Here’s a fun idea.

I’ve added this page to address any of your questions, comments, and suggestions. Basically, just add a comment with your thoughts and I’ll collect them here for others to read. I’ll also try to answer your questions as best as I can. I’m not looking for any topic in particular so your comment can be about anything but be nice!

Subject: God bless you
Date: 2009/11/17

Dear Mr. Kim,

Hello. I wanted to write you and let you know what an amazing service you are providing to people like me. My dream is to become a Japanese teacher one day. I discovered this about 2 years ago and I have been studying every day ever since (manga, animé, textbooks, “My Japanese Coach”, “” and your grammar guide.) Do you know that you are the FIRST person to ever give me a firm start to understanding wa and ga? I don’t even know who you are…..but thank you. Once I can make my dream come true (in about 5-10 years!), you will be part of why that was possible. I will be reading your blog every day. Thank you.


Subject: Thank you!
Date: 2009/9/20

迷惑かけてごめんなさい~ (I hope that’s correct for “sorry to cause you trouble” and not “you caused me trouble”) ^^

Your guide has really, REALLY helped me so much. It’s still the very best aid I know of so far in studying Japanese by one’s own self. In fact, I might have given up on learning that language for a long while if I hadn’t found such a well-organized step-by-step guide to the grammar.


Subject: Thank you for “Japanese Grammar Guide”
Date: 2009/7/20

Tae kim,

I am speechless as of how great your guide is. I have been learning Japanese since 2005 with a private teacher, who in my opinion is very skilled, but yet your guide contained many many little things I had always kind of “felt” in my Japanese thinking but could never truly reason about. Now thanks to your guide, I can. I am astonished how precisely you can word seemingly complex mechanisms inside the japanese language in so few and yet so perfectly informative sentences. I truly admire your knowledge. It is such a joy to read your guide …

Again, I cannot thank you enough.

Kind regards and best wishes from Frankfurt, Germany,


Subject: Your Japanese Website
Date: Tue, Jul 8, 2008 at 9:55 PM

Hey, my name’s Aaron, I traverse the website, forums, and stuff. This fall, I am studying abroad at a university in the Chiba area (神田外語大学 website: Just thought I should let you know that amongst the information they’ve sent me, they I noticed that they recommend your guide as a good resource. Congrats, you have universities promoting you! 🙂

59 thoughts on “Feedback

  1. Hi Tae,

    I’m the author of two pieces of Macintosh shareware for learning Japanese writing, iKana and iKanji. I found your blog via Google and noticed you talk about the Japanese language and have a Mac. If you would be interested in evaluating and perhaps writing a short review for either product I’d be happy to give you free copies.

    Hope to hear from you,


    • I think that Japanese language is more difficult to learn compared to Korean. The most difficult part is Kanji or Chinese character, which has a lot of pronunciation and the rule of reading it is very inconsistent. Korean is very easy to learn compared to Kanji where one character has 3 or 4 reading when combined with Hirakana or another kanji.

  2. Hey Tae, I found your website some time back and have been actively reading your blogs and reading your Japanese study guide (for lack of a better word). I honestly can’t thank you enough. I’m currently in Japanese here at college, and honestly it’s a real drag. It may be due to the fact I lived there for a while in life as a military brat. But the classes are going so slow. Right now the class uses masu form of verbs (why?! I’d rather them teach us the root, and show us conjugations and how we can get the masu form if we need it. But I digress) We haven’t done any real conjugation outside of masu (sigh) and the teacher is slow to even teach gana. So for me, it feels like I’m in a 10 mph lane.

    Fortunately for my sanity, I’ve been teaching myself past what I already knew. I’ll be the first to say, I learn better if I have some kind of worksheet or something to show me what I did wrong vs did right. Which is why I love your website. When it comes to state of being for both verbs and nouns, I found your site to be much help. Even moreso than the current books I’m using. I’ve gone ahead and started using Heisig’s remember the kanji. I’ve seen you post on Reviewing the Kanji website a few times, wondering about Heisig. Honestly I felt exactly how you did in regards to it not really teaching you anything. From my own experience, I think RTK1 is completely worthless if you’re not going to continue your Japanese afterward. As for myself, I do RTK along side grammar. What I notice now, is sure I know how to write it and know what it means. But can’t read it, that’s perfectly ok. While doing grammar the kanji I recognize, the stories get replaced by the readings I pickup from your site. So for instance 「元気」 from RTK, I knew how to write both of them, but didn’t know their on yomi and kun yomi readings. But after viewing Japanese news sites, your site and just various Japanese language oriented site, I quickly learned how it’s read in context. The made up stories for both characters were replaced with context and reading knowledge. So with that I see how RTK is suppose to work. I haven’t continued with RTK2 or RTK3, because I find this method much more helpful. I can read quite a bit of kanji intensive material.

    Anyways, I must thank you for the grammar study guide, conjugation was something I felt was more important than say learning JUST the masu form of verbs. It also helped in making sense of what is being taught in class (granted, I’m rarely paying attention, I’m too busy teaching myself with my own methods.) The combination of a good J->J dictionary, Anki, Rikaichan / perapera kun, and your site and other like it. The language seems to just “fall in place” if you will, versus learning it in a class room, where it feels like I’m trying to put a square peg in a round hole.

    Hopefully after I get Japanese down, I’ll hop over and teach myself Korean. I’ve shown your site to a few classmates, some who aren’t even taking Japanese, and many of them have jumped on teaching themselves. I have the assistant Japanese instructor looking at your site from time to time. Hopefully whenever she takes over the courses, she’ll apply some of your methods to her teaching. Hopefully the masu form gets a swift kick, I honestly believe that starting with that form makes Japanese much more harder than it really is.

    Bleh this was quite a bit of writing, sorry haha

  3. Thanks Kalani for the great feedback! If you feel that the class isn’t helping you, you should just continue with your self studies and look for more 1 on 1 tutoring. I’m glad you decided to try RTK for yourself and found what works for you. But I think you’re breaking his rules of not learning the readings until you’re completely finished. Ah well, who cares right? 🙂

  4. Hey Tae Kim!

    Koichi from,

    I’ve looked all over for a contact email / page on this blog. Would you be able to contact me so we can talk? I have a couple questions, if you’ve got a few minutes 🙂

    Email is


    • Hi Tae kim,

      Your website is great but i cant find the worksheets . Ive tried to send you an email but it said your email address was in valid. Could you send the url or the link to me at by the way yor websirte is first ive found that explains everything.

      Thank you for the help

  5. Hi Tae Kim,

    I’m sure you’ve gotten your fair share of these requests and I read your feelings about not creating just “another” flashcard website, but I was wondering if you could take a look at my website? It’s partly a quiz driven site, but I hope to make it more than that over time.

    Thanks for your time,

  6. Oops. Thought it would show up in the URL portion of the comment for you (^ ^)

    One thing to keep in mind is that the site is connected to the net by a DSL line that is really, really unpredictable. Sometimes it’s decent and other times it’s sloooow. Once I get a job here in Japan, I’ll set up a server here. The connection appears to be much more reliable.

    My next big move will be to come up with user generated content of some sort (and perhaps to make it a more cheerful site), but that probably won’t happen for a few months in all honesty.

  7. I am simply trying to put together a simple interface where you can study for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. If that wasn’t apparent, then I certainly haven’t presented the material well.

  8. The menu is on the left side and easily accessible. You can browse through the different kanji according to the level and, more importantly, you can use the quiz to test your knowledge. Again, at the moment the functionality is pretty limited, but over time I hope to expand on it.

  9. Hello!

    I came across your website for learning Japanese, and thought you might be interested in a couple of videos that are insanely useful for learning Japanese. – this video is fantastic for learning to count the DAYS OF A MONTH. Counting the days of a month are quite difficult to remember, but this video makes it super simple.

    ALSO, for Japanese grammar, there is the “~te form” of a verb. – this is the video for learning the ~te form of a verb and i think it will be really useful for your website. ~te form is used for many different reasons (which you probably know), but this video makes it easy to remember, and the explanation is in the side bar.

    These videos helped me, and have helped heaps of others remember these parts of Japanese. Hope you enjoy them and find them helpful enough to feature on your website!


  10. Dear Tae.
    I have never found another online resource that is as helpful as your guide to Japanese.
    Thankyou for taking the time to put that together.
    By the way, I find Japanese TV infuriating. I hate seeing the same damn celebs sitting around chatting.

  11. I have been following your blog and making use of your grammar guide for some time. Both your blog posts and your guide are really helpful and straight-forward. Thank you so much for your hard work and contributions to online Japanese study materials.

    It seems like a while back you had posted in your blog about writing a Japanese textbook. Forgive me if I missed something, but you haven’t seemed to be speaking much about it lately. Are you still writing it? I hope so, because I think it would be very helpful for us learners out here.

  12. I’m still working on it and have completed the first couple chapters. It’s going to a take a lot more time before I can get it up to something I can share with the rest of the world. It’s a lot of work!

  13. Hi,
    I was looking at your blog and I thought you might like to include some lessons/notes (with audio) every now and then for your readers. You could use ‘MLN Player’ like I do here in my blog:
    I made the FREE program (MLN Player) to allow language lessons/notes with audio to be embedded in any web site or blog (just like embedding a youtube video). I have used it to show how your lessons/notes could look in your blog. You can see it here:
    I just thought you might want to use MLN Player to show your lessons/notes in It’s totally FREE and very easy to make lessons with. You can embed any of the lessons already on the MLN site, or make your own.
    You just have to double click on a sentence to hear it and there are built-in ways of testing yourself, like hiding/showing translations.

    Also, if you want a link to some Japanese lessons, my friend made these ones (with MLN Player 😉

    Anyway, if you want any more info, please let me know.

    Best of luck with your blog.

    All the best,
    Jim Morrison

  14. I just wanted to let you know that as a very passionate student of Japanese language and culture who studies intensely every day, I find your website and blog fascinating and highly informative. I’ve thought about becoming a high school Japanese teacher someday, and I hope that one day I can inspire beginners like you have. Keep it coming, thanks for all the hard work!

  15. I just wanted to suggest a great app for iPhone / iPod touch that might benefit your readers. It’s called Zen Nihongo and has all the vocabulary for JLPT as well as all the kanji for JLPT. The training method is basically built on the supermemo method.

  16. Hey, have you considered working on an iPhone or an iPad app? I’ve been hoping that someday a Japanese grammar guide of some kind will show up in the app store but I don’t know if one ever will. All I can say is that being able to go through your grammar guide on an iPad (using a native app) would be awesome! An iPhone app would be cool too, but the iPad version would really shine (inline audio/illustrations). I’ve been considering writing my own (I’m an Apple Developer) but it would be a lot of work to put together a guide that would only end up being a half as useful (or less) as what yours is. Let me know if you’re interested, I would love to work on something like that (plus, it would be a great way for you to earn some money for all of the hard work you’ve already done).

      • I agree, it doesn’t seem like it would offer a significant advantage. On the other hand, there are users who might be checking the app store for Japanese resources and may not even consider searching the internet for a grammar guide (albeit an obvious place to look), especially when you use your phone as your primary browsing device. Consider the popularity (and quantity) of dictionaries, kana flash cards and Japanese vocabulary flash card apps in the app store. These programs offer nothing more than what could be found elsewhere on the internet, but the experience is customized to the platform. In addition, there are tens (if not hundreds) of applications that merely duplicate the functionality of a website (i.e. they are customized RSS readers) with maybe a little added functionality. But thousands of users download these applications because they provide a custom experience. It’s nice to be able to study/review/read something on your mobile device even when you don’t have internet access. This is why I think an app would be awesome. Granted, if I were writing such an app I would not want to merely create a static (albeit up-datable) version of an existing website. I would want to offer something new and add to the experience.

  17. I’d like to see two things.

    1. A donation button so everyone can give appreciation for your efforts in the form of monetary contribution.

    2. A PDF version of the new book.

    • A donation button is there already not for me personally but for other efforts to improve the site and an ebook has been my goal for a long time, just haven’t been able to get there.

  18. Hello,

    Can you please tell me the meaning of ending things in りゃ?

    Watching anime and Japanese TV shows it appears as if they use it all the time and yet I can’t find what it means anywhere.

    そりゃ is a contraction of それは I guess, but what about verbs ending in りゃ? It’s like I’m hearing わかりゃ、すりゃ etc. Not sure it’s actually りゃ, might be mishearing.

    Any insight would be appreciated.

    • わかりゃ、すりゃ is mostly likely a contraction of the conditional: ば.
      In this case わかれば and すれば though I can’t tell you for sure without more context.

  19. hey thanks for all the work you have put into making this great website.
    It is soo helpful to be able to have free and comprehensive resources for language learning. This website rocks!!! Thanks heaps. I will be using this site a lot in the future!!

  20. i have been in course of japanese language,,, but i got little,, i need more,, and thanks very much,, i found your web and blog,,, it helps me more,, my english is not good enough,, couse i’m indonesian,,, and i hope you to accept me in your facebook group,,, arigato gozaimasu,,

  21. Thank you very much for your ipad Grammar Guide app! I cannot wait to the day when I have a true command of the Japanese language. I am sure your guide will play a key part in that.
    – Brian
    Orlando, FL
    ps I’m a Spanish teacher going into my eleventh year of still trying to figure out the best classroom experience/method for teaching language – And yes, I always need to relate with my students by being a language learner!
    pps I love the game of GO (囲碁) – I cannot wait to read all the books and magazines in Japanese.

  22. Hey, I just want to ask if tae kim and jim breen is same person btw thanks for these free stuffs with these I am able to learn jap in self study!

    again thank Mr. Tae Kim

  23. Hey Tae 🙂
    I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your excellent Grammar Guide App.
    Not only is it helpful, but your writing style is humorous and entertaining, making it a FAR more interesting read than many, many “Japanese guides” and textbooks I’ve seen and read so far.
    Again, thank you so much for taking your time to compile such a useful and reader-friendly guide to the Japanese language.
    I hope you have much luck in your career!

  24. Dear Taekim

    You’re really amazing, and as you are a little bit of an NGO, since nearly most of your Japanese material is for free (including your great PDF File which has nearly as good quality and explainations as the “Basic/Advance Grammar Japanese Series”, I was wondering if you don’t want present your website to the Japan Foundation, because I believe that so much hard work, must get a benefit. And please keep on this high quality level and surprise us with further interesting Japanese information in the future.

    • Thanks, I don’t know much about the Japan Foundation but I’m always open to working collaboratively with Japanese speakers.

      I’m happy with the benefits I get already such as nice feedback like yours.

  25. Hi!
    …could you help me?
    I need some help about japanese universities for foreigners…
    In about 6 months, Ill be living in Japan, but I have no clue how universities work and how I can find more information.
    And I’m a bit worried because I’m 18 years old and I’m in my last high school year…(and I don’t speak japanese -I am starting to learn now-, only english -and it’s not my native language-)
    I apologize for the inconvenience, but I hope to get some help…
    Thank you very much!

    PS: I am reading your guide, it’s really helpful and clear, I really liked it! It’s really good to have people sharing stuff like this! Thank you for your work!

  26. Taeさん、




  27. Hi. Thank you for your excellent resources!
    I’m still going through the kana (almost done!) and I’m sure I’ve barely scratched the surface of what your site has to offer.
    Small question: on the last word in Katakana Writing Exercise 2 (weight lifting) I wrote we- as ウェ, with the small ェ, but I noticed in the answer it’s full size. Is it a typo or is it on purpose? Do you read ウエ any different than ウェ in practice? (Maybe it spans two “sounds” instead of one?)

  28. hello tae kim-san,

    i am anjani from india, i am trying to learn japanese to open new doors of me getting jobs in foreign. i am sending you this message because there is something that has been troubling me for weeks. the question is ‘when to use “no ga” and “no wo” in nominalization’ ? eg. むすめがピアノをひいているのを見た. which means “i saw my son playing piano” . can we interchange を with が? if not what is the reason?

  29. hello tae kim,

    please can you list some verbs which use “no ga” and other which use “no wo” for nominalization. eg1) musuko ga piano wo hiite iru no wo mita and eg2) anata ga kono e wo kaita no ga wakatta. why is there a ” no wo” in first sentence and a “no ga” in second?? please explain

    by anjani (

  30. Hi Tae Kim! I wanted to contact you regarding my Kickstarter (and I can’t seem to find your email, so I’ll try you here!). The project got funded 2 days after launch and is about to hit its second stretch goal after a week. It’s an app that can train your ears to hear the pronunciation of a foreign language in 2 weeks, and thereby make it much easier to learn a language to fluency. Japanese is going to be one of the first languages I support.

    Here’s the link:

    Please let me know if you think it might be a good fit for your readers!

    Best regards,
    -Gabe Wyner

  31. Hey! hi! i am really amazed by your outstanding ability to take up the three languages. I am from Hong Kong and now decide to commence with learning Japanese. In fact, i was astonished to see how you get such an accurate translation for Chinsese on this blog. Awesome! I wonder how much time it takes you to grasp these knowledge( well, especially learning japanese) . Besides, I appreciate your effort in making those youtube videos about Hiragana . I have learnt so much from it. Thanks.

  32. Dear tae Kim I must be the weirdest person in the world. My approach to language learning is to get the basics and then read read read. Particularly in a language like Japanese, talking can only get you so far. But how to find reading material which will increase my vocabulary without slowing me down to to one sentence per hour (I’ve had it with stories about bunnies and doggies). Are there books for adult learners? Ps Don’t tell me to read manga – that’s worse than bunnies! Sorry to bother you, but I’ve amazoned and googled my way to s standstill.

    • I personally would recommend just regular books for Japanese speakers. A book such as “Kitchen” by Yoshimoto Banana is not too advanced. There are also graded readers and such that are tailored for people learning Japanese. I haven’t tried them myself but they should be easy to find if you google or search on amazon for “japanese graded reader”.

  33. Hello Mr. Kim,

    Okay, I’m at my rope’s end here. I’ve been “studying” Japanese for close to a year now, but I seem to spend more time reading about how to study Japanese than actually studying it. I’ve looked at other How to Learn Japanese Blogs, everything from AJATT, to Tofugu, to JALUP and beyond. I’ve tried Anki, and abhor it for the same reasons as you. Ditto for RTK. After dropping them both, I’ve taken to ordering some more manga and video games, and I just installed Rikaichan the other day and I’m loving it so far. However, I’m confused as to whether I’m using it correctly. You’ve talked about how one shouldn’t translate, but doesn’t Rikaichan do just that, one word at a time? I want to play video games and read manga without a laptop or paper dictionary at my side, so I’m thinking of saving up for an electronic dictionary. But going back the Rikaichan thing: isn’t a J-E electronic dictionary also detrimental to my studies; isn’t it “translating”? Maybe I’m reading into it too much. Assuming I’m wrong and J-E is okay: are there any models you would recommend (haven’t you used a J-J dictionary? how does that even work when you’re just starting out?!)?

    • Yes, be very careful of reading too much about HOW to learn Japanese. If you look at sites like AJATT, it has TONS of text all in English, which is ironic for All Japanese all the time. Translating is more about trying to convert thoughts in English to Japanese and vice-versa. Does not work at all. Looking up individual words is fine as long as you don’t try to translate the whole sentence afterwards. Generally, I would recommend a cheap android tablet like the Nexus 7 over an electronic dictionary. Aedict is free and works offline.

      • Ah, I forgot to mention that I don’t have a smartphone or a tablet (and I’m in college!). I’m kind of a hipster like that. I like the idea of electronic dictionaries because of their superior battery life (I read it’s like 100+hrs on a pair of AA batteries!?). While it’s true they only do one thing (and you could get something else with multimedia capabilities–like a PS3–for around the same price) they do it damn well, in my opinion. I’ve heard many complaints about using smartphone/tablet touch screens to write/look up unknown kanji. Also, I can’t imagine myself using a tablet for anything else if I get one. I get pretty hardcore when it comes to studying; so much that I couldn’t be arsed to recharge the battery every 7 hours. Thank you for the quick reply, I should probably getting around to actually studying now…

  34. Your guide is by far the best thing that exists in this world for people like me who sincerly want to learn japanese, not just to be able to survive a holiday trip to japan but to really understand what’s going on.

    I can’t thank you enough for all your hard work!


  35. Hello Mr Kim

    Thank you for your amazing guide. I met my fiancee more than one year ago. She is japanese and is fluent in french and english. At the very beginning I had only been interested in knowing few words in japanese. Eight months ago, We went to japan, the first time for me. Back from there I decided to get organised so that I could spend about one hour each day to learning japanese. Learning quickly tourist’s useful sentences written in latin letters wouldn’t have made any sense, since my main motivations are to understand deeply and to improve the communication with her, her friends and her family. Therefore I first focused on learning the kanas. One or two weeks of deep efforts, with the help of my fiancee for the prononciation, was worth the investment.
    Then I started with the support of french web sites, and with the help of my fiancee. Very soon after, three main problems arose.

    First, the prononciation of some words did not sound only like the hiraganas. There was something else to be added to. One day, seeing a cow painting that decorated a toy : -“‘cow’, how is it in japanese ?” I asked. -“牛” she answered. After a while, I did manage to say うし in a correct way. At this moment I was elavating the pitch when trying to say the word, as if I was asking a question “is it correct ?”. Once ok, I became more affirmative and stopped elevating the pitch. “No it’s not OK anymore” she said. Confusing, wasn’t it ? Few days after, by chance I heard two words with same hiraganas but that sounded totally different. かみ means 紙 if pitch goes up and means 神 if it goes down. I discussed with her and discovered that the pitch is quite important in japanese prononciation. I had never read such a thing.
    Second, each time my fiancee said and then detailed a japanese phrase, it was almost never impossible to find the corresponding grammar in any web sites or web textbooks. No ですか at the end of her questions… I remember her saying ..持ってくの (without い , far from ..持って行きますか )…
    Third, I soon discovered and discussed with her the problem with the particle が. For instance, in japan ( the second time I went there, about six months ago ), her and her sister introduced themselves to one of her mother’s acquaintances. Her sister just said 娘です . After a while, it appeared that the person was not quite sure that they where both daughters. There were many such exemples showing that there is no subject in japanese.

    At this moment I started to feel discouraged. How could I make my way through the difficulties of a new language without any gammatical support I could rely on ?
    That’s why I decided to switch from french to english websites.
    I simply typed “there is no subject in japanese” in google. The first link that came out was this amazing website. I am happy and thank you again and again for your very very useful work that answers all the questions I had before, and that is saving a lot of time and efforts. The first steps may have been harder, but soon the japanese way of understanding japanese grammar have become like familiar. I have bought one book so that I do not need any computer and can read it easily anywhere. Thanks to your book, to Anki flashcards I create to memorize the vocabulary, to learning kanjis and to practising with my fiancee, I can already understand some phrases in easy novels, understand parts of what my fiancee is saying ( if, after each clause, she stops talking and gives me few silent seconds to let me think about). This book will for sure help me during the years that I need to reach a fluent level in japanese.

    Thanks a lot


  36. You can learn Kanji, by their usages/ meanings and Readings (+ stoke orders). The YouTube channel FiveADay Kanji helps you remember the Kanji in a more simpler way than James Heisig’s “Remembering the Kanji”.

  37. So is Japanese tensing something like Hebrew which has only two tenses: complete tense and incomplete tense. The complete tense is useually tanslated as past tense but it can refer to events which will be completed in the future. The incomplete tense can refer to events which are ongoing or were ongoing or wil be ongoing. One has to look at the context for clues as which is meant.

  38. So how should japanese be taken?
    Kana, obviously first.
    Then Kanji? or Grammer? Or grammer+kanji? What should most people focus on most? nouns or verbs..or both?
    What should one learn more? A Kanji and all its readings/meanings or many kanji’s. I know that one can’t just ‘master’ kanji, but what are the steps to slowly and eventually get to a decent level with fluent communication (or reading) with natives?
    On the side note, when should you learn slang and not sound super formal to friends. (Has a pen pal)

  39. Hi, I have a question. I would like to know which language, Japanese or Korean, is easier to learn, given that my goal is to be able to read texts like newspaper articles and government reports (so speaking, listening, and writing are not the greatest concerns of mine), and given that Chinese (both Mandarin and Cantonese) is my native language.

    Thanks in advance for your advice!

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