How to Learn Japanese Part 2: Now You Can Read

Did y’all get Genki 1 and the workbook?

Did you study those kana? xD


Now we’re going to start learning!! 

As perf as you think you are right now (you’re perf don’t worry) you’re going to forget these kana. 

Honestly, the more you look at them, the more you doodle these on your homework or notes, the more they’re going to become ingrained in your brain.

You want that.

“Leaf, I got this. I don’t need to do that.”


You want to learn Japanese? Don’t forget this is a new language. Don’t underestimate it.

But don’t run around screaming like you’re dying either.

We’re going to make this as painless as possible.

Before you crack open those gorgeous Genki babiez, I want you to read these aloud:







You prolly already know some of these. If not, that’s fine! We’ll get there ^^

I want to stress that we’re trying to ditch romaji right away. For this exercise, I’m going to include the romaji for the above answers, but please get used to kana.

Japanese isn’t romaji rofl.

So, you should’ve read this:

Arigatou= Thank you

Ohayou= Good morning

Nihon= Japan

Koi = Love

Neko = Cat

Hon= Book

This might be a little overwhelming but don’t worry. In no time you’re going to breeze through this like a BOSS 😉

Write the above in your notebook. Remember to pay attention to stroke order.

These are your first words in Japanese. May not be super exciting but it should be. I mean, you’re reading another language.


But calm down, we can’t start reading manga or novels yet.

Before we start chapter 1 next post, there’s more to learn about kana.

Yep. But don’t worry. These are a breeze.

If you have Genki, flip to page 25 under 2. Or the inside covers. (If not, refer to an online chart)

All these are is a combination of kana which create new sounds that you otherwise couldn’t make on their own.

Best part? You don’t need to memorize any new characters!!! 

しゃ= し + small や ーーー> Sha

にゅ= に +    small ゆ --->    Nyu

りょ= り +    small よ --->    Ryo

Not too bad, right? If you see a smaller character next to a bigger one, this is basically the gist.

The next two parts are also very simple. And then you’re done with kana!! XD Meaning you can essentially pretty much read stuff now! 

が vs か

は vs ぱ

You see two lines? That means a hard sound. So Ka becomes Ga. The concept is straightforward except for small exceptions found on your chart.

The circles represent softening the sounds.

Memorizing these won’t take long with practice.

The final part is elongating the consonants. And these are very simple!! XD

Basically, つ is used to extend the consonants in a word. All you need to watch for is when that kana is small:

かった= Katta

しった= Shitta

So instead of saying Kata you extend the “a” sound in this word, thus Katta.


It applies to katakana too 🙂

So if you learn the system for one kana, you know the other! 


For now, you can literally READ stuff. You’re going to be slow as FFFFFFFF when you start, but don’t let that deter you!

I promise the more you expose yourself ;P you’re going to notice you’re reading speed increasing (dirty minds, y’all).

Don’t worry about kanji for now because you’re armed to tackle those babiez when we learn them.


  1. Practice your kana again
  2. Try combining them on your own just for lolz
  3. Start listening to Japanese music to get a feel for the language. I’ll list some:


Faky honestly one of the best girl groups right now but sadly underrated. They’re badass.

Daichi Miura is currently my fav


Nana Kishino

This is her live concert with Japanese lyrics onscreen. Most are kanji but it really helps train your eye on what you know:

Nana Kishino



Not only are you getting used to the sound of the language, but this can lead you to becoming more invested in the culture. As much as I love anime myself, I can’t recommend it as a learning tool.

If you insist, by all means do so. Just understand there will be a lot of limitations to doing so (which I’ll go over in another post).


Next post we’ll be nosediving into Chapter 1 of Genki!! If you can read kana by then (doesn’t matter if you’re slow at it) then you’re on fire. Because trust me, romaji will only sink you.

And this is less effort on your part cuz you already know kana xD


Have any questions?

If you like what you see please follow or share! Thank you.





21 thoughts on “How to Learn Japanese Part 2: Now You Can Read

  1. Lehst says:

    I’m so proud of myself. I totally aced your little quiz at the beginning there.
    *pats herself on back*

    lol such basic words tho but dammit, Yeah! I totally read a different language! WOLVERINES!!1!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Retsuyachan says:

    Isn’t the Nyu example wrong? Should be にゅ instead of んゅ ww

    This is pretty much the way i figured it out on my own, and I used lyric books from this okinawa enka band Kiroro to listen and transcribe as a child, so music and constant scribbling on your homework(don’t be me pls) should help gain that foothold

    You can also try childrens’ books and songs (doraemon, anpanman, DEFO POKEMON) and just get yourselves used to it visually. Write, write and write. Pls write it the right way too i had to go to damn uni before i realised my handwriting was being marked down lol

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s