspects of your personal life, as well. You want to be able to walk 5 km everyday, but you're not used to walking? Start with 500 m. Then, 1 km, 2 km, slowly improving until you achieve your goal.

This month, resuming my Japanese studies, it occurred to me that I could apply kaizen to it. Mastering hiragana and katakana was not easy for me, and I didn't know what to do about kanji and vocabulary. Until I added kaizen to the mix. I'm starting slow, 20 terms a day from a set of 83 (44 words, 39 kanji). It makes the path easier, combats anxiety (very important in my case) and brings me a sense of progress which is much easier to measure than if I was trying to learn 500 terms in a row. Slow, and steady, just like kaizen.

#english #japonês