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How Japanese leaves out the subject in conversation photo
Nov 4, 2019study
How Japanese leaves out the subject in conversation

Japanese conversation has the added benefit of making it difficult to eavesdrop on peoples’ conversations and understand immediately what they’re talking about. Japanese people can listen to a conversation, but without the background knowledge, even they might struggle to work out what it’s about if the speakers are being careful not to mention the subject of their conversation.

Photo for Japanese cushion words used in office
Oct 21, 2019study
Cushion Words: Useful Japanese Expressions for Introducing Awkward Topics

The Japanese language has many useful expressions that can be used to make otherwise awkward topics less blunt. In Japanese these are called クッション言葉 (kusshon kotoba) which literally means "cushion words".

How to make learning Japanese easier, rather than harder
Oct 16, 2019study
How to make learning Japanese easier, rather than harder

In the beginning, most language learners are likely to have just a few hours of regular practice each week and will continue to use the majority language of their home region in daily life, such as for study, work and socializing.

Learning languages photo
Oct 7, 2019study
Finding Your Niche

Learning Japanese on your own is at heart a question of motivation. Maintaining that motivation is the primary key to success, and one powerful way is to find some element of the culture that will give you a payoff: something that you flat out like.

Improve Your Pronunciation with Japanese Tongue-Twisters
Sep 23, 2019study
Improve Your Pronunciation with Japanese Tongue-Twisters

Tongue-twisters, those amusing expressions so artfully designed for maximum difficulty, are perfect for practicing pronunciation.

Focused Reading for Language Study
Sep 9, 2019study
Focused Reading for Language Study

Language is a complex thing involving many processes, and learning a second (or third, or fourth...) language as an adult means balancing your need for fast acquisition with the demands for appropriate, accurate language use.

How to Study Kanji - Part 2
Aug 19, 2019study
How to Study Kanji - Part 2
This is Part 2 of a two-part article offering practical advice for studying kanji. In Part 1 we looked at how important context is for learning kanji. In Part 2...
Studying Japanese Through Manga
Aug 5, 2019study
Studying Japanese Through Manga: An Interview with Kumar Sivasubramanian – Part 2

This is the second part of an interview with professional manga translator, Kumar Sivasubramanian. In this part, our writer, Michael Lambe, asks Kumar why manga is such a great study resource and which titles he recommends.

Getting Past the Intermediate Plateau
Jul 22, 2019study
Getting Past the Intermediate Plateau

It happens to so many. You get started learning a language and those first few months feel like a rocket taking off. The jump from zero to anything feels like pure success—where once Japanese looked like a mysterious jumble of signs and pictograms, you start to make sense of it.