Improving practical Japanese


Recently I’ve been trying to improve on my writing and speaking skills in Japanese, but unfortunately I realized I can basically only form really basic sentences, making every conversation/journal entry boring and simple. I’d like to know if anyone here has had the same thing, and how you managed to step it up with the grammar level?

I thought maybe I just have to learn more complicated grammar(N2), which I’m doing, but these ones are often so complicated that I’m not sure when to use them and how to make it still sound natural.

So the next question is also: How do I find out what is natural, slightly more advanced level grammar and vocabulary that is used a lot by Japanese speakers?

Japanese natives can have conversations that are plenty complicated without focusing on N2 grammar. To me, N3 and below is the foundation of Japanese. You can say anything you want with the grammar covered there.

When you get to N2 and above, you’re dealing with grammar that can be expressed using simpler grammar, but it is restricted in how it can be used. So it implies something about the situation when you use it, because of that restricted nature. Of course, that means it’s also easier to misuse it.

Why don’t you look at real conversations and casual written Japanese and analyze the grammar there.


That makes a lot of sense. I think my N3 and below grammar level is lacking too, so before N2 grammar I should definitely freshen that up first.

Looking at and listening to casual is a really good idea. Apart from places like twitter, do you or does anyone else have recommendations for finding casual Japanese?

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You don’t need N2 grammar in daily life. N3 makes up more than 90% of what people use on a daily basis. Instead of JLPT levels, I’d go through whatever grammar resource you have available and work it back to back. Lang-8 used to be good for this, no idea if the site is still there.

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