The Best Way to Learn Japanese Particles

Learning Japanese particles as a beginner is a MASSIVE pain in the butt! There are LOTS of guides online for how to use them, but they’re not very useful all the time. Sometimes the explanations are too complicated as they try to explain EVERY possible usage. But it’s mostly difficult because these sites offer no way to practice them. And often the best way to remember how they’re used is to use them yourself. But how do you use Japanese particles? Making up sentences is tricky as a beginner because you’re often tempted to directly translate from English… then things… Read More…

How to Make Simple Japanese Sentences

Japanese grammar is actually surprisingly easy once you get it. Basic grammar is at least. It’s like a maths problem; + x – etc., all have their own uses and places, it’s the numbers around them that change the meaning of the formula. In Japanese these are called “particles”. They are set sounds that have set uses. Once you know the basic ones it’s very easy to create a wide variety of sentences by changing the words. Here’s a guide to creating simple sentences using particles. – How To Practice Making Sentences I wanted to write this first because I feel… Read More…

The Best Way to Study Grammar for the JLPT

I have this bad habit of avoiding grammar every time I study for the JLPT. I’ll either avoid it altogether or leave it until the last minute. But now I’ve found a great way to study grammar for the exam! It takes a lot of work but is really effective. This is, I think, the best way to study grammar for the JLPT. 1. Buy Yourself a JLPT Grammar Drill Book Even if you don’t like spending money it’s well worth buying yourself a grammar drill book. Do this asap! I suggest starting this at least a month before the exam… Read More…

Studying Japanese Grammar When You Hate Grammar

I hate studying Japanese grammar. I always have. I hate just how vague it can be, and all the rules that go with it. I’m happy when I know a grammar without needing to think about it because I don’t need to remember those rules, I just know it. (Everyone will get to that point) But because I’ve never liked grammar I’ve avoided it. And because I’ve avoided it there have been times when my Japanese suffered. It’s difficult to study grammar when you don’t like it, but here are some suggestions to make it more bearable. Studying Beginners Grammar… Read More…

How to Translate Japanese Accents

Translate Japanese Accents

Translating the Japanese directly doesn’t always work, especially when you come across a character with a Japanese accent. This post looks at how to translate Japanese accents in manga, the kind of accents you’d come across and how best to translate it into an English accent. Many people want to translate manga but there is not much information on how to start translating manga. This series looks at different aspects of translating manga for beginners, with the aim of helping you be a great manga translation and improve the overall quality of manga translation online. Translating Manga for Beginners Part… Read More…

Try! JLPT Grammar Book

The 「Try! 日本語能力試験   文法から伸ばす日本語」or “Try! JLPT – Studying Japanese from Grammar” is the best Japanese grammar book I have ever used for learning JLPT grammar. I mentioned before that grammar is my weakness. I am so bad at grammar, partially because I don’t know English grammar (terms, I know how to use it naturally), and partially because I find it difficult and boring to practice. HOWEVER, this is the first time I’ve actually understood Japanese grammar and enjoyed learning them! Try! is a fairly new series of grammar books published in 2014, so unlike Nihongo Somatome and Shin Kanzen… Read More…

Learning Japanese Radicals

Radicals (or in Japanese, ぶしゅ 部首) are the roots which kanji are made up of. Every single kanji in the Japanese language has at least one radical. Now you can get by without learning these radicals, but when you begin learning similar kanji it begins to get difficult to distinguish the differences between them, and you will wish you had at least a basic understanding of radicals. So, let’s take for example, the following 3 kanji (all N4 level): The following kanji all have the radical for 寺 in them (on the right), which means “temple”. But each one has… Read More…

“I heard” “It seems” – The different uses of sou そう

This is a grammar point that had me in a lot of confusion recently. I’d created some lessons to help people on the Memrise group learn these but due to conflicting information on the internet the course got very jumbled and had to be corrected a number of times. I’ve finally pinned down these grammar points after checking with native Japanese people. Apologies to those who have been using Memrise and gotten confused on these points. I hope the following helps. The following are all the uses for sou そう for “It seems” and “I heard”. If you have any… Read More…

New Memrise Course – Anime Grammar for Beginners!

To go along with the Anime Japanese posts I’ve been doing recently I made a memrise course for people to learn informal grammar used in anime and manga. It accompanies the Beginners Anime Japanese course which focuses on basic vocabulary. Because this is a beginners course it only tests on hiragana, but has the romaji and kanji for reference. A lot of the grammar overlaps with Beginners Grammar 1&2, but mostly has new verbs for each of the grammar points if you’ve done these courses already. Anime Grammar for Beginners Read More…

Anime Japanese – Verbs

Besides adjectives verbs (and grammar) are probably the most common words used in anime A previous post covered adjectives in anime. This one will go over verbs, the types that are used, how it’s different to what you learn in a classroom, and the best way to study them along with grammar. Japanese Verbs Used in Anime All of the Japanese verbs are used in anime. But unlike the Japanese you might learn in class these are normally in informal, or quite often said with a certain dialect. The best way to learn these is to learn the basic or… Read More…

Anime Japanese – This, There, Where?

There are a lot of Japanese words that pop up regularly in anime and we are going to practice some of these using anime themselves starting with “this/there/where”. In Japanese how you say “this” or “that” depends on where you are in relation to the listener. KO- KO- is used to indicate that you are talking about something close to the speaker. The following 3 are very common uses of this found in anime and everyday life. KORE – means “this” when you are not mentioning the subject. Such as in the picture on the right indicated to the bag, but… Read More…

Learn Japanese Grammar Using English Grammar

“Why do I need to know English grammar to learn Japanese grammar?”  English grammar is a topic I could not get my head around easily when I was younger. I even tried doing an A level in English language so I could learn it! Still didn’t work. But we speak English as native, we don’t need to know grammar! Yuk! Weeeellll I would totally agree with you, but after learning Japanese grammar I’ve realised how wrong I was. I really dislike Japanese grammar for the same reason I dislike English grammar. I read things like “possessive noun” and “auxiliary verb”… Read More…

Verb Groups – Beginners Japanese Grammar

Plain form is also called dictionary form and it is just like “masu” form but is used in casual, informal situations. Plain form is the present/future tense and is pretty important because you use this as a basis to create other verb forms (like past and negative). – You can practice all of these using the J-Talk Online Memrise course Beginners Japanese Grammar 1 (JLPT N5 Grammar). See last week’s post on Studying Japanese Grammar for tips on ways to learn grammar. But the first thing you need to know about plain form are the 3 groups. Group 1 or “u… Read More…

Studying Japanese Grammar

“I find it hard to learn Japanese Grammar” In the past I’ve tried to explain basic Japanese sentence structure and introduced “masu” form, but I’ve not gone into much detail on how to learn these. That’s difficult thing about Japanese grammar, you can’t just read about it and expect to know it. There are hundreds of websites that explain grammar to you and tell you what you need to know for the various JLPT levels, but not much on how you learn that. I guess to sum it up you just have to keep using it in different situations. But what’s the… Read More…

Manga Japanese for Beginners

“I want to be able to read manga in Japanese”    Want to learn manga Japanese? Manga Japanese is great fun to read but can be pretty tricky for beginners who are studying Japanese. This is because a lot of the Japanese people at the beginning is polite. But the Japanese used in manga is colloquial. Manga Japanese is also written with accents, making it hard to understand and hard to look up certain words. Not only that but Japanese manga used a LOT of sound words which don’t always translate to English. This post is a guide for beginners… Read More…

An Introduction to Japanese Verbs – “masu” Form

A lot of Japanese grammar is based in it’s verbs which when conjugated (changed into a different form) can give a very different meaning to the sentence.   The Basics of Japanese Verbs – “masu”* Form *Pronounced “mass” rather than “ma-su”, but in Japanese characters is spelt ま”ma” す “su” A few examples: かきます – “kakimasu” = to write いきます – “ikimasu” = to go たべます – “tabemasu” = to eat ねます – “nemasu” = to sleep します – “shimasu” = to do きます – “kimasu” = to come Most people when they begin to learn Japanese learn the “masu”… Read More…

Giving and Receiving in Japanese

-Guest Post from Wana10- Hello! Niffer asked if I’d write a post for J-talk and I decided why the heck not. But what to talk about? Let’s focus today on a very important bit of Japanese grammar that seems to give some people problems; Giving and Receiving. (As for importance an entire subsection of the listening portion of my JLPT N2 test was based on this so…learn it!) まずは First we need a brief refresher on the important concept in Japanese of ‘Us vs. Them’. Once you get beyond basic phrases like “I like sushi” and “that cat is cute” you… Read More…

Family in Japanese 家族

  As I suggested in Grouping Topics for Easy Learning, one for the easiest things to learn is family. What’s great with vocabulary for family is that you can combine it with other topics to create sentences to make it easier to remember the words and grammar. You can now learn and practice family vocabulary using the J-Talk Online Family Memrise Course!   Family かぞく The interesting thing about the word “family” かぞく is that it uses the kanji for “house” 家 (いえ on it’s own and か when combined with other kanji) and “tribe” 族 (ぞく), so your family is your “house… Read More…

The Basics of Grammar

“I just don’t get grammar” This is something I say a lot. I admit grammar is a tricky subject for me, and I have personally struggled with it since I started learning Japanese. But it doesn’t mean you have to! If you’ve just started studying Japanese you might notice that sentences are structured a bit differently compared to English. You might be learning vocabulary and the kanas and focusing on how to listen to Japanese, but not so much creating your own sentences which are based heavily in Japanese grammar. Memorising vocabulary is fantastic but when it comes to speaking… Read More…

Learning Japanese Particles

“I don’t understand particles! How do I know which ones to use when?”   Particles are a necessary evil when you start learning Japanese. They can be tricky but once you understand them Japanese (and especially grammar) becomes so much easier! For complete beginners, particles are markers in the sentence connecting words together. Similar to “a” “to” “and” “or” ect. For example, in a simple sentence “I am Niffer” you would say “watashi wa Niffer” ‘wa’ being the particle in this sentence. You can see a list of all these particles at Nihongo Ichiban which might seem like a lot but they… Read More…