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Top 10 Superstitions in Japan

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In Japan many things are considered to bring good or bad luck. Superstitions are strongly entrenched in Japanese society, and some of them are meant to teach lessons or serve as practical advice. Here is a list of the top 10 superstitions in Japan you must know!

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1) Numbers 4 and 9 are considered to be unlucky numbers because 4 in Japanese is sometimes pronounced し which means “death,” while 9 is also sometimes pronounced く and means “suffering.” In the US, some old buildings don’t have a 13th floor, while in Japan hospitals and some hotels don’t have a 4th floor. Often the room number 4 and rooms 40 through 49 are not there. When you give a gift of a set of plates or cups to somebody, it is usually 3 or 5 rather than 4. So if you are giving presents in Japan, be careful not to give 4.

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2) Hearses are probably one of the most important bad luck symbols in Japan. If you see a funeral car passing, you should hide your thumb, making a fist with the thumb inside. The reason is that the thumb is like a parent finger, so by doing this you are protecting them from the spirit of the deceased that lingers around the car. Some people even hide their thumbs when passing a graveyard or a funeral.

3) When you attend a funeral and come back before you enter your house, you have to throw salt on yourself. Salt kind of cleanses things. When a friend is with you, you throw salt on each other, or on yourself if you are alone.

4) Another one that is related to night, is that you shouldn’t cut your nails at night. Because if you do that, you won’t be able to be with your parents when they die. One of the main reasons would be that cutting your nails at night may result in your death, so you won’t be able to see your parents die. In the past, they had to use knives or other sharp cutting tools to cut their nails. Which can be quite dangerous at night…

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5) Speaking of night, another superstition that’s related to night is whistling in the night. If you whistle at night, a snake could come out. There are some poisonous snakes in Japan, so you really don’t want them to come out. Whistling is also known to have been used as a sign by burglars and criminals to communicate to each other. It’s better to avoid them too.

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6) There are other animal-related superstitions as well. A black cat is considered to be bad luck nowadays, but this superstition has been imported from the west. So if people see a black cat, they will stop and wait to see which way it goes so they don’t cross its path. Having a spider inside your house at night is bad luck, but if you see it in the morning, it’s good luck.

7) Japanese people don’t sleep facing north. Someone sleeping face north might receive bad luck, or it could be even worse, as death is known to welcome whoever sleeps facing north.

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8 ) Don’t write a person’s name in red ink, because it is considered as inauspicious. This is due to names on grave markers being red.

9) There is a lucky cat symbol called maneki neko. It’s a cat with one paw held up. They often have these in shops or places where business is done because it’s supposed to bring good fortune.

Click here for Japanese Phrases and words that will help you in almost every situation!

10) There is one more lucky thing that Japanese people might carry called omamori, in their bag or purse. It is a kind of amulet that protects. They have different types of omamori – some are for success in business or study, some are for curing illness, preventing traffic accidents and so on. You can buy them at shrines.

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On the subject of shrines, did you know that in Japan if you are making a big wish, you might consider doing it at a shrine? Traditionally when people need a prayer to be answered, they would just visit a shrine and give money in return.

Now you will be able to understand Japanese people’s behavior in certain situations! Don’t forget to sign up for a Free Lifetime Account to get more cultural insights, lessons and much more

Top 10 Compliments You Always Want to Hear in Japanese

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Click here to listen to the audio pronunciation!

1. きみは最高の友達だよ。
きみはさいこうのともだちだよ。Kimi wa saigō no tomodachi dayo
You are an awesome friend.

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2. そのジャケット、似合っていますね。
そのジャケット、にあっていますね。Sono jaketto, niatteimasu ne
That jacket looks nice on you.

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3. ハンサムですね。
Hansamu desu ne
You’re handsome.

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4. よくやった!
Yoku yatta!
Great job!

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5. 見た目より内面のほうがずっとすてきです。
みためよりないめんのほうがずっとすてきです。
Mitame yori naimen nohōga zutto suteki desu
Your inside is even more beautiful than your outside.

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6. 頭いいですね!
あたまいいですね!Atama ii desu ne
You’re smart!

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7. センスがいいね。
Sensu ga ii ne
You have good taste.

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8. 笑顔が素敵です。
えがおがすてきです。Egao ga suteki desu
Your smile is beautiful.

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9. いつも楽しそうだね。
いつもたのしそうだね。Itsumo tanoshisō da ne
You always look like you’re having fun

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10. いつもポジティブだね。
Itsumo pojitibu da ne
You’re always positive.

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New Feature! You will master Japanese if you follow THIS simple path

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Hello Listener,

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You already selected this when you signed up. Based on your level, you’ll get the Learning Paths and lessons that are right for you. When you change your level, we will add recommended courses for the new level as well.

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Choose Your Learning Level on the Top Left Side of the Page.

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10 Monthly Goals to become fluent in Japanese

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Hey Japanese Learner!

Shortcuts for learning and tips to remember Japanese words are useful but it’s even also important to fix objectives to reach every month! What Is Your Language Learning Goal for the Month?
In your journey to become fluent and conversational here are 10 monthly goals you can go after!

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1) I’ll finish Survival Phrases series on JapanesePod101.com by listening to two lesson a day.

2) I’ll give a 3 minute introductory speech in Japanese to my Japanese friends.

3) I’ll finish reading one Japanese book by reading 10 pages a day.

4) I’ll pass my Japanese test.

5) I’ll write 10 postcards in Japanese to my Japanese friends.

6) I’ll memorize 5 Japanese songs.

7) I’ll finish memorizing 350 words with Flashcards on JapanesePod101.com.

8 ) I’ll fully understand one Japanese movie by watching it every day.

9) I’ll learn how to talk about past, present and future events.

10) I’ll master 150 words by memorizing 5 words a day.

No money, no credit card required, just you and the ton of lessons!

If you follow those monthly goals, you will be sure to make some amazing progress. And remember, if you’re really interested in getting on the fast-track to fluency, sign up for a FREE lifetime account at JapanesePod101.com!

How to be a Good Lover in Japan

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Click here to listen how to pronounce those lovely words!

- あなたの事を愛しています。
Anata no koto o aishiteimasu.
I love you.

- あなたは私にとって、とても大事な存在です。
Anata wa watashi ni totte totemo daijina sonzaidesu.
You mean so much to me.

- バレンタインを一緒に過ごしてくれる?
Barentain o issho ni sugoshite kureru?
Will you be my Valentine?

- 君はとても美しいよ。
Kimi wa totemo utsukushī yo.
You’re so beautiful.

- 私は、友達以上としてあなたのことを考えている。
Watashi wa, tomodachi ijou toshite anata no koto o kangaete iru.
I think of you as more than a friend.

- 百個のハートでも、君を愛しているというのは表現しつくせない。Hyaku-ko no hāto demo, kimi o aishi teru to iu no wa hyōgen shi tsukusenai.
A hundred hearts would be too few to carry all my love for you.

- 愛」はただ単に「愛」である。説明なんてできない。
`Ai’ wa tada tan ni `ai’ de aru. Setsumei nante dekinai.
Love is just love. It can never be explained.

- あなた、とてもハンサムですね。
Anata, totemo hansamu desu ne.
You’re so handsome.

- 私はあなたに一目惚れした。
Watashi wa anata ni hitome bore shita
I’ve got a crush on you.

- あなたは私により良い男になろうと思わせてくれた。
Anata wa watashi ni yori yoi otoko ni narou to omowa sete kureta.
You make me want to be a better man.

- どんな事も愛情をもってやりなさい。
Don’na koto mo aijō o motte yarinasai.
Let all that you do be done in love.

- あなたは私の太陽、そして愛です。
Anata wa watashi no taiyō, soshite aidesu.
You are my sunshine, my love.

- 言葉であなたへの愛情は言い表せられない。
Kotoba de anata e no aijō wa ii arawaserarenai
Words can’t describe my love for you.

- 私たちは一緒になる運命だったんだ。
Watashitachi ha issho ni naru unmei datta’nda.
We were meant to be together.

- これを読んでいる時に誰かの事を考えているなら、あなたは恋に落ちているに違いない。
Kore o yonde iru toki ni dareka no koto o kangaete irunara, anata wa koiniochite iru ni chigainai.
If you were thinking about someone while reading this, you’re definitely in love.

Break up? Want to impress friends? Learn Japanese with our other vocabulary lists!

6 Reasons to Learn a Language Before You Travel!

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There are plenty of destinations where you can get by with English, but sometimes you want to do better than just ‘get by’. Here are 6 reasons you should learn the basics of the language of your next trip destination.

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1. You will be able to discover your destination better than other tourists.

Getting by is one thing, but actually experiencing a trip abroad is quite another. No amount of guidebooks and online research can compensate for a basic lack of language ability. Speaking the language of your destination permits you to explore that destination beyond the regular tourist traps. Your language skills will not only allow you to dig into all the hidden gems of your destination, but they will also allow you to mingle with the locals to get a true experience on your holiday. Think of it this way: you’re not restricted to talking to the people at the tourist desk anymore.

2. Knowing how to communicate with local police or medical personnel can be life-saving.

Before you leave for your destination, make sure you learn how to ask for help in that destination’s local tongue. Do you know how to ask the waiter if this dish has peanuts in it? Or tell your host family that you’re allergic to fish? Can you tell the local doctor where it hurts? Moreover, an awareness of an environment improves your chance of remaining safe inside it. For example, walking around a busy marketplace, dazzled by an unfamiliar language, signs and accents will instantly render any tourist a more attractive mark for pickpockets. Communicating with other people, asking questions and looking confident will make you look like a semi-local yourself, and will ward off potential thieves.

Click here for Japanese Phrases and words that will help you in almost every situation!

3. It helps you relax.

Traveling is much less stressful when you understand what that announcement at the airport was saying, or if this bus line reaches your hotel. These things stress you out when traveling and they disappear when you understand the language. This allows you to focus on planning your trip in a better, easier way.

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4. Speaking the language can provide you with a way to get to know people you’d never otherwise have the opportunity to speak with.

Sometimes those relationships turn into friendships, and other times they’re nothing more than a lively conversation. Either way, as Nelson Mandela said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” When you approach someone – even staff at a store or restaurant – with English, rather than their own language, an invisible divide has already been erected. Making even a small effort to communicate in the language of the place you’re visiting can go a long way and you’ll find many more doors open up to you as a result.

Click here for the Top words you need to know to start a conversation with anyone

5. You’ll be a better ambassador for your country.

If we’re honest with ourselves, we know very little about other countries and cultures, especially the local politics. And what we do know is often filtered to us by the media, which tends to represent only certain interests. When you can speak the local language, you’re able to answer questions that curious locals have about your country and culture. Are you frustrated with how your country is presented in global news? Are you embarrassed by your country’s leaders and want to make it clear that not everyone is like that where you’re from? This is a very good opportunity to share your story with people who have no one else to ask. We all have a responsibility to be representatives of the place we come from.

6. Learning another language can fend off Alzheimer’s, keep your brain healthy and generally make you smarter.

And remember, if you’re really interested in getting on the fast-track to fluency, sign up for a FREE lifetime account at JapanesePod101.com!

The Top 10 Japanese Slang Words You’ll Hear In Japan

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Hey Listeners!

Are you ready to learn the top 10 Japanese slang words?

Slang words can be a fun way to hear how locals use the Japanese language and can also be a way to make your conversational skills sound more natural in casual settings! Oh, and don’t forget to sign-up for a FREE lifetime account with us to get more interesting word lists from JapanesePod101!

And without further ado, let’s get into the top 10!

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1. ぶっちゃけ
bucchake - to be honest

2. おひさ。
Ohisa. - It’s been a while since I see you.

3. ちげーよ。
Chigē yo. - It’s not correct.

Learn More At JapanesePod101.com!

4. ダッシュで
dasshu de - in a hurry

5. ソッコー
sokkō - immediately

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6. めちゃめちゃ
mechamecha - quite

7. へこむ
hekomu - feel discouraged

Learn More At JapanesePod101.com!

8. パねぇ
pa nė - unbelievable

9. ガッツリ
gattsuri - plentifully

10. やばい
yabai - something is bad or dangerous

Wanna learn more? Check out these fun word lists and don’t forget to sign-up for a FREE lifetime account!

1. 15 Most Common Break-Up Lines
2. What’s Your Favorite Japanese Food?
3. Top 10 Hardest Words to Pronounce
4. Top 10 Travel Spots in Japan
5. Top 10 Phrases You Always Want to Hear

Top 15 tips to remember words when learning Japanese

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Hey Japanese learner!

We recently gave you some shortcuts to learn Japanese.
In your journey to become fluent and conversational in less time that is needed to say “Gotta catch ‘em all”, we will this time give you the Top 15 tips to remember words!

1. Use repetition: reading, writing and speaking words over and over again.

2. Associate words with drawings, pictures and funny scenes.

3. Try to use the language routinely in the context of daily life.

4. Reading as much as possible, especially the newspaper, helps you to remember words.

Click Here To Start Learning Japanese Right Now!

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5. Learn about the roots of words and how different words are related to each other.

6. Speak as often as possible with native speakers.

7. Categorize new words with other related words that you already know.

8. Be persistent in practicing everyday by talking to your family or your dog, even though they don’t understand you.

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9. Say words out loud so that you can actually hear them.

10. Associate new words with words that sound similar in your native language.

11. Listen to songs and memorize the lyrics.

12. Often watch TV or YouTube videos that are designed for young children.

Access tons of Audio and Video lessons for Free!

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13. Associate new words with stories, games or movies.

14. Try to use the new word in a simple sentence so you learn whole phrases, not just individual words.

15. Try to think in Japanese, so it becomes natural to your thought process.

No money, no credit card required, just you and the ton of lessons!

If you follow all those tips, you will be a step closer to reach your goal. And remember, if you’re really interested in getting on the fast-track to fluency, sign up for a FREE lifetime account at JapanesePod101.com!

Must Know Golden Week Vocabulary

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Click here to listen to the audio pronunciation!

Golden week is almost here! In few days it will be the beginning of the Golden week, the longest public holiday in Japan.

It’s an exciting moment for a lot of people as it’s the period for some time off and to fully enjoy Spring. Here is the list of Top Words you need to know for your holidays!

1. Traffic jam

渋滞 (じゅうたい)

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2. Warm

暖かい (あたたかい)

3. Golden Week holidays

ゴールデンウィーク

4. Chimaki

ちまき

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5. Constitution Day

憲法記念日 (Constitution Day)

6. Kashiwamochi

柏餅 (かしわもち)

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7. Greenery Day

みどりの日 (みどりのひ)

8. Children’s Day

子供の日 (こどものひ)

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9. Trip abroad

海外旅行 (かいがいりょこう)

10. Doll for the Boys’ Festival in May

五月人形 (ごがつ にんぎょう)

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11. Traveling

旅行 (りょこう)

12. Koinobori

鯉のぼり(こいのぼり)

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Click here to access this lesson for FREE!

Here are some handy ways you can master the quotes with this lesson:

  • Press the sound icon to hear each word and read along
  • Review all words in a slideshow by pressing “View Slideshow”
  • Listen to all the words in one lesson with “Play Audio”
  • Add the words to your Word Bank or Flashcards
  • Print the entire list out for your personal review
  • Leave us a comment and put these quotes to use
  • Speak and master even more Japanese with our fun audio and video lessons made by real teachers. Click on “Browse Lessons” in the top menu to access our massive library. Then, start speaking minutes into your lesson.

    Click Here to Learn Golden Week words with FREE Audio Pronunciation!

    The Top 5 Shortcuts To Learning Japanese!

    Click Here To Start Learning Japanese!

    Hey Listeners!

    So you’ve decided to study Japanese, now what?

    Chances are you’re looking to become fluent and conversational as fast as possible, right? Well then, look no further! This is the list for you!

    Without further ado, here are the top 5 shortcuts to learning Japanese!

    Click Here To Start Learning Japanese Right Now!

    Click Here To Start Studying Japanese!

    1. Create A Study Schedule And Set Some Goals:
    This one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many unorganized language learners there are in the world! Creating a schedule allows you to manage your time wisely, enabling you to free up time to study consistently. Goals are also a key component of learning Japanese. These give you motivation and something to strive for.

    2. Make It Fun:
    You may roll your eyes at this one, but it’s true! If you learn how to make your study time enjoyable, chances are you’ll be more inclined to study! Try changing it up every now and then with something new. Watch a TV show in Japanese or listen to some Japanese music! The sky is the limit!

    3. Find A Language Partner:
    This is one surefire way to improve your conversational skills. Having a language partner allows you to practice your target language in a conversational manner. This will help you gain fluency even faster!

    Click Here To Sign Up For A FREE Lifetime Account!

    Click Here To Start Studying Japanese!

    4. Use Word Lists To Build Up A Solid Vocabulary:
    This is a great way to build up your fluency, one word at a time. At JapanesePod101, you can use one of our many word lists. Choose whichever topic you want to study and go!

    5. Make Mistakes:
    Lastly, don’t be afraid to make mistakes! In fact, make a lot of them! Nothing helps you improve more than correcting your own errors. If you catch yourself saying something wrong, you’re likely to remember it the next time around. So just remember, everyone makes mistakes! Learn from them!

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    Again, there is no magical, overnight way to learn Japanese. However, doing a few or all of these will help you out substantially. And remember, if you’re really interested in getting on the fast-track to fluency, sign up for a FREE lifetime account at JapanesePod101.com now!