Any ideas for the struggles of a N3?

I’ve been going through N1 grammar with a teacher and my impression is a lot of N1 grammar is almost like vocab. Each grammar point has a very narrow meaning and application. And many of them are just a fancier way to say something you can say using simpler grammar. But precisely because it sounds fancier it’s used in books/anime.


I feel like that’s the case for a lot of N2 and N1 “grammar”. Like, I learned 案の定 from a book several months ago, but to me it’s just a word/phrase. I don’t see why that’s considered grammar.


Plus, like 案の定 many of N1 “grammar” are easy enough to guess if you know the kanji they use.

I’m really bad at remembering individual kanji meanings, so that doesn’t work much for me. :sweat_smile:

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Yeah, actually, this is one of those cases where I agree strongly with something that Cure Dolly said: a lot of ‘grammar points’ are just idiomatic expressions, and it’s strange that we call them ‘grammar’.

I suppose so, or more generally, as long as you know the components, it’s easier to guess what the expressions mean. But in the case of 案の定, I really wasn’t sure, in part because 案 can mean (for me anyway) both ‘a low table’ and ‘a case/project/matter’. I’m not sure if both of those meanings are common in Japanese though, because I know them from Chinese, and without knowing the origin of the phrase 案の定, I can’t be sure which meaning to use. However, it’s true that knowing what each kanji means makes remembering the meaning of the phrase as a whole much easier after the fact.

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In context you’d know it has nothing to do with a table:


True, I suppose (unless we count the カウンター :stuck_out_tongue:), but what I meant was that I wasn’t sure if the meaning of the phrase 案の定 was derived from the literal meaning of 案 (table) or the figurative meaning of it (which in Japanese is probably best translated as ‘idea’ or ‘plan’). A site I looked at earlier says it’s from the figurative meaning. I guess that makes more sense. But yes, especially in this context, it’s somewhat guessable since it has to be something that describes a suitable reaction to seeing somebody the narrator knows behind the counter.



Sorry, I don’t actually have anything to add to this thread (other than N1 and N2 material does show up in native material all the time) but I think this all the time


Oh, I think nobody ever got back to you on this…
You can check out this thread which has a section on how to buy books:

Personally I’m a fan of digital books (no shelf space, no shipping cost, integrated dictionary for easier lookup of kanji and vocab) and use BookWalker, but the thread also explains how to purchase physical books.


Go to the Japanese communities then :smiley: Do you use Twitter? Since you said you read manga and watch movies and shows in Japanese, you should be able to look up the tags for your favorites. Personally, I find that Twitter has done me a lot of good to improve my writing since I’m able to both read how people commonly write and see grammar in a variety of settings. Some people are rather formal online, others casual. I recommend not including that you can speak English in your Twitter bio if possible. I would include your favorite shows there instead and something like 日本語(にほんご) :o:

Occasionally people might still respond back to you in English, but you’re more likely to have short conversations in Japanese imo.


First off, that’s phenomenal progress. You should be very happy with it.

Still, I’m happy to try to help you continue that progress. I’m probably about the same level in Japanese, but I can still try to help. I’m an ESL teacher, so I have some general ideas.

When you say you understand about 60%, are you pausing the subtitles to read to determine that? Are you running into more grammar trouble or vocabulary?

If it’s vocabulary, it seems to me that if you’re doing this well with SRS, then you might want to pick up some vocab books and send a DM over to NukeMarine to get access to the Anki decks he’s made. You might want to start with the N3 Tango book.

If it’s grammar, I’d recommend taking your time through Bunpro. Read all of the example sentences. Try writing your own for each grammar point. Use some of that tutor time to get feedback.

A study technique that can help improve both is dictation. Using material with JP subs, listen while typing EVERYTHING you hear. Then, check the subs when you’re ready to see what you missed. Do a small section at a time. Try with just 20-30 seconds of talk to get comfortable with the method. It is exhausting and it can be overwhelming, but it will help you if you’ve got the time for it.

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Okay thanks. Yeah I guess Bookwalker will be the best option for me as well. I once bought some Japanese books from CD Japan, but the shipping is just so expensive and it takes pretty long for them

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Thats actually a pretty good idea, I never though about just joining a Japanese community on Twitter or somewhere else. I´ll definitly try it

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My bigger problem is Vocabulary, so I guess I´ll have a look Anki. I have actually never used it before, but better late than never :smiley:

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