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?

  • 2
    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, 2012 at 1:45

2 Answers 2


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。

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.

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