It’s never too early to introduce your child to new languages. Teach your child basic Japanese with this fun and colourful book. With animal names, everyday objects, colours, basic phrases, and more!
TITLE: My First Japanese Words
AUTHOR: Cheryl Hugh
Currently on sale at Lulu.com for 10% discount
Particles are the little words that join a sentence together and make it grammatically correct. Often there is no direct translation for a particle, which can be very frustrating for people trying to work out how to use it in a sentence. Particles are so confusing! That’s why you can’t just leap into a big sentence and try to understand all the particles at once. You need to take them one at a time. So here is the first in our weekly Particle Explanations:
WA – は
This particle is used to identify a new subject. It can loosely be translated: “as for…” or “as regards…”, but has many uses. You may have heard “watashi wa” and “anata wa”, indicating that the topic of conversation is “me” or “you”. Have you noticed, though, that Japanese people often leave out these words? When referring to oneself it is not always necessary to say “I” or “me”, especially if it is already understood that you are the subject. WA is mostly used to highlight a new topic. Let’s see some examples:
Hiroshi and Tatsuya have been discussing hobbies and interests. Hiroshi is very talkative and has been going on about himself for a long time. At one point, Hiroshi says:
“Tennisu ga suki desu.” (“I like tennis.”)
Tatsuya, eager to tell his new friend what his favourite sport is, replies:
“Watashi wa sakka ga suki desu.” (“I -wa- like soccer.”)
Hiroshi did not need to say “watashi wa” to indicate that he was referring to himself, since he had already been talking about himself. Tatsuya, however, wants to draw the topic to his own interests, and so he says: “Watashi wa sakka ga suki desu” = “As for me, I like soccer.” WA is used in this example to highlight a new subject – i.e. Tatsuya instead of Hiroshi.
e.g. “Kore wa ringo desu” = “[As for] this, it’s an apple”
e.g. “Ken wa nan-sai desu ka?” = “How old is Ken?”
“Ni-jyuu-ni desu.” = “[He is] twenty two”
“Aiko wa?” = “What about Aiko?”
“Ni-jyuu-go desu.” = “[She is] twenty five”
SUMMARY: The WA particle is used primarily to mark a new subject. It does not need to be used when the subject is already clear or remains the same.
If you’re looking for an extra learning aid that’s also fun, why not try watching some Japananese TV shows? You don’t need to have Sky, satellite, or a lot of money. All you need is an internet connection (which you obviously already have). You don’t even need to understand Japanese perfectly.
J-Drama is a genre of TV show that’s similar to Western soap operas and sitcoms. One series is usually about 10 episodes long and can be based on anything from tennis to high school, Samurai legends, domestic violence, baking cakes… the list goes on. J-Dramas are very useful for Japanese language students to help them observe native speakers in different environments, as well as to learn about the culture. They range from ridiculous and childish to excellent works of fiction. People of all ages are sure to find a series to suit their tastes. Don’t worry boys – they’re not all chick flicks!
Take a look at the Popular J-Dramas page to find some information and reviews on some of the most popular dramas. You’ll also be able to check the parental advisements, if your children are learning Japanese and you want something safe for them to watch.
You can download English subtitled J-Drama freely and easily from the following websites:
Here are some common trendy phrases for young people to use:
Sugee! (soo-gehh) – Wow! / Cool!
Kankei nee (kan-kay neh) – Nothing to do with you / Mind your own business
Umai (oo-my) – Delicious
Cho~ kawaii! (choh ka-wa-ee) – Soooo cute!
Mou yada (moh ya-daa) – Oh no…
Doumo (doh-mo) – Hello (less formal than “Konnichiwa)
Maji de? (mah-jee deh) – Are you serious? / You’re kidding, right?
Sugoi! (soo-goy) – Wow! / Cool!
Suki da yo (soo-kee dah yo) – I like you / I’ve got a crush on you
Bikkuri shita (bik-ku-ree sh’ta) – You made me jump / That was a surprise
Shinda you ni (shin-da yoh-nee) – I’m exhausted (lit. “like dead”)
NOTE: Some Japanese girls will use the phrases in the boys’ list, and vice versa. The gender guide is based on the most common usages, so you can easily see which phrases are considered more feminine or masculine.
Latest additions to the site:
Lesson 1 – An introduction to learning Japanese
Simple Travel Japanese – The essentials for any trip to Japan
Writing System – Explanations and alphabet charts
Fun Stuff – Links to Japanese games and fun activites
Japanese Entertainment – A basic guide to how the entertainment can help you learn
J-Pop – The beginning of a Japanese music guide, as well as learning with lyrics
New links added, a poll for students to take, and a search bar for you to find things on the site quickly and easily. More updates to come very soon.
Welcome to “Japanese For Everyone”, a learning resource that’s 100% free. This is just the beginning of what I hope will become a helpful guide for anyone who wants to learn Japanese. Whether you’re interested Japanese for travel, school, business or fun, this website can be useful to you. Please add me to your favourites and keep checking back for updates. I hope you enjoy learning Japanese!