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Japanese Resources

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I thought I'd take a moment to share some of the resources I find most useful for beginning Japanese learners! I highly recommend you supplement them with a class or tutoring sessions, but please take a look. 1. Real Kana: http://realkana.com/   This is an excellent site for memorizing hiragana and katakana (the first step for any Japanese learner). It simply shows... read more

Blogs

As a Japanese tutor, a lot of questions I hear are about kanji: What are they exactly? Why do I read them one way sometimes, and another at others? How do I read them? Do I really need to study them? How do I study them? Firstly, Kanji are Chinese-derived characters used in written Japanese to form nouns and the base of most verbs and adjectives. Many have a purely grammatical function,... read more

Blogs

Hi, everyone. It's been a while, so I'm easing back into things with a nice, easy post. Many of my friends and students have asked me and each other "what are the best methods for learning Japanese? What do you use?" And so, I'm going to offer my take on some of the materials I have found most useful. Textbooks: The Genki Series: Perhaps the most commonly used textbook... read more

Blogs

If you want to learn the Japanese language "Nihongo",you came to the right place! My sessions can get you well on your way to learning how to speak, read, and write.  I will help you comprehend and communicate with Japanese.   We will start from Japanese alphabet (Hiragana and Katakana) as well as Kanji (Chinese characters), grammar, common words...

Blogs

One question I get often deals with memorization, which makes sense.  There is a lot of memorization in any subject, but especially with Japanese.  New vocabulary and kanji are the two biggest examples I can give you.  Thankfully this is a short post.  To sum it up: I find a dual flashcards/sentences approach works very well for both instances.   The study of Japanese,... read more

Blogs

Every beginning student of Japanese, myself included, has had trouble in one way or another with particles.  JOSHI, as they are called in Japanese, are "helping words" which we use to identify parts of speech, join clauses, indicate direction, mode and exclusivity.  Basically, they're the sweet little things that make Japanese cohesive rather than a jumble of words.  These... read more

Blogs

Dear Students who are new to Japanese and interested in learning Japanese,   I have been tutoring Japanese on-line and my students love it.  My on-line lessons are inexpensive and convenient.  You can learn a lot in 8 basic lessons.  By the end of 8 lessons you can introduce yourself in Japanese.  I would like to promote my on-line lessons to the people who are... read more

Blogs

Learning a language is a funny thing. Lots of people in the world today learn their second language as a child and that language is (maybe) usually English. Many people in the world are introduced to a new language as children during a period when learning a language is optimal. I am well past this age and I have just now begun to start learning a second language, formally. For what it's... read more

Blogs

The pre-masu stem of Japanese verbs, technically called the RENYOUKEI (conjunctive form) is usually one of the first conjugations students of Japanese learn.  By adding MASU, which is technically a verb in-and-of itself, one creates a more formal utterance which shows respect to the audience.  MASU has no inherent meaning except to demonstrate this respect.   In this vein,... read more

Blogs

Desire in Japanese is very strange.  Since it is a private feeling, one cannot say that someone else wants something, but we have to preface it with they "appear" to want it, or something similar.  Additionally, there are two adjectives (not verbs) which are used to state this want.  The first is adding the adjectival -tai to the pre-masu form of a verb, and the other... read more

Blogs

Japanese has many words for the concept of reciprocal exchanges.  This is fundamentally related to the concepts of hierarchy and in-group/out-group relationships.  I'll explain these concepts:   First of all, Japanese society retained their feudalistic system for about 300 years longer than the Western world in about 1868, and immediately the emperor was reinstated as the... read more

Blogs

In my opinion, of the verb forms taught in the average Elementary Japanese class, te-form is perhaps the most important and flexible.  By using this form, it can boast one's grammatical complexity, allow one to speak more fluently and with more nuance.  Let's review it.   Conjunction   This form, can be used to link two sentences and imply a relationship as... read more

Blogs

I sometimes go to a local bookstore, looking around for some good books to use in my Japanese tutoring sessions, and I came across the following books that looked promising:   For the Beginners: - Japanese in 10 minutes a day, by Kristine K. Kershul.    I liked this book because each section seemed nice and concise, just the right amount of material to cover in a... read more

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