Upon popular request, we offer a free online beginner’s course in the Japanese language. This is the first part: Basic Japanese lesson 1.
Japanese is a fascinating language with a rich history and culture. It is spoken by millions of people around the world, and is the official language of Japan.
Japanese is a syllabic language, which means that each character represents a syllable rather than a single letter. This makes Japanese a very phonetic language, and it is relatively easy to pronounce words once you learn the rules.
Japanese also has three writing systems: hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Hiragana and katakana are phonetic alphabets that are used to represent the sounds of the language, while kanji are characters borrowed from Chinese that represent ideas or concepts.
In Japanese, there are no genders (like German “das, die, der”) and no articles (like English “the” or “a”). Verbs always come at the end of sentences, and the subject of a sentence is often implied rather than stated explicitly.
Basic Japanese lesson 1 – Basic Greetings
This first lesson of our free Basic Japanese offers a few basic Japanese phrases to get you started:
こんにちは (konnichiwa) – This means “hello” and is a common greeting.
こんばんは (konbanwa) – This means “good evening” and is a common greeting in the evening.
おはようございます (ohayou gozaimasu) – This means “good morning” and is a common greeting in the morning.
お休みなさい (oyasumi nasai) – This means “good night” and is a common way to say goodbye at night.
Here are some basic phrases you can use to greet someone:
はじめまして (hajimemashite) – This means “nice to meet you” and is used when meeting someone for the first time.
お元気ですか (ogenki desu ka) – This means “how are you” and is a common way to ask someone about their well-being.
おげんきです (ogenki desu) – This means “I’m fine” and is a common way to respond to the question “how are you”.
That’s it for this lesson! Practice these greetings with friends and family, and you will be on your way to mastering the basics of Japanese.
To learn more about the Japanese language, it is best to find a Japanese tutor or join a study group. There are also many excellent resources available online and in books that can help you learn Japanese. Moreover, you can practise with thousands of likeminded people in the Japan Fans group on Facebook.
Have fun exploring this fascinating language!
Additional explanations and exercises for learning Japanese can also be found via our Instagram , Twitter and Facebook group.
If you like this mini lesson, you might also like our Utrecht Haiku Group and/or our Japanese Book Club.