Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

background: I'm playing Shogi 将棋 on a Japanese site since there are no good english ones, and every once in a while someone tries to open a converstaion with me. While I try to participate as much as I can I'm not really sure how to say in a short manner "I'm not from Japan, I'm currently learning Japanese but it's not very good yet, sorry" or something like that.

I've been thinking about stuff like
But it just doesn't sound very well to me (I'm not even sure it's correct).
any better ideas?

share|improve this question
I'd definitely recommend polite form and no slang, as in istrasci's post. Plain form and slang come across as rather blunt (rather than e.g. friendly, which you might have been intending). You'll find some Japanese people using plain forms and slang, but not all, and you should assume that they know better - polite form, even online, especially amongst people you don't know, is always safe, whereas plain form is a bit more subtle. – Billy Nov 17 '12 at 1:45
up vote 12 down vote accepted

Semantically, I think you can leave out "I'm currently studying Japanese" if you're saying "My Japanese isn't (yet) very good," because it's pretty much implied.

Your example sounds fine. You might also try things like:

  • すみません、日本語はまだまだです。
  • すみません、日本語の[初心者]{しょ・しん・しゃ}ですので、あまり分かりません。
share|improve this answer

The way I usually say it is:


The まだ expresses that you're still learning, and んですが is a more subtle way of "apologizing" for it.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.