Beginner Japanese

So here goes my first attempt translating from Korean! For Krizzia ♥


Grammar: Pronoun の

Today, I want to look at pronoun の. Just when you thought の was only possessive, it changes its function to something else. But, what is Japanese without a twist? Pronoun の replaces a noun when it’s clear what noun you’re referring to. It roughly translates to “one,” as in “I want the blue one.”

How to Use Pronoun の

い-adjective + Noun →  い-adjective + の
な – adjective + Noun → な – adjective + の

Where の refers back to the stated noun.

Kanji: 黒い自転車は高いです。赤いのも高いです。
Kana: くろいじてんしゃはたかいです。あかいのもたかいです。
Romaji: Kuroi jitensha wa takai desu. Akai no mo takai desu.
English:  The black bike is expensive. The red one is also expensive.

(の = 自転車)

Kanji: このシャッツが古いし、新しいのを買います。
Kana: このシャッツがふるいし、あたらしいのをかいます。
Romaji: Kono shattsu ga furui shi, atarashii no wo kaimasu.
English: Because this shirt is old, I will buy a new one.

(の = シャッツ)

This pronoun can also be reduced in a Noun の Noun situation, where the second noun is dropped. But as mentioned before, this is only when the noun you are talking about is clear.

Kanji: 財布は誰のですか。
Kana: さいふはだれのですか。
Romaji: Saifu wa dare no desu ka.
English: Who’s wallet is this?

Kana: ジョンのですか。
Romaji: Jon no desu ka.
English: Is it John’s?

Kana: いいえ、ジェニファーのです。
Romaji: Iie, Jenifaa no desu.
English: No, it’s Jennifer’s.

Kanji: バスク料理のレストランの方がアメリカ料理のより好きです。
Kana: バスクりょうりのレストランのほうがアメリカりょうりのよりすきです。
Romaji: Basuku ryouri no resutoran no hou ga Amerika ryouri no yori suki desu.
English: I like Basque restaurants more than American ones.


Nadine Nihongo Genki 1 and 2 Kanji Wall Chart


If you’re studying using the Genki Textbook Series, I have created this wall chart free for you to download, print and use!

It includes all Kanji from lessons 3-23 (Genki 1 and 2).

It is A4 size, but if you want a larger copy feel free to request one in my inbox.

Download link [HERE]. Enjoy!


btw language resource-wise I personally think the most underrated language resource on the internet is wikipedia

like, if you’re learning a language and don’t want to pore through an entire book or watch an entire movie or sift through heavy news articles with tricky wording, a fun thing to do is find a wikipedia article about something you’re genuinely really interested in - be that a book, movie, celebrity, organisation, or whatever - and see if that’s available in your target language

read it, try to understand it, make a list of words connected to that article

it’s fun and it’s free and wiki articles tend to be quite light so I mean it’s just a really good resource to be using when you’re stuck on how to progress with your reading skills

Grammar: Making Comparisons

This lesson covers how to make comparisons in Japanese. I was never good at them, honestly, so I want to take the time to cover them.

Unlike English, Japanese adjectives do not have great or greater than conjugations. In English, you have to add either the -er or -ier ending to an adjective or place “more” in front of it. Japanese is not like that all! Since you’re comparing nouns, the adjective really doesn’t matter. The focus is placed on the nouns in comparative sentences, so we must add something to these nouns to draw a comparison.

How to make a comparative sentence

In a comparative sentence, A and B can be either a verb or noun. If A is a noun, の must be used in front of 方が. If A is a verb, do not use の.

A + の方が + B + より + Adjective/Verb with Adverbs/Noun with Modifiers

A is more __________ than B.

方が (ほうが) - is more

より - than

Keep reading

Basic grammar: です (desu) and は (wa)

I thought I might take a stab at writing a Japanese grammar lesson for beginners. This one is about how to say that something IS something else, and includes an explanation of the “topic particle” は (wa) with silly badly drawn pictures and everything. Fancy!

No experience needed, but I’ll also try to give you a little practice with the Japanese writing system, so I’ll give the pronunciation in the Latin alphabet the first time something shows up, but let you read it in Japanese if it keeps showing up a lot.

Let’s get started!

Keep reading


The Japanese counter 個 (こ)

Hiragana ひらがな revision, and aisatsu あいさつ part 1

As I mentioned last week, when first stepping foot inside a Japanese classroom you will be learning the vowels in hiragana ひらがな. Do you remember them? We’ll do a little test…

あ - ?

い - ?

う - ?

え - ?

お - ? 

If you can’t remember them, make sure to check back to the post I mentioned - this stuff is vital - you can’t forget it! And what good is memorising what these characters are if you can’t remember how to pronounce them? Make sure you know exactly how to pronounce them! Pronunciation could possibly be the easiest part of Japanese because it’s always consistent and mostly simple for native English speakers (there are some exceptions, however; りょ ‘ryo’ gives me a lot of grief!). 

So that you know exactly what you’re doing, you can watch this video:

This chick has a bit of a grating accent, in my opinion, but she will give you the exact pronunciation of each character and MOST IMPORTANTLY, she’ll show you how to write them with proper stroke order. Do not underestimate the importance of stroke order! Stroke order is important not just for hiragana ひらがな, but for katakana カタカナ and kanji 漢字, too. Before learning proper stroke order my あ looked like some sort of retarded mess, but following this video will hopefully prevent that from happening to you. Also, you have to practise! Don’t just settle for memorising how to read Japanese - writing it is just as important as it helps to strengthen pathways in the mind. You will remember twice as fast if you concentrate on both reading AND writing.

My final advice on beginning hiragana ひらがな and even for intermediate kana かな learners is to use this website:

It’s basically a flash-card system. Use it! It will count your right and wrong answers - so you can time yourself and calculate your percentage of correct answers. I gave this website to my sensei 先生, and she loved it.

Now, onto the next part of Japanese lesson 1 - aisatsu あいさつ

These, as I have covered before are your everyday expressions, some of which you will already know! As I list them I will give you the Japanese in both hiragana ひらがな and roumaji ローマ字, their meanings in English, and a little explanation about how to use each of them. Also, there are a lot of aisatsu あいさつ, so I won’t be covering them all in this post!

Konnichiwa こんにちは - Hello

Used after midday but before sunset. Konnichiwa can be used by anyone to anyone - friends, strangers, superiors - it’s universal.

Konbanwa こんばんは - Good evening

Used after sunset as a greeting; anyone can use this.

Ohayou gozaimasu おはようございます - Good morning

Used before midday as a greeting. Is a bit more commonly used than ‘good morning’ is in English. Between more casual acquaintances you can drop the gozaimasu ございます.

Oyasuminasai おやすみなさい - Good night

Used when going to sleep, but you can drop the nasai なさい to be more casual.

Arigatou gozaimasu ありがとうございます - Thank you

Used the same way as ‘thank you’ in English, though I feel like arigatou gozaimasu ありがとうございます carries a bit more weight than it does in English. You can drop the gozaimasu ございます for a more casual ‘thanks’, but you can also add doumo どうも to make doumo arigatou gozaimasu どうもありがとうございます if you really need to show your appreciation. You can also say hontouni arigatou gozaimasu 本当にありがとうございます which is like ‘I truly appreciate what you have done’ and is very humble in tone. For a super casual ‘cheers’ or ‘ta’ you can just say doumo どうも, but it’s somewhat uncommon.

Douitashimashite どういたしまして - You’re welcome

A very humble way of saying ‘you’re welcome’. More casually you can say ieie いえいえ which is like ‘it’s okay’ or ‘no problem’


Let’s break it down!

始めて  (はじめて): the first
会った (あった): the past-tense form of 会う, to meet.
覚えてる (おぼえてる): The casual form of 覚えています. which means ‘I remember’. The question mark turns this into a question.

Animal Actions:



shivering mimetic word: ブルブル 



space out, daydream, stare off into space:ぼーっとする (written in kana alone)



sleeping soundly onomatopoeia: すやすや



This image was created by me, but has been checked by a native speaker for accuracy (Hajime Maeda, check out his tumblr). Please feel free to share* the image, if you do please link to my blog. Thanks!

*but not sell

 My latest post on my much-neglected blog, with a list of 50 simple kanji that I thought could be used for a nice introduction to kanji. :) 

Coming up next : a mega-list of all the kanji I’ve got to learn for my second year exam, will be nice to compare the difference between last year and this year. Also coming soon, a Spanish and Italian composition and an ‘end of second year summary’.