JapanesePod101.com Blog

Learn Japanese with Free Daily
Audio and Video Lessons!
Start Your Free Trial 6 FREE Features

4 Reasons Why Japanese Slang Words Will Make You Fluent

Learn 4 honest reasons you need Japanese slang words and why they are so vital to truly learning and mastering the language.

Teachers may normally cringe at the thought of their students learning Japanese slang words. After all, slang words and phrases are typically defined as being grammatically incorrect. So why would your teacher want you to spend time learning the “wrong way” to speak Japanese? Here are 4 of the top reasons why you should study slang words and expressions when learning Japanese or any new language.

reasons to learn japanese slang words

Create Your Free Lifetime Account and Start Learning the whole Japanese Language from the Beginning!

1. Native Speakers Use Slang Expressions in Everyday Conversation

If you are going to study a foreign language and plan to use it to speak with native speakers, then you have to learn slang words and expressions. Otherwise, just using formal expressions and grammar may alienate you from native speakers and make it more difficult to establish a real connection. So it is best to at least learn some common slang words and expressions if you’re planning to meet or speak socially with someone.

2. Slang Words Are Used All Throughout Japanese Culture

If you turn on any popular Japanese TV show, listen to any song, or watch any movie, you are quickly going to see the value of learning Japanese slang phrases. Just like everyday conversations between native speakers, Japanese culture is filled with slang phrases and expressions. Without at least some knowledge of the more common slang phrases, popular culture and most conversations will be very confusing and potentially alienating.

Want to Amaze Native Speaker? Be a Good Lover? Our Vocabulary Lists are Made for You!

3. Slang Expressions Help You Better Express Your True Thoughts and Feelings

Only relying on formal grammar and vocabulary is very limiting, especially in social situations. Just like in your native language, using the appropriate Japanese slang words can help you express a broader range of emotions, thoughts, and feelings.

4. Proper Use of Slang Makes You Sound More Natural

We’ve all met foreigners who technically used formal language perfectly but still sounded odd and well….foreign. But when you use the right slang words and expressions, you will sound more natural and like a true native speaker. If you notice, even most politicians include a sprinkling of slang expressions and words throughout their speeches to help them sound more natural and to better connect with the audience.

The Dark Side of Slang Expressions

Learning Japanese slang words can indeed help you sound more natural, better understand the people and culture, and make integration much easier. However, there is a dark side: using the wrong slang expressions can also make you look foolish, uneducated, and potentially disrespectful.

But how do you know which slang words or phrases to use and when?

The truth is that you can’t learn the most modern and appropriate slang words in textbooks or formal classroom settings. By the time the information gets incorporated into a formal curriculum, it’s already outdated and no longer in use by actual Japanese people. And while you can learn current slang expressions from Japanese TV shows, movies, songs, and games, you may not understand the context. If that happens, you may use the right Japanese slang words but in the wrong situation and still look like a fool or possibly even offend someone.

Step out from the darkness and Get Your FREE PDF eBook to Master 1500 Kanji easiliy

So where can you learn current slang expressions and the right context in which to use them?

At JapanesePod101, native speaking instructors create audio and video lessons that can include slang expressions and words. Our instructors provide context and examples for all the Japanese slang words used in any lesson to make sure students understand the right time and place to use them.

Japanese slang words and expressions may be grammatically incorrect but they are vital to truly understanding and immersing yourself in the culture. In fact, it will be very difficult to fully understand any movie, TV show, song, game, or even 1-on-1 conversation without knowing a few of the more common slang expressions.

However, it is important to learn the proper context and use of even popular slang expressions or you may come across as confusing, disrespectful, or uneducated.
At JapanesePod101, you’ll learn how to use slang phrases and words to draw the right attention and avoid these problems.

Don’t forget to sign up for a Free Lifetime Account on JapanesePod101.com to access tons of FREE lessons and features to become fluent in Japanese!

Japan exclusive rarest Pokemon! Pokemon Go finally released!

After having been delayed many times for different reasons, the mobile-gaming sensation, Pokemon Go, is finally released in its home country: Japan! Are you already on your way to be the very best like no ever was? After reading this post you’ll discover the rarest Pokemon in Japan and you’ll learn how to be the ポケモンマスター (“Pokemon Master”) in Japanese!

pokemon go japan exclusive rarest pokemon

From rumoured release to multiple delay, the mythical creature franchise, Nintendo has been keeping us waiting without official launch date for weeks. “When will it finally come out in Japan? Isn’t it Nintendo home country!?”. But after painfully watching Pokemon Go being released all over the world, Japanese residents finally get the chance to be back on track!

Pokemon Go users have taken the streets with their smartphones in order to catch’em all and train their creatures for battles! The mobile game is the perfect excuse to communicate with players you cross paths with. You definitely need to know how to introduce Yourself in Japanese.

Whether you want to challenge them or just share the location of the wild Pikachu you saw behind the station, learning the Most Used Japanese Phrases will help you to face all situations!

No more chat! People in Japan are already crazy about Pokemon Go and play it while having lunch with friends!

一番になりたい ? You want to be the very best? To be a good Pokemon trainer is all about charisma! You should start working on a cool trainer posture! But watch out, you may have a look before on Japanese gestures and their meaning to avoid any embarrassing pose!

Commuting, lunch break, night walk… all perfect opportunities for you to capture Pokemon! But it was while walking to the office, listening to a podcast about Japanese superstitions, that I encountered the rarest Pokemon ever, to be seen in Japan only!

If the legend is true Risamon can be seen time to time on JapanesePod101 YouTube channel for funny lessons. Our advice if you want to optimize your chance to capture it, is to follow the dedicated Risamon Learning Path available here. And at the end of the road you may realize you will able to hold a conversation in Japanese!

For you Japanese learners, here are 3 phrases you’ll need to know today:

  • Gotta Catch ‘Em All!
    Zenbu tsukamaete yaru ze!

  • I wanna be the very best!
    Ichiban ni naritai!

  • My dream is to become the pokemon master.
    Watashi no yume wa Pokemon masutā ni naru koto.

    Next week we’ll publish here the Top 20 phrases you must know to be the best Poke Master!

  • How will learning Japanese make you rich?

    The chance to speak with other people in their native tongue and the love for a culture can be all the motivation you need to learn a new language. The money on top is an added bonus, but we will tell you how this hobby can turn into a source of revenue!

    how does learning japanese make you rich learn language

    For Japanese beginners: Click here to learn the most common phrases!

    1) If you have language skills beyond your colleagues who just speak English, and if your company needs those skills to open new markets or reach new customers, you are much more valuable than other employees. A lot of people are getting big raises for this reason.

    2) You can make some extra money with your language skills as a teacher. You can work for yourself, give private lessons at night after school, or work on weekends. Language companies are often looking for freelancers to help with clients who are relocating. You will make more money than being a waiter/waitress or doing some baby-sitting. Alternatively, you can enjoy the comfort of teaching languages from home via Skype, even if the rates are a bit lower.

    3) Take advantage of your language skills by translating documents or websites for companies or people. Interpreters and translators are among the top five fastest growing occupations!


    FREE Japanese lesson for you: 25 Phrases you Must Know!

    4) “Time is money.” If you’ve been learning the Japanese language, when traveling to Japan you will be able to optimize your stay. Having the ability to communicate will open cost effective doors: you’ll quickly find what you seek, travel faster, find the best prices…

    Low costs, High return on Investment
    Learning a language is not expensive, you can borrow books from the library or you can learn online for free with JapanesePod101.com. You can access from your computer or your mobile device more than 2000 lessons, features like flashcards and more. All it will cost you is 2 min to create your free account.

    In 2014, The Economist showed that for somebody making $30,000 annually, learning a language would increase their income by about $600 per year. Once you factor in compounding, it could mean nearly an extra $70,000 in the bank by retirement.

    Click here to become both rich and fluent in Japanese!

    JapanesePod101 Review - Better Late Than Never: How I’m (Still) Learning Japanese

    I first want to say that learning another language is difficult. It’s time-consuming, you always feel like you’re not pronouncing things right and it’s really easy to just give up. BUT DON’T! Learning another language is the best thing I have done to improve my mind and my view on the world.

    how i m still learning japanese japanesepod101 review

    When I decided to spend my summer in Japan, I had not learned a word of Japanese. I thought I would be able to pick it up from simply being around it all the time. I was wrong. When I arrived in Japan, I felt because of my language barrier I was missing out on a part of Japan that only people who spoke the language got to experience. This was when I started using JapanesePod101.

    Reasons I enjoyed using JapanesePod101

  • It’s free!!! → Free is always better, am I right? It was really simply to sign up and it was amazing how I was able to use their basic services for free. If I wanted to learn more, I would simply upgrade my account (which wasn’t much) and their range of lessons just kept expanding.
  • Videos and Audio → It was helpful that the videos had a native-speaking host. The pronunciation and accents felt authentic.
  • Clear starting point → My biggest problem when I was trying to teach myself Japanese was that I didn’t know where to start! With the clearly laid out Learning Paths, I was able to know where to start and what the next step would be.
  • Go at your own pace → There is never a time limit to fulfill a certain number of lessons. Once you sign up, you get a Lifetime Account so you can use JapanesePod101 whenever you have time.
  • Click here to create your Free Lifetime Account and get on the path of fluency!

    I’ll admit, I am still at the absolute beginner level. But as I continue using JapanesePod101, I feel more and more confident in myself and my Japanese.

    Top 10 Language Learning Strategies

    Top 10 Language Learning Strategies

    Learning a new languages is not always such an easy task. So many methods, techniques and resources are out there, and it’s difficult to find what suits you best.
    In this post we’ll tell you about 10 proven simple learning strategies to help you boost your language skill in a fun easy way.

    1. Listen and read along to understand Japanese better - When you listen to any Japanese audio, try following along with a transcript of the audio while listening. All of our audio and video lessons and accompanied by a lesson transcript and lesson notes so that you don’t miss any point. Listen to the lesson, read along with the transcript and get a better, deeper understanding of what you are listening to.

    Click here to start learning Japanese from the beginning with our Absolute Beginner series!

    2. Record your voice and compare your pronunciation with native Japanese speakers.

    3. Download dialog tracks and listen to the Japanese conversations.

    Want to learn Survival Phrases for every day situations? Check out our Survival Phrases series. You can download the dialog track of every lesson!

    4. Repeat the phrases that you hear out loud again and again.

    Language learning strategy!

    5. Review old lessons to master them completely - sign up at www.japanesepod101.com for a free life time account, and get weekly Throwback Thursday lessons – a free random lesson every Thursday. We will send a free random lesson from the past directly to your email inbox.

    6. Improve your listening skills by reviewing each line of the conversation with the Line-by-Line Audio tool.

    7. Stay motivated by tracking your learning progress with the Dashboard - Want a guaranteed, step-by-step way to learn Japanese – without getting lost or wondering what to learn next? We take you by the hand and guide you, lesson by lesson, until you reach your Japanese goals. We’ll guide you from zero to fluency!

    8. Read lines slowly at first. Then re-read and increase your speed.

    9. Set small and measurable learning goals with a deadline. - Need help setting up your goals? Check out this list, of the top monthly goals our users set up for themselves!

    10. Try harder lessons to challenge yourself and improve faster - If our Absolute Beginner lessons are too easy for you, try Beginner lessons, Intermediate lessons and even Advanced-levl lessons!

    Japanese Honorifics Guide: San, Kun, Chan, Sama and More

    Have you ever felt confused about all those -kun, -chan and -senpai you hear when watching anime? I am sure you have wondered about the meaning of these Japanese suffixes. After reading this post your Japanese will sound more natural as you will learn how to use Japanese honorifics!

    Remember to take the quiz at the end to test your understanding and to sign up at JapanesePod101.com if you really want to learn Japanese with effective resources.

    japanese honorifics suffixes san kun chan sama sensei senpai kouhai

    Discover the Top 10 Anime to learn Japanese!

    Most languages use them: “Mr.”, “Mrs”, “Sir”, “Dr”… But in Japanese there are more of them, and they are a lot more nuanced. They are often attached to a name as a suffix, but some can stand alone, such as sensei.

    In Japanese there are both formal and informal honorifics, plus some familial honorifics. The use of honorifics is considered very important in Japan, and calling somebody by just his name without adding a title is a lack of good manners.

    Here is the list of 10 Japanese honorific titles and how to use them!

    -San (さん), the most common honorific, equivalent to “Mr.” or “Mrs.” It’s a title of respect between equals, so it’s okay to use for anyone, especially if you are not sure which honorific to use. It can also be attached to occupation names. For example, ‘bookstore (本屋) + san (さん) = “bookseller” (本屋さん).’

    -Kun (くん), the most commonly used honorific in anime. It is used to address young males. It is also used by superiors to inferiors and male of the same age and status.

    -Chan (ちゃん), most frequently used for girls and between them, children, close friends, or lovers. This can be used when somebody finds a person, a pet, or something adorable and cute. You don’t want to use it with a superior, unless you want to be fired! -Sama (さま), the more formal version of san. Usually used to refer to customers who are deserving of the utmost respect status in Japan, people of higher rank, or somebody you admire.

    For Japanese learners: here are 5 phrases your teacher will never teach you!

    -Niisan/Neesan (兄さん / 姉さん), is used when referring to one’s older brother or sister, or any relative or close friend. -Jisan/Basan (じさん / ばさん), is used when referring to one’s uncle or aunt or any middle-aged adult the user is already acquainted with. Also there is Jiisan/Baasan (じいさん/ばあさん), which literally refer to one’s grandfather and grandmother, and is also used to refer to older adults the speaker is acquainted with. Neither of these are seen as insulting, but watch out not to use them with a person sensitive about his/her age!

    -Dono (どの), roughly means “lord” or “master”, and lies below sama in its respect level. It’s a title that has almost gone out of use in daily conversation. When it is used, it is usually as a joke expressing an exaggeration of age.

    Create your FREE lifetime account to access tons of lessons, no money/credit card required

    Here are some honorific titles that can stand on their own:

    Senpai (せんぱい), the equivalent of “senior.” This is used for classmates in higher grades and all people with more experience than yourself either at work, club, or in any kind of group.

    Kōhai (こうはい), the equivalent of “junior” and the opposite of senpai. As it can appear condescending, it is not used as a suffix.

    Sensei (せんせい), is used to refer to teachers as well as people who are experts in their respective fields, whether doctors, artists, or lawyers. It shows respect to someone who has mastered some skill.

    To go further and master this lesson:


    Now that you mastered Japanese honorific suffixes you can move on prefixes! This video lesson is already available on our website and you will learn why and how to use Japanese prefix!

    Don’t forget to sign up for a Free Lifetime Account on JapanesePod101.com to access tons of FREE lessons and features to become fluent in Japanese!

    Japanese Slang Part III

    Japanese Slang III

    Taking the time to understand slang and informal speech will boost your communication and language skills, and save a whole lot of confusion. Slang will allow you to use language in a current, useful way. No amount of time in class can prepare you for the contemporary nuances you’ll be faced with when you put your language knowledge to practical use out in the real world.

    In this post, we’ll cover common slang nouns that are used every day in Japan!

    Click here to learn Japanese with the newest lessons for FREE!

    1. エクステ (ekusute) - hair extensions

    hair extensions

    Mijikai kaminoke ni ekusute o tsukeru to nagaku mieru.
    It makes your hair look longer if you apply hair extensions to your short hairs.

    2. ドタキャン (ドタキャン) - last minute cancellation

    last minute cancellation

    Tanoshimi ni shiteita yakusoku ga dotakyan ni naru.
    The appointment I was looking forward to got cancelled in the last minute.

    Learn how to describe yourself in Japanese!

    3. ドヤ顔 (doyagao) - smug face

    smug face

    Sugoi koto o shite minna ni homerarete doyagao suru.
    To make a smug face from getting compliments for something great you did

    4. いつめん (itsumen) - usual members

    usual members

    Itsumen de gohan o taberu.
    To eat with the usual members.

    5. 卒アル (sotsuaru) - school year book

    school year book

    Omoide no sotsuaru
    A school year book with a memory

    For more lessons, video tutorials, quizzes and learning materials, don’t forget to visit www.japanesepod101.com and sign up for your Free Lifetime Account and enjoy our content!

    JapanesePod101 Free Lifetime Account: Is it really free?

    You want to learn Japanese but you don’t want to spend a cent. You don’t want to lose time creating an account if they ask you for your credit card just after. For you Japanese learner, we tell you how you will access great resources for free for life and without card or having to pay. This is your unique path to fluency for free.

    free lifetime account japanesepod101 benefit

    JapanesePod101 is not really free, is it?
    Although there are paid plans, yes, it is FREE. Every single lesson that we have ever created has been free for a certain period of time. And every new audio and video lesson (we publish 3-5 lessons a week) is completely free to access for 3 weeks before going into our lesson library.

    What’s a Free Lifetime Account?
    A Free Lifetime Account is – simply put – a free membership at JapanesePod101.

    What do I get with this Free Account? How can I learn for free for life?
    Here’s how you learn every day without paying a cent at JapanesePod101. You have access to all of these features for life:

  • New audio and video lessons every week – 3-5 new, free lessons a week
  • The first 3 lessons of every single series – 100+ lessons in total
  • New Daily Dose of Japanese lessons – a new free lesson every day
  • Japanese Word of the Day lessons – a new free lesson every day
  • Throwback Thursday lessons – a free random lesson every Thursday
  • The Innovative Language 101 App for the Android, iPhone and iPad
  • The 100 Most Common Words List to get a head-start on learning vocabulary
  • Vocabulary and phrase lists for topics, themes and holidays
  • Bonus resources and mobile apps in the Japanese resources section

    Do I need a credit card to sign up?
    No. All you need is a valid email address to join. The only times you’d require a credit card (or another payment method such as PayPal) is if you want to upgrade to a Basic, Premium or Premium PLUS subscription.

    To sum-up, you create a free account only with your email address, you’ll get a 7-day trial to experience Premium access to JapanesePod101, and after this period you will stay on as a “Free” member accessing all our tool and resources mentioned before. So what are you waiting for?

    It will take you only 30 seconds and a valid email, no credit card, no money asked, to create your free lifetime account and get on the way to reach Japanese fluency!

    How to activate your free lifetime account?

    1- Choose your level (Absolute Beginner, Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced) and enter your email address.

    2- Activate your account.

    3- Click on “No Thanks” at the bottom of the page to validate your free lifetime account, or benefit from the 1$ package.

    4- Enjoy your free account for life, and master Japanese language!

    Start speaking Japanese now!

  • Learn to Read and Write Japanese Kanji Characters

    You all have experienced that feeling, right?

    …Or this one.

    But what if I told you…


    With this new series, you will discover the Radical Approach to Mastering Kanji. It’s perfect for Japanese Beginners! You’ll learn how to read, write and understand Kanji through an easy, step-by-step method – radicals – the building blocks of Kanji.

    And here is the first Kanji achievement you can successfully unlock: one of the most useful characters, the radical for “person,” 亻.

    Next episodes of this series to Master Kanji are already available on the wesbite!

    You are just a click away from becoming a Kanji Master!

    New JapanesePod101 lesson series start July 4th, 2016!

    Hi Listener,

    Here’s how you speak and understand more Japanese in 2016…

    With new JapanesePod101 audio and video lessons by real teachers.

    And this is important – you get new lessons for FREE, every week.

    How? You simply start a lesson, hear native Japanese conversation and have our teachers explain it all to you. Every word. Every grammar point. Every cultural insight. Sit back and learn – we’ll do the work. Learn directly on our site or on the go on your mobile device.

    So, you’ll speak and understand more Japanese with new, free lessons every week!

    Here’s what you need to know. We’re starting a brand new season of lessons for the second half of 2016. So, starting July 4th, 2016, we’ll be releasing new seasons of audio and video lessons to get you mastering Japanese the fast, fun and easy way! Here’s what you can expect.

    JapanesePod101’s Lesson Schedule:

    • Monday: Absolute Beginner - Must-Know Japanese Sentence Structures
    • Tuesday: Video Series - Listening Comprehension, Video Series - Japanese Words of the Week
    • Thursday: Throwback Thursday Lessons (Get a free random lesson from the past sent directly to your email inbox.)
    • Friday: Video Series - Innovative Japanese, Video Series - Japanese Questions Answered by Hiroko
    • Saturday: Video Series - Reading Comprehension
    • Sunday: News & Announcement - Sunday News, Bonus Courses - Japanese Vocab Builder

    Remember, you get new free Japanese audio and video lessons EVERY Week! All JapanesePod101’s newest lessons are free for the first three weeks! So, you have three weeks’ worth of lessons at any given time. Oh, and the first three lessons of every series are free too! This is one of the major advantages of being a Free Lifetime Account member at JapanesePod101.

    Check out the newest JapanesePod101 lessons for free!
    Click here to learn Japanese with the newest lessons for FREE!

    To your fluency,
    Team JapanesePod101

    P.S. Learn Japanese, Get a BIG 45% OFF Premium & Premium PLUS!
    Ready to learn Japanese with proven lessons by real teachers and save BIG? With the 6-month Challenge, you get 6 months of Premium or Premium PLUS at up to 45% OFF! Unlock our best Japanese lessons, study tools, exclusive Inner Circle access and your very own Japanese teacher. That’s as low as $66 for 6 months and $54 in instant savings. Ends July 1st, 2016.

    Click Here to Get Up to 45% OFF Premium & Premium PLUS!

    Get Up to 45% OFF Premium & Premium PLUS at JapanesePod101!