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Ichinensei - Let's Learn Japanese!

Wanna learn Japanese? Join me in taking one of the most intense and well-taught Japanese classes in the world. By next May, you will transform from a 1st year (ichinensei) to a 5th-6th year student! No joke, so next fall, you would qualify for Japanese 5 at MIT.

Every time I go to class, I will post an entry about the materials learned that day.

I hope this will provide as a good, fun, and relaxing resource or supplement for intensive online learning.

May 13 '12
Dec 8 '10

Prerequisite: Lesson 1, Day 1 

The goal of the prerequisites are to teach you the basics of Japanese.

From day 1, Sensei speaks in Japanese only, but I will provide translations.


Vocabulary: Try to memorize these common phrases! 

Ohayou gozaimasu. "Good morning (polite form)." Say "ohayou" to friends, people you’re familiar with, and younger people.

Konnichiwa. “Good day.”

Konbanwa. “Good evening.” Pronounced more like “kombanwa.”

Sayounara. “Goodbye.” 

Oyasuminasai. “Goodnight.” 

Arigatou gozaimasu. “Thank you (polite form).” 

Tanaka desu. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu. "I’m Tanaka. Nice to meet you."

Hajimemashite. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu. “Hajimemashite" is said when meeting someone for the first time. 

Sumimasen. “Excuse me/pardon me.” If someone bumps into you and goes “sumimasen,” you say “iie.” No problem. 

Iie. “No.” Also loosely translates to “no problem, it’s alright” something like that. See In Context below. 

Douzo. “Here you go/Go ahead.”

"Thank you" from least to most formal: doumo (heard between classmates), arigatou (also heard between classmates), doumo arigatou (rarely heard in class though), arigatou gozaimasu (most commonly heard in class), doumo arigatou gozaimasu.


In Addition, here are the classroom instructions used from day 1:

Kiite kudasai.  ”Please listen.” There is a difference between “kiite” and “kite” and “kitte.” Kiite has 3 syllables: ki-i-te. Kitte also has 3 syllables with the second being a silent one, a slight pause where the tongue is at the top of the mouth: ki—te. Don’t worry too much about this for now. 

Itte kudasai.  ”Please say it.” 

Moo ichido itte kudasai.  ”Please say it again.”

Minna de itte kudasai.  ”Please say it together.”

Jones-san ni kiite kudasai. “Please ask Mr. Jones.”


In Context, what would you say in these situations? 

1) You are meeting your boss for the first time. 

2) Tanaka-san wants a drink. You hand over a cup to Tanaka-san. What do you say? How does Tanaka-san respond? How do you reply? 

3) You accidentally step on someone in the train. What do you say and how does the person respond? 

4) The class is not paying attention. Tell them to listen to you.

5) You see your friend in the evening on the way home from work.


See? Not too bad, eh? You will be amazing in no time. ^^ Come back every weekday for the next lesson!