My (crazy) Japanese friend taught me how to sound natural ! What do you think about it?

My greetings to all wanikani community and its hard-working members!!

I have been doing Wanikani every days for four years now and I love it. Nevertheless, after years of learning Japanese when I had my first conversation, it was a disaster !! I realized that website and textbooks cannot teach us what the Japanese really use in conversation!
We learn a lot and never know what is used during a conversation for daily life!

This is why I asked a Japanese friend of mine to go through traditional materials like textbooks and to tell us what is used and what is not!

Please watch, subscribe and tell me feedbacks !! I want to use humour to teach to every learner what to remember and what it is ok to forget when trying to speak!

What are the problems you had when trying a conversation?

Thank you!! :heart_eyes:



This is great! :clap:

My only wish is that the English subtitles weren’t burned into the video, so I could first watch without the translation, and only put them on when I didn’t understand :slight_smile:


What a wonderful video! Thank you! Agree about the subtitles, the chance to turn them on and off would be nice, but I’ve subscribed, I’m looking forward to seeing more, and I wish you all the best in building your channel! Thank you so much for such a fun video!


Thank you for these great feedacks ! I did not think about having no need of the subtitles ! Don’t hesitate to tell me, if you have some topic you want us to speak about :blush: !

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Great job! I commented directly on Youtube. I feel this video is very useful. I’m not sure about your English subtitle process, but if you start with a Japanese script first, it would be useful to include that as a caption option in addition it English. Not asking you to do more work, but if you had it, I could see that also being useful for following along for those who want to forgo the English.

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Summary from the end of the video in text format:

Informal greetings that are actually used

  • Greeting: おはよう・よっ・おまたせ・最近どう?
    • Masculine: うっす・おいっす
  • Parting: じゃっ・また

Gestures are also really important!

Formal greetings that are actually used

  • Greeting: おはようございます・こんにちは・こんばんは
  • Parting: 失礼します・お疲れさまでした

さようなら is not used, except as a solemn “farewell”.


Here is the image, but your text will be more useful for the people to copy/paste :heart_eyes:


We will soon add the Japanese subtitles on Youtube, possibly to put them above the english one for this time :pensive:


This was really good and helpful, thank you! :smile:
I suibscribed!

I was inviting my Japanese coworker for lunch and said おつかれさま. Imagine how awkward he might feel x(


When I took a trip to Japan last year, the biggest challenge by far was listening comprehension. Speed of native speech in general, plus if you’ve got background noise or other conversations going on or what have you. Super important to practice.

That and nerves / not knowing if you’re going to be understood. A feeling of “Okay I know I’m making Japanese sounds but I may well be speaking gibberish…” Then you draw a blank on what you want to say and stumble.

For me, starting small and working up helped quite a bit. Even something as simple as 「一枚をください」or 「大人一枚をください」getting a ticket to enter a park or whatever. It’s a small victory and confidence booster, and you can go from there.

Beyond that I think it’s critical to practice actively using a language, or you just won’t be able to think of the right words when you want to.


I think sayonara is an interesting one. I definitely agree that most people hardly ever use it, but for example my girlfriend uses it fairly frequently (with a touch of irony?). For example, she will use it if we’re separating at an onsen to go to the men/women baths. Generally, it seems to be used when you expect something “significant” to happen between now and the next time you see that person. Depending on your state of mind, getting clean and relaxed at an onsen may well be significant enough…


One of my Japanese teachers also says さようなら sometimes after the end of a lesson when I walk out the door, even though we always see each other again a few days later. I suppose it just depends on the person; which also means that you can’t rely on just one person telling you „nobody uses that word“ :smile:


Very interesting feedback thank ! Actually, Kei highlights that it is not so common among Japanese who know each other. Maybe some characters would use them because of drama/ irony like your girl friend since it has more power because less use.
The point of Kei was I believe less about “I will never hear it” but more like “don’t think it is good bye it is closer from farewell, and not so commonly”. The idea is to give an insight not a lecture, maybe we should underline this point :ok_hand:


Very good point ! I would use rather “また来週”, “おお疲れ様です” in this situation based on my experience. But you are right, every words is used at some extent. Actually this is funny, did you notice he said “sayounara” at the end of the video because “konnichiwa” and “sayounara” are always used for television.
We don’t want to go too much into detail, but rather giving in a funny way main point for natural conversation. We cannot replace (but complete!) a real teacher of course ! :muscle:


Thank you for watching! As Betty says Japanese people rarely use “sayonara” among friends. It is used a lot by teacher, TV announcer, Youtuber or someone else who tell something (ex. lesson) to many people. Its nuance is so polite, so sometimes I say it to my friends as a joke. The way to use it depends on people, but I rarely use it, so I tell that in our video. This feedback is interesting to me too. Thanks!


This was really cute, I hope to see more content in the near future!!!


This was awesome and informative, I never knew about 最近どう? as a casual alternative to お元気ですか? I subbed and hope you guys release more content soon! I also echo the sentiment of hiding Eng subs unless turned on, if it’s not too much trouble!


The english subs cannot be turned out and completely replaced by Japanese subs now :weight_lifting_woman:
We work a lot for our wanikanians satisfaction haha :triumph:


New content about saying YES with nuances
When we did the video, I did not know about 'それな’but know I hear it everytime everywhere that’s crazy…
Summary here:

full content here