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JLPT N4 Kanji

JLPT N4 Kanji post image

At the N5 level, the kanji that is introduced is very rudimentary.  You only need to know around 100 characters.  That doesn't give you much to work with.  You learn most of the numbers you will need, which is the first thing you need to know in any language.  And there are few basic characters [...]


How to use Japanese Particles

How to use Japanese Particles post image

One of the most common things I get emailed about every month is how to use Japanese particles.  They are a tricky bunch of grammar points that sometimes don't correlate well with something in other languages.  Some particles match up fairly well, while others at first glance, appear to match up with something in English, [...]


The Final Month Preparations

The Final Month Preparations post image

This season tends to be my busiest.  In October, we have a series of sports days, 運動会うんどうかい, to plan for and attend as well as some Halloween events.  In November, I get swamped with a seasonal translation project that takes up  a good portion of my time.  And then, in December, we have Christmas, which [...]


Being Ready to Talk in Japanese

I was in the store the other day picking up some knives that I had bought as a wedding gift for my friend. Initially I was a bit nervous because I managed to forget the receipt for the knives that I had just purchased the week before. So I was afraid they wouldn’t let me [...]

N4 Grammar: Using souda, sugiru, and tagatteiru post image

This month, I'm continuing on with N4 grammar points by talking about how to use verb stems with some important structures. This month, I'm going over souda, sugiru and tagatteiru. You can use souda and tagatteiru to talk about impressions. Do you know when to use ~tai and when to use ~tagatteiru. How do you [...]