How can I recognize words separately easier?

For all of you who read in Japanese, how are you able to tell when a word ends?

Because I can’t figure this out, I end up not recognizing some words in Katakana and even just now someone replied to me in Japanese on Twitter and on my first read through, I somehow read ありがとうございます wrong and didn’t recognize it because I jumbled it with their previous sentence. Now something like this is relatively easy, I just had to reread it to get it, however when it’s a word I simply don’t know, that now makes things that much more complicated because I will never be able to read it in a natural tone, and just throws out my chance at guessing what it meant.

I just can’t get used to the fact that there are no spaces, do I just have to know more vocab or is there something that can help me?



It’ll break down sentences for you


If you copy and past a sentence in Jisho ( it will also breakdown the sentence for you and then you can also click at the individual words for their meaning. With time, it will become easier and easier (as you learn more grammar and vocabulary) to break down the sentences.



(And it’s actually easier in Japanese than in English because the kanji often (but not always) help indicate where a word begins and ends. So long as you know enough words and practice of course.)


Thank you both! I tried to use it with the sentence that I was replied with in Japanese. In particular I was looking at 見てくださり嬉しいです

DeepL gave me “I’m glad you saw” but with both websites, くださり is the part that confuses me in translation. It appears to mean “To give”. So trying to translate it myself I would have thought something like “I’m happy you were able to see”

Is my interpretation wrong?

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Learning grammar also helps a lot with parsing sentences. くださる (like くれる) can be attached to a verb in て-form to indicate that the verb was done for the speaker. This makes 見てくださり basically “saw (for my benefit)”, where the part I put in parentheses is often left out of English translations. Further, after て-form of くださる (again like くれる) you can put things like 嬉しい, ありがとう, etc. to indicate your feelings or thanks for that action being done for you. In more formal situations, the て-form can be replaced with the verb stem, in this case くださり. Hence, the whole thing loosely translates to “I’m happy that you saw (for my benefit)”.

In short, it becomes a lot easier to parse sentences when you know the grammar.


Oh wow, that’s a huge revelation to me. Thank you for the detailed explanation! I guess grammar just moved up on my priority list.


I would also caution against using machine translation much beyond getting a very high-level gist of something especially when your grammar knowledge isn’t enough to be able to verify its output as accurate. In the end, it’s all still relying on a machine-learned statistical model to generate output.

I know people love DeepL, but I routinely see it still give wrong translations, omits parts of sentences and give a gloss that tends to lose some or quite a bit of the nuance of the original Japanese in favor of trying to make a more natural sounding translations. In this case it was close enough, but beware that just because you get a glossy-sounding output that that doesn’t mean it’s accurate.


I’ve been impressed with Cure Dolly’s video’s. Not her voice though, that makes me want to resort to violence, but her explanations are pretty good, and you can watch it with subtitles.


Haha, it is an odd voice.

But thanks, seems like they are good videos, I’ll be watching them.


Nospecialtrick. Justkeepreadinganditgetseasierovertime. Noticehowyoucanreadthesesentencesbecauseyouaresofamiliarwithenglishwords?

Also a lot of japanese looks like gibberish if you don’t know the grammar underneath the hood. The more grammar you learn, the more you’ll start to be able to make sense of where words begin and end.

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In addition, it may help to practice reading materials for kids. They often leave a small space between the words, so that could help you get used to seeing how they usually end. Just establishing more ending patterns in your brain.


This is a good idea, but also be aware that many baby books are entirely in Hiragana, which (at least personally) makes things much harder than just trying to figure out the separate words.

As people have said, the more you practice the easier it gets. Just pick up a book and start picking out the words! It’s gonna be tough but it’s magical to watch yourself get faster.

If you haven’t joined the book club yet, they just started a new one on Nov 13 :slight_smile:


It can be good practice though if your focus has been kanji heavy :wink:


Practice and time when it comes to reading. Plus just progressing with your kanji, vocabulary and grammar will make you improve as well.

It helps having a variety of resources and materials to look at. Even if you’re not really planning on reading them, knowing how it is structured and looks like can be helpful.

wow @DIO-Berry, way to call me out XD


Teehee, I love doing kanji studies and only kanji studying, but I only made a significant progress boost when I got into JoJo and started practicing listening and casual speech a lot more.

Also, sohfeijws;opfi I need to memorize your username. I forgot that was you


LMAO yeah that’s my next step. BTW we should totally do listening/speaking practice together!!

hhahahhahahha hello hello I am a mysterious little ditto :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: You can never be sure it’s me~
(to be fair though my discord icon is different than my icon here)


You got this! I’d love to! We could center it around a video/reading or just talk. Do you have any long commute drives? I find it helps me concentrate to talk while driving oddly.

Speaking of Discord, we can always move the convo over there too :slight_smile:


The Let’s Go Pikachu/Evee games for the Switch do this if you have the language set to Japanese

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