Help with a Japanese letter (full of mistakes)

I’m currently studying Japanese at university. Due to personal circumstances our teacher returns to Japan in about two weeks. Our course wants to write a letter and get some little gifts for her. Now the problems: our Japanese is still very very very beginner. ;; This was problematic until I had a fantastic idea! Ask the Wanikani community! :smiley:

Because I’m kind of the driving force in my course (who recognizes this from university or projects?) I had to write the letter myself and we have a week until our last session. I would love to express everything with Genki I grammar/our Japanese level to make it personal but still without mistakes.

This is the idea:
To/Dear (insert our teacher’s name),

Before you return to Japan, thank you very much.
The last four semesters were extremely great and fun.
It was hard at times, but we learned a lot, met many new friends and overall had a great time. This was the case because you are a great teacher.
We will remember you. Have a nice time in Japan.
Hopefully we’ll meet again.

Take care,
(our names)

This is my crappy first attempt with 100 mistakes:
(insert our teacher’s name)へ


(our names)

It’s not the greatest letter of all time but it’s sincere, so please help me out here!!


Soo… I don’t want to put words into your mouth, and honestly don’t remember much of what is actually covered in Genki 1. Therefore, I just point out some mistakes that immediately jump out to me:

Mae is used for something that has already happened (before). Mas is not used to connect sentences.

Honto is used adverbially here, so you have to use it with に. You misspelled the last word.

She will probably understand, but not how you would say that in Japanese.

I would go with しかし instead, if you know that word. You conjugated au incorrectly.

I don’t know what you want to say here, no direct correspondence in your English, but I don’t think kekkou means what you think it means.

Yoku is the adverb, so I would put it closer to the verb. The verb is transitive, not intransitive.

That is not how you would say that. aru just has the meaning of existence so the way you wrote this sentence it does not translate.

Wouldn’t formulate it as a question… (It currently translates as “should we meet again?”)

You’d probably more use ogenkide if you know that one.

Like I said, just what jumps out immediately. Hope you find it somewhat helpful.


Why’d you censor the name here, then use it three times in the actual letter? :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s also a little odd to use her name so often - reckon just use 先生 after the first time. (And, haha, using her given name? I guess it’s possible she’s told you to call her that, but teachers and students in Japan aren’t that close.)

This says “Because you are a kind and good person” rather than “a great teacher”.

Nah, you can use 前に for things that will happen in the future (though it goes after the clause it’s modifiying - 帰る前に - rather t han before, which solves the lack of a conjuction too) - the problem here is that there’s no logical connection between the two clauses of the sentences. In English, too. I feel like “Before you return to Japan, we have something we would like to say” would flow much better, in either language, but maybe that’s just me.

I would go with でしたが on the previous sentence, personally - OP is using the first sentence to contrast the second here, not using the second to soften the blow of the first.

It also kinda feels like something you say to someone who’s visiting Japan for a holiday, rather than returning to their home. In English too.


Def all true, but def also not in Genki1 ^^. Wasn’t trying to alter sentences much, just trying to point out obvious mistakes. I think the sensei will be appreciative no matter what, and maybe it can turn into a teaching opportunity as well :smiley:


Dunno what’s in Genki 1, but I’m reasonably sure both are covered by Nakama 1, which is fairly equivalent. Been a long time since I last read Nakama, though.


I can’t give you better advice than you’ve already had from @downtimes and @Belthazar, but I wanted to reply anyway to say that I’m sure your teacher won’t mind a few mistakes. She knows the level of proficiency the class has and I’m sure she’ll be happy to see your best effort even if its not perfect.

I’d probably fix the conjugation of 新しい友達にあいて to 新しい友達にあって and replace the けっこう with something more suitable like すてき or すばらしい or たのしい.
And if you want to say “because you are a great teacher”, I’d say 友香先生はしんせつでいい先生だから to make it a little clearer.

But honestly, you’ve made a really good attempt here, and I’m sure your teacher will recognise the effort you put into it and appreciate that.


Thank you so much! It helps a lot! I still have questions though…

So would it be 私たちは先生をよく思い出します。or what exactly is wrong here?


Thank you!!

Omg, I’m actually very embarrassed. :laughing:

Like でしたが、私たちはたくさん勉強して、新しい友達にあって、すてきな時間でした。? Or is this not what you meant?

I’ll just delete that one because it seems to be not the best choice!


Like 時々クラスはたいへんでしたが、私たちはたくさん勉強して et cetera


I agree with mistakes being part of the feeling you want to convey of trying your best.

Of course, you’d try to fix them as much as you can, but asking someone else to iron all of them out for you seems counter intuitive since you’re not at that level yet.

A perfectly written letter is just a letter, while a letter with one or two mistakes, while still being understandable as yours is, would be a bit more endearing to receive, considering you’re still a beginner, but that’s just my opinion. Unless your teacher was the type who would prefer and appreciate the effort that went into making sure there were no mistakes. I guess there’s a lot of ways to look at it.


Exactly, you got it! Sorry for using linguistic Terms there without explaining it more.


Update if anyone of you cares: She loved it! Success :partying_face:


めでたしめでたし :slight_smile:


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