I wrote an article on learning Japanese. It is good

I don’t have anything to add to what’s already said except you introduced me to the Confusion Guesser extension and THANK YOU for that, this rules.


It was pretty much looking up every other word at first. After about one volume of yotsuba, i started getting better and understood maybe a quarter without needing to search anything. I’m slowly progressing and needing to lookup less and less as time goes on. At this point i can maybe understand like a third of it. But I also just started so I’m sure ill improve past that.


You’re reading Yotsuba? You’re very welcome to join the weekly live reading (though of course the time difference might be difficult depending on where you are). We’re currently on volume 3.


For example, you might say お先に失礼します as おさきにしつれいします, but everyone else reads it as “What an asshole, going home early again.”


I suspect so, but you were using the mobile version and I was using the desktop application. Unless they have updated their platform, I did use it two years ago.

It’s your guide, buddy :sweat_smile:

Sounds like a good idea :smile:

“Time is finite, money not”
Lol what?

Don’t write ‘jap’ in an article, please.
Come on.


You use こんにちは as an example for word that are pronounced different than they are written.
Well, the particle は is always pronounced わ. And in こんにちは, the は is a topic particle, thus pronounced わ. If you look at it written in kanji, it can make it a bit easier, as you’ll see that it is 今日(こんにち)は. The greeting originates from the much longer greeting 今日はご機嫌いかがですか (how are you feeling today?), but the parts following 今日は has been omitted。

Other than that, I can’t think of a single instance where the pronunciation differs from the writing - unless you includ the stylistic difference wether or not to omitt the う-sound in です/ます。


Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.


Other particles. へ pronounced え, を pronounced お, to a certain extent. But outside of particles I have not seen any odd pronunciation changes. Except if you count Japanese often writing さけ, but saying しゃけ for 鮭. Somehow I don’t think this is what OP meant, though.


Just be the government and print more money. I’m sure it’ll be fine.


I’m not going to go over any of the content points as a lot of people have shared opinions.

One thing I will say, from the perspective of somebody who likes writing guides and stuff; just putting a screenshot of your list of scripts when you could have taken the time to create a list with hyperlinks is super low effort.


Since your asking for constructive criticism, here is mine.

Personally I feel that the article tries to put too much information in what one article should really contain. Either that, or it might be too unstructured. While reading I felt like there was a bit of an information overload, and I’m saying that as someone who studies Japanese. I feel like a person who has never studied Japanese is going to be even more overwhelmed.

Because there is so much you try to cover, some of it also falls kind of short and ends up confusing.


Watashi ha tomu desu — I am Tom

ha, desu =?

No where does it say what watashi means, or that tomu means Tom. Then the confusing bullet point ha, desu =? Which doesn’t really mean anything to someone not already learning Japanese.

Some information also seems kind of wrong, for example:


know all Kana by heart
finished the entirety of Rosetta Stone (Japanese)
reviewed the 50 grammar rules of N5 on bunpro
reached at least level 40 in WaniKani
did lots of reading

A checklist for an unsaid level of JLPT. It feels like you mean N5, but then you say reached at least level 40 in WaniKani, which makes no sense. This “goal” needs to be properly defined imo.

In your graph it says that Basic Phrases has a time cost of 1642 hours. That cant be right. In general that time cost graph is rather confusing. I feel this information could be better presented.

Finally, I don’t know if its just the way my computer displays the page, but I feel that if some of images smaller the article would feel less cluttered.


I’m having a hard time understanding what level of Japanese you are trying to get the reader to in a year. Is this a guide to get to N5 in a year?


Great series of posts.

Pretty much confirmed what I’ve come to know in the past year of Japanese, that in order actually converse with someone in a foreign language, your ability in that language must exceed their ability (and by a fair margin) in your language.

Have a fluent or near native level of Japanese and I’d bet people will not switch to English when you speak to them in Japanese.

Why? because the goal of talking to people is communication. If you are speaking in one language and cannot get your point across, and there is a better alternative (i.e. speaking in English), then people are going to switch.

But as that article you linked pointed out, the path to being good enough to talk is measured in the thousands (if not tens of thousands) of hours.

That’s why I have almost no interest in really speaking for a few more years. Getting to enjoy drama, anime and books in Japanese is ok for now… :slight_smile:


I want to say that this is true… But there used to be times for me like this (My Japanese is definitely not near native :joy:!)

Shop person: 何かお探しですか?
Me: えっと、スマホを買い換えようと思ってるんですけど、どれがいいか分かりません。
Shop person: This is popular.
Me: Ah, okay. Could you tell me what are the main differences between this (my phone) and that?
Shop person: Ah, no English…
Me: …(continues in Japanese)…


Maybe you should’ve switched to another random language, such as Catalan


yep, that’s a perfect example to illustrate what I said.

In this case your ability in Japanese surpassed the English ability of the store clerk.

If the store clerk’s ability in English had been higher you would have continued the conversation in English.


My Catalan language knowledge amounts to… the word “aigua”. Hungarian or Korean on the other hand :smiling_imp:


Ah, was looking at it differently :slight_smile: .

following what you had written, if they didn’t speak English, they shouldn’t of changed in the first place :joy:.


Haha yeah, Hungarian would also throw them off track.

But maybe if you want to speak Japanese with people in Japan, just pretend that you don’t understand English at all. That would force both of you to engage in Japanese.