Improving your proficiency in the Japanese language.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

18
votes
7answers
1k views

Does anyone have advice on how to get over/through/around the intermediate language plateau? (Self-learner)

How do you get through this? Especially in regards to reading. How do you practice reading at beyond the beginner level (No little black sambo's or whatever other children's books like I found in the ...
17
votes
6answers
987 views

Is the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) a good measure of my Japanese language ability?

Given that there has been discussion by the Japanese government to use the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) as one of the measures by which permanent residences or citizenship might be ...
15
votes
7answers
761 views

Linguistics and Japanese study

Firstly, I apologise if this has been asked before or if I have asked this in the wrong place (should I have asked on the meta site?). I've studied Japanese for (going on) 5 years, now. It's been ...
12
votes
5answers
918 views

What is the learning curve for learning Japanese writing?

What is the learning curve like for learning Japanese writing? Are you able to use what you've learnt as you're progressing, or are you only realistically able to start reading real text once you've ...
12
votes
3answers
808 views

Is Japanese that lacks proofreading likely to contain bad spelling or grammar?

Regarding written English that isn't proofread ... it's quality definately leaves alot to be desired. I would advise people against treating written English that wasn't professionally written (for ...
11
votes
4answers
368 views

What should I look for in a dictionary to help me study? [on hold]

As per the title, what should I look for in a dictionary to help me study Japanese? Are there certain things that I should look for in the dictionary or are they all pretty much the same? To ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

アニメと漫画で日本語を勉強することについて (On learning Japanese from anime/manga)

最近、漫画好きな外国人が増えたので、日本のアニメや漫画で日本語を勉強する外国人も多くなっています。アニメの日本語が日常の会話であまり使わないので、アニメで日本語を勉強することで日本語をちゃんと学べると思いますか。 (Many foreigners have been learning Japanese through manga and anime due to its popularity ...
10
votes
2answers
453 views

Do people actually look down on you if you use a regional dialect as a Gaijin?

My brother got on a scholarship to go to university in Japan, he was given a year an half language training and then had to apply to Japanese universities. I suggested he study in Osaka as I'd ...
9
votes
2answers
284 views

Can a noun + suru have an adjective modify the noun as well?

”I did some difficult studying last night." Could I say, "昨夜、難しい勉強しました。”? Basically, my question is: can an adjective, relative clause, or adjectival phrase modify a noun that has する attached. For ...
9
votes
4answers
395 views

Is there an online list of frequently used words in the news?

There are a few books with lists of words and kanji compounds found in the news. Like this one, this one, and this one. However, unless one wants to spend a lot of time doing data entry, they don't ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Does it matter whether you drop vowels in spoken Japanese?

(This question started as a dual question about when to drop vowels and whether it matters. The first question is well answered at What are the rules regarding "mute vowels" ("u" ...
9
votes
1answer
284 views

A tales and stories children book suitable for adult learners?

I like to read children literature in foreign languages I am learning. I usually do not have troubles picking them in european language, but I would need recommendation for Japanese. I would like a ...
8
votes
4answers
644 views

How can I learn and recall okurigana?

As time goes on in our age of increasing reliance on computerized kanji input, this question may become increasingly irrelevant, but when I'm writing a sentence with (gasp!) pen and paper, I have ...
7
votes
7answers
1k views

What are the advantages/disadvantages of writing in romaji instead of kanji, hiragana, and so on?

Romaji is somewhat of a conversion from kanji, hiragana, and so on to the Roman alphabet. What are the disadvantages of learning only or mostly romaji aside from being unable to read/write in kanji? ...
7
votes
2answers
428 views

Are there any risks in self-learning the kana?

I've found learning to speak Japanese in a classroom, rather than being self-taught, is useful because you get feedback on whether what you're saying sounds correct. Is the same true about learning to ...
7
votes
3answers
5k views

What are the differences/characteristics between katakana, kanji and hiragana?

I already know that romaji is the conversion from those to the roman alphabet, so which are the differences or characteristics between those? Are they used on a different context? Is one of them more ...
7
votes
2answers
784 views

Why do children call themselves by their name?

Why is that young children call themselves by their first name when referring to themselves? This question is similar to Speaking in the third person; however, young children do not understand the ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a study available on the similarities between Japanese and Turkish grammars?

No I'm not claiming the Altaic hypothesis so try not to bring that up in answers. Still there are grammatical similarities between Japanese and Turkish such as agglutination and use of postpositions ...
7
votes
1answer
258 views

What Japanese lullabys are available to provide early Japanese exposure to children?

I'd like to expose my young children to the sounds of Japanese at night as they go to sleep. Specifically, I'd like to play Japanese lullabies or other soothing music with vocals. Where do I find such ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does the g tends to sound more like a m or n?

I have heard words such as shigoto, sugata, sugu (ni) and they end up sounding like shimoto, sunata, and sunu ni. Even in sentence such as Haru ga kimasu. I've heard sound like: Haru na kimasu. So ...
6
votes
5answers
576 views

How to say “Hey hurry up! you'll be late!”?

When we want to say "Hey, hurry up! you'll be late!", which would be more appropriate? : 遅刻するぞ! 遅くなるぞ! any other suggestions?
5
votes
5answers
527 views

learning order for kana?

I'm trying to use some flash cards to learn the kana (hirigana first, but both in time), and there's simply too much for me to learn at once. Is there a recommended or practiced learning "order" or ...
5
votes
2answers
418 views

How many verb endings to express “do this (please)”?

I'm familiar with the て and てください forms of a verb to give a command/request and request, respectively. However, I've run across these other forms and really don't know which to use in what situation. ...
5
votes
2answers
764 views

Mnemonic phrases for memorizing a word or number sequence

What generally accepted mnemonic phrases are there in Japanese that are used for memorizing a sequence of numbers or words?
5
votes
1answer
209 views

What is the meaning of 「ほおかむり」?

My daughter is in first grade at a public elementary school in Japan. In some homework yesterday, there was the appearance of the word ほおかむり. My Japanese isn't great as a non-native and she didn't ...
5
votes
2answers
578 views

Why do English sources for learning Japanese leave out pitch?

I always thought that besides Kanji, one of the most difficult things about Japanese was its immense amount of homophones. For example, 花 (はな), which means flower, and 鼻 (also はな) which means nose. In ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Is this the correct way of saying attending a school?

My friend and I were having a debate. Basically, the line 「あんたは一人でこの家から学校に通っている。」 in an anime was translated as "And you live here alone, attending school." A direct literal translation of the ...
5
votes
1answer
278 views

Are JLPT vocab taught in the same order as it is taught in japanese schools?

I'm wondering if it is true that words in JLPT5 are taught first in japanese schools, then JLPT4, then JLPT3, 2, 1. Or is that in japanese schools they have another order altogether such that it may ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Appropiate anime or media to learn japanese [closed]

This might be an off topic question. If it is just close my question. I want to know what anime do you recommend to learn japanese? The problem with the anime I've watch so far is that they tend to ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How and when do Japanese children learn kanas and kanji?

I wonder how exactly Japanese children learn to write. It may help a foreigner to know what is important to memorize or not. The only thing I know is that first of all, hiragana are learnt, and then ...
4
votes
1answer
274 views

Pronunciation of 家

In this sentence: ゆうむら家の3人は、半年前にこの家を購入し、転居してきた。 この家を is pronounced as "kono yo" as opposed to "kono ie o". And this phrase あんたは一人でこの家から学校に通っている。 この家 is pronounced as "kono ye" as opposed ...
4
votes
1answer
189 views

What kind of conjugation is 済{す}ませた?

This is from the anime Noir, Episode 1 starting at 23:13 at the school: [The two characters A and B are leaving the country.] A: 出国{しゅっこく}の手配{てはい}は済{す}ませた。  'I've made the arrangements to ...
3
votes
3answers
320 views

How does a noun phrase translate into a verb?

Ok. The whole sentence is: Person A bandages Person B's arm. Person B says: ありがとう。ずいぶん慣れた処置ね?看護婦でもやってたの? I get what the sentences are saying. But! For the life of me I can't parse ずいぶん慣れた処置ね? into ...
3
votes
1answer
390 views

Ruby text in Documents

Note: I know they might not strictly be interchangeable, but I might end up using "Furigana" and "Ruby text" in an interchangeable manner in this question. Hi all, I'm in the process of writing a ...
3
votes
1answer
853 views

Children's audio books good for listening practice?

I'm looking for a website with free audio recordings of Japanese children books. I found one a long time ago but alas I lost my bookmark to that site. I'm planning to go through those books since ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I improve my Japanese vocabulary, grammar, and listening skills? [closed]

I consider myself at a lower intermediate level. I want to improve my Japanese vocabulary and grammar in order to expand my reading and speaking skills. I know enough Japanese to get around and have a ...
3
votes
0answers
235 views

Fun ways to learn japanese [closed]

What are your favorite fun ways to learn Japanese? (At any level)
2
votes
2answers
928 views

How long would it take on average to learn Japanese [closed]

i know a small bit of Japanese from back in high school but stopped when it was never made clear that Japanese went for 2 semesters instead of 1 and by the time they told me about it (even though i ...
2
votes
0answers
187 views

Do people who speak Chinese use kanji more when writing Japanese? [closed]

As Chinese was my first language, when learning how to read Japanese, I would sometimes get stuck on a sequence of kana, but then understand completely when the relevant kanji was substituted in its ...
2
votes
0answers
115 views

Japanese newbie, Chinese intermediate, how to get started? [closed]

I know mandarin, specifically pinyin tones, strokes writing rules, about 1000 characters. So what'd be a starting point for me with Japanese?
2
votes
0answers
185 views

What is a good series of books/programs to start learning from, if any? [closed]

I started learning Japanese when I was in high school as a hobby but have limited time now that I am working full time, what books or programs would you suggest for someone wanting to learn ...
2
votes
0answers
294 views

What techniques/resources do you use to learn Japanese? [closed]

I make flashcards of kanji to read in the bus and study with my text books, while I'm in home I listen to podcast. Could you recommend other techniques, maybe a way to contact native Japanese people ...
1
vote
3answers
615 views

Can Sempai be used to address a student of the same year/age

I've been working on a script for a Visual Novel, in it one of the heroine's Sakura address's the main hero Talavaliau (Tala for short) as Sempai because she has a crush on him and can't bring herself ...
1
vote
1answer
102 views

Are there words or phrases that are commonly mistyped by native speakers on the Internet?

Like how it is common to see their/there and "could/would/should of" instead of "could/would/should have" in English discussions.
1
vote
1answer
146 views

What is the difference between こんにちは and もしもし?

I will be in Japan in a few weeks and I am trying to learn the basic to be as polite as possible. One of the first things I did was try some basic stuff with Google Translate but I feel lost already. ...
1
vote
2answers
580 views

Tips for japanese online radio or podcasts [closed]

Do you have any good recommendations for Japanese radio stations available online? Weather I can listen through the website or using some third party music app does not matter. I would like a ...
1
vote
1answer
326 views

Where can I get a list of Japanese words with context? [closed]

I want to study for the JLPT with authentic sentence examples, in-context Japanese. Does anyone know a resource for this? I have searched for a long time, and I haven't found anything.
1
vote
1answer
159 views

What local dialect (if any) will I encounter/learn?

So, I'm going to Japan as part of the JET Programme, and will be staying in Minamiaizu, Fukushima Prefecture. While I have about 18 months of Japanese, these were mostly night classes, and I could ...
1
vote
0answers
89 views

How to study quasi-synonyms (類義語) [closed]

What is a good way of studying quasi-synonyms (類義語)? More specifically, how does one figure out (and remember) when to use one over another? For example 大方, 概ね, 総じて all translate to "generally", ...
1
vote
0answers
410 views

Best Japanese language learning system? [closed]

I have a friend who speaks Japanese and I would like to learn the language with no prior experience. What commercial teaching approach would you consider the best? Pimsleur, Phonics, or something ...