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Podcast 34: Aizuchi

In this podcast, Ami and Alex teach you about Aizuchi or phrases you can use to interject in conversation to show interest in the speaker.

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Podcast 33: Talking about your trip to Japan

In this podcast, Ami and Alex teach you how to have a conversation with your friends about a past trip to Japan.

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Podcast 32: Making dinner plans with a friend!

In this podcast Ami and Alex teach you how to make dinner plans with a friend.

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Podcast 31: Convenience Store Japanese

In this podcast Ami and Alex teach you some useful Japanese phrases you can use when visiting a convenience store.

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Podcast 30: Talking about your plans for the year

In this podcast Ami and Alex teach you some useful phrases and dialogues to talk about you plans for the year in natural, fluent Japanese.

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Podcast 29: Talking about your job in Japanese

In this podcast, Ami and Alex teach you useful phrases and dialogues to help you talk about your job in natural Japanese.

For more fun Japanese language podcasts visit http://learnjapanesepod.com

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Podcast 28: How to talk about the weather in Japanese

In this podcast, Ami and Alex teach you some useful phrases and dialogues for talking about the weather in natural, fluent Japanese.

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Podcast 27: Talking about your preferences in Japanese

In this podcast, Ami and Alex teach you how to talk about your preferences in Japanese.

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Podcast 26: Japanese verbs for daily life

In this podcast you’re going to learn useful verbs to talk about your daily routine. These verbs are very commonly used in casual conversation throughout the day so they are well worth learning. You will also study a little grammar related to plain form verbs and -TE form verbs which are the most common type of verb used in casual speech. You will also learn how they are used together when describing actions in a sequence.

Also, the dialogue in this lesson will teach you particles which are sounds that usually go at the end of sentences to change the nuance of what you are saying. Learning these will help you sound a lot more natural when speaking Japanese.

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Podcast 25: Japanese adverbs of frequency

In this podcast you’re going to learn about how to use adverbs of frequency in daily speech. In other words, you’ll learn how to ask and answer questions about how often you do things in Japanese. You’ll learn how to ask questions such as “How often do you…”. You’ll also be able to reply that you do something never, occasionally, sometimes, often and always.

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Podcast 24: How to book a table at a Japanese restaurant

In this podcast you will learn how to book a table at a restaurant by phone in natural Japanese. These days it is easy to make bookings online and with mobiles apps. However, there are still many restaurants in Japan which don’t have online booking facilities. Also, in crowded cities like Osaka and Tokyo, it can be hard to get a seat, especially during Fridays and weekends. Therefore being able to book seats in Japanese by phone is a useful skill.

Another thing you will learn is the polite language commonly used by restaurant and service staff. This is called Keigo and is a very polite way of speaking in Japanese. It’s also quite tricky to master as it uses different phrases and vocabulary compared with casual speech. However, I would recommend learning just enough to be able to understand it so you can interact with hotel, restaurant or department store staff. You don’t need to learn to speak it perfectly, just understanding a little is enough. Most Japanese people have difficulty speaking proper Keigo!

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Podcast 23: Osaka Ben

In this episode, Ami and Alex teach you how to speak Osaka dialect which is called Osaka Ben in Japanese. And for this lesson Ami sensei is our secret weapon as she is a native of Osaka city.

Sometimes this is referred to as Kansai Ben however, Kansai is the larger region located in central Japanese that includes Osaka city, Kyoto, Nara, Wakayama, Shiga, Mie and Hyogo. And in turn, each of those areas have their own dialects. However, Ami sensei is from Osaka, and Osaka Ben is the dominant dialect that influences all the surrounding areas. Therefore we decided to go with Osaka Ben.

Of course this lesson is not a comprehensive guide to Osaka Ben as that would fill a few books. However, this lesson will teach you the most common phrases, speech patterns and intonation that you will hear on the streets of Osaka.

The main dialog is recorded by natives from Osaka including Ami so you’ll learn the authentic accent. We also included a dialog in standard Japanese so you can compare. Enjoy!

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Podcast 22: What does Yappari mean?

Have you been scratching your head trying to work out what “Yappari” means? Well, scratch your head no more! In this podcast Ami sensei and I (Alex) attempt to explain what Yappari means. We teach you the three main meanings of Yappari and how to use it naturally and fluently in conversation with your Japanese friends. For more information keep reading, listen to the podcast and download the show notes.

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Podcast 21: Japanese conversation starters

In this podcast Ami and Alex teach you some really useful phrases and vocabulary to start conversations in Japanese.

For more fun Japanese language podcasts visit http://learnjapanesepod.com

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Podcast 20: How to talk about your hobbies in Japanese

A great way to practice your Japanese speaking skills and to get to know people in Japan is to talk about free time and hobbies. In a casual setting you may be asked what you do in your free time by Japanese people. So this lesson will teach you the basics of how to ask and answer questions about hobbies. But first of all, listen to the audio podcast which goes through all the points in this lesson.

For more fun Japanese language podcasts visit http://learnjapanesepod.com

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Podcast 19: How to eat Takoyaki

In this podcast Ami and Alex teach you absolutely everything you need to know about the delicious Japanese street snack Takoyaki!

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Podcast 18: How to say ‘must’ in Japanese

In this podcast, Ami and Alex teach you various ways to say ‘must’ in Japanese.

For more podcasts visit http://learnjapanesepod.com

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Podcast 17: How to express your opinion in Japanese

In this lesson Ami and I teach you how to ask and give your opinions on various topics using the verb 思う Omou – To think. This is usually used to say “I think that…”.

思う is a very useful phrase you use all the time in conversation in Japanese. The main grammatical structure we will be using is this:

Something or someone…どう思う?Dō omou which means what do you think about so and so… For example:

彼女どう思う? Kanojo wa dō omou What do you think of her?

彼どう思う? Kare wa dō omou What do you think of him?

Then to answer you could say your opinion plus と思う which means I think so and so. So, for example you can say 可愛いと思うよ Kawaii to omou yo which means I think she’s cute or カッコイイと思うよ Kakko ii to omou which means I think he’s cool.

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Podcast 16: What to do when you lose your wallet in Japan

In this podcast Ami and I talk about what to do if you lose your wallet or other personal items when in Japan. The good news is that Japanese people are generally very law abiding and honest. Therefore, if someone finds your lost item, there is a good chance they will hand it in to the police and you will get it back.

If you do lose something, the best idea is to ring the place you think you left it and ask if it has been found. If you lose something on the train it’s best to go to the station master’s office and ask there. If you drop something in the street then you should go to a Koban or police box.

This lesson focuses on how to call the last place you were at to ask the staff if they found you things.

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Podcast 15: Talking about your favorite movies in Japanese

In this podcast, Ami and I (Alex) teach you how to talk about your favorite movies in Japanese. Listen to the podcasts and read the dialogs below to get an idea of what these phrases and dialogs mean. You can also download the PDFs too! Enjoy!

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Podcast 14: Talking on the phone in Japanese

In this podcast, Ami and I, teach you some fun conversations you can have with your friends in Japanese.  The first thing you need to know when speaking on the phone in Japanese is the word Moshi moshi which is hello but used exclusively for the phone. You can use this for both casual and polite conversations.

For more podcasts visit http://learnjapanesepod.com

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Podcast 13: Everything you need to know to speak Japanese Fluently

In this podcast Ami and Alex discuss in detail everything you need to know about becoming fluent in Japanese.

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Podcast 12: Describing people’s personalities in Japanese

In this podcast, Ami Sensei and I teach you how to describe people’s personalities in natural Japanese.

For more podcasts visit http://learnjapanesepod.com

 

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Podcast 11: Japanese Verbs – Taberu

In this podcast, Ami sensei and I teach you about using the verb 食べる in the casual form which is used between people who know each other well in an informal situation. This is how you conjugate the verb taberu in plain form or “dictionary form”.

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Podcast 10: The Top 10 Questions you will be asked in Japan

In this podcast Ami and Alex go through the top 10 most common questions you will be asked by Japanese people on your first visit to Japan. Enjoy!

For more podcasts visit http://learnjapanesepod.com

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Podcast 09: How to order Sushi at a Japanese Restaurant

In this week’s podcast Yoshiko and Alex discuss useful Japanese vocabulary and cultural points and advice for ordering sushi at a Japanese restaurant like a native.

The good news is you don’t have to learn a huge amount of vocabulary to order your your favorite dishes if you learn just a few useful key phrases.

For more podcasts visit http://learnjapanesepod.com

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Podcast 08: Talking about your likes and dislikes in Japanese

In this podcast Yoshiko and I teach you how to talk about your likes and dislikes. Check out the PDF show notes and podcasts to see all the examples.

For more Japanese language learning podcasts visit http://learnjapanesepod.com

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Podcast 07: How to ask for help in Japanese

This is podcast 07: How to ask for help in Japanese. Asuka and Alex will teach you lots of useful phrases on the topic of asking your friend to help you.

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Podcast 06: Useful Classroom Japanese Phrases

In this podcast, Asuka and Alex will teach you some useful classroom Japanese phrases. These phrases will help you to interact with your teacher and ask and answer questions.

For more Japanese language learning podcasts go to http://learnjapanesepod.com

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Podcast 05: Top 10 tips for studying Japanese

In this podcast we reveal our top 10 tips for studying Japanese more efficiently.

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Podcast 04: How to talk about your home town in Japanese

In this podcast, Asuka and Alex teach you how to talk about your home town in Japanese. You will also learn how to ask and answer questions about where you are from.

For more Japanese language learning podcasts go to http://learnjapanesepod.com

 

 

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Podcast 03: How to apologize in Japanese

As discussed in Top 10 Etiquette Mistakes in Japan, there are two golden rules for apologising in Japanese:

1) If it’s your fault apologize.

2) If it’s not your fault, apologize.

I’m half joking but Japanese people tend to apologize more frequently than westerners. As they say in Japan:

とりあえず謝る – toriaezu ayamaru

(Whatever happens) just apologize

In this podcast, Asuka and Alex go through the basics of apologizing in Japanese in different situations and contexts. This is perhaps one of the most important skills you will learn when studying Japanese.

Lesson goal
In this lesson you’re going to learn some various ways to apologize in Japanese and what situations to use them in naturally.

Being humble, sincere and ready to admit you are wrong are traits held in high regard in Japan. Making excuses is avoided as that can be interpreted as being selfish or childish.

Japanese are also sometimes quick to apologize for the actions of others especially if they are in the same group. Some westerners might sometimes find this hard to understand however Japanese people are highly sensitive to the group dynamic and how their actions might affect others.

So, let’s have a look at the most useful vocabulary and phrases for apologizing in Japanese.

すみません Sumimasen
This is most common way to say sorry for something. It is common for people in conversation to
pronounce it “seimasen”. However, it is also useful in a variety of other situations, for example:

1) “Excuse me” if you bump into someone on the street or just a simple apology

すみません – sumimasen
Sorry, that was bad of me

2) Getting someone’s attention such as a waiter or when you want to ask someone directions. すみません、メニューお願いします – sumimasen, menyuu onegaishimasu

Excuse me, can I have the menu please?

すみません、駅はどこですか – sumimasen, eki wa doko desu ka
Excuse me, where is the station?

3) Receiving something from someone

A: メニューをどうぞ – menyuu o dozo
B: すみません – sumimasen
A: Here’s the menu
B: Thanks

ごめんなさい Gomen nasai
“Gomen nasai” is a little less formal than “sumimasen” and can sometimes sound a little childish so it’s better to only use this with friends and not your boss or other superiors.
It can also be shortened to ごめんね – gomen ne which is much more casual. When in doubt, use “sumimasen”.

申し訳ありません Mōshi wake arimasen
This is a very formal phrase and is stronger than “sumimasen” and “gomen nasai”. This should be used when apologizing to superiors. As a tourist or customer, you’ll often hear this when staff apologize to you. Here are some typical uses of this phrase:

大変申し訳ありません -taihen mōushiwake arimasen
I’m very sorry

遅れて申し訳ありません – okurete mōshiwake arimasen
I’m sorry for being late

申し訳ありません満席です – mōshiwake arimasen manseki desu
I’m sorry, the flight is full. (no seats left)

申し訳ありません満室です – mōshiwake arimasen manshitsu desu

I’m sorry we don’t have any available rooms left.

失礼します Shitsurei shimasu
Shitsurei literally means “rude” so when you say Shitsurei shimasu is a semi-causal way to say
you are sorry. It has various uses including the following;

失礼な!– shitsurei na
How rude! – Used when complaining about a rude person.

失礼します – shitsurei shimasu
I’m sorry / Excuse me

失礼しました – shitsurei shimashita
I’m sorry (This is usually used for something bad you did or a mistake you made) 失礼 – Shitsurei
Sorry (Very casual and usually used more by men)

お先に失礼します – osaki ni shitsurei shimasu
May I be excused? – This is used when you are the first person to leave a social gathering or the office at the end of the day.

ご迷惑 Gomeiwaku
This means trouble or troublesome and although is not an apology in itself, it is used a lot with
“sumimasen” and “mōushiwake arimasen” and is quite formal. For example:

ご迷惑をおかけてしてすみません – gomeiwaku o okakeshite sumimasen
I’m sorry for any trouble I caused. (Polite)

ご迷惑をおかけております – gomeiwaku o okakeshite orimasu
(The most formal way of apologizing often seen on signs outside construction works)

お詫び 申し上げます Owabi Mōshi agemasu
This is extremely polite and formal. It is rarely used in speech and usually appears in formal letters of apology.

Dialog examples from the podcast

Example 01
A: あの、変なことして本当にすみません B: どんなこと?
A: ちょっと言えないんですけど
A: ano, hen na koto shite hontou ni sumimasen B: donna koto
A: chotto ienain desu kedo
A: I did something weird, I’m sorry B: What kind of thing?
A: I can’t really say

Example 02
遅れしまってすみません
okurete shimatte sumimasen
I’m sorry for being late

Example 03

すみません、メニューお願いします
sumimasen menyuu onegaishimasu Excuse me, may I have the menu please?

Example 04
すみません、駅はどこですか
sumimasen eki wa doko desu ka Excuse me, where is the station

Example 05
A: 明香さんいろいろ助けてくれました。どうぞ、バラです。 B: すみませんアレックス
A: asuka san iroiro tasukete kuremashita. douzo bara desu B: sumimasen arekusu
A: Asuka, you’ve helped me with so many (various) things. Here are some roses. B: Thank you Alex (You shouldn’t have)

Example 06
お忙しところ大変申し訳ございません
oisogashii tokoro taihen moushi wake arimasen I’m sorry to disturb you at such a busy time

Example 07
お待たせしてしまって本当に申し訳ございません
omatase shite shimatte hontou ni moushi wake gozaimasen I’m sorry to have kept you waiting

Example 08
ご迷惑をおかけして大変申し訳ございませんでした
gomeiwaku o okake shite taihen moushi wake gozaimasen deshita I’m extremely sorry to have caused you such trouble

Example 09
大変ご迷惑をおかけして申し訳ございませんでした。では失礼します。
taihen gomeiwaku wo okake shite moushi wake gozaimasen deshita. dewa shitsurei shimasu. I’m sorry to have caused you so much trouble. Please allow me to excuse myself now (and leave)

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Podcast 02: How to do a self introduction in Japanese

In this podcast, Asuka and Alex are back to teach you how to do a self introduction in Japanese to a group of people. For example, this might be useful for you on your first day of Japanese class at university, college or school.

We cover how to say your name, where you are from and what your hobbies and interests are. If you learn the set phrases in this podcast you should be able to do your own self introduction easily.

For more Japanese language tutorial podcasts visit http://learnjapanesepod.com

 

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Podcast 01: Lesson – How to ask your friends to hang out in Japanese

In this podcast, Alex and Asuka will teach you how to ask your friends to hang out with you in natural, fluent Japanese. Listen to dialogues spoken by a native speaker for various situations so you can improve your listening and speaking skills. You can also download the free PDF show notes to study the grammar and vocabulary in more detail.

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