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Japanese Words with Sound

The open old book - the dictionary on a white ...

One of the main focus of Japanese Words has always been about learning new Japanese words. In the beginning you need to know a certain number of words to communicate in Japanese and as you get to a more advanced level you will need to more words to express more complex ideas and feelings.

Today I stumbled across a site that has a number of common Japanese words such as numbers, colors, common Japanese phrases, animals, and other Japanese vocabulary. They also have sound.

You can check out the Japanese page here. In case you are studying another language as well, you can find other languages here.

Good luck and let me know what you think!

1000 Common Japanese Words for Anki or Mnemosyne

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a blank writing pad on a table.

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!

Japanese Word A Day on Twitter

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twitter japanese

This is just a quick post to let everyone know that starting from today, we will be posting a Japanese Word a day on twitter. Each post will include the Japanese word (in kanji), The Japanese word in hiragana, the English translation, and a sentence showing how to use the word correctly. The main focus will be common Japanese words. Posts may occasionally contain common Japanese phrases as well.

If you aren’t already following us on twitter, then you can follow us now by clicking on the below link:

Follow Us on Twitter: Japanese Words

Japanese Phrases and Greetings

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The Japanese words you know the better you will be able to speak Japanese. This is also true of Japanese phrases. Learning a number of common Japanese phrases will make it much easier to communicate. The reason for this is that the most common Japanese phrases are used over and over again in basically the same order. For instance, when you meet someone for the first time the conversation will consists of mostly a set dialogue. I highly recommend that you find yourself a good Japanese conversational phrase book. If possible, choose one that also contains phone conversations as the language is slightly different.

  • P1: こんにちは (good afternoon)
  • P2: こんにちは     (good afternoon)
  • P1: はじめまして (nice to meet you)
  • P2: はじえまして (nice to meet you)
  • P1: わたしは (insert name)です (my name is —-)
  • P2: わたしは (insert name) です   (my name is —-)
  • P1: よろしくおねがいします (please treat me well)
  • P2: よろしくおねがいします    (please treat me well)

Below I have listed some common Japanese phrases. While learning these will not mae you fluent in Japanese, they should help you converse in basic conversations. You can also click on the following link for a list of common Japanese words or a list of over 1000 Japanese words and Kanji.

Common Japanese Phrases

English romaji Hiragana
Japanese Greetings
Good morning ohayou gozaimasu おはようございます
Good afternoon konnichiwa こんにちは
Good evening konnbanwa こんばんは
How are you? ogenki desu ka おげんきですか
I’m doing well, I’m fine genki desu yo げんきですよ
See you later mata ato de またあとで
See you tomorrow mata ashita またあした
Thank you arigatou gozaimasu ありがとうございます
No problem, don’t mention it douitashimashite どういたしまして
Take care odaiji ni おだいじに
It’s nice to meet you hajimemashite はじめまして
I’m (name) (name) desu —です
Please treat me well yoroshiku onegaishimasu よろしくおねがいします
excuse me, sorry sumimasen すみません
sorry gomen nasai ごめんなさい
Getting Around
Where is train station Eki wa doko desu ka えきはどこですか
How much is this kore wa ikura desu ka これはいくらですか
I want to go to — — ni ikitai desu — にいきたいです
I would like (to buy) this please kore onegaishimasu これおねがいします
Where is the bathroom otearai wa doko desu ka おてあらいはどこですか
where is a phone denwa wa doko desu ka でんわはどこですか
Can I get a water please omizu kudasai おみずください
Can I get —- — kudasai —ください
Please speak more slowly motto yukkuri hanashite kudasai もっとゆっくりはなしてください
Can you please repeat it mou ichido itte kudasai もういちどいってください

Practicing Conversational Japanese

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Without a doubt, one of the most important parts of learning Japanese (or any language) is conversational practice. All of the study that you put in learning words, grammar, and phrases is tested during conversational. It’s also when you mind learns how to put together all the different parts you learned. Though it can be somewhat monotonous, I believe that conversational practice is also one of the more rewarding parts of studying Japanese.

My Japanese teachers at Waseda University (a university in Tokyo, Japan) forced us to break into groups and have conversational practice using set dialogs. I never really liked that method much. Looking back on it however, I realize it helped me a lot. The time I spent having coversational practice and learning to both listen and speak set phrases gave me confidence to use them outside the classroom. There are a few things I have learned that should help you get the most out of your conversations in Japanese.

What to study

As I’ve mentioned before, choosing the right materials is key. One of the Total Japanese books I used at Waseda University was completely dedicated to conversation. It had a number of set conversations with common Japanese prhases for casual and formal situations. Having a set dialogue will help make the conversation go smoothy. You can start out reading, but should eventually be able to respond with out looking at written materials. If you are doing this with a friend (preferably someone who speaks Japanese) it may seem a little weird, but it is good practice.

Once you are start to feel  comfortable with set conversation you should start spending part of your time with free conversation. Try to keep the topics based around things you know know the Japanese words for and also topics that you enjoy. The topics will naturaly expand as you learn more and more Japanese words. Keep a dictionary handy, but try not to use it too much. The important part is to understand the ideas of the conversation. Don’t focus too much on understanding every word.

Choosing a Partner

The best option for your Japanese speaking partner is a native Japanese speaker. Preferably someone who doesn’t speak English. Conversing with a Native speaker allows you to hear  Japanese pronounciation and also that mae sure they can understand yours. If your partner can’t understand English (or your native language) then you will be forced to speak Japanese. Choosing someone who has similar interest is also helpful as you will be able to discuss topics you both like.

I realize that this is an ideal situation and won’t always be possible for everyone. Not everyone has native Japanese speakers around to practice with. One option that I recommend is Skype. It is a free service that allows you to talk to people around the world. Skype even allows for free video chat. You can find someone by searching by country or try posting on various language forums. I recommend you find someone who does not speak your native language. You teach me Japanese and I will teach you English seems like a good idea, but doesn’t work out that well. Instead, choose someone who has common interests. Being forced to speak Japanese will help you learn much quicker.

And last but not least, remember to have fun and don’t worry about making mistakes.

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