Archive | Japanese Vocab and Grammar

Shades of Meaning: 70+ Japanese Color Words and Phrases


Do you ever feel your Japanese is like the first part of that old Claritin ad before the actor takes the antihistamine, the blurriness peels away from the screen and everything is more vivid and colorful?

Or maybe, when you …

50+ Useful Words and Phrases for Daily Life in Japan


You’ve studied hiragana and katakana.

You’ve drilled those tricky grammar rules.

But what if you just want to ask for your check at a restaurant, or get that cute person’s attention at the bar?

Sometimes when we’re studying …

How to Tell Apart Similar Kanji, Plus 20 Examples


Remember what kanji looked like before you knew any Japanese?

A pile of practically identical shapes, right?

After learning the basics of the language, you probably started seeing some differences—but it can still be incredibly easy to be fooled …

29 Genius Japanese Idioms That All Learners Should Know


Have you ever come across an odd Japanese phrase that just makes… no sense whatsoever?

You think you understand what all the individual words in the phrase mean—but that meaning doesn’t seem to mean anything.

This is a ridiculously common …

Ready for Takeoff? 129 Japanese Travel Phrases to Study on Your Flight to Tokyo


Many people like to say that it’s easy to travel in Japan.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s relatively easy, but not for the reason people think.

Japan is a gorgeous country inhabited by helpful and friendly people, but English …

19 Fun and Bizarre Japanese Idioms to Try On for Size


The cat’s out of the bag.

I spilled the beans.

And now here I am with my foot in my mouth.

And it tastes like…foot.

Once upon a time, while tutoring a fellow high school student in Japanese …

15 Japanese Kanji Synonym Pairs + How to Learn Characters with Similar Meanings


One thing that nobody has ever said about kanji is that there are too few of them.

The jōyō kanji list, with its 2,136 characters, could have been made half as long and still pose a serious challenge for