Home Japanese Language What Components of Japanese Are Simple to Be taught? 17 Areas The place Learners Catch a Break

What Components of Japanese Are Simple to Be taught? 17 Areas The place Learners Catch a Break

What Components of Japanese Are Simple to Be taught? 17 Areas The place Learners Catch a Break


Japanese easy to learn

At any time when I point out that I examine Japanese, most individuals look horrified.

“That should be so tough!”

However there are literally many elements of Japanese which are simple to be taught.

For one, its verbs and nouns don’t change type as a lot as in lots of different languages, and it doesn’t actually have plurals. 

The pronunciation can be very predictable. 

Right here’s an in-depth have a look at what’s simple about Japanese—it would even encourage you to delve into the language extra!


1. Constant pronunciation

Japanese solely has 5 vowels, every syllable is pronounced with the identical rhythm with none stress and the pronunciation of Japanese phrases is mostly predictable.

The identical definitely can’t be mentioned of English, the place the spelling doesn’t at all times match up with the pronunciation. It’s important to be taught every phrase individually to make sure about tips on how to pronounce them.

Studying Japanese, this received’t be a difficulty. None of this eau, samhain or tschüss of the European languages, both.

2. No tones

“Tones” in reference to languages refers to a specific approach of announcing a syllable or phrase.

For instance, in Mandarin Chinese language (mā) — mom and (mǎ) — horse seem like precisely the identical phrase to somebody who doesn’t communicate a tonal language. They’re, the truth is, utterly totally different phrases and are pronounced utilizing totally different tones. That is how most tonal languages work.

Japanese isn’t a tonal language. This could be stunning to listen to, since so many East Asian languages are spoken with tones, together with Mandarin Chinese language, Thai and Vietnamese.

It additionally cuts down lots of the work, since in any other case you would need to be taught the tones for each phrase!

3. (Comparable) elements of speech

Japanese elements of speech are fairly much like their English counterparts:

Noun: (はな) — flower

Adjective: 美しい (うつくしい) — stunning

Adverb: 早く (はやく) — early

Verb: 食べる (たべる) — to eat

Pronoun: 彼女 (かのじょ) — she

One distinction is that Japanese has particles that act like prepositions, besides they arrive after the phrase to which they refer:

 — at/in
— by/for

Right here’s an instance sentence:

(おーすとらりあで さかなに きすされて、びっくりした。)
In Australia, I used to be kissed by a fish and I used to be shocked.

On this instance, the particles and come after Australia and a fish.

4. Gender neutrality

Except for a couple of nouns, Japanese doesn’t actually change phrase type primarily based on gender.

Pronouns are solely gender-specific in two instances: third individual (she, he they usually) and first individual (I). Listed here are gender-specific choices for referring to oneself:






That being mentioned, the gender-neutral choice, (わたし / わたくし), just isn’t solely extra well mannered, it’s additionally much more frequent.

There are the fundamental boy, woman, son, daughter and so forth, however in any other case, gender is omitted from nouns and adjectives.

俳優 (はいゆう) — actor

女優 (じょゆう) — actress

若い男の子 (わかい おとこのこ) — a younger boy

可愛い女の子 (かわいい おんなのこ) — a cute woman

キャビンアテンダント (きゃびん あてんだんと) — cabin attendant

Studying nouns and adjectives turns into a lot simpler with this in thoughts, as a result of for adjectives you’ll solely want to recollect one type, and for nouns, you’ll by no means have to fret about whether or not it’s masculine, female or neuter.

5. No noun declension

Noun declension means altering the type of nouns primarily based on their goal or location in a sentence. This occurs with languages like German, Greek and Russian. Japanese doesn’t do that in any respect!

As a substitute, Japanese makes use of particles equivalent to and to point goal:

Topic: 先生 (せんせい) — the trainer

Direct object: 先生 [] — the trainer

Oblique object (to/for): 先生 [] — [to/for] the trainer

Possessive: 先生 [] — [of] the trainer, the trainer’s

As with the shortage of gender, this makes studying nouns and adjectives simpler as a result of they by no means change type.

6. Mainly no plurals

Japanese basically has no plurals. You may pluralize pronouns, phrases referring to folks and some animal phrases, however even then, there are solely three attainable choices:

(ひと) — individual
人々(ひとびと) — folks

私達 (わたしたち) — we

彼ら (かれら) — they

Emphasis on the phrase “choice,”—as in you don’t essentially want to make use of plural varieties.

(おれのねこは、さんびきの ねずみとあそんで、いぬをおいかけて、おれのともだちをむしした。)
My cat(s) performed with three mice, chased a canine (some canines, the canine, the canines) and ignored my good friend(s).

Japanese typically signifies what number of of every object, and when it doesn’t, you’ll have the ability to infer from context.

7. Restricted phrase varieties

In Japanese, adjectives and adverbs every have solely two varieties. Even verbs have three—one among which is a small household of irregulars (to have, to do, to be and to come back).

Adjectives: i phrases and na phrases

Adverbs: ku phrases and ni phrases

Verbs: ru verbs and u verbs

Every class has its personal algorithm, however when you grasp one type of a phrase, you then’ve realized the identical type of a whole bunch of comparable phrases.

Except for getting aware of the foundations, immersing your self in Japanese media and getting lots of enter will make it easier to grasp all of those totally different varieties.


As an illustration, FluentU has a whole bunch of genuine Japanese movies for learners, and all of those have interactive subtitles that include grammar notes, together with adjective and verb varieties:

Japanese easy to learn 

After watching, you possibly can take personalised quizzes and even make flashcard decks for brand spanking new phrases.

8. Solely two verb tenses

In Japanese, there are solely two tenses: current/future and previous.

The current tense (I do) is identical as the longer term tense (I’ll do/I’m going to do). There’s a separate verb type for I’m doing, however for all intents and functions, the one correct tenses are these two.

You may specific quite a lot of moods and voices, as effectively, equivalent to passive (it was completed by) means (you are able to do) crucial (do it) and so forth. However the two fundamental tenses, plus the conjunctive/gerund type (doing or I do…) will get you the place you must go.

Current and future: 見る ( みる) — I (will) watch/look

Previous: 見た (みた) — I watched/appeared

9. Easier verb conjugations

In Japanese, the verb actually doesn’t change primarily based on who does the motion or how many individuals there are. In truth, you possibly can even take away the topic of the sentence and infer the who or what number of from context.

(にちようびに なにをするの?)
What do you do on Sundays? (On Sunday what do?)

I simply sleep. (Sleep solely.)

On this sentence, the individual doing the motion could possibly be anybody. (What does s/he do? What do they do? What’s going to we do?) If we had been to broaden the dialog, it might be apparent who’s doing what, however right here, even with solely two sentences, each audio system nonetheless perceive one another.  

10. No articles

In Japanese, there are methods of indicating particular or indefinite relationships primarily based on context, however there aren’t any phrases for a, an or the.

(とりは、ぷーるに とびこんだ!)
(The) chicken dove into the pool!

(ぷーるに、とりが とびこんだ)
(A) chicken dove into the pool!

You’ll discover you don’t even discover the articles are gone, and it’s one much less factor to be taught.

11. Optionally available phrases

In Japanese, topics and objects are optionally available in the event that they’re already understood primarily based on context.

Verb omitted:

(だれが きょうの ばんごはんをつくるの?)
Who’s going to make dinner tonight?

I’m! (It’s me!)

Topic omitted:

(いま、なに してるの?)
What (are you) doing now?

(I’m) swimming.

Japanese conversations typically embody one-word sentences, with a depth of that means buried beneath.

12. Tremendous versatile phrase order

There are solely two guidelines about phrase order in Japanese:

  • Verbs come final.
  • In compound sentences, every clause should hold its children within the assigned seating space.

In any other case, go loopy with phrase order. Japanese makes use of particles to designate every bit of a press release. The particle follows the noun wherever it goes.

Due to this fact, nouns can go wherever they please, assuming you utilize particles appropriately:

(にわで、いぬが あそんでいる。)
Within the backyard, the canine is enjoying.

(いぬは、にわで あそんでいる。)
The canine is enjoying within the backyard.

As a result of the particles comply with the nouns to which they refer, you possibly can’t confuse within the backyard with within the canine, however you possibly can transfer every bit round as you please.

13. Acquainted vocabulary

There are many frequent Japanese phrases that we use in English on a regular basis.

Just a few phrases you’re certain to acknowledge embody:

絵文字 (えもじ) — emoji

台風 (たいふう) — storm

可愛い (かわいい) — kawaii

豆腐 (とうふ) — tofu

寿司 (すし) — sushi

空手 (からて) — karate

大君 (たいくん) — tycoon

津波 (つなみ) — tsunami

忍者 (にんじゃ) — ninja

布団 (ふとん) — futon

There are definitely much more than these, all of which quantity to a hefty vocabulary checklist that you simply’re already aware of.

The alternative is true, as effectively: Japanese makes use of many English phrases, like:

ハンバーガー (はんばーがー) — hamburger

エスカレーター (えすかれーたー) — escalator

Even the well-known Japanese animation type referred to as アニメ (あにめ) or anime is a shortening of the English phrase animation.

14. Set phrases

Whenever you get to enterprise Japanese, there are lots of phrases which are figurative, so that you received’t essentially work out the that means simply by analyzing the person phrases.

You may make it a lot simpler on your self by merely studying set phrases to start out with.

For instance:

A pen, please. / Could I’ve a pen? (Hand me down a pen.)

(たいへん おせわに なりました。)
Thanks very a lot. (I drastically turned taken care of.)

Studying set phrases is at the very least as helpful as constructing a base of vocabulary. They’ll take you efficiently by means of many a dialog, and as soon as you are feeling safer with the language, it’s attention-grabbing to interrupt them down! 

15. Purposeful writing techniques

Japanese has extra writing techniques than English. Every system has its personal perform, although, so figuring out when to make use of one or the opposite isn’t tough:

  • ローマ字 (ろーまじ) — Romaji means Roman letters, in order that they’re good for straightforward studying. You’ll begin with this as a Japanese learner.
  • 漢字 (かんじ) — Kanji are phrases in and of themselves, adopted from Chinese language. As a result of there aren’t any areas in Japanese textual content, 漢字 assist break up blocks of letters into significant elements.
  • 仮名 (かな ) — Kana are Japanese characters which are used for pronunciation, grammatical constructions, scientific names and non-Chinese language international loanwords.

漢字 and かな are sometimes combined in sentences:

(わたしの あたらしい ねこは いじわるだけど、いがいに かわいいから だいすきだ。)
My new cat is imply, however as a result of s/he’s unexpectedly cute, I really like him/her.

Above, the 漢字 represents the meanings (me, new, cat and so forth), and the かな represents grammatical constructions (of, adjective endings, topic marker, nonetheless, and so forth).

16. No spacing between phrases

Admittedly, this makes it tough once you begin studying Japanese characters. And normally once you’re studying with romaji, there will probably be areas between phrases.

However when you begin utilizing kanji, writing turns into so much simpler.

No want to fret about the place to insert the house, how broad the areas must be or what number of occasions to hit the house bar after a interval.

17. No capitalization 

When writing romaji, it’s customary, although not required, to capitalize the primary letter of a sentence and the primary letter of correct nouns.

When writing in Japanese characters, nonetheless, the character by no means adjustments. In truth, there’s truly no technique to point out the significance of a topic or object.

That’s one much less copyediting situation to think about!


In some methods, as a result of facets described above, Japanese is a really refined, nuanced language whereas additionally being at the very least as flowing and natural as English.

There’s a construction, but it surely’s gentle like rice wine vinegar, not heavy like blue cheese.

I hope that by viewing the language by means of a “large image” lens, and seeing that it’s typically fairly simple, now you can strategy it extra confidently!