My biggest problem with Japanese

What is the hardest thing about Japanese for you? I am a native English speaker, and the only foreign language I’ve studied is Spanish. So I automatically want to stress the next to the last syllable in Japanese which makes that syllable sound like it has a long vowel! I guess that will improve with more audio practice, but for now I find myself doing it so often.


I’m autistic and I have a lot of trouble with the myriad things that Japanese people don’t say! But a native speaker recently told me that even native speakers miscommunicate a lot because of that, which made me feel a bit better.


That seems to be a common trait among English speakers, so you’re not alone there. Japanese loanwords in English often put the stress on the middle syllable - osaka, sushimi, tsunami, and so forth - and that trend seems to carry over to actual Japanese. I remember my class tutor pointing out that I’d pronounced 車 as kuruma. And one reason I’m not a huge fan of dubbed anime is what they do to people’s names - Akane, Makoto, et cetera.

Japanese is spoken with no stress accent at all, but until you can get the hang of that, you can approximae it by putting the stress on the first syllable instead - osaka, sushimi, tsunami, Fake it 'til you make it. :slightly_smiling_face:


Pardon my ignorance, but what is phonetics if not where to place the accent correctly?

Passive, causative and causative-passive forms are a source of endless frustration for me personally.


I’m… uh… not at all sure where phonetics came into the conversation, but all I can say is “lots of things”.


My biggest problem with Japanese is that it’s not fluently spoken by me yet.


I lived in Asakusa in Tokyo for a few months and it’s a big tourist area, heard the same story over and over from people who were trying to get directions to Asakuusa and no one knew where they were talking about. I’d try to teach them to say it like Asak-sa so they might have a hope of being understood if needing to ask a local for directions again.

It’s definitely hard to switch your brain from placing stress where it would naturally go in a language you are used to. I think when starting out, reading in hiragana as soon as possible helps with that, you see a word in romanji you want to pronounce it the English way. If you read ひ ろ し ま you would say it like Hi-ro-shi-ma not like Hero-sheema (cringe).


No kanji subtitles in irl listening practice :sob: :joy:

Spoken words sound so familiar but don’t click in my head well without remembering the kanji for them.


yeah i find myself constantly going back to my notes because I know that I know it, but when I hear it it just doesn’t make sense.


Verb conjugation, particularly in their more complex forms. Even more so if there’s passive or causative forms involved. Also, mixing up similar grammar points.

Ugh… My biggest problem is definitely how fun it is. I mean there are so many more productive uses of my time!



Learning a language is productive! Sure it might not make you rich, but language learning is good for your overall mental health, and besides, if its fun its not a waste of time.


Yes, please don’t feel guilty for learning a new language! It keeps the brain active and it feels rewarding. I do think I could be utilizing my time better… by challenging myself to go even deeper into language learning :sweat_smile:


The feeling of huge progress then having the rug pulled from under me when I decide to watch/read/listen to something that interested me only to find it was completely outside of my level.


oh my goodness this drives me up the wall, too…


These are such a danger to get mixed up, too… :sob:


same here, these are confusing for me

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Too many words. How about we cut it down by like 40 per cent?


The hardest thing for me is the absence of ‘to be’ verb. おいしい is its own sentence. It does not need です .

Almost 5 years in and I still feel like something is missing in my sentence if it ends with an ‘i’ adjective

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