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Three JLPT test-takers living in Japan talk about Japanese language, culture and the JLPT!

  • Why Study Japanese?
  • Gateway to Education and Employment
  • Fascinating Japanese Expressions

Fascinating Japanese Expressions

Japanese is difficult because there are lots of ambiguous expressions. Even at work, sometimes I don’t know what my colleagues are trying to say. Like, what exactly do you mean by “that may be so”?

True. Unlike German and English, verbs come at the end of the sentence in Japanese, so you don’t know what the other person is trying to say until he or she finishes talking.

I love Japanese onomatopoetic expressions. I had no idea what the difference was between “pika pika” and “kira kira.”

There is no difference such a distinction in Taiwan, either.

Same in German. But I think I understand the implications of such subtle differences in expressions. I think it’s amazing that a concept that would require an exhaustive description in German can be expressed using a single sentence in Japanese. My favorite Japanese expressions are the seasonal greetings at the beginning and end of letters. There are greetings for each season; for instance, in the summer, you can say “the summer heat is still intense.”

Indonesia does not have four seasons like Japan, so there are no seasonal greetings.

Germany has four seasons, but in letters you get to the point straight away. But it feels friendlier to have such a greeting before you start writing. I feel that you develop closer ties with another person when acknowledging that you live in the same season.


Books and References

  • Book Information
  • Reference Download
  • JLPT Bulletin
  • For Teachers: Explanatory Materials
Test Dates
  • First test: Sunday, July 5, 2020
  • Second test: Sunday, December 6, 2020
*Outside Japan, the test may be held only in July or December in some cities. Click here for the test schedule in your city.

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