I recently acquired second hand copies of the Genki I textbook and workbook, so I’ve started using those as well as the previously mentioned WaniKani and TextFugu.

I’m really liking the textbooks so far, and I think I will definitely be going on to Genki II once I’m done with these ones.

I’m also thinking I will get a grammar textbook (maybe this one) and some other stuff for practicing Kanji (like these flash cards and this book).

If anyone has other suggestions, I would be most appreciative!


Past & present tense – noun

I’ve just been reviewing these, so I thought I’d write about them.

Because I am a crazy cat lady, I’ll be using ねこ(neko = cat) as the noun for  the below examples.

Present tense = desu です – it is a cat = ねこです
Past tense = deshita でした – it was a cat = ねこでした
Present negative = jaarimasen じゃありません – it isn’t a cat = ねこじゃありません
Past negative = jaarimasen deshita じゃありませんでした – it wasn’t a cat = ねこじゃりませんでした

All of these can then be turned into a question by adding か (ka).
E.g. ねこです (it is a cat) becomes ねこですか (is it a cat?)

These questions can then be answered with はい (yes) or いいえ (no), followed by either confirmation of the question or a different statement. I will include the word いぬ (dog) in some of these.

(Was it a dog? No, it was not a dog.)

(Was it a dog? No, it was a cat.)

(Is it a cat? Yes, it is a cat.)



Well, at least, I hope I am.

Uni got a big crazy there, and I haven’t done much Japanese learning since my last post, but I’m almost done with my exams now though, so I’ve started doing a bit again. I’ll be doing a lot more over the summer break, because after Saturday I have NO UNI WORK until we go back at the end of February.

I’m mainly just going over everything I’d learned up to this point to remind myself of everything, and doing some serious hiragana revision (I’d forgotten about 1/3 of them).

New things I’m doing though – I signed up for Tofugu’s WaniKani site, so I can get started on learning Kanji, and I’ve started learning katakana. So far it’s pretty slow going, particularly with the katakana – much slower than with hiragana. I’m thinking it might be that I never really learned to read katakana when I was learning at school – we mainly focussed on hiragana. I don’t seem to remember doing much kanji past the number ones either. So now I’m getting into genuine “new learning” territory.


Finally getting into starting something

Hello hello hello!

I’m back… well, sort of.

If you’ve been following along on my main blog, Thoughts of my Mad Life, you’ll have seen that life kind of went a bit crazy for a little while and I’ve been pretty slack with posting.

I have, however, discovered Tofugu’s online textbook, TextFugu. The first chapter/season is free, so I’m working my way through that at the moment before deciding whether I’ll pay for full access. So far, I’m really enjoying it though, and the style of teaching is good for me.

At this point, I’m working through the exercises for learning hiragana (re-learning for me really), with reasonable success so far. I’ve been using the following resources in addition to the textbook:

  • Anki – TextFugu uses this as a companion app, and has downloadable flashcards for use with the program. It’s free to use, with a computer app & webapp.
  • RealKana – also used by TextFugu and free online. I purchased the iDevice app for about $3 as well, for the sake of portability and reducing my data use if I’m revising away from home.
  • Japanese-hiragana – this is an iDevice app that I’ve had for a while. Free app, and it’s very useful for learning the correct stroke order for writing hiragana.
  • Hiragana Writing Practice sheet – this website has a downloadable pdf with stroke order so that you can practice writing characters. There’s also a black page download, so you can practice whichever letters you want.


*disclaimer* – I’m not getting anything from any of these apps/programs/whatever for writing about them, I’m just sharing the resources I’ve found useful.

Let’s start with some verbs! (and conjugations)

As soon as I heard them once, I started to remember all these from way back in high school!

Firstly, all verbs follow the same conjugation pattern:
Present affirmative – ~masu (ます)
Present negative – ~masen (ません)
Past affirmative – ~mashita (ました)
Past negative – ~masen deshita (ませんでした)

to eat – tabemasu (たべます)
to drink – nomimasu (のみます)
to see – mimasu (みます)
to hear/listen – kikimasu (ききます)
to do – shimasu (します)
to go – ikimasu (いきます)

These are only shown with hiragana at this point, because I haven’t started learning many kanji yet.



I have decided to set up this separate blog to record my Japanese language progress, so that people don’t have to read these posts if they only want my Nursing/Life updates 🙂

I’ll also be doing a bit of journalling to practice my writing. If you are a native Japanese speaker, or can speak it well as a second language, feel free to let me know of any grammatical mistakes I might make in these journal entries.

If you’ve found this blog without going via my main blog, feel free to visit me at Thoughts of my Mad Life.