Looking for resources to grasp spoken-written style or 'manga Japanese'

I just finished watching this video by the Japanese language learning creator ToKini Andy where he evaluates the manga Yotsuba to! in terms of how beneficial it is for Japanese study.

He mentions how Yotsuba to! features quite a bit of slang and writing things out like the characters pronounce it instead of how its actually written. He also talks about how there is a lot of informal versions of formal grammar used throughout the series.

Examples from his video:

  1. しょうがないなぁー written as しゃーねぇなぁー
  2. なんでタバコをすっているんだ ?written as なんでタバコすってんだ?

This got me thinking. I’m currently studying for the JLPT N2 and despite being able to read news articles, light novels, opinion pieces etc. fairly comfortably, I still struggle quite a bit when reading manga. It is precisely what ToKini Andy references in the video that I struggle with - parsing sentences written as they are spoken and recognising contracted grammar.

I was just wondering if anybody knows of any resources - guides, books, websites etc. that focus specifically on this kind of ‘Manga Japanese’ or written forms of spoken Japanese?


This page covers a lot of them:

Depending on your learning style, the best teacher could be to start reading a bit of manga and look up what you don’t know as you go. The most common ones will be easy to get down.


Also this one:


This is extremely useful! Thank you so much for sharing. Yes that is what I had been doing up until now but since I was searching fairly often, it was taking away a lot of the joy from reading. Having this guide will help a lot :grinning:

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Thank you so much! Will definitely be referencing this in the future!

There’s also a short chapter on most common contractions near the end of Tae Kim’s guide - it helped me to get started :slight_smile:

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Most contractions only follow a few simple rules, maybe stacked on top of each other. Memorizing them doesn’t sound efficient, I’d say the best thing you can do is read a ton, and when you see a sentence you simply don’t understand, you can stick it into ichi.moe and it will certainly tell you, what’s going on, even if there are contractions happening.


Yes, and that’s why I found the aforementioned Tae Kim’s chapter so useful, since it explains some of those rules - not just giving a list of contractions :slight_smile: