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Niko's Daily Lessons - Premium Access

Access to all previous and future NDLs, including audio, flashcards, and bonus phrases.

  Enroll in Course

Hundreds of Japanese lessons enabling you to:

  • View detailed breakdowns and explanations of 4,000+ sentences.
  • Learn digestible chunks of useful grammar.
  • Stay motivated with a fun, casual learning approach.
  • Systematically work your way though JLPT grammar.
  • Pick up tons of the Japanese used in daily life… but rarely used in Japanese textbooks.

What are Niko’s Daily Lessons?

In late 2015, I was going on one of my morning walks along the Tama River in Tokyo:

(Pretend that you can see the river to the right of this photo. Also, pretend that it's winter and there are no beautiful cherry blossoms. Also, it's freezing.)

Being a bad student (that day), I was not listening to any language-learning content. Instead, I was binge-listening to a daily podcast about entrepreneurship.The podcast had over a thousand episodes!

I thought, Would’t it be cool if I could teach a thousand lessons to people studying Japanese?

Imagine how much useful information people would get out of them! Thus, NDLs were born. I didn’t have much of a plan when I started.

The only goal was to write a lesson every single day. I thought maybe I’d last a month.

But then I started getting feedback from readers, thank-you emails from my fellow students. It was AWESOME.

(This was the tiny work-space Rei and I had when we started producing NDLs.)

Month #2, my performance at work started to suffer. Sometimes I was spending 5-6 hours preparing a single lesson. It wasn’t feasible. It wasn’t practical. I mean, I wasn’t getting paid for any of it.

Still, I love Japanese. And I love teaching Japanese. So I stuck with it.

Now, well over a year later, we’re rapidly approaching our 500th lesson.

Students that have been following NDLs since Lesson #1 have been exposed to well over 5,000 example sentences (all written by native Japanese speakers, mind you).

Our team has really created something amazing—and amazingly valuable for students of Japanese.

We’ve looked at casual language, JLPT grammar, kanji, vocabulary, anime, manga, Japanese songs—the works.

However, it’s simply not feasible to keep putting out so much content without any compensation. At the same time, we won’t accept the prospect of taking these lessons away from readers, either.

Thus, in hopes of keeping these free lessons alive for all of you students out there, we created…

Premium NDLs are different from the free lessons sent out daily in that they include:

  • 400+ previously published lessons
  • In-lesson native audio for 4,000+ Japanese sentences
  • Organized Anki flashcard decks (also with native audio)
  • “Shadow loops” (i.e. audio flashcards)

Premium NDL subscription is also the only way to access the hundreds of past NDLs that have been published.

"I just wanted to say I absolutely love these daily lessons. I took Japanese back in high school but almost completely forgot it all over the past 7 years or so. But since starting up my journey again to mastering Japanese, getting these lessons every day (and reading your blog posts) have been one of the constant things keeping me going and inspiring me to continue day after day.

I can't tell you the number of times I've seen a weird grammar point somewhere and been like "what does this... mean?" only to find it covered in one of your NDLs days later. I've been studying Japanese for years and can confidently say I have the basics down solid. But through your daily emails and your website, I'm still learning essential tools for expressing myself and boosting my confidence further in this confusing but beautiful language.

The way you explain things and the examples you use make things crystal clear, where sometimes all I get from a google search are muddy and confusing answers. Also, I feel like we have similar senses of humor, so there's that. The lol's are real, and I frequently chortle whilst reading your stuff. (Yes, I just used the word "chortle" casually.)

I wish I had known of you years ago, you're one of the few language educators who just "get it." I might be taking a job as an ALT next year, and thanks to your help my steady improvement is slowly increasing my motivation and confidence in my ability to live and work in Japan.

Sorry for the long message, just wanted to encourage you to keep doing what you're doing and to especially thank you for encouraging me to keep learning Japanese. You're a rad dude, you are.

Cheers man, best wishes to you and Rei."

- Jimmy V.

Notice! In the sense of transparency, I should mention that a significant proportion of the testimonials appearing on this page are from long-time subscribers to the free Niko's Daily Lesson emails. Premium access includes the lessons they are referring to, plus additional content such as audio by voice actors, flashcards, etc.

"These lessons are absolutely wonderful!

I'm a super busy student and am learning a few other languages in my free time - your lessons form the backbone of my Japanese studies and most of your examples land in my Anki.

Following the lessons, in about one and a half years I went from not knowing kana to N4-N3ish level without too much study :)"

- Ritchie

If NDLs are free, why pay for them?

Selfish Reasons:

  • Access ALL 400+ previously published lessons.
  • Get in-lesson audio for more interesting, educational lessons.
  • Use Anki flashcards for all example sentences to ensure that you remember what you learn.
  • Ensure that writers can afford to keep writing these lessons.
  • Give yourself a financial incentive to study.

Selfless Reasons:

  • Support free lessons for disadvantaged students.
  • Support hard-working Japanese educators.

"These NDLs are like smacks right in the face! I can skip the "look the web for some grammar" process and just jump right into learning something useful!

A lot of the things in there are actually stuff you will be hearing a lot. And knowing those things saves you the trouble of making missteps when trying to interpret Japanese. There seem to be a lot of peculiarities and confusing parts in Japanese sentence structure(and stuff), it also seems necessary to go through each and every one of them thoroughly in order to master Japanese.

This is what I believe NDL is trying to offer in a comprehensive, not at all overwhelming ”bit by bit” format."

- Filip E.

The Lesson Creation Process

First, Rei (our in-house master of Japanese) channels the voice of her people:

Then I smash the info into a computer.


OK... maybe it's not quite that simple. A more detailed version would look like this:

1. First we choose a lesson topic.

2. Then a native speaker (usually Rei) writes a batch of example sentences using the lesson grammar/focus.

3. The lesson writer (usually Niko) translates the Japanese sentences, then breaks them down and explains them in a lesson.

4. A native speaker checks the breakdowns and explanations for accuracy.

5. The lesson is sent to NDL subscribers.

6. A native speaker writes examples sentences for every Japanese word that showed up in the lesson without an example sentence.

7. The new sentences are translated, then checked by a native speaker.

8. Voice actors are hired to record the example sentences.

9. The lesson is proofread another time, then uploaded to the course site.

10. Audio and bonus sentences are added to the lesson.

11. Flashcards and audio loops are created for batches of lessons.

Remember, that is just for ONE lesson.

We do this for each of the 400+ lessons that have been published so far.

"Thank you so much for the NDLs, I find them to be extremely user-friendly, entertaining and instructive with clearly presented examples – altogether a great format and very useful for both my studies and less formal attempts to communicate in Japanese.

Please keep up the great work!"

- Simon F.

"I love love love love (!) reading NDLs! They're like a window to the soul of Japanese!

I guess in a less fantastic description, these lessons take fine grammar points and break them down very simply and understandably, yet are so thorough you can't really ask for more without feeling guilty...

In any case, I hope to keep seeing these and look forward to reviewing the older lessons as well!"

- Ivan L.

Good for Students with No Time to Study

I've already made the flashcards for you.

Here is the front side of an NDL flashcard:

And here's the back side:

What's going on here?!

Well...

So. Much. Information. *_*

"You and your team's daily lessons are awesome.

I've been learning Japanese for about 10 months now, and I find they are a helpful part of my Japanese language studies. I love how easy it is for me to follow along even though my bank of Japanese vocabulary is still fairly limited.

It's always fun to test myself by trying to translate the example sentences, while learning the new grammar introduced in the lesson. Keep up the excellent work!"

- John L.

Audio Loops for Ultimate (Effortless) Memorization

Podcasts and stuff are cool... but if you're like me, you probably start daydreaming after listening for 3 minutes.

Or you simply don't have time to listen to a 30-minute lesson when you're just walking through the grocery store!

As of the time of this writing, we have taken 2,183 example sentences (from lessons), then had native speakers read them out loud. For example, we saw a flashcard earlier for the following sentence:

奥歯痛い。
おくば いたい。
One of my back teeth hurts.
Literally: "back tooth + painful"

Spoken by a Japanese speaker, that sentence sounds like this:

This audio is then looped 8 times in what we call a "shadow track:"

Usually it's about 20-30 seconds... of brain-searing Japanese memorization.

You will remember these words. I promise.

The trick is listening and repeating.

Not once. Not twice. 96,431 times!

Designed to get the language into your brain!

I just explained why above.

Did you read that?

Or are you just scrolling with reckless abandon? Come on, yo. Get with it.

"Your daily lessons are out of this world good.

Each grammar topic is carefully explained with plenty of examples broken down word by word.

My Japanese comprehension has jumped considerably since discovering your site and using the material there. (Toby in Tokyo; NDL, blog posts).

I can't get enough of your NDL!!! I especially love the lessons that provide an example that I can use personally in day to day life (it helps the grammar point "stick") So please keep including those!

You and your contributors do a wonderful job, Niko. Thank you for everything! がんばってねー!^o^"

- Kirsten M.

↓ Go Here to Get Started↓

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30-Day Money Back Guarantee

No-Questions Asked

What if you decide tomorrow that you don't want to study Japanese?

What if you stole your mom's credit card to pay for this, and she gets mad at you?

That's chill--just email me (niko [at] nihongoshark.com) and ask for a refund within 30 days. I'll send 100% of your money back, no questions asked.

I wouldn't want you to pay for a course you don't actually do, anyways. My number one goal is to help people learn Japanese. If I can make a living helping people learn Japanese, then that's really awesome, but I would never accept money from someone who didn't think that they were getting their money's worth.

Sincerely,

Niko

"These daily lessons have helped me tremendously more than the hundreds of hours I've spent on books in concise small lessons that are much more relatable than formal books.

The subtle nuances are perfectly on point and I love the kana and kanji translations with each lesson.

I'm not one to often leave reviews but I'd be doing a disservice to any student by not stating that these daily lessons have really transformed my fluency in only a few months after many years of not studying at all.

Hands down my favorite resource and was completely unexpected! Again, thanks so much!"

- Brent S.

"I enjoy reading NDLs very much!

The following are a few things that I really like about NDLs:

1. Explanations are easy to understand with plenty of clear examples.

2. Literal break down of a sentence into smaller components help me to decode other sentences and make sense of how components are being used in sentences.

3. Links to related NDLs allow me to do further reading/revision on the same topic. E.g. giving and receiving series.

4. Length of lessons. Just nice and achievable for a daily dose of Japanese learning.

5. Formatting. Minimalistic, but highlighting important stuff. And also inclusion of clear visuals explaining concepts... I am a visual person - so I like it :)

6. Humour. Example of sentences, the style of writing. Makes learning fun!

7. Last but not least, these are free and easily accessible! ;)

I am so glad I found your lessons! I have recommended your site to a few of my friends who are studying Japanese, hoping that they will find it useful as I do.

Thank you very much! ありがとうございました!"

- Shu Y.

↓ Go Here to Get Started↓

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Your Instructor


Niko
Niko

Yo! I'm Niko, the founder of NihongoShark.com. I'm also a Japanese translator, writer, and all-around language nerd. I created this site to help as many people master Japanese (any language, really) as possible.

I live in Tokyo, Bangkok, Sapporo, Saigon, San Diego, Tokyo, San Diego, Chiang Mai! So if anyone wants to meet up for a refreshing nama beer, I'm probably down for that. Or a coffee. Learning Japanese is a betch. But we're in this together. ファイト!

Good luck with your studies!


Courses Included with Purchase



Niko's Daily Lessons: 01-30
Premium lesson content from NDL's #01-30.
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Niko's Daily Lessons: 31-60
Premium lesson content from NDL's #31-60
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Niko's Daily Lessons: 61-90
Premium lesson content from NDL's #61-90
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Niko's Daily Lessons: 91-120
Premium lesson content from NDL's #91-120
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Niko's Daily Lessons: 121-150
Premium lesson content from NDL's #121-150
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Niko's Daily Lessons: 151-180
Premium lesson content from NDL's #151-180
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Niko's Daily Lessons: 181-210
Premium lesson content from NDL's #181-210
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Niko's Daily Lessons: 211-240
Premium lesson content from NDL's #211-240
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Niko's Daily Lessons: 241-270
Premium lesson content from NDL's #241-270
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Niko's Daily Lessons: 271-300
Premium lesson content from NDL's #271-300
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Bunkai Beast
A surgically detailed breakdown of Japanese sentence structure.
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Class Curriculum


  Intro (How to Use this Course)
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Get Started!
Available in days
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Now what, specifically, will you learn?

Well, I’ll let the full lesson list* explain for me.

*Note that, although you will get access to ALL of the following lessons, they are at different stages of completion:

  • NDLs 001-090: Complete lessons with audio, flashcards, etc.
  • NDLs 091-300: Complete lessons (we are in the process of uploading audio and flashcards for these and expect to be finished in the first week of March).
  • NDLs 301-400+: Original drafts (i.e. Not on course site, but viewable) (audio, flashcards, and course format to be released in April).

Keeping all of that in mind, here is the full list of lessons published as of the time of this writing:

[NDL #1] - Visiting the Dentist in Japan X_X
[NDL #2] - Thai Food & Beer in Yokohama
[NDL #3] - Emotional Thai Lady's Japanese
[NDL #4] - Help! My Japanese Needs Saving
[NDL #5] - Oh, it's you, ka?
[NDL #6] - Sleep-Deprived Students
[NDL #7] - You remind me of a fish... in a good way, of course.
[NDL #8] - Draft Beer, Half Price!
[NDL #9] - Smoking, Steaming Goodness
[NDL #10] - Japanese Words of Wisdom
[NDL #11] - No Big Deal
[NDL #12] - Talking to Girls in Japanese
[NDL #13] - I wanna take you out.
[NDL #14] - Knock-Down, Pass-Out Japanese
[NDL #15] - How to work automatic beer-dispensing machines in Japan
[NDL #16] - She's on the... Pelvis Diet?
[NDL #17] - I can't understand this fully
[NDL #18] - How to Google in Japanese
[NDL #19] - The 40-Hour Part-Time Job
[NDL #20] - Will you help me out with this?
[NDL #21] - How should I know?!
[NDL #22] - Sentence Hacking 101: The 2-Word Sentence
[NDL #23] - More Sentence Hacking: The 2-Word Sentence, 第2
[NDL #24] - The Land of Many Rices
[NDL #25] - What a let-down...
[NDL #26] - Japanese Rei Uses Every Day
[NDL #27] - Sorry, didn't catch that
[NDL #28] - He has good Life-Carry.
[NDL #29] - It all depends on you.
[NDL #30] - Spicy-spicy-spicy instant Japanese curry
[NDL #31] - Frozen-Solid Tofu... and Waterfalls
[NDL #32] - Wasabi Withdrawals
[NDL #33] - You're so... admirable? Esteemed?
[NDL #34] - Big Fat Liars
[NDL #35] - Divorce Mail, Part #1
[NDL #36] - Divorce Mail, Part #2
[NDL #37] - Ah, now I get it...
[NDL #38] - Can't get you out of my head
[NDL #39] - Good, Good, Good to Know
[NDL #40] - How was your day today?
[NDL #41] - Classic Japanese Love Song
[NDL #42] - Ridiculous Japanese Video
[NDL #43] - Ridiculous Japanese Video, Part #2
[NDL #44] - Absolutely not at all...
[NDL #45] - The perfect word for "perfect"
[NDL #46] - Do you do? Yeah, I do. Wow, he do.
[NDL #47] - My Bitter Lack of Skills
[NDL #48] - Could I possibly conjugate that verb for you?
[NDL #49] - Making Requests Like a Boss
[NDL #50] - Super Smash Japanese
[NDL #51] - I'm mad jealous, yo
[NDL #52] - Indecisive Power Phrases
[NDL #53] - I'd... like to go... someday... maybe...
[NDL #54] - I think I'll... go to sleep.
[NDL #55] - Yo, hey. I think I'll... tell you my plans...
[NDL #56] - Cool Phrases for Izakaya & Restaurants
[NDL #57] - Try Doing VS Try to Do
[NDL #58] - Copyright-Free Manga Goodness
[NDL #59] - I was just about to study when...
[NDL #60] - She does't even try to study!
[NDL #61] - Bathroom Japanese
[NDL #62] - You have ketchup on your face.
[NDL #63] - My brain is melting... melting!
[NDL #64] - Japanese I Always Get Wrong
[NDL #65] - Copyright-Free Manga Goodness, Part II
[NDL #66] - Copyright-Free Manga Goodness, Part III
[NDL #67] - Taking a Breather
[NDL #68] - One-Leisure Cheap Beer Members' Card
[NDL #69] - Plum Blossom Adventure
[NDL #70] - Talking to Little Kids in Japanese
[NDL #71] - Killing Your Own Chickens, Part I
[NDL #72] - Killing Your Own Chickens, Part II
[NDL #73] - My Condition Is Bad, Part I
[NDL #74] - My Condition Is Bad, Part II
[NDL #75] - This Japanese Smells Like Scattered Barbarians
[NDL #76] - A Little Love Song
[NDL #77] - Love Lyric Grammar Attack
[NDL #78] - I accept your joke and deem it laughable.
[NDL #79] - Undergoing Word Surgery
[NDL #80] - Japanese Conversation Starters
[NDL #81] - Which, which, which word do I use?!
[NDL #82] - I simply cannot write a lesson today.
[NDL #83] - Japanese Word Play
[NDL #84] - This jacket is sweeeeeeet. Right?
[NDL #85] - This beat is fire, right? - Part I
[NDL #86] - This beat is fire, right? - Part II
[NDL #87] - This beat is fire, right? - Part III
[NDL #88] - This beat is fire, right? - Part III-b (detour)
[NDL #89] - This beat is fire, right? - Part IV
[NDL #90] - This beat is fire, right? - Part V
[NDL #91] - Some Jinglish for y'all
[NDL #92] - Excuse Me!
[NDL #93] - Shall I help you?
[NDL #94] - I'll carry that FOR YOU
[NDL #95] - Do NO fun.
[NDL #96] - Home = I = Inside = While = Before?!
[NDL #97] - Home = I = Inside = While = Before?! 第2
[NDL #98] - Speak! Good Boy!
[NDL #99] - Right in the feels
[NDL #100] - Fluent Before You Know It
[NDL #101] - Cherry Blossom Tracking
[NDL #102] - Music Transcends Words
[NDL #103] - Simple Compliments
[NDL #104] - Hanging Calls
[NDL #105] - Carrying Conversations
[NDL #106] - Carrying (Casual) Conversations
[NDL #107] - Don't sweat the small stuff!
[NDL #108] - Making babies... uh, I mean, marriage...
[NDL #109] - I'm not vigorous, nor do I have vigor.
[NDL #110] - Different Kanji for the Same Words
[NDL #111] - "Important" Words
[NDL #112] - Dealing with Japanese Flattery
[NDL #113] - A Springtime Stroll Through Ota-ku
[NDL #114] - It makes me happy.
[NDL #115] - Internet Banner Ads
[NDL #116] - Internet Banner Ads, Breakdown
[NDL #117] - A Random Casual Conversation
[NDL #118] - A Random Casual Conversation... Made Formal
[NDL #119] - Some Lines from Harry Potter
[NDL #120] - Getting Laughed At... In Person
[NDL #121] - Making Adjectives into Nouns & Other Horror Stories
[NDL #122] - Uh-huh, yeah!
[NDL #123] - Uh-huh, yeah! (Round 2)
[NDL #124] - Politely Bugging Someone in Japanese
[NDL #125] - White's Whitish White Whiteness
[NDL #126] - Keigo Japanese - Part I
[NDL #127] - Keigo Japanese - Part II
[NDL #128] - Keigo Japanese - Part III
[NDL #129] - Keigo Japanese - Part IV
[NDL #130] - White's Whitish White Whiteness Continues
[NDL #131] - Letting the Last Train Escape
[NDL #132] - Talking to Japanese People Visiting Your Home Country
[NDL #133] - The Age You Can Eat Anything
[NDL #134] - Would You Like Some Cheese with that Whine?
[NDL #135] - Blood Types
[NDL #136] - Ahh-Ahh-ACHOO!
[NDL #137] - That sucks!
[NDL #138] - Hi, I'd like to...
[NDL #139] - I'd like it if you...
[NDL #140] - You know, that thing, Whatchamacallit?
[NDL #141] - Blood Types, Part 2
[NDL #142] - A Goodbye Walk Through Tokyo
[NDL #143] - ♪ Happy Days ♫
[NDL #144] Cat pictures! (Oh, also some cat-related idioms)
[NDL #145] - Ride on the conversation
[NDL #146] - Facebook Friends
[NDL #147] - I think my finger's broken.
[NDL #148] - Keeping Your Spirits Up... with Sam from LOTR
[NDL #149] - Mastering Masculine Language
[NDL #150] - Certainly... err, uhh... if I'm not mistaken.
[NDL #151] - Customizing Food Orders in Japan
[NDL #152] - Home
[NDL #153] - Four Character Compounds
[NDL #154] - Let's Play Japanese Board Games!
[NDL #155] - Darling, it's in your eyes...
[NDL #156] - High-Impact Images for Messaging
[NDL #157] - High-Impact Images for Messaging, Part II
[NDL #158] - From Zero to The Most
[NDL #159] - Today's Word of Choice
[NDL #160] - Today's Word of Choice, Part 2
[NDL #161] - More Gender Differences
[NDL #162] - Cards against humanity in Japanese?
[NDL #163] - Finding Motivation - Part I
[NDL #164] - Finding Motivation - Part II
[NDL #165] - Totally Radical!
[NDL #166] - Becoming a Japanese Translator
[NDL #167] - I already told you a 100 times!
[NDL #168] - I already told you a 100 times! - Part II
[NDL #169] - I already told you a 100 times! - Part III
[NDL #170] - Words We Skip Learning
[NDL #171] - Half-eaten apples and other horror stories...
[NDL #172] - Let's put some clothes on, shall we?
[NDL #173] - The Key to Using 気
[NDL #174] - Reading a Scary Story
[NDL #175] - What are you talking about?
[NDL #176] - Surprise!
[NDL #177] - Sleepy Japanese
[NDL #178] - Get Out of Here!
[NDL #179] - What's the Weather, Everyone?
[NDL #180] - I only slept a whole five hours!
[NDL #181] - Negative Present Perfect Continuous Tense 😫
[NDL #182] - Compound Words and 'Coming Out' in Japanese
[NDL #183] - C-C-Combo Words
[NDL #184] - What is desu really?!
[NDL #185] - Uh... I think I broke your phone case...
[NDL #186] - Different Words for "Different"
[NDL #187] - Quit Bugging Me!
[NDL #188] - OW!
[NDL #189] - Quit copying me.
[NDL #190] - C-C-Combo Words, Part 2
[NDL #191] - Japanese Journal Writing, Part I
[NDL #192] - Japanese Journal Writing, Part II
[NDL #193] - Japanese Journal Writing, Part III
[NDL #194] - Thanks to Me (and a bit of sarcasm)
[NDL #195] - According to によって
[NDL #196] - Try everything! (Part 1)
[NDL #197] - Try everything! (Part 2)
[NDL #198] - Try everything! (Part 3)
[NDL #199] - Try everything! (Part 4)
[NDL #200] - Super-Duper-Delicious
[NDL #201] - Super-Duper-Delicious, 第2!
[NDL #202] - Let's Read a Japanese Picture Book - Part I
[NDL #203] - Let's Read a Japanese Picture Book - Part II
[NDL #204] - That thing just now.
[NDL #205] - That's what she said!
[NDL #206] - Reading Newspaper Headlines
[NDL #207] - Taking the Leap
[NDL #208] - そう、よう、らしい、and みたい
[NDL #209] - 『秋』の英語
[NDL #210] - 『秋』の英語, Part 2
[NDL #211] - Say Something in Japanese
[NDL #212] - That's What She Said! (Part 2)
[NDL #213] - Singing Trucks and What They are Saying
[NDL #214] - Learning Japanese with Disney
[NDL #215] - Bad Dreams
[NDL #216] - This Soup Has Some Punch
[NDL #217] - Suddenly 101 Dalmatians
[NDL #218] - Workout!
[NDL #219] - Japanese Tongue Twisters
[NDL #220] - Audacious Suggestions
[NDL #221] - The Kansai Dialect
[NDL #222] - "I hope~"
[NDL #223] - Still hoping...
[NDL #224] - Unavoidable Housework
[NDL #225] - Kanji Closeup: 得
[NDL #226] - Another Kanji Closeup: 得 → 損
[NDL #227] - Failing to Make Connections
[NDL #228] - Pokemon Don't GO
[NDL #229] - How Sailor Moon Taught Me About Space
[NDL #230] - Messed Up Mistakes & Failures
[NDL #231] - Success!
[NDL #232] - Hey! Stop it!
[NDL #233] - Bad Habits
[NDL #234] - Hey! Stop it! (Part II)
[NDL #235] - Making Reservations
[NDL #236] - 'Stranger Things' was Scary!
[NDL #237] - How long have you been in Japan?
[NDL #238] - How long have you been in Japan? (Part 2)
[NDL #239] - The Second of Two Tomatoes
[NDL #240] - Chit-Chat
[NDL #241] - Watching the Olympics - Part 1
[NDL #242] - Watching the Olympics - Part 2
[NDL #243] - Biolent Biolence
[NDL #244] - Don't be scary... err, I mean, scared.
[NDL #245] - How to Be a Polite, Eloquent Guest
[NDL #246] - Wanna come over?
[NDL #247] - I'm in the middle of this thing.
[NDL #248] - So while I was in the middle of this thing... Boom!
[NDL #249] - She Eats Like a Pig!
[NDL #250] - Crime and Punishment, Part 1
[NDL #251] - Crime and Punishment, Part 2
[NDL #252] - Rolling Up Our Sleeves and... Acting with Reckless Abandon?
[NDL #253] - Enter the Kanji Combo Game
[NDL #254] - Honey!
[NDL #255] - Honey! (Part 2)
[NDL #256] - Fun Mistakes I Have Made
[NDL #257] - Make Things More Negative
[NDL #258] - Math T_T
[NDL #259] - The Same Things Together
[NDL #260] - Seduced by Science
[NDL #261] - Getting a Haircut
[NDL #262] - Thinning Scissors
[NDL #263] - Going to the Movies
[NDL #264] - Intense Tightness
[NDL #265] - Causing All Kinds of Stuff
[NDL #266] - YES. I mean, NO. Wait, YES!
[NDL #267] - Children's Court is Brutal in Japan
[NDL #268] - Children's Court is Brutal in Japan, Part II
[NDL #269] - Flying Witch
[NDL #270] - Flying Witch, Part II
[NDL #271] - Flying Witch, Part III
[NDL #272] - I was wearing my pants on my head when...
[NDL #273] - The Little Prince
[NDL #274] - Dimples, Freckles, and Curls
[NDL #275] - Your name.
[NDL #276] - Your name. - Part 2
[NDL #277] - Your name. - Part 3
[NDL #278] - Animal Idioms - Part 1
[NDL #279] - Animal Idioms - Part 2
[NDL #280] - It'll die down.
[NDL #281] - Who cares!
[NDL #282] - Let's take this to the kitchen.
[NDL #283] - Electric Kanji
[NDL #284] - Never Enough Time
[NDL #285] - Autumn Stuff!
[NDL #286] - Happy Birthday to Me!
[NDL #287] - Crunchy, Chewy, Gooey Goodness
[NDL #288] - Wait. Hold up.
[NDL #289] - 'Verbing' Around
[NDL #290] - Homophone Quiz
[NDL #291] - You VS a 1st Grader
[NDL #292] - The Mysterious Biscuit Pocket!
[NDL #293] - It's Raining, It's Pouring
[NDL #294] - I caught a cold.
[NDL #295] - Rei's Dream Home
[NDL #296] - Autumn Checklist
[NDL #297] - Sorry about yesterday...
[NDL #298] - You Can Read The News! - Part 1
[NDL #299] - You Can Read The News! - Part 2
[NDL #300] - Dating with Japanese
[NDL #301] - JLPT N5: とき
[NDL #302] - JLPT N4: 間(あいだ)
[NDL #303] - JLPT N3: ~ところだ
[NDL #304] - JLPT N2: おり(に)
[NDL #305] - JLPT N1: にあって
[NDL #306] - An Escape Game
[NDL #307] - Basics: です
[NDL #308] - JLPT N5: あとで
[NDL #309] - JLPT N4: 間に(あいだに)
[NDL #310] - JLPT N3: うちに (while)
[NDL #311] - JLPT N2: うえで (after having)
[NDL #312] - JLPT N1: が早いか
[NDL #313] - How to Make Rice
[NDL #314] - Basics: です & "A is B."
[NDL #315] - JLPT N5: は~が、~は
[NDL #316] - JLPT N4: たばかりだ
[NDL #317] - JLPT N3: うちに (before you know it)
[NDL #318] - JLPT N2: くらいなら
[NDL #319] - JLPT N1: ないまでも
[NDL #320] - Kanji Close-Up: 月
[NDL #321] - Basics: は, No は, & ですか
[NDL #322] - JLPT N5: くする
[NDL #323] - JLPT N4: がいちばん
[NDL #324] - JLPT N3: とともに〈いっしょに〉
[NDL #325] - JLPT N2: ては
[NDL #326] - JLPT N1: こととて
[NDL #327] - For When You're Feeling Blue
[NDL #328] - Basics: こ、そ、あ
[NDL #329] - JLPT N5: て-form (Introduction)
[NDL #330] - JLPT N4: たり~たりする (expressing changes)
[NDL #331] - JLPT N3: くらい~はない
[NDL #332] - JLPT N2: 一方(で)
[NDL #333] - JLPT N1: つ~つ
[NDL #334] - Staying Warm
[NDL #335] - Basics: 1-Word Sentences
[NDL #336] - JLPT N5: から (reason)
[NDL #337] - JLPT N4: て (descriptive connector)
[NDL #338] - JLPT N3: 代わりに (in place of)
[NDL #339] - JLPT N2: あまり
[NDL #340] - JLPT N1: にひきかえ
[NDL #341] - Misleading Katakana Words
[NDL #342] - Basics: Katakana with i-adjectives
[NDL #343] - JLPT N5: て-form (parallel actions & contrast)
[NDL #344] - JLPT N4: し (and, besides)
[NDL #345] - JLPT N3: 代わりに (in exchange for)
[NDL #346] - JLPT N2: 得る(うる、える)
[NDL #347] - JLPT N1: にかたくない
[NDL #348] - You Can Do It!
[NDL #349] - Basics: Katakana with i-adjectives, Part II
[NDL #350] - JLPT N5: くなる
[NDL #351] - JLPT N4: ため(に)(because of)
[NDL #352] - JLPT N3: おかげで
[NDL #353] - JLPT N2: からといって
[NDL #354] - JLPT N1: べく
[NDL #355] - Saving Water
[NDL #356] - Christmas, Chicken, & Cakes
[NDL #357] - JLPT N5: たり~たりする (do... and do)
[NDL #358] - JLPT N4: ことがある
[NDL #359] - JLPT N3: ように (so that)
[NDL #360] - JLPT N2: 上で (in order to)
[NDL #361] - JLPT N1: といえども
[NDL #362] - Sending a Package
[NDL #363] - Basics: Fusing「A は B だ」with Katakana English
[NDL #364] - JLPT N5: に ([go] to [do something])
[NDL #365] - JLPT N4: て (reason, cause)
[NDL #366] - JLPT N3: ことになっている
[NDL #367] - JLPT N2: にしても ([hypothetical] even if)
[NDL #368] - JLPT N1: ~たら最後
[NDL #369] - Winter Haiku for the Soul
[NDL #370] - Basics: Dropping だ with i-Adjectives in Casual Sentences
[NDL #371] - JLPT N5: が (but)
[NDL #372] - JLPT N4: ことができる
[NDL #373] - JLPT N3: ようがない
[NDL #374] - JLPT N2: てみせる
[NDL #375] - JLPT N1: ~たところで
[NDL #376] - New Year's Cards
[NDL #377] - Basics: Nouns, Na-Adjectives, and i-Adjectives
[NDL #378] - JLPT N5: がほしい
[NDL #379] - JLPT N4: ~られる (possibility)
[NDL #380] - JLPT N3: ~られる (-able)
[NDL #381] - JLPT N2: とともに (and in addition)
[NDL #382] - JLPT N1: ずくめ
[NDL #383] - A Little Time Together
[NDL #384] - Basics: Using Na-Adjectives
[NDL #385] - JLPT N5: てください
[NDL #386] - JLPT N4: ことにする
[NDL #387] - JLPT N3: けれど(も)(content marker)
[NDL #388] - JLPT N2: となると
[NDL #389] - JLPT N1: ごとき
[NDL #390] - What is Your Chinese Zodiac Animal? - Part 1
[NDL #391] - Basics: Using Na-Adjectives, Part II
[NDL #392] - JLPT N5: でしょう (seeking agreement)
[NDL #393] - JLPT N4: ため(に)〈in order to〉
[NDL #394] - JLPT N3: といっても
[NDL #395] - JLPT N2: げ
[NDL #396] - JLPT N1: きらいがある
[NDL #397] - What is Your Chinese Zodiac Animal? - Part 2
[NDL #398] - Basics: Intro to の
[NDL #399] - JLPT N5: あげる
[NDL #400] - JLPT N4: ~てあげる
[NDL #401] - JLPT N3: かける
[NDL #402] - JLPT N2: かのように
[NDL #403] - JLPT N1: べからざる
[NDL #404] - Rude Japanese
[NDL #405] - Basics: Intro to の, Part II
[NDL #406] - JLPT N5: くれる
[NDL #407] - JLPT N4: ~てくれる
[NDL #408] - JLPT N3: たとえ~ても
[NDL #409] - JLPT N2: ~気味
[NDL #410] - JLPT N1: よし
[NDL #411] Playing an Instrument
[NDL #412] - Basics: Asking Questions
[NDL #413] - JLPT N5: もらう
[NDL #414] - JLPT N4: ~てもらう
[NDL #415] - JLPT N3: おそれがある
[NDL #416] - JLPT N2: ことだ (advice / warning)
[NDL #417] - JLPT N1: にかかわる
[NDL #418] - Japanese Baby-Talk
[NDL #419] - Basics: Asking Questions with の?
[NDL #420] - JLPT N5: ~ながら (while)
[NDL #421] - JLPT N4: ~たことがある (special past experience)
[NDL #422] - JLPT N3: って (topic marker)
[NDL #423] - JLPT N2: に関して
[NDL #424] - JLPT N1: と相まって
[NDL #425] - Japanese Words with No English Equivalent
[NDL #426] - Basics: Feminine の
[NDL #427] - JLPT N5: ~たい
[NDL #428] - JLPT N4: ~たことがある (have done)
[NDL #429] - JLPT N3: べきだ
[NDL #430] - JLPT N2: に限らず
[NDL #431] - JLPT N1: ときたら
[NDL #432] - How To Say Goodbye
[NDL #433] - Basics: Intro to んだ
[NDL #434] - JLPT N5: てから
[NDL #435] - JLPT N4: が (softener / content marker)
[NDL #436] - JLPT N3: さえ~ば
[NDL #437] - JLPT N2: まい (I [we] will not [never])
[NDL #438] - JLPT N1: をもって (by / with)
[NDL #439] - "The" in Japanese
[NDL #440] - Basics: The Versatility of Nouns
[NDL #441] - JLPT N5: をください
[NDL #442] - JLPT N4: けれど(も)〈but〉
[NDL #443] - JLPT N3: ~がち
[NDL #444] - JLPT N2: ~かねない
[NDL #445] - JLPT N1: というところだ
[NDL #446] - 3-Character Kanji Compounds
[NDL #447] - Basics: Negative i-Adjectives
[NDL #448] - JLPT N5: をくださいませんか
[NDL #449] - JLPT N4: ~ている (original shape)
[NDL #450] - JLPT N3: ~てほしい
[NDL #451] - JLPT N2: ~ている (narrative present tense)
[NDL #452] - JLPT N1: にとどまらず
[NDL #453] - Mistakes that go well together.
[NDL #454] - Basics: Past Tense of i-Adjectives
[NDL #455] - JLPT N5: ~てくださいませんか
[NDL #456] - JLPT N4: お~ください
[NDL #457] - JLPT N3: に対して (toward)
[NDL #458] - JLPT N2: 限り (so long as)
[NDL #459] - JLPT N1: なりに
[NDL #460] - Along for the Ride
[NDL #461] - Basics: だった、でした、and Review
[NDL #462] - JLPT N5: 前に
[NDL #463] - JLPT N4: お~・ご~
[NDL #464] - JLPT N3: こと (should)
[NDL #465] - JLPT N2: 限り (as much as possible)
[NDL #466] - JLPT N1: ただ~のみ
[NDL #467] - 幾年月 by Mili 🎶🎶🎵
[NDL #468] - Basics: どう & か
[NDL #469] - JLPT N5: ~ましょう
[NDL #470] - JLPT N4: ~たほうがいい
[NDL #471] - JLPT N3: お~です
[NDL #472] - JLPT N2: ~たいものだ (really want to)
[NDL #473] - JLPT N1: であれ~であれ
[NDL #474] - 幾年月 by Mili 🎶🎶🎵 (Part 2)
[NDL #475] - Basics: Verbs in Dictionary Form

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Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
It depends on which plan you sign up for--monthly or annual. All of the flashcards and audio files are downloadable, though. So those are yours to keep even if you cancel.
When will new NDL content come out?
It's tough to say for sure because there's so much to coordinate (voice actors, audio, flashcards, proofreading etc...) However! We shoot for about a month after the email lesson came out for it to show up here.
What level do I need to be to understand these lessons?
Really any level is fine. There are insights that even an advanced speaker will benefit from, though usually the lessons are targeted at the high beginner to low intermediate range. At a minimum, you MUST be able to read hiragana and katakana before taking this course. If you can't read those yet, that's what you should be doing (not this course). So maybe go do that and come back later. You can go through our Kana Mastery Course to learn them quickly.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
Then you can send me some hate mail or some pictures of dog poop or something: niko [at] nihongoshark.com. In return, I'll give you 100% refund. (But seriously, though, 100%, no-questions-asked refund if you're not happy with the course.)

Cue barrage of testimonials:

"I enjoy these lessons! ありがとうございます!(^-^)+.*☆( ˘ω˘ )☆*.+"

- Zukishimoto

"I really enjoy reading NDLs, it keeps me going and also makes me laugh so often…! Your explanations are easy to understand and I learn loads of vocabulary from the example sentences. So, thank you very much."

- Xenia T.

"I love reading NDLs! Thank you very much and keep up the good work!"

- Sam N.

"Just wanted to say that your NDL lessons are the best!

I love receiving them and have been learning a great deal from them! I especially love this series about giving and receiving.

Keep it up!!! All of us love your lessons."

- Nico S.

"Dear Niko, Your NDL letters are really-really useful and interesting, and I really enjoy them every day.

Moreover the letters help me to understand and practice a lot of Japanese grammars I learned before, and a lot of ones I never heard.. I'm really grateful for them. :-)"

- Zsolt B.

"I have been studying Japanese for 6 months now, and don't really have much exposure to a daily source of it, so NDL is always a pleasure to read :) Couldn't have done it without ya!"

- Winston C.

"I... enjoy reading your emails. I am very new to learning Japanese and have found your emails & website to be extremely useful to my learning of Japanese. Thank you for offering these extremely valuable free lessons."

- Jason G.

"I love receiving the daily lessons. Thank you SO MUCH!

It is an awesome service you offer and extremely helpful in learning Japanese. It's also nice to refresh and reinforce your memory on certain points already learned."

- Sciencewoman80

"I love these daily emails! They are always funny and entertaining to read!

You make Japanese a lot of fun to learn, so thank you so much!!!!"

- Charlotte O.

"I've been studying Japanese for 1.5 years. I've signed up for many newsletters and apps as I work out what helps me best. Your daily email is fantastic and the content superb.

I know enough kanji words and grammar to get great benefit from your fantastic examples and explanations. Brilliant. Keep them coming."

- Eamonn F.

"I have been studying Japanese for about 2 years and bought tons of resources before I found your website.

I have found your NDLs one of the best resources, and they make the most sense and are easy to understand. I also love your other courses, the Hacking Japanese Supercourse and Toby in Tokyo."

- Ashley F.

"I definitely enjoy getting these daily lessons. I'm a student of Japanese and have been for several years, but I had trouble committing to daily study. Flashcards are great for vocabulary, but not great for grammar. NDL helped immensely with that by reminding me to practice at least one new grammar point a day.

I especially like the full sentences in every lesson, because they help me make more natural-sounding sentences when I write or speak. I've accelerated my studies and learned a lot thanks to NDL."

- Venn B.

"It is always a pleasure to read your NDLs. It encourages me to learn everyday another thing and I am really grateful for that. Moreover, the new format with each day a new JLPT grammar point is really useful. You (and your guest contributors) explain really well and it helps me a lot! NDL に登録してよかった~~~"

- Farid A.

"I absolutely love reading these NDLs.

In fact, I look forward to receiving them in my inbox everyday. I like to quiz myself to see how much Japanese I remember from my one semester in college. The NDLs are perfect for that. So thanks for sending them out! お疲れ様"

- Frederick W.

"I find your lessons fantastically useful. I am very grateful for all your efforts."

- Paul C.

"I have been getting your daily lessons since #120, and I never skip a single one.

I really like them! They are such a great way to make sure to study at least a little bit each day, even when I have a lot of other stuff going on. And it makes for good practice to always read the examples in Japanese carefully before reading the translation.

One thing I like a lot, is how you keep the spirit light and fun, and still provide accurate and comprehensive information. It just makes the lessons that much more enjoyable to read.

I think your new system with the JLPT lessons works pretty well - it is a good way to keep it interesting for learners of all levels. Since I haven’t had any actual education, even some of the finer points of the N5 lessons are still enlightening to me, even though I am generally well above that level (e.g. some specific rules for particle use or something). It is also nice to have a casual one every Saturday, so please don’t change that....

I really enjoy what you all do, and I hope the lessons keep coming for a long time."

- Malte J.

"I have been reading your lessons since #307 :D It is a great regular exposure to Japanese. I particularly like how you do the examples with the kanji in first, then kana, then the breakdown... Thanks for your hard work!!"

- Cathy H.

"I really enjoy your daily lessons!

I am currently preparing for N2, so I read all the lessons every day (except for the very basics on Sunday) to review old grammar and learn new grammar.

I've started around lesson 20 and have been following them ever since then and learned a great deal of useful stuff.

I know I don't give nearly as much feedback as I should, but I really appreciate every single one of them. So thank you so much for everything that you've done for me/us!

Actually, I met up with 2 people I met in you Slack community on Sunday and we talked about how much it motivates us. We have tried and given up several times, but ever since we found your site, we've made huge leaps forward which keeps us going.

So really, I can't thank you enough!"

- Hii-chan

"I very much enjoy reading the NDLs! I make sure to read the daily lesson each day.

They're fun and consistent ways to gradually build up my knowledge of Japanese vocabulary and grammar points."

- Tayla H.

"Literally the first thing I do when I wake up is check my email for these lessons!

There have bee n a lot of things that were blurry to me but your emails solved a lot of them and then some. Thank you so much for your hard work!"

- Mandy H.

"NDLs are fantastic. Even when you are not motivated by studying, you open your emails and read the NDL, it keeps you in.

What's great is that you can go back to previous lessons when you need to and the indicated JLPT level really helps. I love them."

- N Haze

"I find your lessons really useful. I usually skim through them when they come in and then save to read properly at a later date.

I particularly like when you include the kanji with the hiragana/katakana pronunciation as that really helps with my kanji building skills.

ありがとごおざいます❗️"

- Amber N.

"I enjoy getting your daily lessons.

I'm about N4 level and hoping to pass N3 soon, so it's great for me to revise N4 points, check out N3 grammar, and get a ahead start on N2 and 1.

I love there are so many examples in the emails, so you can get a real feel for the meaning and the pragmatics of actually using it in real life.

Keep them coming! Thank you."

- Abby F.

"Please keep doing these [lessons]. They are super helpful."

- Matthew D.

"Thank you for all the lessons... This really helped and motivates me with my studies. I would like to present you a big thank you and all guest writer contributed in NihongoShark!"

- Wijaya

"I... enjoy reading NDLs, they're super useful and instructive, and very funny too sometimes :) one of the best way to learn! Thanks!"

- Faith K.

"Really love the lessons - they have just the right amount of content to get the point across without being overwhelming - breaking things down in the way you and your contributors do is done beautifully!

And having a different level on different days is also great as there is something for everyone no matter what level of Japanese they are at, and perhaps most importantly is that this is done consistently - you have shown (certainly to me) how important consistency is.

And because of this even if it is listening to Japanese radio, learning a new grammar point or translating some cool looking graphic/text/sign online I make the effort to do this on a daily basis."

- Adam T.

"These email lessons are a masterpiece, especially the new JLPT + basics lessons are extremely helpful! I read every single one. In fact, I learn even some English from them. ^_^ Please keep up the great work."

- Mike J.

"I really enjoy reading NDLs. Here are a couple of reasons why:

1. They're not too long or tedious or dense in material; just the right amount for a daily thing.

2. The topics and grammar discussed are immensely useful. They're things that appear everywhere in spoken language (at least in anime ^^''). I love it when there's a phrase stuck in my head because it's been repeated so much, and then an NDL appears talking about just that. I love it when I read the lesson and everything makes sense! This has happened countless times.

3. They're organized. I like the way the example sentences are written. When it's grammar, the explanations make more sense than anything else I've read on Japanese. They seem to hit on the exact points that may seem confusing in Japanese me and put them in a way that really makes me understand. I'm not amazing, but I can say my comprehension of Japanese has noticeably improved ever since I started reading those lessons.

4. They're very motivating. There's never the air of "Forget this, you'll never fully understand". Rather everyone's like "You'll get the hang of it with practice!" Just the fact that the writers of the lessons speak Japanese as a second language makes me think: "I can do it!"

5. They're fun! I can feel the writers' personalities in them and they feel warm and kind and casual.

THANK YOU NIKO AND FRIENDS!!!"

- Sun T.

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