Category Archives: Japanese Study: Beginner

Japanese grammar spotlight: だって (datte) vs だから (dakara)

In this post I want to focus on two common Japanese words that sound similar but have very different meanings––in fact opposite meanings. These words can have a few different usages, but I will be focusing on the following usage, where だって or だから begins a new sentence. 「sentence A」。だって「sentence B」 「sentence A」。だから「sentence B」 Besides… Read More »

まえ (mae) vs まで (made): what’s the difference?

Words that sound similar can cause trouble for those learning a foreign language, especially if the words have similar meanings. In this post I want to go over the difference between the Japanese words ”mae” (written either as まえ or 前) and “made” (usually written as まで, but in rare cases as 迄), which are… Read More »

Japanese term: What is “Ateji”? (当て字・あてじ)

Kanji (漢字), characters adopted from Chinese, are easily one of the most challenging aspects of the Japanese language. I think it’s fiar to say the love or hate relationship a learner has with kanji can determine whether they continue learning the language or give up. Personally, while I acknowledge kanji take a lot of time… Read More »

Commentary (解説): One of the Joys of Japanese Literature

Reading Japanese literature in its original language has a few perks. First, you have access to a huge number of works that have not been translated yet, many of which may never be translated. Also, reading untranslated text allows you to pick up nuances which would difficult––if not impossible––to translate, although skiled translators can use… Read More »

Japanese grammar: An overview of the “te” form (and an important use nobody taught you)

The “te” form of verbs, sometimes (confusingly) referred to as the “gerund” form, is a cornerstone of Japanese grammar. Not only are there only a few verb forms in the language, but the “te” form has a variety of uses. In this post I’ll go over the main ones, including one you may not be… Read More »