Differentiating between 最初 and 最終 in real talk


So a level or two ago i learned the word saishuu 最終 meaning last or final … and then i was watching anime and thought i heard it, only to see the translation as “first” and not last , completely the opposite, and i was a bit confused … then in level 11 i found out about saisho 最初, meaning first, and i knew that was the one used in the episode .
If i heard each word alone, i would easily distinguish between them, but i feel like they’ll be a problem in fast talk, specially that they’re complete opposites! a big problem if i mix them up … any tips with them?


Recognizing long and short vowels in listening is challenging at first. You just need to do a lot of listening practice. Of course, these aren’t just different lengths, they’re also different sounds… so yeah, listen as much as you can.

最小 さいしょう and 採取 さいしゅ are also words in Japanese (though relatively uncommon compared to 最終 and 最初). So train those ears.


I have the same problem with 近い and 違い. I don’t know why opposite words have to sound so similar!