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Reading in Japanese: How to Boost Motivation and Increase Literacy

As much as I emphasize the importance of using flash cards to learn Japanese, by the time you achieve an intermediate level of literacy you’ll want to start reading native material. Transitioning from textbook reading exercises to the same books, magazines, and manga that native Japanese people read is intimidating. Selecting reading material that’s too…

How to Count in Japanese

Do you know how to count in Japanese? Along with keigo, counting in Japanese is often considered one of the most difficult aspects of the language to learn. Because of the historical influence of Chinese vocabulary, the Japanese language actually has different ways of counting in different contexts. If you’re confused, that’s okay. I’m going…

Beginner Japanese Tip: Overcoming the Ambiguity of “Daijobu”

One of the more challenging aspects of learning Japanese is dealing with words that have multiple—often opposite—meanings. For beginners, one prominent example of this phenomenon is the word daijobu. Essentially, this word represents the concept of being “OK” or “all right.” For example, if you trip and fall in public, a passerby may ask, “daijobu…