Is it weird to say it like this?


Is it weird to say that you are a student of Japanese this way? Would it be better to say it like this?:


What about just 私は日本語を勉強します。
Unless studying Japanese is your full-time occupation and you want to make that explicit.


I want to express it in a way like the English: I’m a student of Japanese, or I’m learning Japanese. I was told that the first sentence I used was a bit unnatural. Since my grammar is very basic I tried to put some things I already learned into saying that I study Japanese :slight_smile: (Not as a full-time occupation).

私は日本語を勉強します。is probably the better way to say it, to express what I mean :slight_smile:

Thank you!

If you want to make it known that you are a student without making it sound unnatural, you could just say 大学で日本語を勉強しています。The 大学で just shows where you are studying Japanese (大学 = university, で is just a particle for marking the location in this case). 勉強します vs 勉強しています is like the difference between “I study Japanese” and “I am currently studying Japanese” (not a big deal, especially not if you are a beginner, but if you are far enough along to know the second form, that would probably be better)

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Thanks a ton!

the で particle is something I havn’t studied yet, but now I know It’s a location marker, good to know for later! (I will probably learn more particles soon, when I’m past the most basic ones) Thanks a lot for listing both the forms as well :slight_smile:

I probably went a bit over my head in trying to write a sentence that would work in this case, Guess I have to stick with writing more basic sentences (note: basic for me) until I progress a bit :smiley:

In any case, thanks a lot for the reply!

(A little bit after I wrote this the particle で poped up, currently going through Chapter 3 in Genki ^^)

Also, if you’re looking for “learn” instead of “study”, I think you could say 私は日本語を学んでいます. I’ve seen Japanese people on HelloTalk say that (except with 英語 of course).

I don’t know if this is correct, but I think of 勉強 as the act of studying (like for a test) and 学ぶ as the general concept of learning or studying something (like a language). Someone correct me if that is not the right interpretation.

Also note that in WaniKani, 学ぶ has a similar context sentence to what I put:

I’m learning Japanese by self studying.

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Generally speaking, monolingual dictionaries will give 勉強する as one of the definitions of 学ぶ and vice versa. Though there are some caveats to their usage, which you can dig into in said dictionaries.

Good to know. I’ll try to read through native definitions of each.

I tried using 学ぶ with a native speaker once and she told me it’s only really used formally or in writing. Having said that, I’ve found some words are more or less commonly used depending on the speaker.

Here’s a video on 勉強する vs 学ぶ vs 習う.

She has a good set of beginners grammar videos as well.

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します sounds like you’re saying you will study. If you want to say that you are studying Japanese (as in you have started studying and are continuing to do so) it would be 私わ日本語を勉強してます。

I know that that it can mean “I will study Japanese.”, but I thought that the 〜ます ending could also be used for continuously ongoing actions, so that this sentence could also be translated as “I study Japanese” (it’s something I do on a regular basis). I figure whichever meaning is intended would be clear from context.

Just my two cents, but you might want to let go of trying to “express it in a way like the English” because often you will find it just not how it’s done. Different language, different way of thinking, different grammar, and so on.


@Saruko I agree with what @SayakaM said. If you want to say you are actively studying Japanese, 勉強しています is preferable to 勉強します.

ます’s primary function is to make your sentences polite, attaches itself to non-past tense verbs, and is part of 丁寧語 (ていねいご, honorific speech). The distinction I was making was between the different conjugations of 勉強: し and して. し would be for when one is going to do something (can often imply one hasn’t started it), and して implies one has started it and is continuing to do the action.

If you wanted to say I am studying Japanese but in more casual speech for example, you would say 私わ日本語を勉強してる。Even more casual would remove the わ and を, and shorten it to 私日本語勉強してるよ. In this case though, if I was going to begin studying Japanese it would change to 私日本語勉強するよ。This particular kind of shortening is more often heard in casual speech (like something I would say to my mother). The よ is actually optional but is often used because it’s a sentence-ending particle.

Hope this helps - ended up going into more detail than intended!

Would you say that using the non-past tense in this case is incorrect, or just that ている or ています is preferable?

Dictionary of Basic Japanese Sentence Patterns says, “The present and future tenses are both expressed by the masu form. Without context it is impossible to say whether arukimasu means “I walk” or “I will walk.” . . . The informal present and future tenses are expressed by the plain form: aruku.”

I’m not 100% sure I understand what your question is, but I’ll give the best answer I can think of. For the case of 私わ日本語を勉強してます, the use of non-past tense is correct if you wish to talk about the present or future. If you want to say you studied Japanese, you would change to 私わ日本語を勉強しました. ます is used for non-past tense and ました is used to indicate past tense in polite everyday Japanese. The dictionary is also correct, and based on the context of the OP saying that they wish to express that they are a student of Japanese (which I infer means they have already started to study Japanese and continue to do so), in Japanese it would be most natural to use 勉強してます to reflect that.

Does that answer your question? I’m also open to corrections. This all based on grammar knowledge acquired growing up speaking Japanese with family, but I’ve lived primarily out of the country so also never formally had schooling on the grammar (or learned how to read properly ^^").

Well, if you have grown up speaking Japanese, you probably know better than I do…

Haha well, I still may not be explaining it in the best way. At this point, the family I could have asked these questions to have all passed away. I have a sense of what ‘sounds right’ per se, but haven’t studied all the rules behind it and don’t want to pretend I know everything. I’d like to help people in any way I can though.

Absolutely, It’s just that very basic sentences can be more or less similar to how It’s phrased in English (with the exception that the verb comes at the end) One of the reason I said that I probably got a bit over my head in structuring the sentence with proper grammar in this case.

What I mean with trying to express it as the “English counterpart” was just to help the others to see what I wanted to say with the sentence (with proper Japanese grammar) and not especially a complete translation from the English sentence that I wrote.

But, yes I fully agree :slight_smile:

Not to be “that guy” but shouldn’t it be は and not わ :wink:


Haha YES! That’s a mistake my mom used to always correct. I was staring at it before posting thinking something wasn’t right. Really need to get on remembering that leech

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