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Advice to beginners

Learn the dictionary form first!

No matter if you want to start with the polite form or the casual form, you must understand the verb groups first (= study the dictionary form). If you learn only the MASU form (polite form), this is what is going to happen:

  • ① You will have trouble finding the verbs in the dictionary. Just try with べます (). You won't find such entry, because the dictionary form is べる (, to eat).
  • ② You will not be used to conjugating verbs, and it will be harder to learn the other forms.
  • ③ It is difficult to find out the dictionary form of a verb at the MASU form (whereas it is easy to find out the MASU form of a verb at the dictionary form). For example, おきます () could be the MASU form of both (, to put, group 1) and きる (, to wake up, group 2). Confusing, isn't it?

It only takes 10 minutes to learn the verb groups, so make sure to check it out!

Learn hiragana!

Almost nothing is written in alphabet () in Japan (except maybe a few company or restaurant names), so start learning as soon as possible! Once you know them, you will:

  • - be able to read in original version, since most of them have (small that gives the reading of ).
  • - have a better understanding of the conjugations. For example, why the verb (to talk) becomes , or why the verb (to wait) becomes !

Learn katakana!

Some people just skip over after memorizing , but that's a terrible mistake!

  • - A lot of words (around 10%!) are written in !
  • - It's sad not to be able to write your own name!
  • - can help you memorize . For example, the kanji (used in まえ, , name), can be broken down into the katakana () + (). This can help you remember the kanji, because is a traditional Japanese name!

Hover over a kanji to see its reading!

Hover over a kanji