A young girl (on the left) and two young boys (one in the middle and another to the right) are wearing Japanese high school uniforms and are talking while walking down a street. The girl has a bag over her right shoulder while the two boys are holding books in their right arm.

8 Ways to Make Your Japanese Sound More Natural

Have you tried practicing lines out of a Japanese textbook only to get blank stares from native speakers? As you may already know, the material in textbooks can sound stiff and unnatural. Take a look at the following two examples; which do you think sounds more natural?  1a. 私はお酒を飲みに行きました。すごく楽しかったです。 (Watashi wa osake o nomi ni … Read more

An illustration of the 12 different Chinese Zodiac signs with each sign alternating in beige, purple, and black colors.

The Complete Japanese Zodiac And Astrological Signs Guide

People have always been fascinated by pseudosciences such as astrology, tarot cards, and personality typing. The Japanese are no different. In addition to regular fortune telling, personality typing by blood types, and palm reading, zodiacs are especially popular in Japan. There are two prevailing zodiac systems in Japan; one is the traditional Chinese zodiac, which … Read more

A young, Asian woman wearing a white shirt is facing the camera with a big smile. She has her left pointer finger touching her left cheek, while her right pointer finger is touching her right cheek. The background is light blue.

7 Ways to Say “Happy” in Japanese

Ah, happiness. As elusive as it can be in real life, grasping the nuances of different Japanese words for “happy” can be almost as puzzling.  While I can’t help you find inner peace and happiness in real life, I can teach you 7 different ways to say happy in Japanese, how they differ, and when … Read more

A young woman smiling towards the camera with her right hand up as if saying hi. There are light-green sticky notes stuck on to different parts of her body, with the name of that body part written on the note. One note is over her left eye (and reads “eye”), one note on her right cheek (that reads, “cheek”), one note on her right hand (that reads, “hand”) and one note on her left chest that reads, “body.”

A Comprehensive Guide to 40 Body Parts in Japanese

Imagine traveling in the beautiful green countryside of Japan when you suddenly feel a sharp pain in your stomach. You go to a hospital, but the doctors there don’t speak English. You find yourself unable to explain your symptoms. This hopefully will never happen, but just in case, it would be nice to be able … Read more

A wicker basket is seen on top of a wooden table and is filled with various fruits and vegetables like broccoli, red and yellow bell peppers, corn, garlic, apples, a carrot and more. Some of these vegetables are on the table surrounding the basket.

A Guide to Vegetable Names in Japanese

When people talk about Japanese cuisine, the focus always goes to sushi, tempura, or ramen. No one ever talks about the amazing vegetables used in Japanese cooking. If you love cooking or eating, knowing how to say the names of vegetables in Japanese will be super helpful.   In this guide, you’ll learn the names of … Read more

A birds-eye image of a group of 8 people sitting around a large, yellow, tabletop. Only the arms and hands of most people at the table can be seen. There are also cups of coffee, notebooks, and books on the table. In the center of the table is a white speech bubble with a black border, both of which are created by white or black colored squares. In this speech bubble, the words, “WHAT’S UP?” is displayed.

8 Ways to Say “What’s Up” in Japanese 

Most beginner Japanese classes teach you “konnichi wa” or “ogenki desu ka” as ways to greet people, but would you use that in casual conversations with friends? What if you want to play it cool and toss out a casual “‘sup” to your friends instead?  We have just the solution to your problem.  “What’s up” … Read more