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Karaoke + The 3 Japanese Writing Systems + Tips to Learn Kanji


にほんごのれんしゅう(日本語の練習) 第9週 Japanese Practice Week 9

Hello everyone! Kyuusei here to teach you Japanese and show what I find interesting about Japan. With that being said, let’s continue.

Karaoke (カラオケ)

Karaoke is a special past time in Japan where people can unwind while also expressing themselves without any judgement. They were most prominent in bars but now people rent out rooms with the equipment set up called karaoke boxes. I recall watching an episode of “僕は友達が少ない” when everyone went to a karaoke box. One character found the pricing a bit deceptive because you must pay for each person for only one room. An entrance fee if you will. Unfortunately, that character (and a character who agreed with that person) ended up in separate rooms by themselves while the others got a room together. You must pay for the time you are using the room as well. Fortunately, this comes with a drink bar for those who are in the room. However, the price range and the drink limits can vary.

The basic layout of a karaoke room would be a TV, a few microphones, a remote control to pick the song you want to sing, coffee table, one or two sofas. There is also a phone where you can request for more time if your time has run out or you want to place an order. Don’t worry about going over time, they will let you know and ask if you want more time. Some karaoke boxes have equipment that comes with a scoring mechanism that will rank how well you did compare to other people on that specific song. Think ranking scores at an arcade.

Image result for カラオケ
A general set up of a karaoke box.

On another note, it doesn’t matter if you are bad at singing or even good. This is all done in good fun. However, if you are a good singer, it is best not to hog the mic and let others have their fair shake at a song.

Hiragana (ひらがな) Katakana (カタカナ) and Kanji (漢字)

With practice the first two can be completed within a week or two. However, Kanji is a bit more complex. I would like to provide a few ways to make it easier to not only learn how to read Kanji but write it as well.

There is an app I use to practice writing and learn Kanji called JA-sensei. It has flashcards you can learn from and when you write Kanji the app checks your stroke order on a 0-100 grade scale. It is available for Android and IOS. I am taking the Jouyou route instead of the JLPT route. The Jouyou route is where you follow the amount of Kanji Japanese schools teach each year. Considering I want to learn at least 300 Kanji this year, I should be able to learn as much Kanji as an average 3rd grader in Japan (after this grade they will have learned up to 440 Kanji). After this, I will most likely have enough Kanji under my belt to take the JLPT N3.

I would also recommend George Trombley’s book “Kanji from Zero” where it teaches you 240 Kanji in a textbook/workbook format. That will get you almost enough Kanji to take the JLPT N4 (N5 (110) + N4 (179) = 289 Kanji ).

I have joined a Japanese learning group a few months ago. I have had a few conversations there about how to learn and what to use to learn (books, apps, anime [笑] etc.). The most prominent questions are “Do I need to learn Kanji” and “How do I learn so many Kanji”. One of the moderators shared his idea on how to do so and I think it is very helpful. So, I’ll share some of that here.  Music. Yes, that is correct. If the song has Japanese use it to learn kanji. I like to do a sing a long sometimes to my favorite anime openings and endings (You’ll see a reference to one of my favorite songs in the dialogue).

So, choose and listen to about 10 Japanese music tracks and find lyrics for them (Here is one website that I use: There are some furigana extensions on browsers such as Chrome to ease you into reading the Kanji. Not only will you learn Kanji, but you can also learn grammar as well. Add more songs to your leisure and dissect away at the kanji and grammar while also practicing your speaking (singing?).

And lastly, practice making sentences as soon as possible while these Kanji are still in your head. Best of luck and I hope that this was helpful.

And now here are some grammar notes with examples.

Comparisons (くらべる(比べる)ーTo compare) – のほうが (の方が)、より

Better ➔ のほうが/の方が


I am good at English but,

Worse ➔よりも


I am better at it than Japanese.

Note: の方がcan be replaced with は, but よりcannot do so.


I am good at English but, I am better at it than Japanese.

To compare something or someone else – 比べる

Compared to A, B is (adjective) ➔ Aに比べてBの方が(adjective)です。

“In comparison to A, B is (adjective)”

EX: 姉に比べて、僕の方が冷たいです。

In comparison to my older sister, I am colder./I am colder than my sister.

Note: 冷たいdoes not mean temperature wise but personality wise when it is said about a person.

もっと+ (adjective) (adjective)+er


I want to be stronger than anyone.

Or you can use より+(adjective)


This alcohol is weaker than water!









So Goodbye

Darling Darling Darling



























エマ:ゴ! レイ!









Emma and friends: Karaoke

After the party, Emma, Rei, Haru and Hibiki arrive at the Karaoke bar.

Emma: Hey Rei, let’s sing. I won’t lose to your score.

Rei: Alright. Bring it. Ladies first!

Emma: Wow, is this a gentleman? So wonderful. Well, it’s my turn.

♪My head spins round and round again

I was dependent on you

So Goodbye

Darling Darling Darling

Hibiki: Amazing. Emma is good at singing. Ms. Har-

Haru: You don’t have to use such polite words. “Haru” is good.

Hibiki: Then, does H-haru like singing?

Haru: Actually… I’m not good at singing.

Hibiki: I think I’m a worse singer than you. Besides, I want to hear you sing.

Haru: Well, I’ll sing.

Ray: Shall Hibiki and Haru do a duet song?

Haru and Hibiki: Um-

Emma: Hey, it’s Ray’s turn.

Ray: All right. 95 points?! I won’t lose.

Haru and Hibiki: They’re too competitive… eh? (they both laugh)

Emma: Good luck, Ray.

Ray: So, which song should I pick?

Haru: Do you want another cup of whiskey, Hibiki? (pours a glass of whiskey)

Hibiki: Thank you. I like alcohol with tea.

Haru: Something like a Oolong tea highball?

Emma: They have LiSA’s new song.

Ray: Nice!

Hibiki: Yes, that’s right.

Haru: Here you go.

Hibiki: Thank you. Wow this is really good.

Haru: I’m glad. It’s because I’m a bartender.

Hibiki: Amazing. I didn’t kno-

Rei: ♪ I’ll be fine by myself. An empty assurance escapes my lips again❢ ♪

Hibiki: (“Crap! I forgot about Rei’s singing. He’s too off-key.”)

Haru: I’m sorry. I didn’t hear you. Would you like to go outside?

Emma: Go Rei!

Hibiki: Yeah let’s go.

Haru: Emma, we’ll be right back.

Emma: Okay. Good luck, Haru. Fight! And Hibiki…

Hibiki: Yes?

Emma: Don’t hurt Haru. If you do, I won’t forgive you.

Hibiki: Eh?

Haru: Emma!  (Closes door) Please ignore Emma. (As expected, she’s drunk, huh?)

To Be Continued?

In conclusion, I hope that this series is helpful with your journey to learning Japanese and/or taking an interest in the country’s culture. Until then… また来週!


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