So you want to learn Japanese--ようこそ! youkoso!

TheJapanesePage.com Tip

As you see with the above word* nearly all the Japanese found on this site has a recording. Take the time to listen, repeatedly, to each new word/phrase. Try to "shadow" the sounds by first repeating after and then speaking with the speaker.
Go ahead. Try it now with ようこそ youkoso.
Got it? Good. Do that with all the lessons and your pronunciation and vocabulary will improve.

* (youkoso means "welcome" or "nice to see you") 

To learn any language, you need four things:

  1. Motivation -- Look for new ways to enjoy and want to learn Japanese
  2. Consistency -- Study every day, even if for only a few minutes
  3. Humility -- Embrace mistakes and learn from them
  4. A Goal -- The reason why you started learning Japanese to begin with.

I'm not going to sugar coat it. Japanese is hard, and the sad reality is most beginners of Japanese forever remain beginners of Japanese.

But if you can maintain motivation, a consistent daily study habit, and embrace learning from your mistakes as you head toward your goal, you will achieve fluency eventually. 

Two tips for creating a good mindset for learning Japanese
  • Remember your personal reasons for wanting to learn Japanese. It may be an anime you saw that peaked your interest. It could be a Japanese person you met. It could be a desire to read a novel in Japanese. Make a list of these reasons and review them often. This will help you get through the dark plateaus where it seems you are making zero progress. These are your motivations.
  • Visualize yourself speaking fluent Japanese in Japan to real native speakers. Imagine yourself being interviewed on Japanese TV or ordvering a Big Mac at McDonald's. Imagine yourself reading a Japanese newspaper. These are your goals.

Use your motivations (your personal reasons for learning Japanese) to guide you to your goal (visualizing your future self)

The bear above has soom good advice. She says, 一歩一歩(いっぽいっぽ ippo ippo which means "one step, one step" or "step by step." Take your language learning journey one step at a time. 

All of the above is important, I can hear you say, but where are the Japanese lessons?

Right. I'll get into some specifics in a moment, but basically, I suggest learning hiragana and then begin immersing yourself into Japanese as much as possible. Pay attention to the sounds early on. 

How to Use TheJapanesePage.com + Other Tools

To get to it, here is our suggested path for the absolute beginner.

  1. Learn Hiragana - depending on how much time you put into it, you should be able to learn hiragana in less than two weeks. You will also learn core Japanese pronunciation. Spend plenty of time with both the hiragana and pronunciation. Everything you learn from then on will be based on what you learn here.
  2. Install the Japanese Language pack on your computer (and phone) - Click here to learn how to do that and how to use Japanese on your computer.
  3. Anki - Anki is the world's most popular spaced repetition flashcard software. Plus it's free! Well, except for the iPhone. The iPhone app is a little expensive but worth it in my opinion. While you can use any of the many already created decks (all free), I would recommend making your main deck your own study deck. Take the time (don't be lazy!) to add an entry every time you encounter a new word or phrase you want to memorize. As you do your daily reading/studying add unknown phrases to your personal deck. Even if you just need to learn a single vocabulary word, I would recommend adding a full phrase or sentence showing use.
  4. The Basics
    1. Order a Good Textbook - I define "good" as any textbook that you will actually use. Textbooks will help keep your learning structured. While you can learn Japanese without one, and theJapanesePage.com will certainly help you along the way, using a textbook will most certainly be faster.

      Some popular choices are Genki, Japanese for Busy People, and Japanese from Zero. We stock Genki here, and we highly recommend Genki, but, to be honest, there are cheaper options that are just as good (again, if you use it). Japanese for Busy People is probably the cheapest option (I do not recommend the Romanized version). Japanese from Zero is also very popular now too.
    2. Basic Beginning Japanese Phrases - Once you have learned hiragana, you can begin to familiarize yourself with important phrases that you can use immediately. You can also use our audio-only lessons here to play while you wash the dishes or walk the dog. Don't feel like you have to memorize anything here. Learning vocabulary (and kanji) is like meeting someone. You don't become best friends immediately. It takes time to go from new acquaintances to BFFs.
    3. (Very) Basic Grammar - While you are acquainting yourself with useful phrases, start introducing yourself to these 100 core grammatical points. Don't worry if you don't feel like you get each and every point. Just use the material here to begin familiarizing yourself with Japanese. You can also sign up for our free daily Grammar Email Course here. You can go through the material on the website and then again each day with the email version.


Recommended lessons and articles to get you started:
  1. Getting Started
  2. Learn Hiragana
  3. Learn Katakana
And all the other great articles and lessons below!
Check DoMyEssay.net online essay writing service for dummies.
Lessons and Articles

Title Teaser
15 Minute Japanese
A quick overview of the Japanese language, a smattering of Japanese grammar, and twenty or so very useful words and phrases. More…
Basic Beginning Japanese Phrases Basic Beginning Japanese Phrases with sound.
Basic Colors in Japanese
Basic Japanese Greetings A Flash file with sound: Learn 15 very common Japanese greetings. Simply click on the word to hear it instantly spoken.
Beginner Japanese Greetings Video
A short video with seven super useful and common Japanese greetings. More…
Can Anybody Learn To Speak Japanese? You don’t have to be born in Japan to learn how to speak Japanese. The truth is anybody can learn to speak this intricate, beautiful language. You may never rid yourself totally of your accent, but anyone who puts in the time and effort can become fluent.
Can You Really Learn Japanese Online? Occasionally, you may hear of books, websites, or snake oil salesman claiming you can learn Japanese online painlessly and in a short time. But is it true? Can you really learn Japanese online?

The answer is, yes and no.

Feelings and Emotions Feelings and Emotions with audio.
Hiragana Lessons
Hiragana Lessons: Newly Updated (and better quality) Sounds added with MP3 player; many broken links patched– Hiragana Lessons 2.0!
How to Tell Time in Japanese
How to tell time in Japanese
Japanese Beginner Phrases Podcast 1
Phrases covered:
何か食べたいです。 nanika tabetai desu. I’d like something to eat.
何か飲みたいです。 nanika nomitai desu. I’d like something to drink.
Japanese Beginner Phrases Podcast 2
何か飲みたいです。 I want something to drink. nanika nomitai desu.
何か飲みたいですか? Would you like something to drink nanika nomitai desu ka?
Japanese Beginner Phrases Podcast 3
何か飲みたいですか? nanika nomitai desu ka? Would you like something to drink?
はい、何か飲みたいです。 hai, nanika nomitai desu. Yes, I would you like something to drink.
Japanese Beginner Phrases Podcast 4
ピザが食べたいです。 piza ga tabetai desu. I want to eat pizza.
スパゲッティー が食べたいです。 supagetti- ga tabetai desu. I want to eat spaghetti.
ハンバーガーが食べたいです。 hanba-ga- ga tabetai desu. I want to eat a hamburger.
Japanese Beginner Phrases Podcast 5
I like pizza. ピザが好きです。 piza ga suki desu.
I like hamburgers. ハンバーガーが好きです。 hanba-ga- ga suki desu.
I like spaghetti. スパゲッティーが好きです。 supagetti- ga suki desu.
Japanese Beginner’s Conversation – Feelings with a ‘shii’
Japanese Beginner’s Conversation – Feelings with a ‘shii’
Four very common beginner level Japanese words to describe feelings.
Japanese Beginner’s Conversation – Say Again?
motto yukkuri hanashite kudasai
Please speak a little slower.もう一回話してください。
mou ikkai hanashite kudasai
Please say that again.分かりません。
I don’t understand.
Japanese Dialogues: Directions to the Library JAPANESE DIALOGUES: Directions

How do I get to the library from here? More…

Japanese Online Word and Phrasebook with Audio
Japanese Reader Collection Volume 1: Hikoichi with MP3s by Clay & Yumi Boutwell
Kana Sounds An MP3 file with all the sounds in hiragana. Learning correctly the sounds of Japanese early on will help train your ears and improve pronunciation.
Katakana Lessons
Katakana Lessons: Learn Katakana quickly in twelve easy lessons with sound and quizzes. Master katakana for free here in two-three weeks by studying a little bit every day. Now with an FREE flashcard and writing pad PDF
Learn Kana
Hiragana Lessons: Learn Hiragana quickly in twelve easy lessons with sound and quizzes. Master hiragana for free here in two-three weeks by studying a little bit every day.
New to Japanese Advice Some basic advice for beginners just starting out with Japanese
Pronunciation of the R’s How to pronounce the R sounds
Study Tips Part I by Kinch Study Tips Part I by Kinch
Study Tips Part II by Kinch Study Tips Part II by Kinch
New Year’s Greetings in Japanese May you greet a good new year.” This is used until December 31st
The Year The Seasons and Month names in Japanese.
Type Romaji to see Hiragana Type in romaji and out comes hiragana
Useful Around the House Words Vocabulary lesson with useful around the house words. With sound and flash

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