How to learn casual Japanese?

Hi guys, I want to start learning verb conjugations and I was about to start learning formal but then it dawned on me that I won’t need that until much later. So I’m just wondering if you guys have any recommendations for learning casual speech? How did you go about learning conjugations?

use a grammar textbook. genki teaches conjugations and there are even online resources like Tae Kim’s guide. to practice conjugations there are conjugation drills online, too.

but before that, I don’t know where exactly you are in your grammar studies but assuming you haven’t started yet don’t directly start with verb conjugations. learn basic grammar first and then move on to these. textbooks and YouTube videos will teach you the basics and you’ll eventually get to conjugating verbs (which isn’t going to take that long to reach depending on your pace)


Organic Japanese with Cure Dolly on Youtube. She has the best explanations of how Japanese grammar actually works I’ve ever encountered. She also doesn’t go into Desu&Masu until lesson 17 of her grammar course by which point you’ll have learned all the ways to change verbs.

For actual practice I recommend this site as you can customize what it quizzes you on, including if it’s polite form or not.
Katsu: practise Japanese conjugation - 活用


I recommend a grammar textbook too. Videos can be fine for ad hoc things you’re struggling with but sometimes it’s helpful to read it in black and white and take your own notes.

Also, for when you get more advanced – Miku from Miku Real Japanese recently launched a casual Japanese podcast.

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If you just mean “plain / not です・ます” Japanese, then as others have said, textbooks will cover that stuff.

If you mean actual casual Japanese that real people use in conversation, then you should listen to real Japanese as much as you can. Variety shows and talk shows can be a good way to expose yourself to this register of Japanese if you don’t have any other way.


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