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4 Reasons Why Japanese Slang Words Will Make You Fluent

Learn 4 honest reasons you need Japanese slang words and why they are so vital to truly learning and mastering the language.

Teachers may normally cringe at the thought of their students learning Japanese slang words. After all, slang words and phrases are typically defined as being grammatically incorrect. So why would your teacher want you to spend time learning the “wrong way” to speak Japanese? Here are 4 of the top reasons why you should study slang words and expressions when learning Japanese or any new language.

reasons to learn japanese slang words

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1. Native Speakers Use Slang Expressions in Everyday Conversation

If you are going to study a foreign language and plan to use it to speak with native speakers, then you have to learn slang words and expressions. Otherwise, just using formal expressions and grammar may alienate you from native speakers and make it more difficult to establish a real connection. So it is best to at least learn some common slang words and expressions if you’re planning to meet or speak socially with someone.

2. Slang Words Are Used All Throughout Japanese Culture

If you turn on any popular Japanese TV show, listen to any song, or watch any movie, you are quickly going to see the value of learning Japanese slang phrases. Just like everyday conversations between native speakers, Japanese culture is filled with slang phrases and expressions. Without at least some knowledge of the more common slang phrases, popular culture and most conversations will be very confusing and potentially alienating.

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3. Slang Expressions Help You Better Express Your True Thoughts and Feelings

Only relying on formal grammar and vocabulary is very limiting, especially in social situations. Just like in your native language, using the appropriate Japanese slang words can help you express a broader range of emotions, thoughts, and feelings.

4. Proper Use of Slang Makes You Sound More Natural

We’ve all met foreigners who technically used formal language perfectly but still sounded odd and well….foreign. But when you use the right slang words and expressions, you will sound more natural and like a true native speaker. If you notice, even most politicians include a sprinkling of slang expressions and words throughout their speeches to help them sound more natural and to better connect with the audience.

The Dark Side of Slang Expressions

Learning Japanese slang words can indeed help you sound more natural, better understand the people and culture, and make integration much easier. However, there is a dark side: using the wrong slang expressions can also make you look foolish, uneducated, and potentially disrespectful.

But how do you know which slang words or phrases to use and when?

The truth is that you can’t learn the most modern and appropriate slang words in textbooks or formal classroom settings. By the time the information gets incorporated into a formal curriculum, it’s already outdated and no longer in use by actual Japanese people. And while you can learn current slang expressions from Japanese TV shows, movies, songs, and games, you may not understand the context. If that happens, you may use the right Japanese slang words but in the wrong situation and still look like a fool or possibly even offend someone.

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So where can you learn current slang expressions and the right context in which to use them?

At JapanesePod101, native speaking instructors create audio and video lessons that can include slang expressions and words. Our instructors provide context and examples for all the Japanese slang words used in any lesson to make sure students understand the right time and place to use them.

Japanese slang words and expressions may be grammatically incorrect but they are vital to truly understanding and immersing yourself in the culture. In fact, it will be very difficult to fully understand any movie, TV show, song, game, or even 1-on-1 conversation without knowing a few of the more common slang expressions.

However, it is important to learn the proper context and use of even popular slang expressions or you may come across as confusing, disrespectful, or uneducated.
At JapanesePod101, you’ll learn how to use slang phrases and words to draw the right attention and avoid these problems.

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Japanese Honorifics Guide: San, Kun, Chan, Sama and More

Have you ever felt confused about all those -kun, -chan and -senpai you hear when watching anime? I am sure you have wondered about the meaning of these Japanese suffixes. After reading this post your Japanese will sound more natural as you will learn how to use Japanese honorifics!

japanese family honorifics suffixes

Remember to take the quiz at the end to test your understanding and to sign up at JapanesePod101.com if you really want to learn Japanese with effective resources.

japanese honorifics suffixes san kun chan sama sensei senpai kouhai

Most languages use them: “Mr.”, “Mrs”, “Sir”, “Dr”… But in Japanese, there are more of them, and they are a lot more nuanced. They are often attached to a name as a suffix, but some can stand alone, such as sensei.

In Japanese there are both formal and informal honorifics, plus some familial honorifics. The use of honorifics is considered very important in Japan, and calling somebody by just his name without adding a title is a lack of good manners.

Here is the list of 10 Japanese honorific titles and how to use them!

-San (さん), the most common honorific, equivalent to “Mr.” or “Mrs.” It’s a title of respect between equals, so it’s okay to use for anyone, especially if you are not sure which honorific to use. It can also be attached to occupation names. For example, ‘bookstore (本屋) + san (さん) = “bookseller” (本屋さん).’

-Kun (くん), the most commonly used honorific in anime. It is used to address young males. It is also used by superiors to inferiors and male of the same age and status.

-Chan (ちゃん), most frequently used for girls and between them, children, close friends, or lovers. This can be used when somebody finds a person, a pet, or something adorable and cute. You don’t want to use it with a superior, unless you want to be fired! -Sama (さま), the more formal version of san. Usually used to refer to customers who are deserving of the utmost respect status in Japan, people of higher rank, or somebody you admire.

japanese family honorifics suffixes

-Niisan/Neesan (兄さん / 姉さん), is used when referring to one’s older brother or sister, or any relative or close friend. -Jiisan/Baasan (じいさん / ばあさん), s used when referring to one’s grandfather and grandmother, and is also used to refer to older adults the speaker is acquainted with. Neither of these are seen as insulting, but watch out not to use them with a person sensitive about his/her age!

-Dono (どの), roughly means “lord” or “master”, and lies below sama in its respect level. It’s a title that has almost gone out of use in daily conversation. When it is used, it is usually as a joke expressing an exaggeration of age.

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Here are some honorific titles that can stand on their own:

Senpai (せんぱい), the equivalent of “senior.” This is used for classmates in higher grades and all people with more experience than yourself either at work, club, or in any kind of group.

Kōhai (こうはい), the equivalent of “junior” and the opposite of senpai. As it can appear condescending, it is not used as a suffix.

Sensei (せんせい), is used to refer to teachers as well as people who are experts in their respective fields, whether doctors, artists or lawyers. It shows respect to someone who has mastered some skill.

To go further and master this lesson:

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Now that you mastered Japanese honorific suffixes you can move on prefixes! This video lesson is already available on our website and you will learn why and how to use Japanese prefix!

japanese family honorifics suffixes

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How to be a Good Lover in Japan

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Click here to listen how to pronounce those lovely words!

- あなたの事を愛しています。
Anata no koto o aishiteimasu.
I love you.

- あなたは私にとって、とても大事な存在です。
Anata wa watashi ni totte totemo daijina sonzaidesu.
You mean so much to me.

- バレンタインを一緒に過ごしてくれる?
Barentain o issho ni sugoshite kureru?
Will you be my Valentine?

- 君はとても美しいよ。
Kimi wa totemo utsukushī yo.
You’re so beautiful.

- 私は、友達以上としてあなたのことを考えている。
Watashi wa, tomodachi ijou toshite anata no koto o kangaete iru.
I think of you as more than a friend.

- 百個のハートでも、君を愛しているというのは表現しつくせない。Hyaku-ko no hāto demo, kimi o aishi teru to iu no wa hyōgen shi tsukusenai.
A hundred hearts would be too few to carry all my love for you.

- 愛」はただ単に「愛」である。説明なんてできない。
`Ai’ wa tada tan ni `ai’ de aru. Setsumei nante dekinai.
Love is just love. It can never be explained.

- あなた、とてもハンサムですね。
Anata, totemo hansamu desu ne.
You’re so handsome.

- 私はあなたに一目惚れした。
Watashi wa anata ni hitome bore shita
I’ve got a crush on you.

- あなたは私により良い男になろうと思わせてくれた。
Anata wa watashi ni yori yoi otoko ni narou to omowa sete kureta.
You make me want to be a better man.

- どんな事も愛情をもってやりなさい。
Don’na koto mo aijō o motte yarinasai.
Let all that you do be done in love.

- あなたは私の太陽、そして愛です。
Anata wa watashi no taiyō, soshite aidesu.
You are my sunshine, my love.

- 言葉であなたへの愛情は言い表せられない。
Kotoba de anata e no aijō wa ii arawaserarenai
Words can’t describe my love for you.

- 私たちは一緒になる運命だったんだ。
Watashitachi ha issho ni naru unmei datta’nda.
We were meant to be together.

- これを読んでいる時に誰かの事を考えているなら、あなたは恋に落ちているに違いない。
Kore o yonde iru toki ni dareka no koto o kangaete irunara, anata wa koiniochite iru ni chigainai.
If you were thinking about someone while reading this, you’re definitely in love.

Break up? Want to impress friends? Learn Japanese with our other vocabulary lists!

The Top 10 Japanese Slang Words You’ll Hear In Japan

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Hey Listeners!

Are you ready to learn the top 10 Japanese slang words?

Slang words can be a fun way to hear how locals use the Japanese language and can also be a way to make your conversational skills sound more natural in casual settings! Oh, and don’t forget to sign-up for a FREE lifetime account with us to get more interesting word lists from JapanesePod101!

And without further ado, let’s get into the top 10!

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1. ぶっちゃけ
bucchake - to be honest

2. おひさ。
Ohisa. - It’s been a while since I see you.

3. ちげーよ。
Chigē yo. - It’s not correct.

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4. ダッシュで
dasshu de - in a hurry

5. ソッコー
sokkō - immediately

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6. めちゃめちゃ
mechamecha - quite

7. へこむ
hekomu - feel discouraged

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8. パねぇ
pa nė - unbelievable

9. ガッツリ
gattsuri - plentifully

10. やばい
yabai - something is bad or dangerous

Wanna learn more? Check out these fun word lists and don’t forget to sign-up for a FREE lifetime account!

1. 15 Most Common Break-Up Lines
2. What’s Your Favorite Japanese Food?
3. Top 10 Hardest Words to Pronounce
4. Top 10 Travel Spots in Japan
5. Top 10 Phrases You Always Want to Hear

Top 15 tips to remember words when learning Japanese

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Hey Japanese learner!

We recently gave you some shortcuts to learn Japanese.
In your journey to become fluent and conversational in less time that is needed to say “Gotta catch ‘em all”, we will this time give you the Top 15 tips to remember words!

1. Use repetition: reading, writing and speaking words over and over again.

2. Associate words with drawings, pictures and funny scenes.

3. Try to use the language routinely in the context of daily life.

4. Reading as much as possible, especially the newspaper, helps you to remember words.

Click Here To Start Learning Japanese Right Now!

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5. Learn about the roots of words and how different words are related to each other.

6. Speak as often as possible with native speakers.

7. Categorize new words with other related words that you already know.

8. Be persistent in practicing everyday by talking to your family or your dog, even though they don’t understand you.

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9. Say words out loud so that you can actually hear them.

10. Associate new words with words that sound similar in your native language.

11. Listen to songs and memorize the lyrics.

12. Often watch TV or YouTube videos that are designed for young children.

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13. Associate new words with stories, games or movies.

14. Try to use the new word in a simple sentence so you learn whole phrases, not just individual words.

15. Try to think in Japanese, so it becomes natural to your thought process.

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If you follow all those tips, you will be a step closer to reach your goal. And remember, if you’re really interested in getting on the fast-track to fluency, sign up for a FREE lifetime account at JapanesePod101.com!

Must Know Golden Week Vocabulary

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Click here to listen to the audio pronunciation!

Golden week is almost here! In few days it will be the beginning of the Golden week, the longest public holiday in Japan.

It’s an exciting moment for a lot of people as it’s the period for some time off and to fully enjoy Spring. Here is the list of Top Words you need to know for your holidays!

1. Traffic jam

渋滞 (じゅうたい)

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2. Warm

暖かい (あたたかい)

3. Golden Week holidays

ゴールデンウィーク

4. Chimaki

ちまき

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5. Constitution Day

憲法記念日 (Constitution Day)

6. Kashiwamochi

柏餅 (かしわもち)

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7. Greenery Day

みどりの日 (みどりのひ)

8. Children’s Day

子供の日 (こどものひ)

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9. Trip abroad

海外旅行 (かいがいりょこう)

10. Doll for the Boys’ Festival in May

五月人形 (ごがつ にんぎょう)

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11. Traveling

旅行 (りょこう)

12. Koinobori

鯉のぼり(こいのぼり)

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Click here to access this lesson for FREE!

Here are some handy ways you can master the quotes with this lesson:

  • Press the sound icon to hear each word and read along
  • Review all words in a slideshow by pressing “View Slideshow”
  • Listen to all the words in one lesson with “Play Audio”
  • Add the words to your Word Bank or Flashcards
  • Print the entire list out for your personal review
  • Leave us a comment and put these quotes to use
  • Speak and master even more Japanese with our fun audio and video lessons made by real teachers. Click on “Browse Lessons” in the top menu to access our massive library. Then, start speaking minutes into your lesson.

    Click Here to Learn Golden Week words with FREE Audio Pronunciation!

    The Top 10 Japanese Words & Phrases For Going On A Date

    The Top 10 Words You'll Need For A Date!

    Hey Listeners!

    Summer is here and love is in the air! But are you going to be able to go on that date with that special someone… who only speaks Japanese?!

    Step up your game with our Top 10 Japanese words and phrases for going on a date! And don’t forget to sign up for a FREE (Yes, it’s a FREE account) lifetime account at JapanesePod101.com to further your skills even more!

    Start Learning Japanese Today!

    1. I love you.
    あなたの事を愛しています。(Anata no koto o aishite imasu.)

    2. You’re so beautiful.
    君はとても美しいよ。(Kimi wa totemo utsukushii yo.)

    3. To be dumped (v)
    振られる (furareru)

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    4. To get excited romantically (v)
    キュンキュンする (kyunkyun suru)

    5. I think of you as more than a friend.
    私は、友達以上としてあなたのことを考えている。(Watashi wa, tomodachi ijō to shite anata no koto o kangaete iru.)

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    6. To go out with (v)
    付き合う (tsukiau)

    7. I’ve got a crush on you.
    私はあなたに一目惚れした。(Watashi wa anata ni hitomebore shita.)

    8. To feel jumpy (v)
    そわそわする (sowasowa suru)

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    9. To tell someone your feelings (v)
    告白する (kokuhaku suru)

    10. We were meant to be together.
    私たちは一緒になる運命だったんだ。(Watashi-tachi wa issho ni naru unmei datta n da.)

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    P.S. If you are in a really lovey dovey mood, check out some of these related word lists!
    1. The Must-Know Words For Falling In Love
    2. 15 Love Phrases for Valentine’s Day
    3. Must-Know Valentine’s Day Vocabulary
    4. Must-Know Words For White Day In Japan
    5. The Top 10 Conversational Phrases In Japanese

    Top 10 most famous Japanese Food

    Click here to listen to the audio pronunciation!

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    1. おでん。- Oden.

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    2. しゃぶしゃぶ。- Shabu shabu

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    3. 天麩羅。- Tempura.

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    4. 寿司。- Sushi.

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    5. 焼き鳥。- Yakitori.

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    6. 牛丼。- Gyudon.

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    7. 蕎麦。- Soba.

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    8. 餅。- Mochi.

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    9. 納豆。- Natto.

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    10. おでん。- Oden.

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    Click here to access this lesson for FREE!

    Here are some handy ways you can master the quotes with this lesson:

  • Press the sound icon to hear each word and read along
  • Review all words in a slideshow by pressing “View Slideshow”
  • Listen to all the words in one lesson with “Play Audio”
  • Add the words to your Word Bank or Flashcards
  • Print the entire list out for your personal review
  • Leave us a comment and put these quotes to use
  • Speak and master even more Japanese with our fun audio and video lessons made by real teachers. Click on “Browse Lessons” in the top menu to access our massive library. Then, start speaking minutes into your lesson.

    Click Here to Learn Japanese Quotes with FREE Audio Pronunciation!

    The Top 10 Words You’ll Hear In Anime!

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    Hey Listeners!

    Are you a big fan of anime? Then this is the list for you!

    There are thousands of different words that are spoken in anime these days. Too many to count. However, there are certain words that have a funny way of showing up in many different series! Today, you’ll learn the top 10 words that you’re sure to hear while watching your favorite anime shows!

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    1. Kawaii (かわいい)
    Definition: Cute, Adorable

    This is a word that is constantly used in Japanese culture. It basically describes anything that can be seen as cute, such as a stuffed animal or a pretty dress!

    2. Sugoi (すごい)
    Definition: Amazing, great

    You’ll often hear this word when a character is surprised or impressed! It can convey the same meaning as “amazing” or “superb.”

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    3. Senpai (先輩)
    Definition: Someone who is your senior, most commonly at school or in the workplace

    In many shows, the main character often has an older friend. This leads to the frequent use of this word. The popular phrase “Notice me, senpai!” also plays on the frequent use of the word.

    4. Baka (ばか)
    Definition: Idiot, stupid

    Usually used in a playful manner, this word is used to describe someone as “dumb” or “an idiot.” This is usually said in an attempt to poke fun at the main character.

    5. Oniisan (お兄さん)
    Definition: Older brother

    The anime shows of today feature an abundance of older brothers, so this is one that’s sure to come up quite often. It is almost always used by the little sister character in the show.

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    6. Daijōbu (大丈夫)
    Definition: Okay, good

    Often used in a way similar to the phrase “it’s going to be alright,” this word essentially means “okay” and is frequently used when a character is trying to cheer someone else up!

    7. Imōto (妹)
    Definition: Younger sister

    Many shows feature a younger sister character, hence the popularity of this word.

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    8. Tomodachi (友達)
    Definition: Friend

    A simple word meaning “friend” or “friends.” This is quite common, since of course, anime is filled with lots of friendship!

    9. Ureshiii (嬉しい)
    Definition: Happy, glad

    You’ll often hear this word when a character is extremely happy or relieved! For example, it is often used when a character thinks that someone is angry with them, but then finds out otherwise.

    10. Otaku (おたく)
    Definition: Someone who is obsessed with something, usually referring to anime/manga

    This is a common term that is usually applied to fans of anime, manga, and even video games.

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    How many of these words did you already know? Remember, these are just the most common words that you’re likely to come across. If you want to start understanding more of your favorite shows, sign up for a FREE lifetime account and start studying with us today!

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    3 Tactics For Boosting Your Japanese Listening Skills at JapanesePod101

    3 Tactics For Boosting Your Listening Skills

    Hello Listeners,

    When it comes to listening to and understanding Japanese, most beginners struggle. They hear the few words they know. And the rest just fly in one ear and out the other. Does this happen to you too?

    In this post,  you’re going to learn about 3 tactics that are guaranteed to sharpen your listening comprehension skills!

    1. Try Our Listening Comprehension Series

    Try Our Listening Comprehension Series!

    Click Here To Check Out Our Absolute Beginner Videos!

    This is a complete lesson series dedicated purely to testing and improving your listening skills. You can find all of the videos from this series in the “Bonus Video Lessons” section of our site! In the video lesson, you’ll hear a dialogue in your target language. Then, you’ll be asked to answer a question about the dialogue to check if you understood the sentences. There are no translations except for the subtitles, so everything you hear is in your target language!

    2. Review The Dialogue Again And Again

    Review The Dialogue Again And Again!

    Boost Your Japanese Skills Now! Click Here To See Our Lessons!

    Most learners listen to a listen and simply move on, but by reviewing it again, you make sure that you fully understand what you hear. The key to fully understanding a dialogue is to review it over and over again. With our audio lessons, you get the dialogue track so you can listen to the conversation without distractions.

    3. Read Along With Our Line-By-Line Feature

    Read Along With Our Line-By-Line Feature!

    Click Here To Start Learning Japanese Now!

    Reading along is the best way to get the meaning instantly. With the Line-by-Line feature, or the PDF lesson notes, reading along is easier than ever! You can get the transcript of the dialogue in the target language, the transliterated version, or the translated version. This is available for all of the lessons in this series!

    With these 3 tactics, you’re sure to improve your listening comprehension skills and get one step closer to your language learning goals! Try it out and let us know what you think!

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