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Three JLPT test-takers living in Japan talk about Japanese language, culture and the JLPT!

  • My First Encounter with Japan
  • Why the JLPT is Worth It
  • Phrases that Represent Japanese Culture

Phrases that Represent Japanese Culture

What amazed me when I came to Japan was how often I hear the phrases "I’m sorry" and "thank you." Those two phrases are not used lightly in Vietnam. In Japan, parents even use them to their children.

We don't use them much in China either. For example, we use the phrase "sorry" only when we are clearly in the wrong. When I was back in China and inadvertently used it to attract the attention of a shopkeeper like I would in Japan, well, it completely floored him.

We use both of those phrases a lot in Poland. Like in Japan, we use them both casually and seriously. Different countries really do have different ways of using phrases, don't they?

I really like the Japanese phrases for “I’m sorry" and "thank you" because they connote consideration for the other person.

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And it's not just the phrases. I get the impression that in Japan people place far more importance on consideration for others than they do on their own. I was amazed that nobody utters a word of complaint even when they're being crammed into a packed train.

I used to ride on packed trains a lot and the station staff would always be pushing the passengers on.

Yeah, that happens a lot, doesn't it?

In China, people don't think twice about talking on a mobile phone or eating snacks while on the train. There are lots of rules in Japan and it was hard to remember them at first. But observing the rules makes for a pleasant way of life, because you don't cause any bother for other people and they don't cause any bother for you.

I couldn't agree more. Rules make life much easier.

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JLPT Bulletin 2013

JLPT Bulletin 2013
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Books and References

  • Book Information
  • Reference Download
  • JLPT Bulletin
  • For Teachers: Explanatory Materials
Test Dates
  • First test: Sunday, July 2, 2017
  • Second test: Sunday, December 3, 2017
*Outside Japan, the test may be held only in July or December in some cities. Click here for the test schedule in your city.

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