15

行書 & 草書 (semi-cursive and cursive writings) 行書【ぎょうしょ】 (semi-cursive script) is similar to English 'handwriting' style, and this is the most orthodox way of writing Japanese sentences fast. This is what Japanese students learn at middle school, although that does not necessarily mean all students master beautiful 行書. You can compare 楷書【かいしょ】 (regular ...


11

This question is generally not something we consider on-topic, but I'll give you my honest advise anyway. The Short Answer: A long time. A really really long time. Your mileage may vary, but expect it to take several years. The Long Answer: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" I would say in my own opinion that you're going to want ...


10

Adding 間 turns a fixed point in time into a period of time. "It's 7 o'clock" is a fixed time so it would just be 七時. You would add 間 if you wanted to say that you'd been doing something for seven hours, for example.


9

A ほおかむり (頬被り) (also ほっかむり or ほおかぶり) from 頬っぺを被る "to cover the cheeks" is a cloth that is tied around the head to cover the head (or the face) and usually tied under the chin. The infamous ほおかむり wearer is the Japanese thief (泥棒さん) (another picture) (source: hukumusume.com) who wraps his head with a cloth and ties it under his nose, supposedly to ...


8

It almost doesn't matter, because you're going to be learning them both quickly enough that it won't make much of a difference which one you start with. And you'll be using them both extensively every day, just as you use both lower case and upper case every day in English. But still, it's a sensible question. Which one should you choose? You can make ...


8

I'm not 100% sure what you're asking here, but ゛ when used by itself actually has a number of different usages. Generally, ゛ (Dakuten) are not written separately. For example, "か" "ka" becomes "が" "ga". If you didn't know this, you should probably consult a reference on hiragana (and maybe also katakana) as snailboat says. However, there are a number ...


7

When the Jesuits first came to Japan, they needed a word for God. They described the qualities of God to local priests, and the priests came back with 大日様. When the Jesuits went around preaching 大日様, though, they were concerned to find that the Shingon monks seemed unusually happy about this, and eventually learned that they had chosen a sectarian term. They ...


7

Just for the record before this gets closed, the US State Department classifies (classified?) Japanese as an "exceptionally difficult" language for native English speakers, and at least in their programs recommends 88 weeks of study at 2200 class hours, half of which are spent in Japan. Not sure how out of date this document is but it might be as close to an ...


6

じゃない as "isn't it?" is rather special because it can be appended to practically anything and still be grammatically correct. Also, the two locations of の are serving different purposes. 同じなの is giving the explanation of being the same (Tae Kim would probably translate it as "the thing is, it's the same"), and じゃないの is making じゃない less rhetorical and more ...


6

Not all ambiguous pairs can be distinguished by pitch, and we could just as easily provide you with loads of other ambiguous statements where NOTHING other than context could lead you to the right meaning. This kind of thing happens in all languages: in English, if I tell a female friend "You have a nice pair/pear", she'll rely on context (I hope) to tell ...


6

Very insightful point! I think you are right that pitch matters. As a case in point, say if my daughter is reading a textbook aloud in homework and gets a pitch wrong, I would correct her, because it's noticable. On the other hand, Japanese dictionaries written for Japanese do not have the pitch information either, and people from different regions often ...


6

Due to the way kanji are typed (i.e. using an IME which presents you with candidates from a dictionary), and the fact that Japanese kana usage is by-and-large phonemic (i.e. you write it how you say it), there aren't really many mistakes that are entirely analogous to your/you're or there/their/they're, etc. Probably the closest thing is typing something ...


6

If you like to be nicer, these sentences can be what you are looking for, I think. もしおかしな[日本語]{にほんご}に[聞]{き}こえたら、[自然]{しぜん}な[言]{い}い[方]{かた}を[教]{おし}えてもらえると[嬉]{うれ}しいです。   もし[不自然]{ふしぜん}な日本語に聞こえたら、自然な言い方を教えてもらえると[助]{たす}かります。   もしおかしな日本語に[思]{おも}えたところがあれば、[簡単]{かんたん}でいいので、[正]{ただ}しい[表現]{ひょうげん}を教えてもらえませんか?   もし[僕]{ぼく}の日本語が[変]{へん}に思えたら、教えてもらえませんか? 自然な表現を[知]{し}...


5

In context of some organization, Senpai means came earlier and is not necessarily based on age. One can call younger people 'Senpai' in corporation.


5

It can refer simply to age, but especially in the context of school it will refer to someone in a grade above you. It's a similar thing in work or other organizations: your 先輩 are the ones who came first and outrank you. Outside of a strict hierarchy (like school or work) I think it just refers to the idea of someone being older, as in 彼は私の5年先輩です。 (He is ...


5

こんにちは is "Hello!" or "Good day!", a greeting for meeting someone in any sort of circumstance. もしもし is how you answer a phone. Usually both parties say もしもし in turn, before the caller identifies himself ("Hi, it's John"). Outside phone conversations, it is also used to get someone's attention, but I feel it is quite direct, more like "Hey!". (To get someone'...


5

I think learners should try to spend 99% of their time using the Japanese writing system and not romanization: Reading is a highly overlearned skill, and it takes absolutely huge amounts of practice to become literate in the Japanese writing system. Since learners have limited amounts of time, it's to their advantage to start using kana and kanji as early ...


5

If you're reading online then I suggest installing the Rikaichan plugin to your browser. Hovering over the words gives you the meaning and the conjugation of the verbs etc. The real problem is that you need to learn kanji. Trying to read hiragana with no spaces is a nightmare. The kanji break up the stream into manageable chunks. Also, become familiar ...


5

I can definitely say I have seen a trend among people with 漢字圏 backgrounds to avoid カタカナ loanwords in favor of 漢字, where there is an equivalent (regardless of how unnatural it might sound). In those cases, the subjects would mostly be native in Chinese, which is fairly far removed from the European (Germanic and Latin) words that 外来語 generally hails from. ...


5

English Since the question seems asking for Japanese translation, I know that pure translation is a violation of the rules of this site, but I dare to answer the question because I would like to tell the questioner what would be a natural Japanese language. Before answering the question, I'll explain the background of Japanese language and how Japanese ...


5

「いぢめる?」 「いじめないよォ」 Note, the word is いじめる and is normally never spelled いぢめる. It seems spelling it that way is a quirk of this character. (Normally じ and ぢ would be pronounced the same (ji), but in this case it’s possible the artist was going for something more ‘squirrel-like’ in pronunciation, like an emphasized/partially-voiced ち.)


4

Well, I wouldn't say that I have mastered it, but I have come a long way learning Japanese almost exclusively through English material. My first language is Swedish, but English is mandatory in school from the 4th grade. Most Swedes have a more-or-less fair command of English, enough to consider it our second language. Anyway, my experience of learning ...


4

You don't 'learn to think in Japanese'. No, you 'learn Japanese', then you 'think in it'. Sorry if that sounds condescending, but what I mean is that you will think in Japanese once you've learned to read and write it. Once your brain has been trained to understand it, it will begin to put things together on its own. Apart from letting your brain try to ...


3

I am not a native speaker, but that's how I would say it : もし日本語の間違{まちが}いを見{み}つけたら、直{なお}してください。


3

As an alternative to 遅刻 and its variants you can flip it around a little bit and say 間に合わないよ, which I think is also a common way to say it. So instead of saying that you'll be "late" you're saying you "won't be on time."


3

There is some useful information on this on the official website http://www.jlpt.jp/: a summary of what organizers consider required for passing N1, and a self evaluation of what successful candidates think they can do. Summary of linguistic competence required for N1 The ability to understand Japanese used in a variety of circumstances. Reading ...


3

I've long been wanting to create a list of kanji (say, all jōyō kanji) ordered by weight, where the weight is determined by the frequency of the kanji itself and by the weight of all those kanji in which this kanji appears as a radical. (Also see the end of this post.) If the average person has a vocabulary of at least 30,000 words, a list of words covering ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible