Archive | Japanese Vocab and Grammar

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

25 Ways You Can Use Japanese Ki to Express Abstract Ideas


Wish you could express abstract ideas and emotions in Japanese?

Let’s talk ki!

The Japanese ki is going to rock your conversational world.

We won’t get drawn into the more complex concepts of energies and spirituality which are connected …

6 Times When Male and Female Gendered Language Is Used in Japanese


My boss was chatting to one of our Japanese coworkers, when suddenly our coworker started laughing.

“I’m sorry,” she spluttered. “But your Japanese is so girly.”

I had to smother a laugh. My boss is a heavyset, six-foot-two British …