I'm seeing all the Japanese I am learning!

In the grand scheme of things I am not too far along yet. But I just started level 9 and and whoa, I am already seeing results ready web pages. I converted spotify.me to Japanese (do so after you scroll to the bottom) and I could read the entire header!

Felt really great. My goal is to hit level 30 ASAP and then only do reviews while I buckle down hard core on grammar and ensuring I really remember the 80% used vocab/kanji I have learned.

But grasping what I see now is really an incredible feeling. I’m SLOW at reading, but that will get better quick.

Just wanted to share,
anyone else have this kind of “AHA” moment? It’s making me want to study harder!


Yes, I see things I can read all the time on TV Japan and in graded readers. It is very exciting and motivating!


I dont have it too often as I’m a much lower level but there are words that pop up in my lingodeer lessons or I will hear it in an anime and I’m like WANI KANI TAUGHT ME THIS! It really helps when you are slogging through vocab and feel like you are getting no where


I recently remembered my first such moment from when I was just starting: ah, the nostalgia


I am at level 9 now. What does above sentence mean?

Entrance of energy?
This is all i can translate (not using google).


りからはじめましょう = Let’s start from the favorites


You learned 気に入る at level 4. Wanikani said, “to be pleased with” but in this case it’s “favorite”. (I forget the grammar term for whats happening, but you’ve seen in wanikani a few times I am sure about how it changes a bit)

から - means from

始める you learn at level 10, but I’ve come across this verb a lot and just remembered it.

ましょう - its's like… “Let’s” so its saying “Let’s start”…

edit - and when you see お before a noun, it’s just polite / respectful or something like that. You usually see it before tea お茶, temple お寺, and plenty of other cases.


I mere level 8 with such knowledge… :fearful:

I must continue training…


If 気に入る is a verb, 気に入 is that verb as a noun - “pleasure with something”, let’s say. Nominalisation I guess you might call it? Basically the -masu form for many verb can be treated like a noun :slight_smile:

More examples off the top of my head from WK:

  • 泳ぐ is “to swim”, 泳ぎ is “swimming”
  • 話す is “to speak”, 話し is “story” or “speech”
  • 笑う is “to laugh”, 笑い is “laugh”
  • 戦う is “to battle”, 戦い is “battle”

Perfect explanation. Thanks for the help.

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And it is called the 連用形、continuative form, or masu-stem


Your examples are good but as someone above mentioned it’s a little different than just being a noun counterpart in this case. 気に入り differs slightly from 気に入る in that 気に入り specifically implicates a ‘favourite,’ while 気に入る means more generally to like something, much like 好き.

気に入っている歌 means “A song that (I) like.”
気に入りの歌 means “A favourite song.”


Thanks for this! So generally speaking the 連用形-の version implies a more permanent state and a 動詞-ている version implies something less permanent? Still wrapping my head around how you’d use one or the other.

For me, literally nothing sticks until I see it in the wild. I can study all the vocab I want, but it doesn’t actually stay memorized until I read it or hear it used somewhere. Having this sort of progress is so, so essential for me… and I’m glad you could find it too!


I’m level 9 - I could read the first half (おきにいるから), but not the second half… I have not seen the kanji 始 in lessons yet?
I could kind of guess what it could be by the surrounding hiragana, but that’s not being able to read. Lol.

This, to me, is the biggest motivation to keep on pushing through! I’m only at level 5 but the amount of vocab I can use with my Japanese students, and the the amount of kanji I recognise in class and on tv is fantastic. It’s not enough to completely understand what’s going on, but there’s nothing more satisfying than recognising kanji and context :muscle:


How does the continuative form work compared to standard nominalization? I’ve always wondered how this really works…

How is 泳ぎ swimming different from 泳ぐこと swimming? Can it only be used in certain constellations? Also, I think I’ve seen that form as sentence connector, just like the て form, so when does one use one or the other?

Uhh, so many questions…

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It’s mostly a question of convention as to which form you use when. I’m still getting to grips with grammar here so anyone who knows better is free to jump in and correct me.

泳ぎ is a special form of the word 泳ぐ - specifically the
連用形れんようけい form. Japanese uses 連用形 to make polite verbs (ending in ~ます, ~ません, ~ました, etc) - 連用形 is often called the -masu form or stem form. It’s also used to make the honorific/humble 敬語けいご forms of verbs.

  • 泳ぎます = I swim, you swim, he swims (polite)
  • 泳ぎになります = You/they swim, he/she swims (honorific)
  • 泳ぎします = I swim (humble)

連用形 is used to create compounds too!

  • 泳ぎ始める = (gradually) start swimming
  • 泳ぎだす = suddenly start swimming (with the implication of uncontrolledness)
  • 泳ぎ終わる = finish swimming
  • 食べやすい = easy to eat
  • 食べにくい = hard to eat
  • 食べやがる = eat to the dismay and offense of the speaker (やがる also takes て form)

The 連用形 form is also used as a conjunctive form in places like newspaper headlines for brevity’s sake. In everyday speech/writing, you’d use V-て form for this.

連用形 is also a stand-alone noun form for some verbs, like 終わり, or お替わりかわり which means “(honourable prefix)-replacement” but in practice means something like “another drink please” once you’ve finished your cafe mocha. (Penguin in しろくまカフェ says this a lot.) The thing is that by convention not every verb has a 連用形 noun (according to this page) so you’d have to specifically learn which do and which don’t.

泳ぐこと… (or 泳ぐ…) is a grammatical structure which turns verbs and sentences into noun phrases. Unlike the 連用形 noun form, you can use this with any verb or sentence you like - although the sentence has to use plain verbs and can’t have a は particle - が is fine.

What’s a noun phrase? Think of it as a word or words which can function the way a noun does in a sentence, identifying a thing or things. For example:

  • dogs
  • the dog
  • a big dog
  • that big smelly brown dog with mange and fleas that always barked at me when I went past its house in the morning on my way to that job where I had to paint pupils on the eyes of small wooden dolls

All of the above are noun phrases because they identify a thing. That last one is long but it’s still identifying a thing or things (in a very rambly way). And so we can use grammar to talk about swimming, forgetting and even watching Polar Bear Cafe.

  • 泳いだ = I swam (past plain form of 泳ぐ).
  • 泳いだことがあります = I’ve been swimming before.
  • コテスローに泳いだことがあります = I’ve been swimming at Cottesloe before.
  • 宿題しゅくだいわすれた = I forgot my homework
  • 宿題を忘れたことがありません = I’ve never forgotten my homework.
  • 友達としろくまカフェを見ている = (I am) watching Polar Bear Cafe with friends.
  • 友達としろくまカフェを見ているのは楽しみます = It’s fun watching Polar Bear Cafe with friends.

According to the Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar (p320), の is used more for concrete and perceptible events with the implication of emotional closeness (swimming is something you can watch), while こと is for abstract and imperceptible events with the implication of emotional distance. That said, there’s particular phrases which demand the use of こと instead of の and vice versa, e.g for AはBだ (or Bです) you have to use こと (DBJG p319).

Here’s some examples:

  • 泳ぐことがありません = I’ve never been swimming before.
  • 泳ぐことが嫌いですよ = I hate swimming.
  • 泳ぐことができますか = Are you able to swim?
  • 静江が泳ぐのをみていた = (I) was watching my friend Shizue swim (DBJG p195, needs の because it’s directly perceived)

Because 泳ぐ has a 連用形 stand-alone noun form, you can say this…

  • 泳ぎが嫌いだよ = I hate swimming.

… but I don’t know if it would sound natural or literary or not.

Hope that helps!


Yeah! I noticed this when I started watching more Japanese TV. There’s SO much text on the screen during shows (especially comedy/variety shows.) I was really surprised just how much of it I immediately recognized. It’s like the fog clouds in my brain parted, and I could see… words. Obviously it’s a long journey to actually read anything fast enough to understand it while casually watching, but it’s a start! I’ve really fallen in love with Japanese television, though. I particularly like Gaki no Tsukai and GameCenter CX.

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Wow, lots to digest. Thanks for the great writeup!

BTW your commute and your job suck.