Category Archives: JAPANESE

4 Tips to Level-Up Your Japanese in the New Year

Source: Gaijin Pot
4 Tips to Level-Up Your Japanese in the New Year

With a new year comes new year’s resolutions, and hopefully one of them is to improve your Japanese. Many people start the year with a list of resolutions and aren’t able to follow through with them, but these tips should give you a few ideas on how to develop a practical study plan!

1. Set measurable goals

The most important thing is to have a goal that you want to complete by the end of the year.

Studying for the sake of it may seem appealing, but you run the risk of losing focus and giving up. You should have a one-year goal and then divide it up into some shorter-term ones as well. Try not to make it too vague like “watching anime without subtitles,” as there’s no real way to measure progress and it will be difficult to develop a plan.

Some potential goals:

  • “Take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) in December.”
  • “Finish my chosen textbook by trying to clear two chapters each month.”
  • “Get a job in a Japanese environment and read a newspaper article in Japanese every day.”

Remember, we’re motivated by success and not failure, so make a goal that’s realistic! If you’re a beginner, don’t expect to be able to pass JLPT N3 by the end of the year. You’re better off making easy goals that you know that you can hit, and then expand from there.

Pro tip: Start planning right now! For example, check out this list of JLPT test centers and dates. Also, if you’re looking to buy textbooks that are produced in Japan, you might want to look into purchasing them from Amazon Japan, they can be much cheaper and will ship overseas.

2. Make a habit of it

People always complain about a lack of time, but we all have the same 24 hours in a …continue reading


Learning Negative Imperative Sentences in Japanese


When you want to just tell someone, “Don’t talk so loud, please”, how would you say that in Japanese? As a mom, I feel like I use the negative imperative forms all the time with my kids. I know it’s not good to talk to them so negatively, but some days, I just can’t help it! So, in my blog post today, I would like to cover some of the examples of negative imperatives in Japanese.

photo from subtle_3106 on

Don’t come here!

1) Kocchini konaide! こっちに来ないで!こっちに こないで!

2) Kocchini kuruna! こっちに来るな! こっちにくるな!

Just like the way I explained the imperative sentences the other day in my post (here), there are two ways of saying in negative imperative sentences as well.

The first one is pretty standard way of saying it. The second expression is much more manly and more authoritative. Most of the ladies will not use the second expression as they would be using the first expression.

Don’t be so loud!

1) Urusaku shinaide! うるさくしないで!

2) Urusaku suruna! うるさくするな!

Don’t run!

1) Hashiranai de! 走らないで!はしらないで!Hashiranai! はしらない!

2) Hashiruna!  走るな!

Moms will often tell children, “Don’t run!”, but this one will be translated as Hashiranai de! 走らないで!はしらないで! in Japanese. …continue reading


Personal Pronouns in Japanese Grammar


I don’t believe that I covered this topic in the past. This is one of those basic grammar lesson, and it is very important to know. Today, let me cover the personal pronouns.

photo from Stevie Spiers (Photography) on

The major personal pronouns we use in Japanese are:

Watashi (私、わたし) - I

Anata (あなた) – You

Kare (彼、かれ) – He

Kanojo (彼女、かのじょ) – She


In Japanese, “I” is “Watashi”. However, during our conversation, we often omit the word “watashi”. This is true, especially in less formal conversation. I added the word, “watashi” below, but you can say it without the word

  • Kyo, watashi wa market e ikimashita. 今日、私は、マーケットへ 行きました。(きょう、わたしは マーケットへ いきました。) – I went to the market today.

Similar approach is applied to the word “You”, “Anata” in Japanese.

  • Anata no ie wa doko desuka? – あなたの、家は何処ですか? (あなたの いえは どこですか?) Where is your house (located) ?

This can be said ” Ie wa doko deuka?” without “Anata”

When using “He” , “She” or “Kare”, or “Kanojo”, we do add the pronouns in our sentences.

  • Kare wa John san no oto-to desu. 彼は、ジョンさんの 弟 です。(かれは、ジョンさんの おとうと です。)- He is John’s brother.
  • Kanojo wa watashi no imo-to desu. 彼女は、私の 妹 です。 (かのじょは わたしの いもうと です。)- She is my younger sister.

What if you want to make these pronouns plural. Let me show you how …continue reading