If you want to learn to speak Japanese, check out the 36 JAFL Japanese lessons that are available to download on this page. In addition, you may download a complete transcript of all the lessons, as well as several Japanese grammar guides. All of this material is free.
I continue to listen to these lessons and frequently revise the audio files, the transcript and the other documents, in an effort to make them more accurate and easier to use. In addition, I add new lessons from time to time. Therefore, I suggest that you come back here periodically to check for new material. Also, please pay attention to the dates on which the files were last updated. These dates can be seen in the list near the bottom of this page. In addition, the dates when the files were last revised are embedded in the individual file names.
Again, these lessons are entirely free. However, if you would like to help us with our expenses and rapidly enhance your own Japanese reading skills, please consider buying our book, Learn to Read in Japanese. It packs an enormous amount of useful information into 550 pages and, within a relatively short period of time, it will help you to start reading fluently in Japanese.
1. Free JAFL Document Downloads: .doc & .pdf formats
The JAFL Transcript is 429 pages in length and contains more than 7,000 “questions” in English, each of them followed by an “answer” in Japanese. You will find suggested mnemonics written in italics scattered throughout the transcript. If these mnemonics are not helpful, please ignore them or change them.
Transcript .docx 1.72 MB Last revised 02-16-18.
Transcript .pdf file 7.9 MB Last revised 02-16-18.
Transcript for Small Screens .pdf file 8.2 MB Last revised 02-16-18.
The JAFL Long Grammar Guide is 60 pages long. The last 3 pages contain an index.
Long Grammar Guide .doc file Last revised 9-8-16.
Long Grammar Guide .pdf file Last revised 9-8-16.
Long Grammar Guide for Small Screens .pdf file Last revised 9-8-16.
The JAFL Short Grammar Guide is only 11 pages long, and it’s relatively easy to carry around. It contains most of the information found in the Long Grammar Guide, in a very abbreviated format. However, it only includes material found in the first 27 lessons. It includes a 2-page index.
Short Grammar Guide .doc file Last revised 9-19-14.
Short Grammar Guide .pdf file Last revised 9-19-14.
Short Grammar Guide for Small Screens .pdf file Last revised 9-19-14.
The JAFL Ga vs. Wa document is 3 pages in length. It lists 15 points to consider when you are deciding whether to use ga or wa in your sentences.
Ga vs. Wa .doc file Last revised 7-28-13.
Ga vs. Wa .pdf file Last revised 7-28-13.
Ga vs. Wa for Small Screens .pdf file Last revised 7-28-13.
The JAFL Japanese Verb Tenses document is 5 pages long. It outlines the differences between u verbs and ru verbs, distinguishes between verb roots and verb stems, and explains how to identify and use transitive and intransitive verbs. It also explains how to use eba, reba, tara, nara, dattara, eru, reru, rareru, tari, oo, yoo, and tokoro. It describes how to use the exclamatory tense, the imperative form, the causative tense, the passive tense, and the causative passive tense.
Japanese Verb Tenses .doc file Last revised 3-13-15.
Japanese Verb Tenses .pdf file Last revised 3-13-15.
Japanese Verb Tenses for Small Screens .pdf file Last revised 3-13-15.
2. Free JAFL Japanese Lesson Downloads: .mp3 format
Notice: the audio files that can be accessed by clicking on the links on this page are mp3 files that have been converted to zip files. You may download them, save them to your device and unzip them before playing them.
Please be aware that some devices, including iPhones and iPads, may automatically attempt to play or stream zip files, without success. If you are using an iPhone, iPad or iPod, it’s best to start by downloading these files to the computer where you have installed iTunes. Each download may take several minutes or sometimes much longer, depending on your internet connection. Then unzip each file and save it in a folder on your computer. (Note: if you use the FTP download method described below, you will not need to unzip the files.)
Create a playlist in iTunes and name it, for example, “Japanese Audio Flashcard Lessons.” Drag the audio files from their folder to this new playlist. Finally, connect your portable device and synchronize it with iTunes.
Important: there are two different ways to download the audio files, as well as the document files: “ordinary” downloads and file transfer protocol (FTP) downloads. Which one should you use?
Here are four scenarios to consider:
A. If you have a relatively slow internet connection, you may find that when you use the “ordinary” download method (clicking on the red links on this page) your downloads seem to “time out.” Or, as a number of students have reported, some audio files may not play properly after you have downloaded them using the “ordinary” method. In that case, use the FTP method, as described below, since the FTP method will allow you to download large amounts of data reliably, with no risk of timing out or acquiring damaged files. Also, the files available via the FTP method are ordinary mp3 files and do not need to be unzipped.
B. If you intend to download a large number of files at once, you will also find it more convenient to use the FTP method. Note that I cannot guarantee that this site will be operational forever. Therefore, I suggest that you consider downloading all of the files now. The best method for downloading all of the files at once is the FTP method described below. This method will allow you to place the files that you want to download into a single queue, and your computer will download them reliably, regardless of how long it takes.
C. If you have a fast internet connection and only wish to download one or two files, use the “ordinary” method, i.e., click on the red links on this page.
D. If you have a slow internet connection and are unable to get the FTP download method to work, you may be able to locate an internet cafe near your home, or a public library with computers you can use, with a connection that is faster than the one you have at home. After you log in to a computer at the internet cafe or the library, use the “ordinary” method to download the lessons. Then store the lessons on a USB flash drive.
FTP Download Method
To download these JAFL files as FTP files, use an FTP downloader like Filezilla (for Windows computers) or Cyberduck (for Mac computers). If you want to use Filezilla, for example, start by watching this video.
There are several places where you can download Filezilla Client (I don’t think you need the Filezilla Server), but if you aren’t careful, you may end up downloading some nasty malware, such as Vosteran Search, which hijacks your browsers and forces you to watch annoying advertisements. Therefore, I suggest using the official Filezilla site.
You still need to be careful, even when downloading from the official Filezilla site. Click on the big green Download button, but do not click on any of the other Download offers that may then appear. Be patient, and wait for the window that will allow you to choose to “Run” the software installation. Then click Run. You may be prompted to download a “SourceForge Download Manager,” and you should do that. Decline all other offers that may pop up on the screen. Finally, click Install Now. When you see a screen allowing you to Choose Components, you may select all of the components shown.
Once you are in Filezilla, you will need the following information:
FTP HOST (also known as the Server, in Cyberduck): ftp.japaneseaudiolessons.com
FTP USER: email@example.com
FTP PASSWORD: Japanese123
You should now be able to see the text and audio files listed on the right side of the screen. You may right-click on an individual file to download it. [Note: if you right-click on a file and see that the option to Download that file is greyed out (meaning, not available), you may also download that file by simply dragging it from the right side of the screen to the left side and dropping it onto your desktop or into any other folder on your computer.]
If any of the files that you have already downloaded are older than the ones listed on this page, I suggest that you delete the older files and download the more recent versions. More recent versions are more accurate and user-friendly.
JAFL Audio Files
Lesson 1 12.0 MB Direct objects. Te and de forms of verbs. Kudasaru and kudasai. Da and desu. Aru and arimasu. Dewa arimasen and ja arimasen. Wa and ga. Particles, pronouns. “Softening” your sentences. 15 minutes. Last revised 12-22-16.
Lesson 2 21.4 MB More on te and de forms. More particles. Suru and shimasu. Negative forms of i adjectives. Iku and ikimasu. Iru and imasu. Negative forms of na adjectives. Interrogative pronouns. Wa and ga. 27 minutes. Last revised 12-22-16.
Lesson 3 27.5 MB The shoo ending. Kurai, gurai and goro. More particles. Te iru and de iru. Transitive and intransitive verbs. More pronouns. Kakaru. 34 minutes. Last revised 12-22-16.
Lesson 4 24.4 MB U verbs and ru verbs. The ku form of i adjectives. Hoo ga ii. De and ni after place names. Active and inactive verbs. More pronouns. Suki. Past forms of i adjectives. Turning adjectives into adverbs. 30 minutes. Last revised 12-22-16.
Lesson 5 30.8 MB Counting, numbers, days of the week and of the month, etc. Counting objects up to 10. The use of tai to mean “desire.” The use of kara and node. The use of na as a synonym for desu. How to use 17 common verbs, as well as i and na adjectives, in their non-past, non-past negative, past, and past negative forms. Naze and dooshite. 34 minutes. Last revised 3-28-14.
Lesson 6 22.8 MB Subete and zenbu. Conjunctions. Using te and de to mean “and,” including the use of kute. How to say “something will be all right.” 28 minutes. Last revised 12-22-16.
Lesson 7 18.5 MB Hajimete. Expressing intentions. Expressing probabilities. Ga vs. no. Forming a noun from a verb stem. 23 minutes. Last revised 12-22-16.
Lesson 8 34.9 MB Using te to mean “because.” Using nagara to mean “while.” Using mo to indicate that a quantity is more (or less) than expected. Expressing duration. Using hodo. Expressing comparisons. Expressing “etcetera.” Stating opinions. Counting years, months, weeks and days. 43 minutes. Last revised 12-22-16.
Lesson 9 21.7 MB Using naru to mean “becomes.” Making noun phrases. Verbs of giving and receiving. 27 minutes. Last revised 12-22-16.
Lesson 10 58.7 MB Transitive and intransitive verbs. Using 20 common verb pairs (one transitive and one intransitive verb in each pair), practice in the use of the non-past, non-past negative, “te” and past forms. Also, for transitive verbs in this group, the imperative form. Using shimau to mean “completely” or “thoroughly.” Turning something into something else. Using demo to mean “at least.” 1 hour and 14 minutes. Last revised 12-22-16.
Lesson 11 27.8 MB Using oku to mean “do in advance.” Using made ni to indicate “by” a certain time. Using the te form of an adjective as an adverb. Talking on the phone. 35 minutes. Last revised 10-2-17.
Lesson 12 42.7 MB Using hazu to mean “ought.” Using koto ni suru and koto ni naru to mean “decide” and “schedule.” Using moshi and moshimo to mean “supposing.” Using tara ii to mean “it would be nice if.” Using shi to mean “and.” 53 minutes. Last revised 10-2-17.
Lesson 13 40.3 MB Using ni to mean “for a purpose.” Using question words with ka, mo and demo, to mean “some,” “all/every” and “any.” Using cha as an abbreviation for te wa and ja as an abbreviation for de wa. Using kadooka to mean “whether or not.” Negative requests and negative commands. Verbs of giving and receiving. 50 minutes. Last revised 12-22-16.
Lesson 14 50.6 MB Saying “all day (night, year, summer, etc.) long.” Using chuu ni and juu ni to mean “sometime during” or “before the end of.” Expressing “same as” and “different from.” Saying “still do” and “no longer do.” Attributing information to a source. 1 hour and 3 minutes. Last revised 10-2-17.
Lesson 15 44.2 MB Using na to mean “desu.” Using dake and bakari to mean “only.” Using noni to mean “even though.” Using yoo and mitai to mean “similar to.” Using to and tara to mean “if” or “when.” Giving directions. 55 minutes. Last revised 12-22-16.
Lesson 16 39.1 MB Making suggestions. Using the te form of a verb to express the idea of giving or receiving an action, as opposed to a thing. 49 minutes. Last revised 10-2-17.
Lesson 17 35.5 MB Using te hoshii and te moraitai to ask a person to do something. Using sugiru to mean “too much.” Using te mo ii to mean “OK if I?” 44 minutes. Last revised 10-2-17.
Lesson 18 54.2 MB Apologizing. Using dekiru, eru or rareru to mean “able to.” Using tari to mean “etcetera.” Using yoo ni naru to mean “get to the point that.” Using yoo ni suru to mean “see to it that.” Using uchi ni to mean “while still.” Using aida ni to mean “while.” Making nouns from verbs. 1 hour and 8 minutes. Last revised 12-22-16.
Lesson 19 57.7 MB Using shika to mean “except for only.” Nanda and nante. Using garu, soo and deshoo to mean “appears to be.” Using to iu no wa, to no wa, and tte to say “as for the one called.” Using tame ni and yoo ni to mean “for the purpose of.” 1 hour and 12 minutes. Last revised 12-22-16.
Lesson 20 43.9 MB Using oo and yoo to mean “I shall.” Using to suru to say “try to do.” Using tokoro to say “on the verge,” “in the process,” or “just finished.” Using bakari to mean “a while ago.” The exclamatory tense. Using eba and reba to mean “if, then.” The imperative tense. Giving praise and encouragement. 55 minutes. Last revised 10-2-17.
Lesson 21 49.0 MB Using nara and dattara to mean “in case it is.” Honorific and humble verbs. Giving directions. 1 hour and 1 minute. Last revised 3-19-17.
Lesson 22, Part 1 22.6 MB A series of exercises using soo, yoo, rashii and mitai. 29 minutes. Last revised 02-16-18.
Lesson 22, Part 2 45.6 MB Using ki ga suru to mean “I have a feeling.” Using soo, yoo, rashii and mitai to mean “seems to be.” 57 minutes. Last revised 05-15-17.
Lesson 23 59.3 MB Ways to say “must do.” Ways to say “not necessary.” How to say “times per day (week, month year).” Using oki ni to say “every so often.” Talking about the body and various illnesses. 1 hour and 14 minutes. Last revised 12-12-17.
Lesson 24 52.4 MB Using areru and rareru to make passive verbs. Using yoo ni and to to show quotes. Using noni to mean “if only,” “too bad” or “for the purpose of.” 1 hour and 5 minutes. Last revised 02-16-18.
Lesson 25 61.3 MB Honorific and humble verbs. Using temo, tomo and demo to mean “even though” or “no matter how.” 1 hour and 14 minutes. Last revised 02-16-18.
Lesson 26, Part 1 36.0 MB Using aseru, asu, saseru or sasu to form causative verbs. Saying “let me do something.” Using aserareru, asareru or saserareru” to form causative passive verbs. 45 minutes. Last revised 6-29-17.
Lesson 26, Part 2 34.1 MB Using nai de or zuni to express the idea of “doing something without doing something else.” Using mama to express the idea of “doing something in a particular state.” Using koto (or toki, or baai) ga aru to express the idea that “sometimes such things occur.” 44 minutes. Last revised 3-13-17.
Lesson 27 63.6 MB New vocabulary. Review of grammar. 1 hour and 19 minutes. Last revised 02-16-18.
Lesson 28 27.8 MB Using nashi de to mean ‘without.’ Using nikui and yasui to mean ‘difficult’ and ‘easy.’ Using the stem form of a verb to mean ‘and’ or ‘since.’ Using beki to mean ‘should’ or ‘must.’ Using dearu as a synonym for desu. Using the eba form and hodo to mean ‘the more you do something.’ Using dake demo, dake wa or dake to say ‘do as much as one can.’ Using gachi to express the idea of a tendency to do something. 35 minutes. Last revised 1-21-17.
Lesson 29 38.5 MB Using gurai nara followed by hoo ga ii to express the idea that one choice is the lesser of two evils. Using to itte mo ii hodo desu to say ‘you could go so far as to say.’ Using iu made mo naku to say ‘needless to say.’ Using to iu yori wa mushiro to say ‘A not so much as B.’ Using to iu wake de wa nai to say ‘it isn’t that.’ Using A kara B ni kakete to express the idea ‘A extending into B.’ Using o kagiri ni to express the idea of a limit or end. Using kagiri wa to express the idea ‘as long as.’ Using ka to omou to, or ka to omottara, to say ‘as soon as.’ Using kanarazu shimo to say ‘not necessarily.’ Using to wa kagiranai to say ‘it isn’t limited.’ Using kaneru to say that you are unable to do something. Using ni kakawarazu to say ‘regardless.’ Using koto ni wa to mean ‘unless’ or to emphasize emotion. Using nai koto mo nai to say ‘possibly.’ Using shidai desu or shidai de to mean ‘depending on.’ Using koto wa to say ‘I tried.’ Using ni wa oyobanai to say ‘unnecessary.’ Using sae before an eba verb to mean ‘if only.’ Using ni shitagatte, or ni tsurete, to mean ‘accordingly.’ Using ni suginai to mean ‘it doesn’t exceed.’ Using totan ni to mean ‘as soon as.’ Saying ‘no matter.’ Saying ‘whether or not.’ 47 minutes. Last revised 12-12-17.
Lesson 30 34.2 MB Nineteen questions based on the Japanese Grammar Quiz (found on the next page on this site). Using dake ni to mean since. Using ni suginai to mean ‘it doesn’t exceed.’ New vocabulary. 41 minutes. Last revised 02-16-18.
Lesson 31 42.1 MB Using wake ga nai to say that something is not possible. Using wake da (desu) to say ‘therefore.’ Using to iu wake da (desu), or just wake da (desu), to say ‘therefore.’ Using wake de wa nai to mean ‘not necessarily.’ Using wake ni wa ikanai to say you can’t possibly do something. Using koto da to say that one should do something. Using koto ka to exclaim ‘how’ or ‘how many times.’ Using koto kara to say ‘because.’ Using no koto dakara to say ‘based on.’ Using ni chigainai to say that something is certain. Using koto nai de, or koto naku, to say ‘without.’ Using koto ni to emphasize emotion. Using to iu koto da (desu) to say that something has been reported to be true, or to say ‘it is concluded that.’ Using to iu no wa, or to iu koto wa, to mean ‘because.’ Using mono da to emphasize emotion. 52 minutes. Last revised 12-12-17.
Lesson 32 35.3 MB Using mono da, or mono desu, to say that one should do something. Using mono ja arimasen, or mono de wa nai, to say that one should not do something. Using mono desu kara, or mono dakara, to say ‘since’ or ‘because.’ Using da mono, or desu mono, to say ‘since’ or ‘because.’ Using igai to mean ‘except for.’ Using mono ka, or mono desu ka, to say ‘never.’ Using monono to say ‘even though.’ Using mono nara to say ‘if possible’ or ‘if.’ Using mono demo nai to say ‘not necessarily.’ Using noni to mean ‘while.’ Hoka no vs. betsu no. 43 minutes. Last revised 6-29-17.
Lesson 33 32.8 MB Using sasete itadakimasu to say ‘I do with your permission.’ Using sore hodo demo arimasen to say ‘not to that degree.’ Using toshitemo to say ‘even if,’ ‘even though,’ ‘if,’ or ‘assuming that.’ Using dake de naku to say ‘not only but also.’ Using the suffix ‘-kiri’ or ‘-kkiri’ to say ‘since’ (i.e., after a time in the past), ‘only’ or ‘just.’ 40 minutes. Last revised 6-29-17.
Lesson 34 39.9 MB Using to ikenai kara to say ‘if, since bad.’ Using ni saishite or ni attate to say ‘at the time of.’ Using ni kimatte iru to say ‘it’s bound to happen.’ Using dake de wa naku to say ‘not only but also.’ Using ni tsuki to mean ‘per’ or ‘apiece.’ Using -kiru as a transitive suffix to say ‘cut off’ or ‘finish’ something. Using -kireru as an intransitive suffix to say ‘finish.’ Using -nuku as an transitive suffix to say ‘finish’ something. Using ka to omou ka, or ka to omottara, or to omottara, to say ‘a moment ago’ or ‘just recently.’ Using shigata ga nai, or shoo ga nai, or naranai, after te or de to emphasize negative emotion. Using nanka, nante or nado to mean ‘such a thing,’ or ‘something like,’ often in a derogatory context. Using -kakeru as a suffix to mean to ‘begin’ something. Using ni shitara, ni sureba or ni totte to mean ‘from the point of view of.’ Use sae or de sae to mean ‘even.’ Using ni shitemo, or ni shite wa, to say ‘even so.’ Using ni yoru, or ni tsuki, to say ‘because of’ or ‘due to.’ Using to naru, like ni naru, to say ‘to become’ or ‘to amount to.’ Using ni tsuki to say ‘on account of.’ Using ni okeru to say ‘as for’ or ‘regarding.’ 49 minutes. Last revised 3-13-17.
Lesson 35 38.3 MB Using wari ni to say ‘relatively’ or ‘comparatively.’ Using ni oojite to say ‘depending on.’ Using -kkonai as a suffix to indicate that one can never do something. Using mono ka or monka after an adjective to say that the opposite is true. Using ni shiro to say ‘even though.’ Using ni kagiru to say ‘it’s limited to’ or ‘that’s the only way.’ Using han suru to say ‘to be contrary to.’ Using ni kan shite to say ‘related to.’ Using ni motozuite to say ‘based on.’ Using no moto de to say ‘under the supervision of.’ Using o towazu to say ‘regardless of.’ Using ni mo kakawarazu to say ‘in spite of’ or ‘nevertheless.’ 46 minutes. Last revised 02-16-18.
Lesson 36 34.2 MB Using nuki ni to say ‘without.’ Using jikkoo ni utsusu to say ‘put into action.’ Using ni tsukete, or ni tsuke, to say ‘every time’ or ‘whenever.’ Using yara to say ‘etcetera.’ Using ni hoka naranai to say ‘it’s due to nothing but.’ Using mushiro to say ‘rather.’ Using ichidan to to say ‘better (or worse) than usual’ or ‘all the more.’ Using yori to say ‘more.’ Using issoo to say ‘much more,’ ‘still more,’ or ‘all the more.’ Using bakari ni to say ‘just because.’ Using muki to say ‘suitability.’ Using darake to say ‘full of.’ Using ittai to emphasize your sentences. Using kimochi ga warui, or kimochi warui, to say ‘it’s yucky.’ Using no da or ‘n da to say ‘you should or must.’ Using otagai sama desu to say ‘we are in the same situation.’ 42 minutes. Last revised 1-22-17.
Next, How to Read Japanese
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