Before I came to Japan, I heard from my colleagues that Japanese is really difficult to learn, but with the right amount of hard work, I was able to learn to speak and use it well. Japanese is certainly different from English, such as their writing style, sentence structures, grammar, etc. Today, let’s learn a little more about those differences.
It raises an important question for us all to ponder though. Just how difficult is it to learn Japanese, when compared with other languages? After all, Japanese is spoken by more than 130 million people and one of the most popular second languages on earth.
Most textbooks and formal classes do not teach informal expressions or slang. Here are ten funny slang words in Japanese to make you sound more like a native speaker.
Seeing a doctor in Japan is usually not too much trouble, even if you don’t speak Japanese. Here are some useful phrases and words you may need depending on your problem, some common kanji you’ll see at clinics and hospitals, and how to tell the difference between a hospital and a clinic, as well as some additional information.
What with new sounds, grammar that’s entirely different from English, and three writing alphabets that take years to master, Japanese is considered a very hard language to learn. However, it can also be easy in places, and for people interested in visiting or living in the country, speaking it is a valuable skill.
It's also a great opportunity to try and speak a little of the local language; showing your interest and respect for the home culture whilst (usually!) making the eatery staff smile. So let's grab some handy Japanese foodie phrases and hit the soba shop, izakaya, sushi bar and beyond!
Japanese characters: for the first ten months I lived in Japan, I didn’t know how to read any of them. I was illiterate. When I walked the streets, I would look up at the signs on buildings and have no idea what they said.
Every language has proverbs, and these nuggets of wisdom contain rich insights into the culture and mindset. Japan is no exception. Here are six examples of Japanese proverbs.
Here are my favourite social expressions in Toyama-ben. And yes, you will not find these vocabularies in a standard Japanese language textbook!
Here are five fantastic examples of wasei-eigo; see whether you can guess the meaning of each one before reading the definition.
My life here in Okinawa has improved so much since. Every Saturday I join their free conversational Japanese class that is held at the local Oki-koku-dai College.
If those last words in the articles weren’t enough to surprise you and your friends, here is the final batch of 8 more that will blow your linguistic part of your brain away (or at least get a chuckle).