Since I have started this website, I have gotten a lot of e-mails asking me about studying in Japan. For those of you who don’t know, I used to work as an admissions counselor to help bring students here to Japan. Something I will be doing again soon. For those of you who want to really learn Japanese, and especially for those who want to work in Japan, I would highly recommend studying in here.
There are possibilities to work in Japan for people who can’t speak Japanese fluently, or at least at a business level, but they are few. The primary two being recruiting and English teaching. If you really want to open up your options, then you need to learn Japanese fluently. One great way to do that is to study in Japan. Studying in Japan will help you both learn the culture and learn the Japanese language. Two things you will need to know to find a good job in Japan.
So, here is a list of Japanese words for those interested in studying in Japan. These words should help you ask questions about how your credits transfer, graduating, clubs, scholarships, student life, etc. Please feel free to add on more words in the comments.
- High school- 高校、こうこう
- Community College- 短大、たんだい
- College/University- 大学、だいがく
- Transcripts- 成績証明書、せいせきしょうめいしょ
- Credits- 単位、たんい
- Essay- エッセイ、
- Entrence essay-入学論文
- Entrance exam- 入学試験、にゅうがくしけん
- Scholarship- 奨学金、しょうがくきん
- transfer- 編入、へんにゅう
- Graduate- 卒業する、そつぎょうする
- Diploma- 卒業証明書
- Major, field- 専門、せんもん
This is a pretty short list that you can put into Anki and should be able to mostly remember in about a day. For those of you who aren’t using Anki, be sure to check it out. It’s a great tool and will help you learn faster. Also, as I mentioned earlier, be sure to add any additional words in the comments section.
You have been studying Japanese and learning lots of Japanese words. But what if you are heading to Japan and don’t have time to study or remember a lot of Japanese words? Well, I would say that there is always time if done efficiently, but just in case, here is a list of words that you must know.
I wanted to keep the list small and have decided to limit it to just 10 words. A Japanese words survival list if you will. If you can remember these words, then you should at be able to take care of your basic needs. They might not get you much further, but at least you will be able to get to the bathroom.
I should note that the grammar below is not complete. It is written for someone who only knows these ten words to get by.
1. Doko (どこ)-where
Knowing how to say where is really important. Especially if this is your first time to Japan. Just add the place name in front of this: Restaurant doko?
2. Ikitai (いきたい) -I want to go to
Similar to doko, but this allows you to tell someone where you want to go: Station ikitai.
3. Sumimasen (すみません)-Sorry, excuse me。
This word can be extremely useful because of all of the ways it can be used. Mainly, you can use it to say “sorry” or “excuse me”.
4. Ikura (いくら)-How much
You will most likely be buying things. This allows you to ask how much.
5. Otearai (おてあらい)-Bathroom
You will definitely want to remember this one. You can combine it with number one for: otearai doko?
6. Arigatou (ありがとう)-Thank you
This is the short form of thank you (thanks), but it is easy to say and easier to remember than the more polite arigatou gozaimasu.
7. Byouin (びょういん)-Hospital
This one is a bit of a no brainer. You can combine it with ikitai or doko to help you actually get there?
8. Tabetai (たべたい)-Want to eat
Not quite hungry, but about as close as you can get with one word. Also allows you to say what you want to eat: sushi tabetai!
9. Nomitai (のみたい)-Want to drink
Same as above, but for drinking. Omizu (water) nomitai.
10. Eigo (えいご)-English?
Said with a rising voice this will mean “can you speak English?” More and more people can these days, so it might be helpful if you need some help.
*Bonus 1. Speak English slowly- A lot of Japanese words now days are English words. speak slowly and enunciate clearly and they will likely understand.
**Bonus 2. Write it down-Japanese are required to study English from middle school (now elementary school) and actually have a pretty good understanding of grammer. Write it down and they will likely understand.
As I mentioned before, this definitely isn’t a complete list, and it is more for someone who has no experience with Japan. These words should help you get the basics, but not much more. On the plus side, anyone should be able to remember 10 words on the flight over. You could also print them out and stick it in your pocket.
Now’s your chance to tell me: what words would you put in your top 10 words you have to know.
For a much longer list of words see here: common Japanese words
You can also find a downloadable list here: 1000 Japanese words
Learning Japanese words is definitely the foundation to learning Japanese. I’m not saying that grammar isn’t important, but words are the basic building blocks. If you know words you can still communicate. It may not be pretty, but you can probably get them to understand. You need words to convey all the details of what you want to say. So it goes without saying that the more words you know, the better you will be able to explain your thoughts in more detail and more completely. Anki can help you learn more Japanese words.
If you are reading this article and thinking “what is Anki”, check out this pst on how to Anki to study Japanese: Anki. Simply put, it’s a program that helps you schedule when to study words at the best time. Basically, it maximizes your study time. It’s a great Japanese study tool and it’s free!
So how should you use it?
Anki is a pretty amazing program with lots and lots of features. It will really let you micromanage your Japanese words if you so choose. I recommend that you play around with the options to see what suits you best.
There are three simple recommendations that I have to get the most out of the program.
1. Add both the word and the sentence you found it in on the front of the card. You don’t have to translate the Japanese sentence, but it will help you remember where you found it and also to read it in context. A lot of times seeing the sentence will help you remember the meaning. The more connections to this word in your brain the better.
2. Use kanji for the sentence. This will help you get used to seeing the kanji and improve your recognition. It may seem difficult at first, but it does get easier the more you see it.
3. Study everyday! This is the last tip, but it is really the most important. In order for Anki to work well you need to study when the cards come up. If you only study once a week or every couple days you are not really getting the benefit of Anki. You have to study the words when Anki tells you to.
Bonus tips: Make sure you are studying the most common Japanese words. I spent two semesters in college learning Japanese that I couldn’t use. After two semesters I could barely complete a greeting. Make sure you study common words that are actually used.
I have mention before that learning the the most common Japanese words first is an essential part of learning to speak Japanese quickly. You want to learn the words that you will use, not just the ones that are ordered in a book.
However, wouldn’t it also be great if there was a simple way to learn the words that didn’t require just pure repetition. A way to remember the words are pronounced and what they mean without having to look at it 20 times, finally remember it, only to forget it because you didn’t use it for a week?
The link to the program below focuses on exactly this problem. Unlike a lot of the programs available Speak Japanese Fast doesn’t try to be a full Japanese learning suite. Instead it focuses on teaching you vocabulary quickly and remember them by using interesting stories to learn the meaning and the pronunciation. Remember the Kanji uses a very similar method in teaching Kanji and it works pretty well.
You can check out the program here.
Disclaimer: I get a percentage of all sales purchased from this link and appreciate your support. The money is used to keep Japanese Words up and running and allow me to spend more time writing and developing the site.
The most popular post on JapaneseWords.net has been 1000+ Japanese Words List. As the title suggests, the post contains a list of over 1000 common Japanese Words and Kanji. I am proud to announce that the list has just gotten much better.
This list is available for Anki and Mnemosyne. In addition to making the list usable in Anki and Mnemosyne, it is divided into multiple lists (English to Hiragana, Hiragana to English, English to Kanji, etc). The ability to use Anki will allow you to study over 1000 common words and kanji in a very efficient manner.
I have included two files below. One is in “mem” format (Mnemosyne format) and the other in txt format. Either one can be imported into Anki.
Japanese Word Lists
Click Here to download Mnemosyne format
Click Here to download txt format
Japanese Study Tip
When dealing with a list of this size it can be a little bit overwhelming. Setting up a study schedule and a goal will prove to be very helpful. For instance, you might try to learn 5 or 10 new words a day. Or choose the date of completion and then figure out the number of words you will need to remember each day!
Here is part 9 of using Japanese Adjectives in Sentences. Hopefully you have learned a lot of new Japanese words, a bit of Japanese grammar, and have a better understanding of how to use different adjectives. You can find all of the previous adjectives posts at the bottom of the list.
Last night, I saw a mysterious dream.
He began to talk with a serious face.
He looks worried about his mother who lives separately from him.
＊Adjective + そう（な）＝looks (adjective)
I was not satisfied with all the easy work at my previous company.
I’m going shopping for the ingredients I need for today’s dinner.
A strange person spoke to me at the (train) station.
I warned the children who were playing in the dangerous place.
I have a honest personality, so I can’t tell a lie.
More Japanese Adjectives Posts