I am on a normal train from Nagoya to Osaka, then to a new prefecture, Tottori.

Yesterday, I had the chance to go to my sensei’s place to cook chicken rice for her family.

Quite satisfied, although we put too much chicken stock for the rice.

For the vegetables, we used 小松菜(こまつな).

As this period is 年末、there are lots of people who are going back to their hometown to celebrate the new year. Just look at the crowd at 8am.

As I finish the trip with Tottori and Okayama, I hope to reflect on 2019 and what I want to do for 2020: to bring more students to enjoy Japan and to integrate Japanese and psychology to our courses.

Hope you all have a good new year.


Differences between 「なければならい」と「なければいけない」: Repost


おはようございます。This is a repost.


例:  国民はみんま税金を払わなければなりません。



E.g この(_______)に入れるのは、助詞でなくてはいけません。


この映画はすごく面白いので、みんな見なければなりません。 ->不自然

この映画はすごく面白いので、みんな見たほうがいいです。 ->OK
Hi all.

This is a repost.

I’ll like to explain the difference between 「なければならい」と「なければいけない」.

「なければならない」express that the speaker has an obligation to do ~

E.g  国民はみんま税金を払わなければなりません。 (Citizens have to pay tax)


On the other hand, 「なければいけない」 is used when the speaker expresses to the listener that the listener has an obligation to do ~

E.g この(_______)に入れるのは、助詞でなくてはいけません。 (You must put in a particle in the brackets)


Take note that these 2 grammar points cannot be used to give advice and when expressing one’s own aspirations.


この映画はすごく面白いので、みんな見なければなりません。 ->>Unnatural

この映画はすごく面白いので、みんな見たほうがいいです。 ->OK


Source: Tobira, Gateway to Advanced Japanese


Testimonial from student

Received a testimonial from one of my students.
Humans were born to be curious creatures, we crave the knowledge of the unknown, constantly feeling the need to learn new things that would expand the horizon of our world. This gift of ours has led to many great things, from the steam engine to the technology that we so very need today to enrich our lives.

However, we are not superhumans. Bill Gates constantly thanks his teachers for playing a part in getting to where he is right now. If you haven’t already noticed, our path of learning has always been paved by ‘teachers’. Be it going to school, or even our parents teaching us how to walk, there is always someone there to guide us and assist us in learning. Yes, you may argue that self-learning is a thing and there are times where we can only rely on ourselves. I do not fully disagree with you, there are indeed benefits to self-learning. But first, let’s put this in the context of learning Japanese (which is the reason why you are reading this).

When I first started, I strongly felt that Japanese could be self-taught. I thought that I didn’t need a teacher, I thought that I could save the money to feed my materialistic lifestyle. Like I said, it IS possible to self-learn anything, including Japanese. But what made me change my mind? What made me willing to seek lessons?


I made big use of the vast resources that the Internet provided: Youtube tutorials, Meguro, Duolingo, you name it. I was getting nowhere. I’m not implying that these platforms are bad. I mean honestly, they’re great! If you haven’t tried, how it usually works is that you go through a number of lessons and you are tested at the end of every lesson. These lessons are relatively easy, you would be able to score full marks easily each time. But I still felt like something was missing. Why am I still facing difficulty conjuring basic sentences even after acing these lessons?

Passing these lessons felt like I am in possession of certain ‘tools’. How I am going to make use of these ‘tools’ is a different dilemma all over again. There was no clear guide as to where I should get started and I slowly began to feel lost. I needed help.

Googling ‘Japanese lesson Singapore’ would bring up a couple of reputable Japanese language schools in Singapore. If you’re reading this it means that you have definitely encountered their websites and have chosen to look for different schools, either because they are too expensive or you can’t commit to their lesson schedules (which are also the same reasons why I have chosen here over the other more reputable schools).

I was looking for value and flexibility, and both aspects stood out to me when I browsed this website. I remember having five tabs on my browser, all on the ‘Rates’ or ‘Fees’ section of each website. Needless to say, ‘Tsubasa Language Services’ was the cheapest (this is not an ad). But, as a fellow Singaporean skeptic, this thought always comes through our heads when we compare prices.

“Is it cheap because it is of low quality/lousy?”

My answer to that is no.

I am someone known to be sensitive to the feelings of the people around me, and from the first lesson, I could immediately sense the genuity and passion in teaching from Can-sensei. I also remember the sense of enlightenment and understanding during my first lesson. I was finally able to conjure basic sentences with the things I learnt on the various platforms! All from this one lesson.

Remember when I emphasised on the importance of teachers? Is a teacher that is able to teach well considered top-notched and respectable? Well, technically yes. But I beg to differ. A teacher that is able to teach well only shows that he/she is able to carry out his/her duty well. I believe that a ‘good’ teacher is one that can unleash the potential of their students and maximise their learning capabilities. And for that, I believe Can-sensei has done it, and has done it well.

In a business perspective, the most economically logical thing to do is to teach the contents of one chapter per lesson (which I believe is what most schools do). However, Can-sensei did not do that. During our first few lessons, Can-sensei regarded that I was able to grasp the basic concepts well, and pushed me to my maximum potential by not wasting time on chapters that he feels I am already proficient in.

That being said, I never liked learning as a kid. But somehow, Can-sensei has awakened the curious nature in me, and I believe he would do the same for you.

-L. Tan
Private student
Completed 3/4 of Minna no Nihongo I in 20 lessons

JLPT Afterthoughts Dec 2019

Hi all,

How did everybody fare for JLPT this time round?

This Dec, i took N4 with my students. For vocabulary,
we saw a few N3 words and 1 of the uncommon words tested. N5 grammar was also tested. Listening was quite tricky.  名詞修飾形 was also tested, which is very important from N5 onwards.

Some of my other students took N3 and N2. Heard that the listening  was quite tough. Keigo was also tested.

After the exam, most of my students told me that they feel the importance of making sure that foundation for Japanese grammar is very important and am glad that i helped them in making sure that their foundation is firm. In our lessons, as we are able to take the exam with students, we usually tell you all what grammar or vocabulary tends to appear in the exam.

If you feel that your foundation in Japanese is not so good, why not try our lessons to strengthen your foundation or find out more? =)

To support those that wish to sign up for our lessons, we are giving a 30% discount off the 1st term, should you sign up with us by end September. That is on top of 1 free trial lesson. Contact us via here

Look forward to seeing you in our lessons.

Till the next JLPT, have a good rest and great week ahead.


Max 8 students class size | Free trial lesson available | Next to Lavender MRT | admin@learnJapanese.sg