10 Fast Track Japanese Phrases On Your Way To Fluency

10 Japanese Phrases That Will Make You Sound Like A Native

When you want to become fluent in Japanese, you need to master phrases that make you sound natural, and you should learn how to ask for explanations of the world around you. Once you have the ability to ask questions and build your vocabulary, your confidence will grow.

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Blossom! PhotoCreds: Kiandro Scavella

When you’re nervous, it’s because you’re afraid of making a mistake or sounding dumb. But remember! Almost always, Japanese people are going to be excited to speak Japanese with you, even if you make mistakes. You may feel like a baby because there are so many things you can’t understand. But it’s important to smile and have fun when you make mistakes, and your partner will hopefully find a graceful way to correct you.


Now get out there to your nearest Japanese restaurant and gambarimashou! (Let’s try hard!)

  1. I’m sorry, please say it again. Please speak more slowly.

Sumimasen ga, mou icihido itte kudasai. Motto yukkuri hanashite kudasaiすみませんが、もう一度言ってください。 もっとゆっくり話して下さい。Practice this a lot. I promise it will come in handy.

  1. How do you say this in Japanese?

Kore wa Nihongo de, nan to iimasu ka?これは日本語で、何と言いますか?This is one of the most useful phrases you can learn. It’s the key to becoming a fluent master in time.You can replace “kore” with the word in English if your friend will understand.

  1. How do you write it in Chinese characters?

Dono you ni Kanji de Kakimasu ka?どのように漢字で書きますか?As soon as you learn any new Japanese word or phrase, ask your friend how it’s written in kanji. Write the phrase 10 times in your study book.The next time you say that phrase, try to imagine how it’s written while you speak. Once you get into the habit of writing everything down until it sticks, you will be learning 10 or more characters per day!

  1. I understand (thanks to your explanation.)

Naru hodo!なるほどWhen your Japanese friend is done explaining, you can say “naru hodo” to indicate that you understand thanks to their help. It’s a bit more natural sounding than “wakarimashita.”

  1. If you want to become proficient in Japanese, you must study.

Nihongo ga jouzu ni naritai nara, benkyou shinakereba ikemasen.日本語が上手になりたいなら、勉強しなければいけません。In Japanese, when you’re saying, “You must X” you’re literally saying, “if x does not happen, things will be bad.”Look at the example sentence. You can use the basic form “X shinakereba ikemasen” with any verb that makes sense.You must do laundry. Sentaku o shinakereba ikemasen.Try making your own sentence!

  1. You always thank the chef after a meal, right? You probably know how to say thank you….

But if you say “arigatou gozaimasu” after a delicious Japanese meal, it’s going to sound weird.Instead, you say “Gochisousama deshita!” ごちそうさまでしたIt’s also polite to leave a small bite on your plate, to show that the chef gave you enough food. Japanese custom is to keep filling your glass and dishes until you stop drinking/eating.Some romantic phrases….Maybe you want to ask that cute Japanese girl out on a date. She would be even more impressed if you ask her in her native language. Here are a few phrases that will help you break the ice. This is an informal situation, don’t say these phrases to your boss!

  1. Anata ni deatta toki kara, kokoro ga doki doki shita

あなたに出会った時から、心がドキドキしているFrom the first time I met you, my heart has been beating like crazy.

  1. Issho ni asobi ni ikou!

一緒に遊びに行こうLet’s go on a date together! (Literally: Let’s go out playing together)If you’re ready to make the move, just go ahead and ask her out. It will probably be extremely forward, but maybe she’ll find that charming.

  1. Tsuyoku dakishimetai.

強く抱きしめたいI really want to hold you in my arms. This is a really romantic sounding phrase. If she likes you at all, this will certainly make her heart melt.

  1. Keitai bangou oshiete moraemasu ka?

ケイタイ番号をおしえてもらえますか?What’s your cell number?They say the best way to learn Japanese is on the pillow. If you managed to break the ice with your Nihongo skills, try asking for your new friend’s number.If you’re struggling to find the motivation to study Japanese, think about what your goals are for learning the language. Do you want to be able to understand anime? Or do you want to make Japanese friends in preparation for visiting Japan? Be clear about your goals and it will naturally motivate you to study a little bit every day.

4 Tips For Learning Japanese

SPEAK JAPANESE!

Tips for Japanese Language Learning


Japan is a beautiful country with a mixture of traditional and modern cultural assets. The island nation breathes the idea of self-sustainability and accountability. Japan has slowly been taking over the modern world by inventing riveting pieces of equipment and cultural phenomenon. The nation, along with its unique features attracts an overwhelming amount of tourists every year. In fact according to The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017, Japan is ranked 4th out of 141 countries. This number may be soon to change with the upcoming 2020 Olympics. This is excluding its high scores in various aspects such as health and hygiene, safety and security and cultural resources.

It goes without saying that Japanese language is a must learn for any devoted Japan/Japanese enthusiast. So, here are some tips how you can learn Japanese in a quick and effective way in order to kick start your adventure to the Land of The Rising Sun.headphone-152409_1280

Make a habit of listening to Japanese- It is said that listening can make a lot of difference. If you make the habit of listening to Japanese regularly, then you can surely make an impact to your skill level, which is in the least, noticeable. Audio learning is considered to be one of the best forms of learning. This method has been found effective in many cases. Even if you have no idea of what you are hearing, you will become familiar to some of the words eventually. Your brain needs time to set up the neural pathways that you are being exposed to; there is a reason why an unseasoned language hobbyist may mistake one language for another if they are closely related. Fluent Forever gives an incredible illustration of how this process works (highly recommend reading it.) At first, obviously, nothing would make any sense, but you will get accustomed.

STORY TIME: When I began my Japanese Studies in college (the year 2014 to be exact), everything I heard was just noise, the Japanese language shied away from my ears, and I only heard the muddles of gibberish that my brain made me believe was Japanese. Then I studied abroad in the Fall 2016; upon arrival I was almost deterred from the language because of how fast everyone was speaking. If you thought listening to your American professor speak Japanese at what seems to be fast pace was bad…you have literally heard nothing yet. END STORY

This is why listening is so important; learners who have adopted this idea have developed the capability of responding to rapid fire Japanese. Listening teaches you to slow things down in an instant and pick out what you need. Over time you will become a natural when it comes to every day conversations listening is 80% of the battle.  If you need good listening material, YOUTUBE (live feeds of Japanese news) or JapanesePod101 helps tremendously when it comes to improving your listening skills

TURN OFF THE LIGHTS, CLOSE YOUR EYES, ENTER THE VOID, AND LISTEN (Good Meditation Exercise)

 

  • Get hold of daily news- When you are interested in knowing about a language, it is essential to get hold of the daily news from a particular source. There are many kinds of sites on the Internet where you would find such news; NHK EASY Japanese, <a href=”http://Learn Japanese Online” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>LingQ, Beelingua app…etc. By keeping a close eye on the news in Japan, your knowledge on certain topics would expand itself, thus giving you more access to conversation topics. Nobody wants to hear 「天気はいいですね」 every time they bump into you. Rather how about a decent conversation starter like 「命の意味は何と思うか?ニュースでは、彼らと言った「神様は存在がいない、今どうするか」。 Do not mind me…I am in my feelings right now….

 

  • Going to a school is not an option- Okay I MEAN SUUUREEE IT ISSSSSS….but let’s face reality, if all you do is sit in a class room for 1-2 hours, 3 days a week and don’t study outside of class or expose yourself to the language… YOU WILL NOT LEARN…at least to any decent level. In any kind of learning, the most important thing is self-learning. Even if you spend a lot of money in going to language schools, nothing can help if you don’t learn it yourself. You have to immerse yourself in the process entirely. No book, course, or even teacher can make you understand the complexities of a language unless you try your own process and methods. Better option is to not opt for any school and going for self-taught lessons.
  • Relax and enjoy the process- We all remember how painful it was for us to pay attention to all those subjects taught at school. Do not make Japanese language learning feel like a capital punishment. Learn the language so that you can relax and enjoy learning it.women-2653309_1920.png

Creative Language Learning Awakes: Kanji with WaniKani

What is WaniKani?

The Creative Language Learning Platform For Kanji

WaniKani is an online platform designed to assist Japanese learners to overcome the massive obstacle they face, kanji. Many learners shake and quiver in fear at the mere thought of seeing ten strokes flash across their eyes, not knowing what each of those strokes means. Classrooms tackle kanji through standard repetition methods, mainly through textbooks, this method can be a described as a bit dry, difficult, and “mendokusai”. Imagine this, cramming ten kanji in the lobby ten minutes before class before just to pass a test, wipe the sweat off your forehead and begone with them forever. Heartbreaking right?

WaniKani however, makes this a bit more interesting through its space repetition and mnemonics system.  The websites colourful layout also runs circles around the traditional black and white book.

Wanikani Dashboard

So what exactly makes this language learning platform so well known in the Japanese language learning community?

Let’s start off with a list of positives this colourful, multifaceted crabgator offers.


Pros of Wanikani

Creative Power Unleashed

WaniKani’s mnemonics system introduces a plethora of wild and crazy stories to help you remember a kanji in its entirety,  forget strokes (well okay, don’t forget them, but stash them away somewhere safe while using Wanikani. It also introduces you to the breakdown of radicals, which are the building blocks to kanji. If you know all your radicals and creative enough you can effectively memorize all 2,000 + kanji.

 

Learn Kanji In Context

Wanikani doesn’t just throw kanji at you and say “Here, you have a week to learn these, then you’ll have a test.” Sound familiar professor? Just kidding, but seriously Wanikani introduces you to vocabulary associated with the kanji you are you learning. It also provides context sentences so you can see exactly how the vocabulary word in its kanji form is being used.

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Wanikani kanji break down and context sentences

 

Spaced Repetition is King

You will not advance to the next level until you GET it. Wanikani ensures that the users actually learn the kanji, vocabulary and radicals. Its level system is a huge motivation factor, you must reach the level of guru on 90% of the kanji that was introduced before advancing to the next level. Depending on how fast you are this can take anywhere between 7 and 100 days.

Wanikani Progression Bars

 

Modify The Way You Learn Kanji

There is a massive collection of plugins to help you modify your learning experience. So you won’t be stuck with the same old wanikani layout and software 24/7. You can create your own learning environment and go at your own speed.

 

Stay Engaged With WaniKani’s Online Community

There is also an active community forum for you to use while your reviews are on cooldown. You can basically go and talk to other members on the same journey as you are. It’s a great way to stay focused and avoid distractions. It’s also beneficial to see the different methods people are undertaking to study Japanese, prepare for exams and discuss in general just about anything.

 

Wanikani online community


Cons of Wanikani

Wanikani has a slow startup

It is slow in the beginning! If you happen to already know some basic kanji you are still going to have to go through the beginning levels to access the higher levels and more intermediate lessons. You cannot skip levels. If you fall behind on reviews…. you will drown. BUT! There is a vacation mode you can activate when you are not able to do any reviews. It will freeze your review lineup until you get back.

level 1 wanikani

Level 2 WaniKaniLevel 3 WaniKani

Radical Radicals, No Pun Intended

The radicals can be a bit strange at times. Depending on whether or not you have some experience of radicals already, making the switch to WaniKani’s highly creative platform can be a challenge. Some of the radicals you will be introduced to will be extremely RADICAL if you catch my drift. I forgot a narwhal was an actual animal until Wanikani named an entire radical after it. Use your discretion here…

Wanikani Radicals Tie Fighter

 

The Conclusion on WaniKani

Overall Wanikani is a highly affordable platform for Japanese learning for what its worth.  While its platform may be difficult to become adjusted to, that doesn’t change the fact that the mnemonics approach works wonders. Its unique methodology is what attracts learners from various backgrounds; it certainly doesn’t feel boring and its interface is bright, creative and mesmerizing.  It’s like the crabgator has you in his hypnotic prowess, and you can’t escape unless you finish all 60 of his trials and tribulations!Wanikani Pricing

 

Did I mention that these 60 levels all together can be finished within a year if done at maximum speed? Did I also mention that WaniKani teaches you effectively just over 2400 kanji and 6000 vocabularies…that’s kind of crazy when you compare this amount to Japanese grade school. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR HAIL THE CRABGATOR!

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http://www.wanikani.com

https://www.tofugu.com/learn-japanese/

https://www.tofugu.com/japanese/japanese-learning-stack-koichi/