Skip to main content

So you want to teach yourself Japanese? Part One

I took a year of Japanese in university - and in that year of intense study and group projects I had mastered hiragana, katakana, and some Kanji. I was doing well. Then the class was over and I no longer had an opportunity to use what I had learned.

90% of my fluency went up in smoke.

One of my 2019 goals is to re-learn all that Japanese fluency that I lost. I'm pretty much starting from scratch, so if you're also interested in teaching yourself Japanese, I invite you to come along on this journey with me.


GENKI: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese, 2nd Edition
GENKI: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese, Workbook
JapanesePod101 and their Youtube Channel - Japanese
DuoLingo App - Japanese
Essential Japanese - but ONLY for the audio CD

I also have a variety of handouts, practice sheets, and some flash cards from my old university class. I will strive to provide links to those resources as I'm able to locate them! 


I found this fun graphic (which was HUGE so I broke it down into smaller parts to fit on my blog) from Language Nerds and while I don't believe that anyone can become truly fluent in just three months - it does break down the best way to start learning a language from scratch!

Since we're tackling Japanese, apparently one of the hardest languages to learn, it's even more important that we start incorporating how to write a word while we learn how to speak it and use it in a sentence.

Let's start with some simple Japanese phrases:

おはようございます ohayou gozaimasu– Good Morning

こんにちは  konnichiwa – Hello / Good afternoon!

ありがとうございます arigatou gozaimasu– Thank You

すみません sumimasen– Excuse Me, I’m Sorry, Thank you

こんばんは konbanwa - Good evening
ごめんなさい gomen nasai - I'm Sorry

Next lesson, we'll start practicing hiragana!

*This post contains affiliate links - if you make a purchase using one of these links, I may make a small commission at no extra charge to you.*


  1. It's great you learnt a foreign language. I think that's one of the best experiences in life. Especially Japanese! My best friend took 3 years of Japanese classes and I, 3 years of Chinese mandarin. He always argues that Chinese is harderthan Japanese and I always insist that Japanese is harder than Chinese and that therefore he's more brave than me. LOL!

    1. I definitely think Chinese would be WAYY harder - Japanese has a finite set of sounds that exist in the language, but Chinese has all that tonal stuff going on, where if you say the same word just slightly different it becomes a totally different word.

      Though writing Japanese might be harder because that's three different integrated "alphabets" to master.

    2. I think you're right about the writing. And yes the 5 tones in Chinese can be confusing when you speak.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Holiday Gift Guide: For Everyone

So we've tackled Gifts for Her and Gifts for Him, but we can't forget about everyone else on your list! Hopefully, these five gift idea will be perfect for that hard to befriend coworker, your estranged uncle or that member of your friend group who's gender identity is a little bit ambiguous. 
There are also some fun stocking stuffer ideas below! 

1. You know what I wish someone would get me, just once? A yummy gift basket and a holiday-themed mug - like this one and this one from Target! There's something really cozy about this type of seasonal gift, and I use cute mugs like this long past the holidays so they definitely see some use!

2. A lipstick-sized portable battery charger for a phone - like this affordable one from Amazon!  - fits nicely inside a purse or a pocket, so it's the perfect gift for your cousin who's always playing Pokemon Go (is that still a thing?) I really can't think of anyone who wouldn't benefit from one of these - except maybe…

Wishtrend's #thegoodpackage Review

Quite a few of my favorite Youtubers have been 'repping' this company and their products lately (like Sharmander and Caricakes - who also have their own affiliate boxes) and after reading a ton of reviews about their Green Tea Powder Wash and the Vitamin C Serum I knew I had to check it out.

So, one afternoon, during a boring work shift, I popped onto their website to see what was up. And this limited-time deal struck my fancy: #thegoodpackage for $80 containing only cruelty-free products w/ proceeds going to an animal charity.

How could I say no?

So what is Wishtrend?

Basically, Wishtrend is a retailer in Korea that offers their in-house brand along with a few other ethical beauty brands. They have select locations in Korea, but ship worldwide. Frequently they have package deals you can buy, such as the one I purchased, and they tend to be great deals since you get a ton of freebies with them.

Wishtrend also partners with influencers, as I mentioned above, and you can get a lo…

BIRCHBOX July 2018 Unboxing + Review

When the concept of beauty subscriptions first crossed into my awareness, I was honestly torn between Birchbox and Ipsy - there were pros and cons for both. At the time, I was looking to beef up my makeup stash so I initially settled on Ipsy and that was a good run while it lasted (I'll be getting my last bag with them in August) but then they had their anti-trans snafu during Pride Month and I couldn't, in good conscience, stick with 'em.

So a couple of coworkers tell me how much they like Birchbox and that I should give it a go if I'm more into hair and skincare products these days. Which I am. So here we are:

The contents of my July Box include: Oribe Après Beach Wave and Shine SprayM·A·C Cosmetics Strobe CreamARROW REVITALIZE Undereye Brightening SerumVasanti® Makeup Magnet WipesEyeko Brow Liner

Oribe is one of those brands that is both beloved by hair stylists and too expensive to justify, especially since I rarely do any styling to my hair. However, I'…