Learn Japanese

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Japanese Slang

by Maki Hayasaka

Japanese Slang is an urban dictionary for the digital generation!

Although Japanese culture is best known for its sense of formality and politeness, the Japanese are particularly fond of playing with language, in large part thanks to the versatility and nuance that their writing systems provide. This results in playful combinations of kanji, kana, and English, where conventional phrases are twisted wryly or turned entirely on their heads to cleverly capture the social attitudes of the time.

While most of the slang described here is a natural part of everyday speech, this dictionary doesn’t shy away from pejorative terms that unfortunately lurk around many online (and offline) spaces. After all, learning a language takes more than knowing how to politely ask about the weather: the real world is a whole lot messier than a classroom, and Japanese Slang will help you make sense of this raw language that lives in the wild.

Price: $4.99
Length: 211 pages
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Japanese Onomatopoeia

by Maki Hayasaka

Onomatopoeia is an important part of everyday Japanese, for both children and adults alike. For anyone aiming to master the language or to communicate like a native speaker, a good understanding of these lively and nuanced phrases is essential. To help you along, Japanese Onomatopoeia is a Japanese–English dictionary that provides a thorough listing of each expression in rōmaji and its conventional form in either hiragana or katakana.

Both giongo (“sound” words) and gitaigo (mimetic words) are covered in detail, with the full range of each word’s meanings listed for easy reference and study. This makes it a valuable resource for anyone with an interest in reading, writing, or speaking Japanese, and it will boost your studies that extra mile towards natural fluency.

Price: $3.99
Length: 165 pages
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Japanese Proverbs

by Maki Hayasaka

“A flower doesn’t speak.”

Japan is famous for the beauty of its culture and the modest grace of its people. In this collection of nearly 700 traditional proverbs, the very best of Japanese wisdom is on display, offering poignant, shrewd, and timeless insights into the human condition. Each proverb is provided in its original language, with hiragana, rōmaji, and English translations to unpack the wording and interpretations as faithfully as possible.

From love and fate to gender and spirituality, these age-old sayings cover every topic we face in life, with a humble, stoical, and nature-centered wit. For anyone with an interest in Japanese culture, don’t miss out on this window into the cultural thoughts of its people, from ancient times to the present.

Price: $4.99
Length: 227 pages
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Total Japanese Grammar

by Maki Hayasaka

Total Japanese Grammar is a complete guide for anyone wanting to learn Japanese. Every topic is carefully explained in simple language to build on your knowledge as you progress, with detailed examples and guided activities. From verb forms and particles to making requests and using conditionals, this self-study course is all you need to master the rules for both casual and polite Japanese. The guide is designed for quick reference to every rule and offers more than 120 different activities to reinforce your learning as comprehensively as possible.

The ebook version also includes the Total Japanese Grammar vocabulary builder with over 1200 important words and kanji to help you express yourself fluently in everyday life.

Price: $8.99
Length: 343 pages
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25 thoughts on “Learn Japanese

  1. Arthur says:

    I’m almost finished going through Total Japanese Grammar (I’ve been using it along with Genki to complement my uni course). It definitely makes a lot of the harder concepts easier to understand, like passive, causative, and causative passive styles of voice.

    • Ryan says:

      That’s good to know – thanks for sharing. How much grammar does it cover (especially for a beginner)? I’m just starting to learn Japanese and I don’t know that many kanji yet.

  2. Mei says:

    The book on proverbs is awesome. The cultural insight is cool, but it’s been really helpful in brushing up on kanji and older styles of Japanese.

  3. Brad says:

    I can’t believe how much onomatopoeia there is in Japanese. It’s crazy. I mean, I know there are also lots in English too, but Japanese seems to take it to a different level.

    • Carl says:

      You get used to it after a while, but yeah, there’s a ton of it. The sound patterns help a lot when it comes to guessing the meanings though.

      • Brad says:

        Yeah – familiarity with the different sound patterns is a massive help. I’ve found that it also makes remembering new words easier, since they seem to slot into familiar categories.

    • James says:

      Writing them out as you learn them, with their kun’yomi and on’yomi, is a really good way to remembering them. It also helps a lot to read in Japanese as often as you can.

    • Blake says:

      Reading and writing is honestly the best strategy to learn kanji well. Just keep doing it every day until it feels natural and you don’t have to think about it.

  4. Michael says:

    Settling into a daily routine was hard at first, but once it became part of my normal timetable, I’ve started to look forward to sitting down to study. My Japanese is definitely improving at a better rate because of it.

    • Sean says:

      Keeping a steady, manageable pace will help a lot learning Japanese. It’s tempting to overdo it when learning kanji, but just stick to your daily plan and things will go well.

  5. Marco says:

    So far, my Japanese studies are going well in 2020. I need to focus more on kanji, but I’m taking it slowly to avoid burning out.

    • Lee says:

      That was my problem when I first started learning Japanese. I got super enthusiastic and ended up doing four or five hour sessions a day. Was a really bad idea in the long run. Sticking to a set timetable has helped me a lot to keep my studies consistent, especially with kanji.

  6. Heather K. says:

    I really love Japanese. It’s one of the most fun languages to learn, since there’s so much anime and manga to help you study. You just need to keep practicing.

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