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-Hints & Tips
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-Numbers 1-20
-Disco Warm Up
-Katakana Song
-Hiragana Song
-Hot, Cold Song
-Days of the week
-Mary san's sheep
-How much?
-Left & Right

-MP3 Downloads

-Katakana Chart
-Game 1
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-Left & Right
-Body Parts
-North & South
-Action Words

-Virtual O-koto
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-Genki English
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-Japan Jobs


Left & Right in Japanese

New: Try the new Learn Japanese Left & Right song!

There's an English version of this game on Genki English CD Vol. 1. If you found it easy to learn Japanese this way, your kids will love the CD version!

To play this game in a computer room, get all the students to start together and see who can get the highest score.

Left & Right

Left in Japanese is "Hi da ri". Right is "Mi gi". Obviously they are very useful when you get lost and need directions. Simply say "XXX wa doko?" to ask where xxx is, and you'll get a garble back that has lots of "Hi da ri"s and "Mi gi"s in it.

The symbols may look alike, but with a cunning trick it's easy to remember which is which.

Left, or "Hi da ri" is a symbol of a dude with a (which nearly looks like an "L") shaped tool in his Left hand. Whereas or "Mi gi" is a dude with his Right hand putting something in his , "Ku chi" or mouth.
Left Tool, Right Mouth. Dead easy.

By the way, you'll also see , "Ku chi" everywhere in Japan as "De Gu chi" is exit, and , "Iri guchi", is entrance. We just change the "ku chi" to "gu chi" to make it easier to say, and it to make it sound more like "Gucci"as Japanese people love designer brands.

Up & Down

Up and down are also really easy. is "Ue" ( check out the game below to hear it!), and means "up" or "above", because the symbol is pointing up.

is "Shi ta" which means "down" or "below", because it's pointing down. And I'm sure you can think of a way to remember the pronunciation.

OK, enough of the boring stuff, as usual the best way to learn is by doing, so switch on your speakers and get started with the game above. If you can get to 14 you are doing very well!

Recommended Courses

There are loads of great resources out there, and one of the good ones is the "Pimsleur" series. They have a "Quick & Simple" starter pack and also a full on "Gold Course". They are well recommended if you want to learn Japanese, in January I used it to learn everyday Spanish in a month!

Click here for more:

Or for slightly cheaper, but one that requires a bit more work, you can have a look at the Living Language series. Although now I would prefer the Pimsleur course above, I actually used the Living Language series myself when I first learnt Japanese. It's good, but you have to keep repeating and repeating the same CDs, whereas the Pimsleur makes you think more, and reviews the language as you go along.

Click for more.

If you teach English in Japan you might be interested in my new Classroom English / Classroom Japanese CD.

All the Japanese on this page is suitable for either guys or girls, and is pretty normal, everyday Japanese. This means it's not too formal, but you'll be fine as long as you don't say it to anyone too posh!

Read the hints & tips I used to get fluent in Japanese.

Email me if you have any questions or comments,

Mata ne!
Be genki,


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