Weird way of memorising stuff could be detrimental in the long run?

There are those exceptions, but I still feel it’s generally easier to remember the あ and え, and る and す base rules. Better to have those in your back pocket and remember the exceptions as exceptions, rather than trying to approach the distinction blindly each time.

You could also just remember the transitivity “flip” listed one post up, but it lines up with the distinction above so frequently that it can make a solid guide for new words.

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This is definitely true of language as a whole. I like to think of it like this: you can’t “learn” a language through study*, you can only collect the pieces. You learn the language when you use the pieces.

*this is not literally true of course. It’s just a way of thinking that I use to keep myself from falling into the trap of perpetual study. You don’t want to consume Japanese language material “yet” because you haven’t learned enough … etc. etc.

Anyway @thatianasatie . げ is shaped like a barrel. You raise a barrel. That’s transitivity. :slight_smile:


This thread seems fun!

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Thanks for the warning!!

I do think though it’s good to know the general rules and then try to get the exceptions, like others have mentioned. Like in german, I can only learn which noun is which gender through the rules: most chemical elements are neutral gender, but some are masculine; alcoholic drinks are usually masculine gender, but beer for some reason is an exception and is neutral, etc. There always is some execption to the rule…

However, it could be really bad to generalize something that has too many exceptions and does not cover the majority of the cases. I remember an american I once met that made plurals of portuguese words ending in “-ão” to “-ões”. But plural ending form of words that end in “-ão” could be also “-ães” or “-ãos”. Unfortunately it’s all very irregular and there really is no main ending. He was always very confused…

The Genki textbook has some reading sections that are level appropriate, for example.

I’ve read so many great things about it, but I’m such a cheap person! :see_no_evil: I feel like with everything that is available on the internet, I should be able to learn without spending much. Wanikani and the HumanJapanese app are the only things I’ve spent money on so far, and I’m really not planning on spending much more (although I know the textbook would probably be more of an investment then “spending”; but I can’t help it, my parents are so cheap as well, I was raised like this!)

I’ve found some free Tadoku books, and a lot more here: (made by students I think) So now my goal is to go through all of the level 0’s!

It’s amazing how easy NHK Easy really does become at a certain point. I’ve now picked up manga I struggled to read in the level 20’s and breezed through them (comparatively!) now.

That’s SO great to hear. I felt really bad when I could only understand a couple of words in NHK easy. I’ll come back to it in a couple months!

Is it bad that I can’t see the barrel? :sweat_smile:

I’ll probably always remember you post though, so there’s my new mnemonic: transitivity with “raising the barrel I can’t see”.

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I think that’s exactly what is supposed to happen! If we always had to go through the mnemonic, we’d be extraordinarily slow. The genius to WaniKani is you can rely on the mnemonic when you don’t remember, but get it correct enough times and eventually your brain just shortcuts to the answer–without you even noticing!

Also, I think for transitives and intransitives, once you hear enough of them you pick up some patterns:
‘a’ sounds before the final ‘u’ sound tend to be intransitive (agAru), and ‘e’ sounds tend to be transitive (agEru). Though there are other general tendencies; like if the last sound is ‘su’ then it is probably transitive (okosu). If the last sound is ‘ku’ it is probably intransitive (tsuku). Tons of exceptions, though.

I suggest you make a big list of transitives and read them all out loud. Do the same for intransitives after. You’ll notice similar sounds/patterns.


That is what I am expecting aswell trusting that I will learn the kanji well enough that it will comeback to me in the moment i read and see them .

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Just, on this note: I personally feel it’s going to be hard to progress past a certain level only utilizing free resources. Genki is a good (though not perfect) comprehensive elementary book, with a useful structure and–more importantly–input exercises. Beyond Genki, there are intermediate textbooks and, my personal preference, at least two lines of really solid JLPT-oriented books that will continue to provide daily learning.

If you’re really invested in learning Japanese, don’t be afraid to actually … invest. Whether it’s a full online tool, a book series, or classes, it shouldn’t be too surprising that the best resources tend to charge. There are lots of useful free supplements online, but that’s all I’ve used them for.


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