The four pillars of communicating in Japanese


Knowing a language well means being able to use it effectively to communicate. This is even more true for a language as peculiar as Japanese.

In fact, knowing the translation of individual words is not enough. You must also know how and when you can use them.

I guess you’ve tried yourself to say something in Japanese only to find that a native speaker would express it in a totally different way. I’m referring here to the different registers the language has.

I’ll just give you one example.

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The Ultimate Secret to Increasing the Number of Kanji You Know


If you’ve picked up this post you’re probably struggling with remembering the kanji.

You might have tried different approaches so far. Some of them work well. And yet, the number of kanji you need to know to be able to read native materials scares you.

In this post I will address this issue based on my personal experience.

My solution might sound obvious to you, but be aware that this is only what worked for me.

But before telling you what ‘my secret’ is, let me give you an insight into the struggles I had to go through until I realized how to reach an almost native-like ability in reading Japanese.

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I’d like to improve my vocabulary and my listening skills, but I don’t know what to do. Please help! (1)

Case study Improve Vocabulary

Martina is an Italian girl who contacted me through my Facebook page a few weeks ago.

She really wanted to do something to increase her vocabulary and improve her listening skills, but felt overwhelmed by the huge amount of tips and methods she had read about and desperately needed somebody to tell her how to get over this stumbling block.

Hers is a typical case of a learner who feels confused and stressed out because of the many contrasting views and opinions people give on the Internet.

With her permission, I’ve decided to share with you guys our coaching conversation. [Read more…]