This is the top page for the main content section of the site.
The lessons are organized primarily by topic, and can be used as reference, as support for classroom-based courses, or as part of an independent course of study. Grammar and communicative functions, vocabulary and expressions, speaking and writing, and relevant cultural knowledge are all covered.
(Read more about the lessons)
Materials for learning the Japanese phonetic scripts, including detailed guides, kana charts, stroke order, and flashcards.
These lessons focus on basic spoken Japanese, using polite (“desu-masu”) form. They cover the basics of grammar, pronunciation, and writing, along with useful vocabulary and expressions. Both Kana and romanization are provided for Japanese text, so you can dive straight into the middle even if you haven’t yet mastered Hiragana and Katakana.
Note: the following descriptions are just to give you an idea of my plans — it’s likely that the organization will change somewhat when I get to them.
This section is an introduction to the set of Chinese characters used in Japanese.
All lessons in this section assume that you know Hiragana, Katakana, and 20 basic Kanji, and that you’re familiar with the topics covered in the Beginning Lessons. Topics covered will include the remaining basic verb forms and sentence structures, along with other issues of grammar and usage important for continuing beginners.
Linguistics for Japanese Learners
This series of articles is an introduction to linguistics, the science of language, focusing on topics of interest to Japanese learners. While the main lessons make of ideas from linguistics, these lessons go into much greater detail. Topics covered include phonetics (pronunciation), phonology (abstract sound patterns), morphology (word structure), syntax (phrase and sentence structure), and language variation and change. Ever wonder why Japanese works the way it does? Learning a bit about linguistics is the first step.