Japanese Quick Reference Guide

When I moved to Japan in 2013 I spent the first six months taking intensive Japanese classes at a language school in Tokyo. During that time I got frustrated with the quality of the teaching materials and in particular the explanation of grammar rules which I found over-complicated things for the average student who just wanted to get a hang of the basics.

To that end I put together my own quick reference guide which covers a variety of useful topics, summarised in as simple a manner as possible:

  • Hiragana and Katakana
  • Numbers & Times / Dates
  • Counters & Pointers
  • Expressions of Time
  • People & Family
  • Useful Verbs
  • Useful Adjectives
  • Conjugation Basics
  • Common Verb Conjugations
  • Useful Adverbs
  • Useful Nouns
  • Common Particles
  • Sentence Recipes

It’s sat dormant on my computer for the last few years so I felt it was time to set it free in the hope it might be useful to others. You can download it for free as a PDF or from the iBooks Store (for iPhone / iPad).

Download PDF Download iBook

The guide roughly covers the content of the first ‘Minna no Nihongo‘ textbook and is intended as a supplement for classroom study, not as a replacement – it does not include copious examples or explanations.

While the content has been proofread by a native speaker there may be errors – if you spot one or have suggestions on how things could be improved please get in touch and I’ll do my best to keep it updated.

David avatar

7 responses

  1. Yoav Shapira avatar
    Yoav Shapira

    Very nice of you to share.

  2. Fran avatar

    This is very helpful and clearly laid out! Thanks!

  3. Lucas avatar

    Thanks a lot. Really. I’m gonna learn it all !

  4. james avatar

    Thanks for your share.

  5. playmaino avatar

    Thanks a lot! I am italian trying to learn Japanese while living in Germany. Well it sounds crazy but I have a reason to do it. 🙂

  6. Andreas avatar

    Very helpful. Thanks for making this available.

  7. Lalantha avatar

    Thank you so much
    Now I understand,


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