Category Archives: Japanese Language

It receives, the fish you say to ask.

The title of this entry explains why my job is not being threatened by machine translation. At least, not yet.

Because it starts endeavoring to the offer of the service which you can be satisfied also in the future, with everyone, something understanding
Services of the postal savings which it receives, begin continuation mail storing Internet foam/home service utilization
It receives, the fish you say to ask.

is a machine-generated translation of


which really means

We always strive to provide services that will satisfy our customers. We hope to have your understanding (regarding the unmentioned cancelling of a remittance service), and we encourage you to make good use of our new internet banking system.

Not really about fish, per se.

Materials for Studying Japanese

I’ve been studying Japanese for a few years and have made a few study aids to help me along. I’ve got tons of them, but it may take me a while to get them all online. I hope you find them helpful. Feel free to leave a comment and tell me what you think.

Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji

The key to learning Japanese is a quick mastery of hiragana, katakana, and kanji.

Hiragana List (full) (pdf)
Hiragana Writing Practice (pdf)
Hiragana Flash Cards (pdf)

Katakana List (full) (pdf)
Katakana Writing Practice (pdf)
Katakana Flash Cards (pdf)

Kanji List (4-kyuu) (pdf)
Kanji Flashcards (4-kyuu) (pdf)
Kanji Test (4-kyuu) (pdf)
Kana/Kanji Writing Practice Sheet (pdf)

See also:

How to Study Kanji: Use the Kanji Proficiency Test Materials (written Aug 2001)


Vocabulary lists: For all levels of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test

Reading Comprehension

These sites provide texts for reading practice.

Japanese Text Initiative (University of Virginia)

Audio Visual

There is a TV show called Nihongo Saijiki Daikirin (日本語歳時記・大希林)with Kirin Kiki and Satsuki Miki on NHK Educational TV on Saturdays from 12:20 to 12:30. It is a short and informative show that explains little points about Japanese. The way they explain it makes it easier to understand than if you were reading a textbook. However, as far as I know, there are no videos of this show available, so you have to catch it on TV whenever you can.

Study Materials for Level 4 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test

Here are some materials that I prepared to help my friends pass Level 4 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test.

(Note from Shaney: These files may be outdated now as the requirements recently changed. However, they should still serve as a good foundation for learning basic Japanese.)

Full List of Requirements (pdf)

List of Grammar Points

Adjectives (pdf)
Content Words (pdf)
Counters (pdf)
Function Words (pdf)
Numbers (pdf)
Relative Time (pdf)
Verbs (pdf)

Kanji List (4-kyuu) (pdf)
Kanji Flashcards (4-kyuu) (pdf)
Kanji Test (4-kyuu) (pdf)

Quizzes (Beginner) (pdf)
More Quizzes (Advanced) (pdf)

Japanese and English Numbers

All those zeros confusing you? This wee chart should help.

Japanese English
ゼロ(zero), 零(rei) 0 zero
一(ichi) 1 one
十(juu) 10 ten
百(hyaku) 100 hundred
千(sen) 1,000 thousand
万(man) 10,000 ten thousand
十万 100,000 hundred thousand
百万 1,000,000 million
千万 10,000,000 ten million
億(oku) 100,000,000 hundred million
十億 1,000,000,000 billion (Br. thousand million)
百億 10,000,000,000 ten billion
千億 100,000,000,000 hundred billion
兆(chou) 1,000,000,000,000 trillion (Br. billion)
十兆 10,000,000,000,000 ten trillion
百兆 100,000,000,000,000 hundred trillion
千兆 1,000,000,000,000,000 quadrillion
京(kei, kyou) 10,000,000,000,000,000 ten quadrillion

Place Names in Kanji

In Japanese, place names are almost always written in katakana, but occasionally you will see a place name written in kanji. Also, sometimes the first character is used as an abbreviation to refer to a specific country. For example, 豪ドル means “Australian dollars”.

(If you find any others that I have missed, please list them below in the comments and I will add them.)


Kanji Katakana English
阿弗利加 アフリカ Africa
南極 Antarctica
亜細亜、亜洲 アジア Asia
欧州 ヨーロッパ Europe
北米 North America
南米 South America


Kanji Katakana English
亜富汗斯坦、阿富汗斯担 アフガニスタン Afganistan
亜爾然丁 アルゼンチン Argentina
濠太剌利、濠太剌利亜 オーストラリア Australia
墺太利、墺太利亜 オーストリア Austria
白耳義 ベルギー Belgium
伯剌西爾 ブラジル Brazil
勃牙利 ブルガリア Bulgaria
加奈陀、加那陀 カナダ Canada
智利 チリ Chile
哥倫比亜 コロンビア Colombia
玖馬 キューバ Cuba
丁抹 デンマーク Denmark
埃及 エジプト Egypt
芬蘭 フィンランド Finland
仏蘭西 フランス France
独逸 ドイツ Germany
希臘 ギリシャ Greece
和蘭、和蘭陀、阿蘭陀 オランダ Holland
洪牙利 ハンガリー Hungary
印度 インド India
伊蘭 イラン Iran
愛蘭、愛蘭 アイルランド Ireland
伊太利、伊太利亜 イタリア Italy
墨西哥 メキシコ Mexico
新西蘭、新西蘭土 ニュウージーランド New Zealand
諾威 ノルウェー Norway
巴奈馬、巴拿馬 パナマ Panama
秘露 ペルー Peru
比律賓 フィリピン Philippines
波蘭 ポーランド Poland
葡萄牙 ポルトガル Portugal
露西亜、魯西亜 ロシア Russia
新嘉坡 シンガポール Singapore
西班牙 スペイン Spain
瑞典 スウェーデン Sweden
瑞西 スイス Switzerland
叙利亜 シリア Syria
タイ Thailand
土耳古 トルコ Turkey
英吉利 イギリス United Kingdom
亜米利加 アメリカ United States
越南 ベトナム Vietnam

Former Countries

Kanji Katakana English
波斯 ペルシャ Persia


Kanji Katakana English
布哇 ハワイ Hawaii


Kanji Katakana English
雅典 アテネ Athens
伯林 ベルリン Berlin
剣橋 ケンブリッジ Cambridge
寿府 ジュネーブ Geneva
倫敦 ロンドン London
紐育 ニューヨーク New York
巴里 パリ Paris
羅馬 ローマ Rome
桑港 サンフランシスコ San Francisco
華盛頓 ワシントン Washington